Hello Again, Marseille

After just one full day in Paris, I took the train down to Marseille (I’d be back in Paris for the latter part of my France trip). I’ve been to Marseille a number of times, but there is, refreshingly, always something new to discover.

Like the nice man who struck up a conversation with me as I ate sweet, smushed wild strawberries while sitting on a ledge across from a café a ways down from the train station.

Like this giraffe.


Like this church with Joan of Arc rising in front of it.

Like these whimsical umbrellas.


Like this shopping street (yes, I deliberately timed my vacation to coincide with the biannual soldes).


Like this view that reminded me of San Francisco.


And a rediscovery of Le Vieux Port.


And an exploration of its environs.


And an intriguing alley.


And a huge inflatable duck to ponder while perching myself on a cement block and waiting for my friend to pick me up. Trying to discreetly peer at every male driver with sunglasses to see if he was my ride. Hint: One cannot both be discreet and peer at the same time.


Another discovery: My friend’s son, the kid I once bent down to to faire la bise, is now taller than me. His daughter, thankfully, had not lost the excitement she had for things like sitting next to me at dinner.


2 thoughts on “Hello Again, Marseille

  1. Ah, you’re so French, knowing about the soldes!

    I’ve never been to Marseille. I’d love to, though. My younger cousin moved there a year ago, she is from Paris and she doesn’t like it much. She says it’s hard to make friends and meet people… I was surprised to hear that apparently, people are very different than in Paris. Considering how small France is, I never expect major differences between cities (except French nitpicking about regionalisms).

    • I have wondered what it’d be like to live in Marseille! I don’t know how I’d meet people. I hope your cousin finds a community there eventually or can move somewhere else if she doesn’t.

      Interesting, just the other day I had lunch with a French acquaintance and was expressing the differences I’ve noticed in people in different parts of France, and she said she hadn’t noticed it (though I think she’s in the minority since people I knew in Paris would talk about it). I gave her specific examples– the pace in Paris is faster, for sure, and I’ve noticed the different racial make-up depending what town/city you are in.

      On the other hand, it is also true that no matter how similar we are, we’ll find differences– I marvel at how some Americans see all Asians as similar when Chinese from neighboring regions have their own stereotypes about each other. We (humans) are all alike, yet different. Depends on how you’re looking at it, I guess.

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