My boss’s mother Natasha treated me to lunch at the luxurious France-Soir today, followed by a trip to the bookshop and an evening tea at Madame Sousou. It was great for me to spend an entire day speaking French, which is more of a physical effort than anything else, as I speak with a different part of my vocal cords in French (my voice is in fact slightly deeper in French). I consider it a warm-up for the coming months…
Natasha and I have a relationship more akin to mother- and daughter-in-law than anything else — ones who get along very well. I feel like quitting my job is almost like breaking up with a boyfriend, but I am sure Natasha and I will remain as friendly as ever when I get back to Australia.
Natasha very generously bought me a stack of books “for the plane”, despite my protests about baggage allowance. I will have to whip though as many as I can before I leave! I started the short stories (which was in fact a giveaway from the lovely lady in the bookshop) on the tram home, and it’s very good so far. Must get back to it!
Jasper Jones by Craig Silver is one that Natasha suggested, and A Love Letter from a Stray Moon is about Frieda Kahlo. Both were also highly recommended by the bookshop owner. Chosen almost by default was the latest Margaret Atwood, and finally When God Was a Rabbit, which I read an intriguing review of last night.
It wasn’t all books today! I also met with dear, dear Alistair and Thomas, for a few drinks at the Labor in Vain. Al was instrumental to my settling in Melbourne, although we originally met when studying in Taipei. I’m glad we caught up and I’m glad to know that, like Natasha, he’s someone I’ll always have in my life. Coming back to Melbourne seems so obvious, because I love this city, but I need the little reminders that it’s also the people here who make it feel like home.