How do you say?



We walked into town in the light rain trying to stay on the bike path as cars whipped by us spraying more water in our direction. My son and I were venturing into town for the first time since our arrival at our French Chateau. It felt like home to be together taking a walk, even though our talks happen typically in the car. It was nice for a change.

It was our down day after arriving the day before and going straight into Geneva for lunch with our family. We were excited to pick a cafe with an inside and outside setting. We chose an inside table near a window that we saw later slid open becoming a door.

A table for two and they have Coke! It is in a glass bottle and they have ice. We felt more at home until again the menu challenge and limited assistance. We got steak and fish somehow and just went with what our server suggested.  We had already refused the wine mistakingly brought to us not the man next to us, seated alone by the window.

The sliding window was now open and a little bird, a pretty bird, appeared to join the open seat close to my son. The man at the table gave it a piece of bread and out the door she went, ah that is what some pretty birds do. I then noticed a bird was waiting for her outside.

The filet came with sauce, my son powered through using the bread to wipe it off. “It’s fine, It’s good,” as he wiped it clean. He was just excited to have steak and food he somewhat recognized. My swordfish turned into a fish with bones deboned at a table brought over and set up next to us, quite a production.

It was delicious and I still have no idea what it was. The staff was very busy and we felt we had picked a local favorite, so we went with it. I used my son’s steak sauce to compliment my fish, so not chic.

When we returned with my nephew to eat there days later the hostess said as we approached, “Ah, the Americans, glad to see you.” I wanted to believe she meant it and felt excited to be known in our village. It was her next line, “How long are you staying,” that made me wonder if our nightly menu bewilderment was just too much to bare. We had my nephew this time and he spoke enough French and drank wine to help offset our Americana. We sat where the pretty bird had been and enjoyed a family meal in our French village as it was our home after five days.

We then made the trek up to the castle to watch the fireworks being it was Bastille Day not knowing our day of peace at The Red Cross Museum and The United Nations would be shattered. We enjoyed the fireworks and my nephew headed back to Geneva when the messages came asking if we were safe. My son was asleep and for one more night he was safe from fear.

I had a sleepless night and told my son what happened early that morning. We got dressed and walked to the village. The path to peace starts without living in fear and accepting one another. France was our home that week and forever in our hearts. Thank you to the village of Divonne and Chateau de Divonne for a trip of a lifetime. We promise to learn French by our next visit!


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