All posts tagged “Culture

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Mauritius – By Land and Sea

mountains

One of many volcanic mountains

The African country of Mauritius deals up a wonderful recipe of cultures and landscapes.  Like a complicated dish, it’s hard to put your finger exactly on the specific ingredient that makes it so special.  Call it  alchemy.  The result is delicious.  Because of several changes in (let’s call it) ’ownership’ and some fairly huge cultural shifts, like the abolition of slavery for example, this gorgeous island has a bad case of multiple personality disorder.  In a very good way.  You can see and feel the colourful mingling of French, Dutch (who brought sugar and killed the Dodo), African, Creole and Indian influences in the people  along with their Hinduism, Christianity and Muslim faiths. The remarkable thing is that everyone seems to get along peacefully like it’s no big deal.  Take note world!  This ethnic margarita makes for some very interesting food, history and people.  The varied terrain makes for some outstanding outdoor exploration.  After the storm we were itching to get out and have a look around this ruggedly beautiful tropical island.

*note: Speaking of itching, mosquitos chase us inside each evening at dusk in a cloud of bug spray but the itchiness never lasts longer than an hour or so.  For this reason, I like Mauritian mosquitos way better than Canadian ones. Continue Reading →

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Square Pillows and Wine on Tap – Life in the French Countryside

tara and ly walking

Our morning commute

Our pillows are square.  The ones on our beds.  It’s tough finding the right angle for your neck and shoulder if you’re a side sleeper.  I often end up feeling like my head is inside a giant taco.  They seem to be square in most homes.  Not rectangular like in Canada.  No idea why, this is just one of the many little differences that have started to feel normal since we’ve been living here in the small village of Villegaihenc, France.  Our town is about 10 minutes drive from Carcassonne where we have been taking French lessons every morning for the last 4 weeks.  We try to speak and write simple French words and sentences for three hours, with a merciful tea break somewhere in the middle.   In France one ‘takes’ tea or coffee.  Like you ‘take’ a nap or a picture.  It feels more like a break that way.  One of our most helpful phrases goes like this: “Avez-vous soif? Voulez-vous prendre quelque chose?”   “Do you have thirst, would you like to take something?” See , not a total waste of time.

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