Past life: Living in France 2008

The Christmas season

Today, I took the backroads through the western part of the Loire Valley, passing through about 20 little villages. As I drove through one of the last ones (Artannes-sur-Indre) around 5pm, I looked to my right at one intersection and saw a small crowd and some colorful lights….

…so I parked and walked down.

In the past two weeks I’ve realized that *everyone* has a Christmas market or fair, and Artannes-sur-Indre, a town of probably 2,000 people, was no exception.

Never mind that the fair covered a space half the size of a high school gymnasium, or that the commerçantes (shopkeepers) under one tent were 8-year-old girls selling bad handmade cards: Everyone was having fun, chatting with their neighbors, and taking pictures of their kids riding a tiny merry-go-round. The whole town came out to celebrate, despite the rain. The scene was similar when I arrived back in Tours.

So much for rumors that the French are unhappy…I’ve yet to see it. Hope you’re enjoying la saison de Noël so far too.