mercredi 20 mai 2009

Old Buildings, New Buildings

Whew, finally some time to relax! (sortof.) The past month has been a whirlwind of craziness, grace à 30+hours spent driving around Europe with my family, followed by exams for my French program. It's that classic end-of-the-year paradox: piles of work, and suddenly the weather is so nice that nothing else seems to matter.

My 6:00 walk home from the bus stop after work is no longer in the dark, so I get a lot more time to look at things around Aix. A few days ago as I passed by the "Official Mac Reseller" I noticed that along with the high-tech apple decor, the building also sported arrow slits:

I think it might have been part of the old town wall, if not some other kind of medieval fortification.

Part of me loves being surrounded by medieval buildings, and another part of me is sick of places having a thousand years worth of dirt. No matter what we do to keep our apartment clean (which isn't much, I'll admit), I know that there's no real cure for the crumbly walls and pervasive feeling of "charm" (i.e., decrepitness). It's not as if it wouldn't pass safety inspections; I'm just getting sick of details like mismatched fixtures and slightly broken cabinet doors.

As my bus home from work wound through the medieval, castle-guarded town of Meyrargues yesterday, we passed a standard-issue modern building made all of glass and concrete nestled in among the violet-shuttered stone and stucco provençal houses. I actually held my breath for a second thinking about how beautiful it seemed to me. Something tells me I'm ready to spend some time in the States again.

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