“Look directly at your own mind…There’s nothing to find, and yet it knows all things. It is, but it doesn’t exist…Look at the mind, and you see nothing. Look through it, and you see the world.” – Joseph Goldstein, Big Mind meditation
A few examples of how I’ve been experiencing my new world in the Biarritz area, France. No judgement, purely observations:
On our way to a meeting of entrepreneurs, my friend decides to take a hitch hiker along. The hitch hiker teaches us a new word: “trumpocalypse”. Besides three big bags, the man also has a big dog as his companion. The dog is called Gigi, a name that I thought was only given to lap dogs. I learned a lot during that short ride.
There are days where the French words fly out of my mouth, fluently and without having to think about them. Then there are days where it seems I never learned a French word at all.
Being laughed at for buying an all terrain mountain bike (a VTT or Vélo Tout Terrain) for city biking. Shortly after, I followed a new route to a bigger supermarket, and ended up on a piece of highway. I’m noticing that French infrastructure and Google maps have different opinions on how to get from one place to the next. As I could see the cycle path continue about 50 meters down the road, I realized I didn’t buy the all terrain bike for nothing. I cycled up onto the grass and rocks on the side of the road, and continued my all terrain cycling until I was back on the “normal” path. Laughing all the way.
When I tell two French women entrepreneurs that I am 37 years old, they first fall silent. It’s one of those moments where I again wonder if I said something silly in their language or if I mispronounced it. Next thing I know they start laughing, and say “Ils se conservent bien, les Hollandais!” (Loosely translated: they keep well, the Dutch.) Apparently, they thought I was 27.