When me and Dan were on holiday in Vendée, France, with my family this summer, we befriended a couple from Rennes. They were the same age as us, and the man spoke really good English, and his girlfriend spoke a little. I can get by in French, and Dan’s French drastically improved after the holiday.
We had been at the campsite a week when all of a sudden, a tanned head popped around our windbreak to ask for a pump for their airbed. Dan lent them ours and the man returned it a little later on, thanking Dan and introducing himself. We saw them by the pool a few times and waved, and then later played water polo, piggy in the middle and throw and catch in the water with them. It transpired that their pitch was right across from us. They had come without a car (because it had broken a day or so before they came on holiday) so they carried everything they could and came by several buses and hitched a lift from blablacar. They hadn’t therefore had much chance to bring much, a few clothes, their tent, airbed and towels. They had no chairs and sat on the ground to eat and Dan and I felt a bit sorry for them at first, so we offered them our posh new reclining chairs while we used ones my parents had.
They were so grateful for them and it was so humbling to receive such gratitude. A day or so later, we gave them two camping chairs that we didn’t need anymore, which they could keep or throw away once they were going home. They asked us if we wanted to go with them for a drink at the bar around the corner, which we obliged, and we met up with them at night and had a drink together. It was funny, because I would have conversations with them in French, and have to relay some of what we were saying to Dan in English, and when we talked in English, the man would have to relay some of it back to his girlfriend in French. Sometimes we would talk in English, and he would ask me how to say a French word in English, and I would do the same. For a few weeks my brain was a strange mash up of Frenglish.
After we had had a drink at the bar, they suggested a walk to La Griére Plage, a tiny village exactly a mile away from the campsite. They had a funfair on and the shops opened late, and there was supposed to be a concert on too. We walked down and got to the little village at around 11pm at night and yet there were young children on the rides and walking around and the stalls and food places and bars were still open too. We ate churros from a small food shop (they called them chichis) and played with the owner’s dog who was sat very contentedly beside us. We got back to the tent at nearly 2am after a great night, (we drank a strangely nice cocktail the French couple had made in a Fanta bottle – a mixture of all sorts, but I do know it had Curaçao in which made it blue) and we were so tired!!
We spent a lot of time with the couple and we were both really grateful for their companionship over the holiday. We had a meal together, drinks together, walks together and trips to the beach. The last night we had a drink and food together, and it felt quite sad to be leaving these new friends behind. We’re friends on FaceBook and keep in contact.
Isn’t it strange that you meet people that you click with immediately and you befriend easily. I’d like to go back to the campsite soon with Dan, that area of France is filled with fond memories.
I don’t know the purpose of my post, I think that because today is my first day back to work I am reminiscent of good holiday times.
I’ll leave you with a few photos (courtesy of google.com search – no copyright infringement intended) of the Vendée area and La Griére Plage.