May 31, 2012
The North vs. the South
I don't want to spark a big debate about the north of France vs. the south of France or anything, but hey, this is my blog, so I'm just going to say it...so far living in Normandy has been so much better than living in the Languedoc-Roussillon.
For those of you moving to or already in the L-R, please don't get all up in arms just yet.
The Languedoc is a very special place and we love it there, especially our little village tucked away in the Minervois vineyards. Our neighbors couldn't have been any more friendly and we were warmly welcomed into the community from the moment we arrived. We made lifelong friendships and spent 9 very happy years there. We wouldn't change it for anything.
But since coming to Normandy we can't help but notice that it's as if we've moved to an entirely different country. And as much as we loved living in the L-R, things here have just been easier.
We've noticed that when we walk into a shop or a business we don't get the I'm-too-busy-not-working-to-help-you attitude. I've even returned things on three separate occasions, without any argument and with no trouble whatsoever. And that's nothing short of a miracle.
The landscape is a bright, vivacious, rollicking green as opposed to sage-colored, more muted, Mediterranean green. Both beautiful, but very different.
The fish and dairy products in Normandy are better, but the wine selection is seriously lacking. Do the locals think that there aren't any decent wines produced south of Bordeaux or something?
We've exchanged olives, tapenade, fromage de brebis from the Pyrénées and local wine at the market in Olonzac for shellfish, teurgoule, Camembert and cider at the market in Bayeux.
The climate is softer and gentler. Of course Normandy gets more rain and is generally cooler than the L-R, but is that such a bad thing? I can definitely say that we won't be missing the extremes in temperature, the winds that blow for days on end and the dramatic, computer killing thunderstorms.
My husband once told me that moving to France was the best idea I ever had. Now I have to say that moving to Normandy was the best idea we've ever had.
Has anyone else had the opportunity to live in both regions?
If so, what are your thoughts? I'd love to hear them!