Good Times

Two things that happened with the kids in France this week:

Max, free of the hangups that come with speaking a new language as an adult, executes a perfect guttural r, nasal n, and a correctly placed accent to order, ‘une Orangina, s’il vous plait.’ He and Frida don’t understand what I find so hilarious about this.

Want to see the very moment Frida went from child to pre-teen? On the carousel, watching the breakdancers.

A fine vacation. We’re on the train home now, determined not to spend a goddamned franc in support of Switzerland’s xenophobic, morally bankrupt economy. Instead, we’re enjoying an 8-hour train picnic with our haul from the market yesterday in Lyon: fresh peas, sausage en croute, pots of yogurt, truffled cashews, and some embarrassingly ripe goat cheese. After 8 days on the road I’m not claiming my socks are clean, but bless anyone whose feet smell like this cheese.

The kids are in such a charming stage: helpful, funny, grumpy when they’re hungry and snuggly when they’re full. They still talk to each other in German and forget I understand what they say. They make whispered plans to surprise me, sometimes with a slimy faucet handle in the hotel sink and sometimes with a plan to be especially generous with each other for a whole day because they know it makes me happy.

I think we might have booked the train instead of the plane because we knew that the three of us would want to be in our capsule for a few hours longer. We’re still here, passing Bern en route to Zurich and then Munich, 4 hours in and 4 to go, shelling peas and re-watching episodes of Waffles and Mochi, wanting it to last forever.

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