Marvel [verb]

ORIGIN Middle English (as a noun): from Old French merveille, from late Latin mirabilia, neuter plural of Latin mirabilis ‘wonderful,’ from mirari ‘wonder at.’

Sitting at the lunch table next to the Vieux Port in Marseille, my dad started laughing at me, “you just got here an hour ago!” And I was getting emotional as if it were already time to leave. I finally figured it out, the moment I realized I would be leaving was the instant it hit me that I was here. The original plan was to leave tomorrow early in the morning for Embrun so we could stay there and hike at the Ecrin National Park, but having looked around and seen what we did, even from the taxi window, it was impossible to miss out on everything we could be doing here, including going hiking at the national park nearby here too!

Marseille is new to both of us, and just as well, because we decided to hit up the Marseille Museum of History and how it came to be the large city port that it is today.


Filled with about one million people (as our dinner waiter kindly told us about, and the strangely abnormal lack of public toilets), Marseille’s main street of restaurants all face out towards the water, and its main road runs perpendicular to it. I basically ran jumping and skipping down towards the water with my Hello Kitty fish eye film camera, with my dad screaming from behind, “don’t let pick pockets cut your backpack!” As if gypsies could cut as fast as I could frolic. And then I posed very normally for a nice, deceiving shot.


Food in France is inevitably delicious, and I managed to get a few shots of the lovely and late sunset by the water. Nothing particularly new happened today, save for the usual acts of eating, walking, trying to secure WiFi to make sure people still love and remember me (most of them do not), and going to the phone store to get a SIM card (where we spent a millennium, because if there’s one thing Europeans aren’t so great at, it’s efficiency), but everything was just so overwhelmingly stimulating and present. I’m here, right now, in the South of France, half an hour away from where I will be living for the next three and a half months. I even, unabashedly, Google Earth stalked where my host family in Aix will be located, and found that it is just an eight minute walk from where my classes will be! I’m so, so, so excited to be here, and already cannot wait for when I get to live here someday.