What a welcome

30 March 2010

We’ve just come back from a function at the Hotel de Ville in Lyon. This was organised by the AVF – Accueil des Villes Francaises– a wonderful organisation run by volunteers that helps newcomers to settle in Lyon. The function was put on to welcome all 211 families that have moved to Lyon in the past year. It was very grand, the mayor of Lyon held a speech, the German ambassador was there and we had champagne and petit fours, and a wonderful guided tour of the most impressive building that is the town hall of Lyon. I have never ever been welcomed to any place in such a fashion. I am still deeply impressed. Unfortunately I had to rush around a bit to get there and didn’t exactly look fresh, I think. This is why: I had intended to take the children along straight after school, but oops, the buses were not running. If you think this was due to a strike, then you are wrong!! Haha, there are other reasons for public transport not working in its usual way. Today, it was a football match between the local club Olympic Lyonnais and Bordeaux, which took place at the stade de Gerland, the stadium of Lyon, which is very close to the school. Anyway, the kids were moaning that they didn’t want to come, so I dropped them off at home, got on my bike and swiftly cycled to the Place des Terreaux. Unlucky for me, the whole reception was a pretty dressy occasion. I had turned up in jeans and my old Converse trainers, no make up on my face and no pearl necklace in sight. OUCH. I should have looked at the wording of the invite a bit better. But despite my appearance everybody was very polite and nice. My second mistake was that I had some champagne. This gave me an impressive flush of my face. It was hypothesized that I might be allergic to champagne. Whatever it is, I will stay away from it in the future, at least on official occasions. Apart from that it was very lovely and we had a lot of fun with some people we had met previously via the AVF.
The whole evening left me with a wonderful feeling about being in Lyon. It is such a welcoming and lovely city on the whole, I am sure we will be able to deal with the less perfect aspects such a Linus’ school and the bureaucracy too.

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