I’ve been in Avignon for over 2 weeks now, and I feel like I’m slowly but steadily settling in. It’s been a hectic two weeks; I’ve met a whole new bunch of people from all over the world, so that’s been really exciting, and I’ve also had a lot of forms to fill in. French administration never ends. However, temperatures are still high, even in September, so that’s a huge bonus. It’s still weird waking up in a house that doesn’t completely feel like mine yet and I’m sure it’ll be like that for sometime, but overall I’m feeling quite comfortable here.
When I chose Avignon as my destination for my year abroad, everyone either sang the song (Sur le pont d’Avignon, l’on y danse, l’on y danse…), said how lovely a place it is and mostly commented on the climate. Don’t get me wrong, the weather has been lovely. But no one, not one person warned me about the mosquitoes. We don’t have to worry about them in the UK, so it never dawned on me to think about them here. Then I got bitten…about a million times. As a person who’s used to the cold and damp Welsh weather, I really have no idea how to deal with being bitten by mosquitoes. I think I’m being a bit precious because I’m freaking out when I see a moquito, waking up in the middle of the night to scratch the bites, and when I ask my French housemates if they’ve been bitten they just very nonchalantly say ‘Ahhh, oui’ – they’re used to them. Meanwhile, I’ve spent about 20€ on various anti-mosquito products, and I’m not entirely convinced they work. I think I’ll just have to accept the consequences of living in a warm place, and near the Rhône (which is the most powerful fleuve in France, might I add. I actually learnt something when we visited the Pont d’Avignon.). Also, I thought I’d be reducing the risk of bites by covering up, so I’ve been wearing jeans mostly. The only thing is my jeans, like most these days, have rips in the knees. So now I have one bite on each knee! All those people who mocked me for having silly holes in my jeans can gloat a little bit now.
Soon, autumn will be setting in and the hot weather will leave us, taking the mosquitoes with it! At least that’s what I’m hoping will happen. Wishing the warm weather away seems a bit silly, but I quite like autumn. I can’t wait to wear my woolly jumpers and cardigans again. It was nearly 30 degrees the other day and I bought a polo neck jumper ready for autumn. There must be something wrong with me.
In the mean time, if anyone has any tips on how to combat mosquito bites, that’d be great. I’m fresh out of ideas, please share yours!