My favorite quote from Mark Twain is “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t.”
If we were to write the perfect introduction to a city and its residents, we could not have created an experience as wonderful as the one we experienced in Angers, no one would believe us. (I won’t be using names out of respect for privacy.)
Wednesday morning we met with M, P, J, and M. The library is fantastic and we could visualize ourselves becoming part of that community. We were given terrific advice as folks shared their experiences in Angers. J’s situation mirrors ours quite closely and she had many useful tips. We planned a follow up meeting with M for Friday.
Thursday morning we met for dessert and coffee with J and S from the PNW. Once again, we found ourselves sharing common experiences and J and S were so kind and helpful. They shared many resources that will help us with our process. We might even become neighbors!
On Friday we met again with M, who invited us to her home. She took us on a walking tour of her beautiful neighborhood and helped us understand more of the ins and outs of renting and buying property in France.
We spend the rest of our time riding the tram and walking miles in different neighborhoods to get a feel for what might be our new home.
A huge part of our life in Oregon is running at Minto Brown Park. We agreed that this would be the most difficult part of the move...until we discovered Parc Saint Nicolas. This park surrounds a lake and has many different trails and plants that actually felt familiar. Then we spotted a pine cone with little mouse butts. Really? Douglas fir trees in France? We were stunned. The main thing we were going to miss had just been presented to us.
We still don’t know if we are cut out for big city life, but there are so many options for us in Angers. The library and its community is something no other city has to offer. This sense of belonging is comforting and calming.
We have two other regions to explore before we make our decision. I don’t see how they can compete, but we must at least rule them out.