Friday, July 26, 2013

Faces of Provence

I was fascinated by the look of Provencal people. They really do look different, and not just because they are thin and stylish. First, they don’t go for a lot of frills; there’s not so much make-up, intense tanning, jewelry, or nail polish. They like au naturel.

But, there’s more. They move differently, carry themselves differently, and gesture differently. They are quite animated and dramatic, including facial expressions. I also found them to be relatively quiet. Maybe they express themselves physically, rather than aurally?

The outlook is different, too. You will not change a French person’s pace, or sense of urgency; they are not stressed by time. They just work as they can, and things get done whenever they get done; these people are not hurried. I suspect part of their reputation for rudeness stems from this; they don’t care to be rushed by others, either. But, I found them very helpful and welcoming.

They enjoy time. They drink wine during weekday lunches. We saw so many people picnicking. Conversations are slow and enjoyable. If a worker is having his lunch, he’s not going to stop to wait on you; it doesn’t matter that the shop is open and you’re a customer at the counter. HE’S HAVING LUNCH, get it? It’s really kind of cool.

The artist in his studio.

Fishing the Mediterranean.

Setting up the shot.

A brief respite.


I just love the look of this guy!

Relaxing under the vines.

Wine seller.

Avignon street musician.

Riding an Avignon carousel.

Men playing boules.

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