(That is how the French refer to a group of humans – as in they think that we are just stupid american peoples – I think the stench of their underarms is seeping into their brains)
Okay, let me start over.
I’m sorry I sounds aggro, but once you are done reading this (which, by the way, I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly) you will understand my pure distaste with France beginning the moment we arrived..
I should preface this by telling you that I now refer to “going number two” as “I need to drop a big Marseilles”.
I feel like you needed that context.
Here we go.
Picture this for me:
Two American girls, excited to arrive in one of the biggest cities in France, minds filled with pictures of magnificent buildings, french baguettes, a massive Port lined with boat after beautiful boat & anticipation of a new city as great as the last.
What really happened was Kailyn and I arrived in Marseilles, and as soon as we reached the main road to walk the dreaded mile to our place, the theme song from Law & Order began playing in our sweet little heads.
We were entering a place where “peoples” go bye bye. Nice knowing you all.
[The jig is up, we didn’t die, and came out of it with most of our faculties, but wow, do I have some details to share with you my friends. Sit tight. You’re in for a sh*tty ride (you’ll get that actual pun in just a moment here)].
I will now show you the most beautiful picture that I took in Marseilles.
Now these things are everywhere, and we just couldn’t get enough of them; each time we nearly ran them over or caught a strong scent of their majesty, we knew we were in the right place.
Feast your eyes on the souvenir I thought would best represent where we stayed for three (excruciatingly) long days:
Okay so…I’m sorry.
I didn’t mean to make you look at that. But I mean damn, the portrait mode on my phone makes it look so glamorous right??
I am not even slightly over exaggerating when I sit here and tell you that I saw more crap (dog, human, who knows) on the street or smeared on walls than I think i have ever personally produced in my lifetime. It was like some sort of signature scent that this city decided they needed to really invest in to convey their purpose in the world.
Not only did the literal poop that I (narrowly) avoided the whole time emit a wonderful aroma, but the overall rotting sewage and scent of dead birds & urine has become my new mission for candle company.
I will call it Marseilles.
And even that logo will not have a smiling poop emoji, because that sh*t is absolutely not excited to be there either.
There truly is too many absurd and disgusting things to tell you about our time in Marseilles, but I will try my best to explain in the most detail, because to understand, you really need to feel like you were there with us.
Luckily, the small ounce of good in this part of our trip was our AirBnB that we stayed in. We loved the layout, it was super clean, air-conditioned, and had three bolts on the door. Let that sink in: three.
Like I said, Law and Order.
Truly, we were so excited to arrive and see things like the Palais de Longchamp (dried up, fenced off, brown-planted sh*thole), Basilica (on the highest part of the tallest hill full of people so loud and gross that you couldn’t move, much less enjoy the beauty), and finally Vieux Port (where some woman was literally mowed down by a moving van the day after we walked past the same restaurant in the same main square).
I honestly in no way doubt that this place was once a stunning city filled with amazing architecture, once-beautiful buildings and a compelling waterfront with yummy restaurants. All I know is, whoever stopped funding this city is to blame, because this place has gone to absolute and utter hell.
It smells like Willem Dafoe looks.
Just let that ruminate for a minute.
Next to the remnants of vomit, there are piles of trash on the sidewalks, shoes & dirty socks sprawled out across the city streets & always, and I mean always, some crazy, sweaty dude with no shoes staring at you like he’s never seen a woman in his life.
[I am pretty sure I inhaled enough pigeon feathers to make a nice plush pigeon-stuffed pillow for one of the thousands of hobos to pee on]
One of the two stories I will tell you involves us walking home from the first night we arrived, after having a long discussion about not jumping to conclusions and making the best of a place that might eventually surprise us.
Just wow. We were really wrong.
Upon walking back to our place (super unsafe by the way), up the long stretch of hill that our apartment was at the end of, we happened upon something lovely.
(Mind you, this entire place is uphill. You know how grandparents tell stories about walking both ways uphill in the snow with no shoes? I understand that metaphor now, and I am here to tell you, it’s totally a thing).
As we reached the top, tightly clutching our bags, speed walking and checking behind us for scary men and in front of us for scary sh*t, we see two things moving on the sidewalk ahead.
First instinct is of course, “oh my god!”
Second instinct is, “what the hell are those things?”
And we didn’t have time for a third instinct because as we took two more steps, two large black rats scurried across the sidewalk, and headed straight under the car ten feet away from us.
Two. Fricken. Rats.
Yeah, I’m in disbelief too.
(And those of you that are sitting there reading this thinking, ‘so what, it was two rats, big deal’ think again. This was no Disney’s Ratatouille adorable moment where you just know that tiny guy just got off work from being a little chef in a little chef’s hat. No. These rats were the disgusting, Marseilles-living, tiny-dog-size rodents that probably go to sleep in piles of trash and clean themselves with liquid sewage).
Seriously, even writing to you now about this gives me the creeps.
Now that I’v set the scene for you all (and yes that was just the introduction), STAY TUNED for part two entitled, No Bread on Sundays, where I detail the one full day we actually spent in Marseilles and how, by the end, we realized we needed to GTFO immediately.
Love & hugs. I am off to shower, as I think you also should after reading this.
Keep it weird & keep it interesting my friends.