100 Days in Aix-en-Provence
- onNovember 14, 2014
- Vol.19 Spring 2013
- byHan Yujoo
LTI Korea Forum, Bibliothèque Méjanes lecture hall
Although I had spent six months in France a number of years ago, I had never been to the southern part of the country. Now I was going for three months, from September to December for my LTI Korea residency, and I had no idea what to pack. All of those who had been there assured me that the weather was golden, utterly flawless. I decided to take mostly light clothing and left for Provence, Aix-en-Provence, to be precise.
The weather had been my greatest concern before leaving. Once I arrived, however, the weather was the last thing on my mind. It was always fair, as I had been told, every morning an occasion to rejoice. And so once I had been lulled into forgetting about the weather, I began to take notice of other things. Mostly I noticed the people.
The town of Aix-en-Provence was small enough to walk around in half an hour. The houses were painted in eggshell, and there was a fountain in every alley. I counted over 10 bookstores in the tiny village. With the exception of a few, most were small affairs devoted to used books or some other kind of specialty. The population, I thought, could not amount to more than 200,000 people. For me it was nothing short of extraordinary that such a small city could sustain over 10 bookstores.