And then the neighbors arrived, all of them, bearing flowers, bottles of wine, and smiles.
And they kissed me, three times, all 15 of them including the two little kids. Which makes 45 cheek kisses.
After the kissing, which took some time as you can imagine, we moved to the terrace. We poured wine and orange juice and one pastis. All our guests ate my various munchies with appetite. We spoke our sorry French and they complimented us, which is the ultimate of kindness, trust me. They drank more wine and said we’d made good choices and they admired our (adopted) nymph Daphne by the pool. (We found the invoice for her among the papers left in the house by the previous owners. She’s Italian. We must keep her, don’t you think? Not that we have a choice—she’s of substantial weight.)
Our lovely neighbors said we were very welcome in their village and they all stayed for several hours and a good time was had by all.
And then they left, and I was kissed again, another 45 times, which added up to 90 kisses in one day. I have never been cheek-kissed that much. Not even on my wedding day in Kenya.
It takes a lot of time, all those kisses. But this is the south of France, and you need to take time for the good things in life. Go slow. Relax. Be Zen. Kiss a lot.