I had a revelation as I waited in the local bank in Saint Rémy de Provence.
Banking, a task that would normally have my impatience cranked up to the highest level.
I have developed “Provencal split personality”.
What is Provencal split personality?
And yes, I made this term up.
I realised as I waited for the longest time that I was content to do so.
No expletives under my breath, shuffling from foot to foot or exasperated heavy breathing.
I understood that it didn’t matter whether the simple took five or fifteen minutes.
Provencal calm and quiet had taken over my body.
When it was my turn, after what seemed like forever, I even smiled and laughed.
As I walked out in a happy mood it hit me how unusual that was.
Out of character for me, I find jobs like that tedious and un-rewarding. Who doesn’t?
Not here in Provence. In Provence I have developed this split personality.
Back in the big city and the short fuse returns. I have no illusions about that.
In Provence, I have become accustomed to the slower life and I play by the Provencal rules.
This split personality surprises me.
I do feel like a different person when I am here… not better or worse, just altered in some way.
It is as if there is a Provencal “beta blocker” taking control.
Days broken with delicious long lunches and friendship, evenings punctuated by long baths and much page turning.
I even managed to keep a sense of humour about the non-functioning internet… that is rare.
Who has posessed this woman? Why, Provence of course.