So far, one of the things I’ve learned about France is how easily one can indulge in whims here. One day coming home from school I looked out the bus window and saw how pretty the day was and how nice the walk along the river looked, so I got off the bus and walked it. I was with a new friend talking about how much we liked gnocchi, so we made some. Four of us were talking about what to do over the break, decided to go to Dijon on Saturday, and that we should also go to Geneva soon, so we went and bought our tickets. All decisions made just like that.
Obviously the close proximity of these places and the train stations make traveling to Geneva easier here than back home, but I do think the lifestyle here encourages whims. From the way they do their shopping to the way they make friends, the French, and I suppose most Europeans, seem entirely whimsical to me. Not in the Disney or fairy-tale way, but the capricious and impulsive way (thank you, right-click-thesaurus). For example, the French enjoy eating seasonally and buying only what they want to eat that night or for the next few days, not a huge, twice-monthly haul at Sam’s. This allows them to indulge in their whims, depending on what looks good or their cravings.
However, I’ve always thought the word capricious tends to bring negative connotations. Like indecisive? Fickle? Sporadic? (Thanks again, thesaurus.) I’m a Capricorn so I assume that’s related, root-word wise. (I’ve never put much stock in astrology. Except, I share a birthday with Mary Tyler Moore, so I’ll believe anything that can make us more alike.) But even if the stars conspired for me to be capricious, this whimsy thing, like the language and the food, is foreign to me. I’ve gotten to like structure and limitations and I know how to effectively work with them. Here, I have to operate a little differently, because my new schedule and lifestyle opens up more options. Time to ditch the At-a-Glance Day Minder I’ve used since eighth grade and hop on a train. So, for the first vacation break, let the whims take me where they will!