I think I’ve done everything I wanted to do in Nantes. I finished my final desire: drink a tea at the Caribou café here in Nantes, since I’m from Caribou, Maine. Today, Kerry and I headed to the café and I drank a very hot cup of tea there. Inside, I realized that the decorator didn’t know the difference between a caribou and a moose. A moose is not a caribou. A caribou is more like a reindeer. It’s smaller and the antlers are much smaller. Not that I’ve ever seen a live caribou in Caribou…they are extinct in Caribou, Maine and live in Canada. Trust me. I’m from Caribou. I’m practically an expert on moose and caribous.
Regardless of the differences between moose and caribous, it was still nice to finally have a cup of tea there before I head back to the real Caribou. Interestingly enough, when I was taking the tram to my dorm the very first day, I looked outside and saw the Caribou café. I knew that it was a sign, a sign that this was where I was meant to be. Where our pasts and our futures cross, that is the present. And my present is to be here, in Nantes, France.
I’ve seen all of the major touristic sites in Nantes and have really explored the city. This really was a perfect location for me because it is quite safe, it’s not too big and it’s got a great atmosphere. I’ve traveled to many places in France and I really couldn’t picture myself spending this semester anywhere else but Nantes, the city where three rivers run through it, the city that rains a lot so you can appreciate the sun, the city where I lived abroad for five months, the city where I learned more than a binding of a textbook could ever hold.
In all of the ways that I consider Caribou my home, in all of the ways I consider Morgantown my home…I think Nantes has earned its place. It’s been my home for these past five months. My dorm room, which seemed so small when I arrived, now feels comfortable and familiar. The cat that sits in front of the university library is like my own feline friend. The chefs who work at the dining hall are like worried parents, concerned about me traveling alone and not wearing enough sunscreen. There’s so much that was “foreign” that is now “familiar.” France doesn’t feel like anything other than home.