Yesterday I took the bus from Lodeve to Montpellier for the first time. I had never taken the bus or tramway in France, at least not all by myself so It turned out to be quiet an adventure. I was late, i had problems with the directions, and then with the tramway ticket but at least i was able to take pictures and make a video which is something i love to do. On the way there we must have made about 10 stops and I had so many questions for the bus driver since i was bit disoriented. Once i got to Monsson station i had to transfer onto the tramway but since i didn’t know which one was the correct one, i had to ask questions again. All that time my husband had been waiting for me in center Montpellier; he had already been there for 8 hours!
WAITING IN LINE, SINCE FOUR IN THE MORNING!
I was going to meet my husband at the Prefecture in Montpellier; he had been there since 4 am waiting in line to apply for my carte de sejour. I didn’t want to take the bus there all by myself because i have never liked public transportation. But unless an automatic car would magically appear in front of me to drive it there, i would still have to do it, and I ended up doing it of course since there wasn’t any other choice. Somehow, I missed the 8:25am bus and i ended up waiting for the 10:00am one. My husband had been waiting in line without me for about 6 hours by the time i got on the bus. I asked the driver if it would take me to La Place De La Comedie and he said i needed to buy a transfer ticket and connect at Monsson station. When he asked if i needed the transfer ticket i refused it because i remember i had an old tramway pass that my husband had given me just in case.
The bus ride was smooth and calm, it was equally impressive as one of those 5 star buses one takes to Vegas from LA. We wore seat belts, had a light, a/c and plush comfortable seats. I video recorded some of the trip mostly because i wanted to show you guys where they make the best wines in the word(or so they say). We crossed fields and fields of vine yards and wineries where people go to taste and buy. We stopped in a lot of small and old villages too like…LE BOSC, CLERMONT L’HERAULT and GIGNAC. After a few minutes i lost my fear of traveling alone in the south. I sat back to enjoyed the views and watched the people getting on and off the bus.
ALL OVER THE PLACE
A young Asian woman got on the bus with her little girl. She wore a hijab and a long green robe that covered all of her body except for her boots. They sat to my right side across from my seat; i wondered about what her life must be like and when and why she had decided to serve Allah. There was an older couple who sat in front of me on the opposite side of my row who seemed worried and looked outside the windows more than i did . When we got there the pretty Asian woman smiled and told me to go ahead and get out first because she would take longer with her kid and her bags.
I noticed the elderly couple walked around Monsson station searching for the right tram way; then after looking around for a couple of minutes, I saw them asking questions to a man wearing a bright yellow jacket who carried a lot of bags and backpacks. He led them to a machine to buy tickets and thought i had heard them speak English so i followed. After they were done buying their tickets at the automatic ticket booth, i glanced at the machine for a minute thinking on whether or not to buy a ticket myself since i was not sure the old one i had would work; but after a few seconds i rapidly walked away from it in search for my tramway instead.
I had no idea which one it was and the map on the station confused me even more (I get lost in hotels), so i decided to ask people instead but then the first woman i asked told me to get on the wrong one. When i was about to sit down,something inside me told me to ask again so i asked another woman who informed me that it was going the opposite way of Place De La Comedie. I quickly got up and jumped out of it just in time before the doors closed.
I looked around for someone to bother with my questions again and i picked a woman who was trying to keep her heavy bags from falling from her arms. What a nice lady, even if her bags were slipping from her grip she stood there and helped me. She didn’t sound French, her accent was like that of my friend Charlie’s who came from the Congo Africa. She gave me the right directions and warned me that the tramway would leave me at L’Observatoire and not at Place De La Comedie where i had to get to but she (my angel) also gave me instructions on how to find it.
Once on the right tramway, i inserted the old ticket in the machine but it rejected it by making some annoying sound and said it was an incorrect one. “I should have bought a new one!” i thought as i backed away from the machine deciding to go sit down since i had no more time to get out and go buy one, the door was about to close.
QUESTIONS AND MORE QUESTIONS
Once i arrived at L’Observatoire, i saw an old man staring up at some men who were setting up the Christmas carousel in front of the station. As i walked towards him from where the tram had left me, i noticed he wore a cute brown hat on top of his white hair, thin small glasses on his face, light brown matching clothes, and in one of his hands held a leach for his little dog who was sniffing something in the corner of the street. “Monsieur, pouvez-vous me dire quelle route je dois prendre pour aller a La Place de la Comedie?” I asked in embarrassment. There was no time to be shy or to give up; my poor husband was waiting for me at the Prefecture. Of course, the grandpa knew right away i was not French and kindly told me where to go. After i thanked him i headed into the first boulangerie i saw which was right in the corner across the street where i planned to buy myself some breakfast since i had not eaten all morning. I bought a delicious chocolate croissant which i put in the big lunch bag with the rest of the goodies i had packed for my husband, then quickly rushed towards my destination. I made a short video of when i arrived at La Place De La Comedie which you will find below.
MADE IT AND SURPRISE!
As i walked up to the prefecture on a street that looked a lot like Hollywood Blvd but a bit cleaner, without the cars, nor the stars on the floor, i saw my husband walking towards me. I was so happy to see him and to know that i was not lost after all; we walked back to the prefecture hoping that that day, was the lucky day i would finally get to apply for my French papers. We had suffered so much trying to that and for so long, that at that point we felt something just had to give. Suffering? Oh no… I am not just talking about my long trip and his long wait. I am talking about all those times that we tried for a whole year to begin the process in Paris but were refused to do so for incredibly stupid reasons.
To our, amazement and surprise, that time around they took our papers and we didn’t have any problems with the worker. She was actually impressed at the way we neatly and orderly submitted all needed documents. Finally! After a year of trying it was done and they had not complained about anything, not once! Which is a lot to ask of the prefectures haha.
Here is the video i made of the trip there. You will see some vineyards, villages, and my arrival at Montpellier! Thanks for following and don’t forget to like, follow me or do even better 🙂 share on your page! Blessings!