For the first time I hold my own in a little shop, buying souvenirs. The man behind the counter is patient, and I sort of understand him as he sort of understands me. I know if I stayed longer, the language would begin to seep in. It already has.
I walk the streets alone for the first time, silently saying goodbye to the people in the cafes. A stooped old woman walks by with a cane. “Bon jour madam,” I say. She stops, responding with a wide, toothless smile. “Bon jour madam.”