Merci Nurse Najet!
I had only planned to spend a couple of nights here, but a wee tumble on the way (nothing serious) meant that it was impossible to walk at all for a while (and as I’ll be walking a bit gingerly for the next few days/weeks, I expect that one or two local bus journeys are on the cards for a while).
On the way to Marseillette (before “the stumble”)
And this is why I have been waxing so lyrical about Couchsurfing for the last few days. “Nurse” Najet was a complete stranger when I turned up at her door, after arranging to stay for a couple of nights. But as soon as she saw that I had even more walking difficulties than either of us had expected, beds were changed around (to make it easier for me), and her neighbour was called (he’s a doctor).
So “Couchsurfing” is so much more than just a hospitality exchange – it’s a network of “local helpers” who are only a message away – for those times when you need a bit of local assistance. No matter how far from home you might be.
And when my intended 2-night stay turned into a 4-night stay, Najet was only too happy (in fact she insisted that I lie with my foot up for a few days – all the time ensuring that the hot-water-bottle, that was giving my knee *so* much relief, was always hot).
The highlight of my stay in Marseillette though was an event which still seems so surreal, even now:
Najet has an adorable young son. And the previous evening I had given him and his wee friends some of my Ataxia UK balloons to play with (kids, and even us adults if the truth be told, just love balloons). So the next morning, to thank me for giving them the balloons, and as I lay with my foot up pondering the day ahead, there was a knock on the bedroom door and all four of them trooped in. Najet’s son placed a wee table next to me, and his friends, in turn, placed coffee, sugar & a pain-au-chocolat on the table, before wishing me, in unison, “Bon Appetit!”. At which point they all trooped out again – in single file! It was like something out of a film about some king or other.
But something that I will never-ever forget.
Najet is now a really good friend. We chatted for hours, about nothing much at all, and about everything. And when I visit again, for I most certainly will, it won’t be as an invalid. I’ll have to wear my kilt again though – as her son and his wee friends absolutely love it, and they will be the talk of the playground for months, once the Scottish guy in the kilt walks them all to school 🙂