Funny how all our hosts in Italy were REAL Italians, whereas those in France weren't French. Our first host to welcome us to France was Sandy, a British who's decided to make his home in the French Riviera city of Nice.
Even more ironic is the fact that he loves Asia more than Europe. He's lived and travelled around Asia so much that he wants to come to tropical shores soon. But since Euro is worth a lot more than any of our Asian currency, he's decided to stay on a bit before taking the plunge.
Sandy was very welcoming even through our communication on the CS site. He was sweet enough to come pick us up at the station, then as we introduced ourselves, found out that his house was lacking in groceries, even went out to the streets to look for food for us.
You have to know that in these parts of the world, the sun does not really set until 9pm+! We usually don't realise how late it has become until our stomachs start growling. Many a times when we reach our destination, it would have been dinner time, and not many shops would be open even though the sky is still bright.
We didn't get to take pictures with our 2nd host in France, a Belgian who's made his home in Lyon. It was a very short trip in Lyon, felt more like a stopover than anything. He's lived there so long, he behaved so French that I think my real Belgian friend would not have thought our host was Belgian in the first place.
I must say he had a dry sense of humour though. Not sure if this could be a French attribute or it's just him. When we asked him how best to go around Lyon the next day, he suggested that we use Google Map. GMap has become so advanced you can look at street views of the city that you want to visit, so much so you don't have to be there in person.
But to be fair, our last host seems to have the nicest accommodation. This one's a yuppie, his apartment is decorated in deep wooden hues, art pieces hang on the wall (neatly and strategically, unlike the one in Florence), wine bottles become decoration in the kitchen, photography magazines strewn on the dining table and even serve as reading material in the toilet too.