Here I am, on the road again. Sitting in my usual spot in the internet cafe. This time the ambient language is French...
You don't have to scoop your dog's poop on the sidewalk in France. Watch your step though!
J'ai frois! The cold is like another entity here, nudging with persistence into your fingers and toes.
French keyboards are all screwy: a is where q should be, w and z are switched, m is where ; should be and you have to press shift to get numbers or you end up with "Iùll be there qt &è:"à in the ,orning" My normal speed of -( words per minute is waaaay waaay down.
Baguettes really are better here!
Everybody drinks wine at lunch. In cute little tiny wine glasses, out of really cool ceramic pitchers.
I've spent the past day or so reorganizing my trip due to the interesting turn of events in which I find out that I have been laid off from my safe, steady, secure (albeit claustrophobic) job and have been SET FREE! in Europe! Wow! It's almost like a book, this story, my life. What excuse do I have now NOT to take advantage of the situation and continue forth on this European Adventure? Of course, pending friends to stay with, and the always entertaining process of booking future travel in the middle of the holiday season in a foreign language...
So it's worked out like this, for all those who are interested: I've cancelled the return flight and can reschedule it (for a nominal fee, of course) for some later date but I have to keep the same airports, so at some point I still have to fly to LAX from CDG (Paris). (I could also just give up that ticket and get a new one- from ANYWHERE in the world! The possibilities are endless.) I just don't have the date planned quite yet...
I'm going to Amsterdam on Thursday, where I will stay with Sita in Utrecht for about a week. Then I return to England for Christmas to spend it with Phil and the Gasper clan... (I said I'd be back, didn't I? How did I know?!) And then off to Ireland to see Emma Jane again, and then back to Paris for the return flight, mid-Jan sometime... All rights reserved, all plans subject to change.
Special thanks to CB Paris... especially OuiFM! My official french tour guide and partner in crime. And to Serali, for letting me stay at his house while he goes gallivanting off to ski in the Swiss Alps... And to Chocolat, le chat noir, who meows with high intensity all night long to let you know he exists...
Being in England was like a dream, finally being there...
In the fabled land of The Secret Garden and A Little Princess... The Smiths, the Cure, and everybody speaking with that fabluously sexy English accent! Driving on the left! (I got to drive!)
It was especially difficult to remember not to hit anything with the left side of the car... (Thanks Phil!) Went to Great Missendon to see the Roald Dahl museum but it was closed on Monday- I really hope they will be open when I go back! In the village where I stayed, the houses had names instead of numbers.
Ate bangers and mash.
We went to the pub and ate pies and drank ale.
Wandered to the next pub and drank more. Went to see the Wycombe Wanderers football game- did not get beat up!
It rained tons! Went to the Sherlock Holmes museum on Baker Street and Alice in Wonderland's house in Oxford. I perfected my English accent. Went to Harrod's...
And went to the Tower of London, went ice skating and continued my education in world art and history at various museums.
It has not snowed.
And here in Paris... Le Tour Eiffel, Le Champs Elysees, Le Louvre, Montmartre. And today, after internet, Le Musee D'Orsay. Then more capoeira. Last night I went to Pimpolho's class, where everyone tried to buy with me in the roda like it was my birthday- awesome! It felt really good to get active again.
And the food! I ate crepes! Fondue! Foie gras! Pain au chocolat! Tartes de pommes! Baguettes with salami and butter, mmmmm! Chocolate filled breakfast cereal! Lebanese sandwiches! J'ai faim!
D'accord, I will leave you now and continue in the future- you know, it really feels so good to be back traveling again with that semi-insecure feeling of not knowing the exact path I will be following, but just knowing that I have time...
A six week trip is about right. Two weeks is just too much of a whirlwind, not enough time to actually BE somewhere. Although there are always those brief moments of sadness, loneliness and insecurity when I don't know where I am going or why. It's usually when I am waiting for something, late for something, or don't know what I am going to do next. (Or if I've been laid off!) And if I am hungry or cold, it's even worse. Those are the times I paranoidedly think it would be better to be home, on a steady, readily-understandable-to-the-outside-observer schedule, on a path to a comfortable future... (That's when I feel sorry for myself and start to cry...) Then I have to remember to stand up for my choices and remind myself that nobody really lives an easy, predictable life, it just looks that way.
So, voila! Welcome to my life!