Monday, March 2, 2009

And then

Schedule of Events While In Paris:

Day 1. Monday
2A Leave Residence Hall
2:30 Take Bus N11
3A Coach Departs
4A Arrive at airport. Sleep on and off and buy gross expensive juice that looked like it'd be delicious
6:15 Check in for Flight
7:45 Start conversation with man next to me about theatre in London hoping to get material for my report
8:00 Realize plane is delayed
8:30 Board flight. Fly to France. Be Overwhelmed. Find Grocery Store. Buy Pain Au Chocolate. Find Hostel
2:00 Move Into Room in Hostel
2:30 Go to Louvre
Leave Overwhelmed by the Art and the building and the general experience
Explore random streets of Paris for awhile
7:30 Eat a Croque-Poulet for Dinner, pay too much, but enjoy the deliciousness
9:00 Continue Exploring Paris... eventually enough to have to get out map to try and find Eiffel Tower. Meet Jacques. Decline Jacque's offer for a ride on his motorcycle to the Arc de Triomphe. Follow his directions. Wave as he honks as he passes you on the street. Find the Arc. Find the Tower. Call Mom. Go up in the tower. Try your best to get your 12 euros worth.
Climb down
Watch the tower light up
Explore a few more places on the map.
Take the Metra back to the hostel.
Try to organize semi-quietly
Fall asleep.

Day 2. Tuesday
Wake up at some unknown time to girls in the hostel
Leisurely eat a delicious free breakfast in the hostel: cereal, orange juice, off-brand nutella, bread... lots of bread
Lose 30 euros sometime during this day because you put it in your pocket. dumb.
Get on Metro to go to tour. Miss stop because you are having a conversation with the woman next to you about political parties, Obama and everything else... in French. Have her write things down when you're not sure what she's saying.
Go on free (well, 5E, it was by donation) 2.5 hour walking tour of Paris. Learn lots of interesting stuff and take more pictures- including some repeats of yesterday.
Go to the Musee D'Orsay. Be overwhelmed again... and slightly disappointed... too much art- not enough energy in one's self to truly appreciate it all.
Constantly avoid people trying to sell things or begging or whatever..
Eat pizza and some other deliciousness for dinner.
6:00 Consider waiting an hour to try and buy 5E rush tickets for a 7:30 french theatre show you've never read, but is probably good.. Realize you are too tired and get on the Metro.
7:00 Fall asleep at the hostel. When you need a nap, you need a nap. Paris can wait.
10:00 Wake up. Try to plan tomorrow's Paris time before leaving for Rennes. Realize you can't fit everything in and throw up hands, oh well. You saw a lot.
10:30 Write a bit. Go to the basement, try to make friends. Fail.
Realize that if you're ever going to get back to bed, you're going to need to burn some energy.
Realize it's dark outside and change your mind. Buy some wine. Write some more. Sit downstairs with all the people, but make no friends. Use your free internet minutes to check your email. Realize "SARK" commented on your blog and be super excited. Write more (on paper, your internet time is up). Go downstairs again. Drink wine. Finally stop writing and someone comes over to talk. Make friends.
1:00 A. Talking with new friends, one Canadian decides he's hungry and wants to find food. One of the Aussies agrees to go with him despite the discouragement of the group. Tag-a-long since they're fun and you finally have an opportunity to explore with people. Find a random little place down the street. Order a croque-monsieur, "impress" the guys working there by your slight ability to communicate in French... so much so the one cooking stops paying attention and burns your sandwich. Eat it anyways. It's still delicious.
On full tummy, realize you're sleepy and go to bed.

Day 3. Wednesday
7:30A Wake up way too early to girls pseudo-quietly (you know, where they think they're whispering, but it's more of a stage whisper) getting ready. Sit in bed for awhile trying to fall asleep. Get up. Eat breakfast.
9A Go to Rodin's Garden. Get there at 940 and realize you have little to no time there, but go in anyways. Realize it's probably the most peaceful place in Paris and the best Euro you will probably ever spend. Relax. Breathe deep.
10:20 Return to hostel. Pick up belongings. Rush to the train station which is much further than originally believed. Have ticket issues. Have to charge another to your credit card. Finally get on train, only to discover that there is someone already sitting in your seat. Eventually gather up the confidence to decide you're right and that is your seat. Discover that your original seat partner was her mother and she'd like to trade you seats. Say okay and rush 8 cars and 40 seats further down... and of course, do so on the outside of the train because you weren't sure how to work the handles. Sit down, exhausted and sweaty, relieved that at least the train didn't leave. Have the woman next to you offer the window seat since apparently that was the seat the girl was supposed to have. Nicely decline. All that matters is that you're on the train.
Be amused by a good mother with two kids including a wiggly daughter and a wonderfully talkative son who wants a "banane".
Double check that the Rennes stop is the Rennes stop (french is easier to understand if you can see someone's mouth moving and their facial expression).
Get a sandwich and begin walking to the "sortie" where Amy said she'd meet you.
See Amy and feel a giant burden off your shoulders. You're in Rennes and with a true friend.

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