Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Je parle français!

Yeah right!

But I will start where we left off last time and get back to that. The next day in Paris Amy, Carly and I decided to wander the city since our bus didn't leave until 22:00. Everything is in military time over here so I'm quickly getting used to it. I saw the outside of several buildings and Amy and I waited an hour and a half to get inside and see the catacombs. It was worth it because we were one of the last few let in and they were pretty cool. Pictures of this Parisian day are to follow soon-ish. The bus ride was not fun at all because there were some (think 8 or so) guys acting like they were 5 and making it difficult to sleep, but at least there was some leg room since the three of us took up the four seats at the very back of the bus. We barely made from the bus to the station at Haarlem where our host was meeting us, but we did, and he figured out pretty quick that the three lost looking girls outside the station where probably the ones he was looking for and waved us over to his car. He was really nice and had comfy places for us to sleep after the long night. I think we slept until 2 in the afternoon or something like that. That night he showed us around Haarlem with a couple of his friends, which was quite fun but I think that we were all still pretty beat from our long trip and we didn't last very long so we went back to his house and passed out again. The next day he showed us around Amsterdam, which was a very interesting city to say the least, and the next day we went back by ourselves to do a couple more tourist-like things we felt bad dragging him along for, like finding the Hard Rock Cafe so that I could get Dad pin #1. It was quite fun and the city was actually fairly nice. I wouldn't mind going back in the spring when it looks pretty and green again. The next day we were boring and slept late again then went and explored Haarlem just a little bit. Because we had to get back and collect our things so that we could leave that night (last night) to get back to our respective places of study.

So I spent another night on a bus, this time with infinitely better company. I met a nice man from Nigeria who asked me a lot of questions about Obama and what I thought of him and we talked a while. I don't know if this is a common thing but he was quite convinced by the end of the trip that we should be best friends and that he cared for me like a close friend. I promised to call him tomorrow after I got a phone so that he could have my number. Maybe it's just my jaded American self, but I find this very strange and think that the odds that I will ever see this man again are very very very small. Don't get me wrong he was nice but isn't it possible to just meet randomly on a train and have a nice chat and call that enough? I’ve only known him for less than 3 hours really because most of the ride we were sleeping. Anyway we split at the bus station because he was going another way than me and I scouted out the train station where I left my luggage and how to get from it to the one where my train was actually leaving from. I had plenty of time to ride the metro and check it out before I went back and got my luggage (not nearly as expensive as I thought it would be, which was a pleasant surprise). Then I proceeded to haul my suitcases through the metro to the other station which had lots of stairs, up to the platform. I nearly froze to death waiting a couple hours for my train to arrive, train stations here are NOT heated at all so the weather outside is inside also, and it was quite freezing in Paris this morning. The train was uneventful, and from the station I took a taxi to the IES Center where I am now. I'm rather proud that I ended up here without much incident. Especially since I was traveling by myself, I feel this is a good accomplishment. But now that I'm here, people keep throwing French at me and I'm struggling to follow all of it. I feel a little stupid, but I've been told it takes some adjustment, so hopefully it will get better soon. Another twist is that the keyboard here is goofy and French. The letters are all moved around especially the a and the m are just weirdly placed. So begins the adjustment. I meet my family around 6 tonight and stay with them tonight, but leave tomorrow for Tour for three days before I come back. I'll figure out the picture thing and show you soon what I've got so far. Plus what's soon to come.

Miss you all lots.

Until next time, Peace.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, thanks for the update! So I was reading along when I came to my name, Amy and was like She mentioned me! It makes me feel like I'm there with least name-wise. :)