It's happening—I'm going back to France. Sure, they're striking and the trains are running slowly and infrequently, but what do I care? I'm going back to Paris, I'll stay in my old neighborhood and just being there will be wonderful.
And…I'm back! I'm in France, in my old Parisian neighborhood. I was feeling really energetic until I got to (ahem) McDonalds and commenced eating. Right, McDonalds—why? Because my hotel, while perfectly located about a block from my old apartment, doesn't have wifi. McD's has free wifi. I didn't think I was hungry when I walked in, but I ended up ordering the burger, fries, and drink combo (a beer—I got a beer as my drink!). I was STARVED. I realized that all I'd had to eat was the meager breakfast on the plane: a roll, plain yogurt and coffee and later a small candy bar. Oh, and a cookie. Tres bien! Given that breakfast was at 9am (Paris time) and the cookie at 1pm, it was no wonder that I was starved at 4:30. I'm going to get something for dinner too, later, but not at Micky D's.
Anyway, I chose the hotel for its location, so that the routes I'd take and the paths I'd walk would be the same as when I lived here. It was a very good decision. I am SO HAPPY to be here and to know the place. To know which café (other than McD's) has wifi, where the mall is, how to get a SIM card for the phone, which is the best bakery. Etc.
Not to mention that it's fantastic to be away from work. Things seemed to be going well, but my boss was freaking out about my departure and we had to have multiple meetings this week where I briefed her on projects—yet we seemed to cover the same ground at every meeting. Not to mention that she decided to stir up issues that have been resolved for months. Right, I'm about to go away for three weeks, so let's have a long discussion about how the project I designed is flawed. That's what I call good time.
None of that! Three weeks for the main annoyance in my life to be my family. Unfortunately, I agreed to check my work email regularly, so some of that mess may seep in, but only a little. A tiny bit. And if it's too annoying, I'll plead no internet and STOP.
Today, I'm just futzing around the neighborhood, getting things in order. Talked to my friend, Claire, who seems like she'll be available for a good amount of hanging out, dining especially. Sent some emails. I'm writing.
Oh, it really amuses me how well prepared I was entertainment-wise for the flight and how truly pointless it all was. Two knitting projects, my iphone plus my ipod as a back-up, not to mention the back-up iphone battery! And…all I did was halfway look a couple of movies on my in-seat screen and listen to an hour or two of podcasts. I didn't finish watching any of the movies I chose, all French with English subtitles, mostly because they were pretty rotten. But at least they got me in the mood for being here. I snoozed the rest of the time and before I knew it, we were on the ground—the magic of a direct overnight flight. Now, we'll just have to see if my gamble on not bringing either a rain jacket or umbrella (but rather a very warm hat & scarf set, knit by yours truly) pays off. So far, I've been lucky. On my train ride to the city, it was raining. When I got out of the metro, it was a drizzle and now, no rain at all.
Did I mention how good it feels to be here?
Grateful for: my trip to Paris.