Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Paris, France

The Eurostar trip to Paris yesterday afternoon seemed like it would be a dream. When I got on and saw that I was surrounded my older couples travelling together, I know it would be quiet. But then, as with most things you tend to idealize by looking forward to so much, my excitement soon faded.

I find the seats and the trains themselves to be kind of shabby for how expensive they are, and being a single traveller, you certainly get a bit shafted—my seat was beside a mirror—the couple in front and the family to my right had much better views.

After being up essentially for a good 24 hours by that point, I was really looking forward to a nap...until the 4-year-old to my right started playing a video game. Thank goodness I brought ear plugs, they're much better than having a temper tantrum because I'm so tired and can't take the beep-beep-crash-beep of the Game Boy. What happened to playing a couple of games of cards? All three kids in the family took out the games and started playing even before the train even left the station.

I slept for all three hours of the trip, with a brief stop for lunch, which was lovely hummous followed by a nice dish of curried tofu in pasta. It was yummy, and the saving grace of my journey. It's worth the tiny bit of extra money to travel upper class on the Eurostar, just to get a nice meal and not to have to eat potato chips and chocolate bars, or even the bad packaged sandwiches. Well, I'll admit that had a dreamy quality to it, so it all wasn't lost!

Then, the adventure really began. Tina had given me directions to her house, which is all fine and good, but I decided to take a taxi (she said it would be between 12-20 Euros). Except the taxi driver totally ripped me off. We went on a wild goose chase, pretended not to speak English when I tried to tell him we were totally lost because I'd seen the 12th arrondissment and knew Tina's apartment had to be around there somewhere. He drove me around in circles for about 20 minutes and the entire ride cost almost 40 Euros, which is just under $100.00 Cdn dollars. Now I was mad, fuming mad! I made him give me a receipt and never tipped him a cent, but should have gotten out of the car and grabbed my luggage and just handed him 20 Euros. Tina's going to try to get some of my money back. She's feisty. I have hopes.

Today's my birthday. I am officially the same age my mother was when she had the accident. My heart's feeling totally battered and broken, and I miss her so much these days that I think I might just spontaneously turn into a puddle of salty tears. I can't decide if I want to celebrate the fact that I'm a year older or mourn the fact that she never got to see the world past this age. Thing is, it's so hard to because you realize that 34 isn't all that old.

Now I just have to make sure I do something with my life that she would be proud of. These days, I don't know if she would be, and maybe it's because I'm just tired from travelling and frustrated with jerkoff Parisian cab drivers who take advantage of people on the day before their birthdays in a country their mother would have loved, if only she had made it to her next birthday.

Today, I'm going to the Musee d'Orsay. Have my Metro tickets burning a whole in my pocket, and have some crisp new Euros of my own to burn.

1 comment:

scarbie doll said...

Your mother would be nothing but proud of you. You can only honour her by living each day to the fullest.

I am also a puddle of salty tears these days. Can't wait to see you.

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