We're off to see the Queen
From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne
So, guess who almost just missed her train to London? Yep, that would be me. Here I thought I was doing good and leaving much earlier than I would for a normal train, and I end up almost missing the damn thing. Check-in was already closed by the time I got there, and I had to do some major sweet-talking (read: begging and pleading) to get them to let me through. It was pretty much like checking in for the airport, what with customs and luggage scans and duty free shops and all. So FYI for anyone else taking the Eurostar for the first time - make sure you get there more than 15 minutes in advance like I did, or you'll be out of luck! Also, double check your departure time before you go because some of the trains have been advanced, delayed or cancelled all together- mine left an entire 30min before the departure time printed on my ticket.
Happy Thanksgiving to all the Americans out there. As I lay in bed this morning, having been abruptly woken up by a client (because alas, with the way my job is, I unfortunately have to work on both American AND French holidays), I thought about what I am thankful for. We all know this hasn't been the easiest of years for me - in fact, it probably ranks up there with one of the worst years of my life. But it's all about keeping things in perspective, isn't it? And so, I'm going to list out all the thinks I'm thankful for on this Turkey day:
Or, "No milk for you!"
Labels: La Tour Eiffel
Bilan for the weekend:
Last night, I met Jasmin & Opal at a bar to celebrate the arrival of this year's Beaujolais Nouveau. Veronica and their extremely tall and extremely funny friend Elaine joined us later on, and I was hoping to meet up with a fellow blogger as well, but the place was packed, so Zannah, if you showed up and couldn't find us, I'm really sorry!
Labels: Working girl
Yesterday I did something I've been avoiding for several months now. I visited the customer that Fab and I visited together the day we broke up. I put it off for as long as possible because I just didn't want to go back there and be reminded of that day, but it was becoming inevitable and I finally decided to suck it up and get it over with. It was pretty much as bad as I was expecting, but then again, I'm tired, getting a cold and the ragnanas will be visiting soon, so I was already on shaky ground to start with.
Labels: Heartbreak hotel
So, what to say about Tunisia? It was interesting to say the least. Am I glad I did not go alone? Yes, definitely. Would I go back again? Yes, but accompanied by a co-worker again.
I was going to blog about Tunisia, but decided to share this funny story instead:
1. Extremely glad I did not come here alone, everybody looks at me like I'm a piece of meat.
en Tunisie !!
Between desperately trying to catch up on sleep and all the work that piled up while I was out of town, I had myself one pretty American weekend. I *finally* met up with EricaJ at Starbucks and we shared our respective carte de séjour/citizenship app stories. She's a couple months ahead of me in the process, and it's been really nice to be able to talk to her about what to expect.
Anyone know what this is all about?
I meant to post about this Sunday, but the whole not-being-able-to-sit-up-without-risk-of-puking thing kind of put a stop to that. And then I was in Belgium til Wednesday and then I ended up having to make an emergency trip to Bretagne yesterday which pushed things back even further. As a side note - SNCF, enough with the strikes! Between waiting for the train and being on the train, the whole round trip took almost 11hrs. Plus 120€ for the last minute tix to boot!
Labels: Life in Paris
People, WE DID IT!! After a sleepless night of waking up roughly every 30 minutes and then telling myself to go back to bed because it was still too early, I finally woke up for real to some excellent news. I still think it's too soon to say that change is a sure thing, but the need is there, the hope is there, the possibility is there, and that's already a good start.
I'm happy to report that yesterday afternoon was better than yesterday morning was. I was still fairly sick and completely exhausted, but the fact that I had a bunch of Belgian dudes standing around watching me was motivation enough to get through the day. I'm still surprised by how few people speak French/English here - besides my customer and his wife, everybody else has been Flemish-only, even at the hotel. It's made for a lot of interesting hand-gestures and stick drawings, especially when working with the electrician and the plumber!
5:15am - wake up, cautiously stretch muscles. *wince* Still sore but better than yesterday. Sit up - no immediate urge to puke (always a good sign).
6:00am - get on the RER B. Everything's fine for two stops, but then you get stuck at the third one because of an "incident". Finally get to the Gare du Nord and leg it to the train. Get to the track just as the train is pulling away. There goes your 26€ first class train ticket. Feel like you are going to puke. Go buy new 2nd class ticket for 55€. Decide you should eat something after all that exertion, so you buy an orange juice and a croissant.
7:30 - get on new train. The OJ and the croissant decide to make a second appearance.
8:30 - arrive in Lille. Every single escalator and elevator going up to the track is broken. Lug suitcase up the stairs and feel exhausted. Find ticket agent and try to buy a ticket to client's town in Belgium. Shake your fist at Lille when you find out there are two train stations, and for whatever reason, this one cannot sell you a ticket to Belgium. Lug suitcase back down stairs and over to the other gare.
9:00am - (time you were supposed to have arrived at your client's place of business). Wait in line again, only to find out this time that the computers are down and they can't sell you a ticket either. Stand there and say to the lady "well how the hell am I supposed to get to Belgium then?" as she shrugs her shoulders. Leave the line and go sit down for a while. Decide to get back in line. This time am able to get a ticket, but the ticket agent cannot tell you the train times - you must go ask at the "accueil". Curse Lille again. Go wait in line at the accueil. Lady refuses to tell you the exact train time, and will only say you need to book it over to track 15 ASAP. Oh, and by the way, you'll need to change trains in *says something that sounds like Courtrai*.
9:30am- get on train. Realize all of the sudden that you don't have your passport. Hope that won't be a problem. Watch the stops go by and decide to get off at a town marked "Kortrijk". Lug your suitcase down and up another flight of stairs and try to ask several people if this is the right stop. Not a single person speaks French or English. Wonder how this is possible since you are literally just across the border.
10am- use google maps to determine the town you need to be in is on the line to Gent, so you cross your fingers and get on the next train going there.
And that's where we leave our heroine for the day....
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Sorry there haven't been any posts lately, the pricey hotels we stayed in didn't have free wifi, so that, combined with working 16+hr days meant no posting. I got back to Paris Friday, but my co-worker had a lay-over here this weekend so I spent the past few days showing him around. And then today I was hoping to go to the Salon du Chocolat with friends, but I am instead holed up with what I think is a case of food poisoning. My body is so wiped out after a week of long work days, lots of physical activity and little sleep. I ache all over. I can't even eat or drink anything, it just comes right back up. Sitting up too long is also not a good idea, so I'm going to crawl back into bed now, and hope that it's all better by 6:30am tomorrow, when I have to hop on the train to Belgium!
Labels: Sick as a dog