Sunday, May 9, 2010

Je m'baladais sur l'avenue le coeur ouvert à l'inconnu...

Can you believe it? I am finally in France, Paris no less! It is all too exciting. Let me recount to you my journey from the moment I left Toronto to this very moment now. I was destined for Paris (Charles de Gaulle airport) on an Air Transat flight that first stopped in Quebec. When I got on the plane, the flight attendant told me that the flight was full from Quebec onwards but that I could sit anywhere close to my regular seat until then. I took her up on the offer as the two seats next to mine were occupied by a chatty older brother and sister pair from Cambridge, Ontario. From Toronto to Quebec I slept and played solitaire on the wicked awesome borrowed ipod from my daddy-dearest.

Quebec came too fast, at which point I was moved to my little aisle dwelling in the middle of the plane. It turned out that the chatty couple were absolutely lovely and that we all enjoyed each others company. I know you are all breathing a sigh of relief, because we all know there is nothing worse than a bad plane mate.

After 10 hours of flying, eating bad plane food, playing solitaire, watching bad movies (one involving Jackie Chan as a babysitter (sacrilegious I know!)) and pretending to sleep, we touched down in Paris, France. I thought that from this point on that it would be relativley painless but it took over an hour to get through the passport customs line area and for my two miniscule bags to come through. (Yes, I am still a tad bitter over the luggage weight regulation, can you tell?)

Finally, the moment had come for me to walk out those frosted glass automatic doors - in to Paris - to see Thibaut! I sad o'revoir to my Cambridge companions and when I walked out Thibaut was front and centre and upon seeing me already asking for a photo of me with my luggage cart. It was all very embarrassing but forgiven because we hadn't seen each other in almost 10 months. We took my luggage, hopped in his fancy little white hybrid European car and went to his house.

Driving was as aggressive as in Toronto I would say only the drivers have less patience (if that is possible). The cars are all very cute and compact and they whiz along the streets with noisy scooters pulling in and out of the lanes around them. Thibaut lives in a suburb of Paris that is absolutely perfect. It is about a half hour train ride to central Paris and the train station is a 5 minute walk from the house.

The suburbs here are perfect, with each house having wooden shutters, locking front gates and plenty of greenery around them. Everyone seems to have fruit in their back yards, and Thibaut's place has a hammock hanging between two trees. It is great.

I spent a little bit of time with Thibaut on the first day, but because he had to work at 3pm, I was left to my devices for the rest of the day. I took a long nap because I had not slept on the plane at all and then went downstairs to meet his younger brother Baptist, who was equally as friendly and awesome.

I also had the pleasure of meeting his parents when they arrived home later on, and helped his mom cook dinner. She probably thinks that I have zero culinary skills because when asked to cut an apple I sliced it wrong. Although, in my defense I have never made a Tart au pommes and we also have an apple cutter - making me a useless human being.

So I learned to make tuna quiche and tart au pommes - and might I add that this for them is a quick meal that is thrown together in 20 minutes. Most impressive compared to our frozen pizzas and manicottis (not that there is anything wrong with those - it's just a different culture, one I could seriously get used to.)

The next day I went with Thibaut to get bread in the morning. We walked over to his local boulangerie and picked out a couple of nice baguettes. He also showed me the way to the train station. At around 2 he headed out to work and I with his mom Elianne. She took me grocery shopping and we window shopped in all the stores around the grocery store. She is wonderful!

That evening we made dinner together and I sat with Elianne, Philippe (Thibaut's father) and Baptist (his younger brother.) We all chatted and began to feel less self-conscious about my French, which was really good. I think my favourite thing about the meals is that little cheese course in between the main course and desert. I think if Daddy were here he would die, the cheese is so good. I have already tried several kinds, all of the names I cannot remember naturally.

So with that, I have been sleeping like a log each night in my comfy attic room under a skylight looking up at the French sky. Not a complaint in the world.

I promise there is more to come.


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