Friday, February 24, 2006

Vive la France!
Yesterday was quite a travel day. Mom dropped me off at the Barcelona airport around 11:15, I caught a flight to Paris, then a shuttle bus to the train station, then a train to Tours, and here I am now. I spoke with the French lady on the plane next to me the whole way to get some practice, and it's been fairly smooth since. Except I still have to ask people to repeat themselves sometimes. It's like if I hear it twice it's easier to understand.

ANYWAY. My hotel here is quite a bit nicer than anywhere we stayed in Spain, although it should be since it costs about 15Euro a night more. I have a TV, a phone, a REAL shower (where the wandy-thingie can be hung on the wall like a normal shower head), and a mini-fridge. A mini fridge!! It's just like business travel! I better find some soymilk! And another business travel similarity: Last night at dinner, I learned that traveling alone in Tours is just like traveling alone anywhere else: you don't have to eat dinner alone...
The waiter at the restaurant seated me upstairs in a corner where they hide the lonely business travelers, and the other business traveler in the area came over and joined me at my table. And you know what??? He wasn't INSANE! At least, not that I could tell. Now, you know that I attract crazy people so it was a treat to have a dinner companion who didn't proceed to:
* get drunk and try to paw all over me
* follow me back to my hotel despite my protests
* tell me about his strict medication regimen
* go on a psychotic rant about how much he "hates this town!"
* buy me drink after drink after drink only to drink them himself and end up singing drinking songs for everyone in the restaurant.

Anyway, my dinner companion was a fellow named Julien who spoke 2 words of English ("spicy sauce") and works for SNCF as a management consultant. I know all sorts of interesting things about him, such as he has a girfriend in Paris named Christine, they've been dating for 5 years, currently live together, and he doesn't plan to get married because it's just "too soon." Where have I heard that story before?? (guilty party, you know who you are, yes I'm LOOKING AT YOU.) ;-)

After a good night's sleep and a carb-tastic-super-insulin-shock breakfast of croissant, crusty french bread and 3 little pots of jam (redcurrant, strawberry, and plum) and some tasty cafe au lait I hit the road in my rental car. J and SNG will be glad to know that I took about 150 more pictures of L'Abbaye de Fondevraud(sp?). Especially all those funny murals of New Testament scenes with the pious little nun praying in the foreground of the action. Awesome.

The food... can I bring it all home with me? Yes, I know, there's bird flu here, but I still had foie gras and guinea fowl for lunch. And I'd do it again. And again. Tonight I don't know what I'll have but I know it'll be tasty!

I heard news from Mom that she's safe and sound in Madrid and has found an internet cafe. On an unrelated note, remember that Tuesday is Mardi Gras!! Happy Mardi Gras! Everybody celebrate extra hard so you have something to repent for come Wednesday!


SNG said...

Wow. My Mardi Gras will be spent on an overnight flight to Frankfurt. Par-tay?
I wish drinking made me sleepy, it'd be a good excuse on the plane.

alphagal said...

Laissez les bons temps rouler, indeed. For a good time on a plane, take a benadryl. You'll be doing well if you sleep 3 hours.

Mom said...

This will be my last internet trip before I leave for home. Today has been an all walking day so far. I hope you're having a ball, I really enjoyed this trip with you! My best to everyone in Paris and in Germany! Special abrazos and besos to the happy couple!
L, Mom

Bashö said...

N e v e r i n a h u r r y . . . ;)
You tell Julien that I said he should take his time; after a few more Winter Olympiads he may have a feel for whether he likes this lady!