Thursday, March 23, 2006

The french journals of a french maid...

Ok, not really, but you dig the image, right?
(The following is word for word from my journal. the things in bold are added commentary from today)

Today is Monday.
We are at Mont St. Michel
Oh, oh! It is breathtaking, moving--
I have been in love with this panorama(how the FUCK did I type that "panborma"??) since I was 14, in french class.
We had to memorize a poem or paragraph or something--
all I remember is "quand la baie est presque seche."
When the bay is almost dry...
I do, however, rememb er the history of the place in a general sense:
a monastery, in the top 4 christian pilgrimage sites.
people would walk across the bay, sometimes getting caught by the fast moving, high rising tide.

(because I needed to vent, here is what I wrote next)

List of Mishaps, in chronological order
(or, for that matter, whatever fucking order I goddamn remember them in!)

1. Wednesday: arrive in Detroit to meet mother, with a 30 minute window before our next flight--the 8 hour one to Paris--only to discover that she is both not there and not booked for a ticket. TRAVELOCITY FUCKED UP. They ussued both tickets to me. I had no way to contact her (she has no cell) and no time to figure out what to do. (I meant for this to be an itemized type busy telling the story...will get back to the list and tell al the stories after.)

Ok, so:
1. I had to get on an 8-hour flight with a cheese grater tgearing up my insides, believing my mother to be not coming.
2. Saturday night--went to look for french trouble and found it.
3. Sunday morning: had previously reserved seats for 9:08 train to Bayeux (for D-day sites) from Gare de Lyon (in Paris). (and here's where I go on a looooong rant, describing in great detail the troubles we ran into that day, mostly just stupid train crap.) So because of buying a ticket at one station and not realizing that we might be leaving from a different station, we went to the station we bought it from and it was the wrong station. SO. We ended up wasting half our day, and missing some of the stuff we had planned to do in Normandy. Wait just a fucking second! Weren't we just IN Caen?? Shit piss motherfucking cuntabulous. (that, word RIGHT THERE, is why I'm not going to apologize for hitting story mode again. It's also the reason you love me.) Anywho, we saw an incredible 70m long tapestry, which was made during the 1100s, by someone who was fascinated with the horse penis, ona pretty disturbing level. Ok, so it was a really cool story about William the Conqueror(previously William the Bastard!! I love it!!) and his reign, etc. But. The horses which were in many of the 52 scenes, were anatomically correct...and did I mention the disturbing part?? Ok, maybe I'm just trying to divert attention from the part where I thought I saw horse cock and began meticulously checking each scene for more definitive examples of giant penises. I found them alright--little embroidered cock-n-balls everywhere!!! There was even a naked man somewhere...boy, did I wish for a postcard of that one! ha.
Who else noticed that I just spent a half a page (of my notebook, single-spaced) on 12th century woven HORSE PENIS??
Wow. Well, I'm glad that's over.
We also went to an incredibly beautiful cathedral, then had a blah dinner and went to bed.

I looked stunning for dinner, if anyone's interested. We got up this morning for the 9:33 train to Mont St. Michel, which I had been SURE was listed on the train schedule I had. We dragged our shit there (I didn't have the # of the taxi we had used the day before, and it was only a half mile. we are tough. yeah...we regretted it.) and discovered that we were reading the (insert 12-word string of swearing, focusing on bodily fuctions and sexual positions) shcedule wrong. 7:48 was the train. Next train? 2:44. (14:44 to you smartass 24-hour clock users. fuck faces.) We had 5 hours, our luggage, and a slightly less cold train station.
I walked over to "town" to look for
a. an ATM,
b. a place to change some of my mom's USDs,
c. some lunch to take back to cold mother,
d. an internet cafe (mentioned in my FABULOUS life-saving guidebook) to sate my craving, and
e. the cathedral to take pictures since I hadn't before.
I accomplished a, c, & e.
Yay me.
I also walked aobut 500 miles--and...I would have walked 500 more if. Well. Nevermind...
So.......we finally boarded our train and arrived here--
too late to tour the abbey.
blah blah, took out some more boring train station crap.
Long story short: we would miss the tours of the abbey altogether

Fuck, fuck, and just another handful of fucks for fun, ok?
So we called a taxi, got to our B&B (with a perfect view of the abbey)

We went to the monastery anyway. We got some good pictures, so it was worth it.

We had a most lovely dinner, and are now resting peacefully. There is no phone in the room so I'm sure Cameron will be wondering why I haven't called...sorry honey!

I should back track, but I'm exhausted. Thinking in french is wicked hard. So is dragging luggage around for miles and miles. But I am having the time of my life. And learning...
Housewife out--

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 1:00pm

It seems like everything we do is wrong. No sooner do we figure out the way something works, than it changes. Every time we've used our Eurrail pass, they've told us "no reservation required." So we didn't make any. On this, the second leg of a 3 leg journey, we were told by the conductor dude that we must have a reservation. He wanted to see our passports, too, but neither of us had them close. Not to mention we sat down in the first available seats (in a very empty train) and after we got settled a group of people who are currently, and continuously, being very loud, arrived and in french remarked to each other that we were in their seats. Never said a thing to us, but I heard them, so we moved. Again, there have never been assigned seats in all the 5 or 6 trains of this line that we've used. Bah.

I am tired. I am sick of everything going wrong. I am sick of being in charge while everything goes wrong. I am sick of motherfucking Euros. I am sick of phonecards which only work sometimes. I am sick of everything right now. But I still want to move here. I want to buy a little tiny house and a little tiny car in a little tiny town. I want to open a little book store or "american crap" store and melt into this place. The beauty of the simple country architecture makes me homesick for a home I've never had.

Someone just whistled a few bars of the Star Spangled Banner. They are annoying the bloody hell out of me.

I hate trains. I never want to ride another one. No, what I hate is train stations...and not speaking the language well enough to feel like something other than an imbecile.

(side note: for the first time on my trip, I had wine with dinner and all my troubles vanished in the sweet red dryness.)

Just a couple of notes from the other pages of my notebook, scribbled while riding on a metro:

My tired little brain is gleefully mumbling, "I'm in Paris! I'm in Paris!"

Bayeux train station graffiti: "something-something avec ta petite bite"
which translates to "__ ___ with your little penis"--the missing words were a guy's name, I think.
Anyway, just as I read it, my m other said, in referenceto the cold, "put your hands between your legs."
It made me giggle, internally.

I have a few more pages, from the day I left.
I think that stuff is a little more positive...sorry for all the whining.
You have to understand that I hade my game face on the whole time--
smiling, chatting with Mom, never getting to just unwind or have a few minutes to myself to NOT talk or to breathe...
It was a wonderful trip, and have many fond memories...I just wnated it to be perfect for her and it wasn't.

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