So…. it’s my last night in paris, and I’m typing on an ipad via wireless keyboard. definitely one of the most advanced forms of technology i’ve used. Anyways,
After Lucerne, we trained it to Geneva and met our friend Talia at the geneva Central. We thought that she lived in Geneva… TURNS OUT she actually lives on this awesome mountain in FRANCE! for the next two days, we crossed into Geneva through the French-Swiss border. I actually stood with my feet on either side of the border (ish). That, I have to say, was pretty wicked. So we arrived at night to her welcoming family who cooked-ish a nice dinner for us. We brought them Belgian chocolate not knowing that the average Swiss actually eats 21 pounds of chocolate a year. 21 POUNDS? OH MY GOD WHY DON’T I LIVE THERE? (maybe because if i did i’d be 300 pounds and world famous for consuming 50 pounds of chocolate a year).
Anyways, apparently they eat it everyday, like, they’ll buy a tablet of chocolate and eat it with bread.
WHY AREN’T THEY FAT?
So Talia had prepared us a great room in her great house on her great mountain in her great country. the next morning bright and early we bussed down to Geneva and strolled around the city doing a mini tour a la talia. we found chocolate, we are chocolate. we also had an asian version of mcdonalds. it was a mix of thai, chinese and other greasy delicious stir fried foods. then we found the beach in which the entire city of geneva goes to on hot days. (did i say beach? I mean long boardwalk-turned beach with cool floaty things in the lake and speed boats that whizz by you). THAT was quite fun. we bought some jewelry and were going to watch the Cinema en plain air sur le lac but it would be too late so we hung out at the PRE-FETE (yes, geneva is so cool, it has a party for the party of it’s city). We watched old guys ROCKING OUT to air guitar on stage singing bad versions of english songs very similar to karaoke but just a tad more professional. Then Talia’s boyfriend met up with us and slept over.
The next morning we made sandwiches and caught a gondola up the mountain to the very summit and watch paragliders jump off the mountain over and over again. That too was pretty cool. we hiked a bit then went down because kelly and i had a train to catch to paris. That night we arrived in a hostel called Aloha hostel and were up the next day extra early to get me to the canadian embassy to apply for a new passport. Heaving our huge bags down the champs d’elysses, we pass a cafe in which we see a girl sitting by the open window with another girl having a coffee. i say to myself, wow she looks like that famous actress.. and then: KELLY. KELLY. KELLY. THAT IS RACHEL MCCADAMS. KELLY IT’S RACHEL MCCADAMS. OH MY GOD. etc.
i continue to freak out while kelly is giving me dagger eyes so that i would stop making a scene on the street because Rachel Mccadams could clearly see that there was a 20 year old anglophone going apeshit half a block away from where she was sitting. I WANTED TO TOUCH HER but i didn’t.
after the embassy ordeal, we checked into our other hostel called Oops hostel, which, turned out to be more of a HOTEL than a HOSTEL. Kelly and i danced for joy for about 20 minutes when we found out there was a bathroom IN OUR ROOM. our room was for 4 PEOPLE ONLY. 1 BATHROOM FOR 4 PEOPLE? IT WAS HEAVEN SENT! we both collapsed and thanked god that our last hostel was our best hostel. granted, it was one of the more expensive ones, but not by much, breakfast included, free internet… soft walls… nothing more we could have asked for.
that day we met a nice girl and the three of us found the Musee D’Orsay after a nice snack at a cafe. the nice girl peaced out on us and we navigated our way through the museum tout seul. it was exquisite. after that kelly half ran to Notre Dame along the Seine because she knew of an ice cream place of which made ice cream created by angels. 9 euros later, i will never look at ice cream the same way. Although it was not gelato, it was the purest, most delicate, dark chocolate ice cream i have ever let my mouth discover. two small scoops in a metal bowl complete with almond bisquit was one of the more memorable things (i know… that’s SO lame… but YOU would too). its right next to notre dame.
THEN we met back up with the girl and got a bottle of wine and drank it at the hostel. I think there were other things before that but i don’t remember. the next day it was Pompidou day. we got ourselves to the pompidou center and spent almost 5 hours going through the galleries. WHAT A SHOW. there was a performance piece with 15 girls dressed up as snow white (blanche neige it was called) and a huge banquet table with chandelier and taxidermy animals thrown about the floor and on the table. they were walking around with a-k 47s and interacting with each other but not with the crowd. definitely weird. I also saw the artist Marina something or other that I saw at the MOMA who did a really fucked up exhibition where she tortured herself.. but it was cool.
thennnnn we walked around, went shopping a bit and picked up a baguette and cheese and sat in front of the eiffel tower to eat it. Kelly called up this guy she met in Munich who lives in paris and we all went out to Montmartres to the CUTEST bar in the world. they were so small with this 2 person live band called ZORA who played 2 full sets on acoustic guitars and this woman sang so well… it was perfect. then we went to moulin rouge and were huge tourists. THEN we missed the last metro home and cabbed it. THE NEXT MORNING Kelly had to go back to the train station to see if she could possibly get a ticket from Milan to Brindisi (thats where she is now, i miss her already) before she got on the train. turns out there was 1 ticket left, in first class…. but that was good. THEN we found where I was going to sleep for the next few days. It’s this little apartment owned by a distantly related cousin of mine who is here in paris for a few months. I am SO grateful for this place because it is so nice, and so helpful and i can’t describe how cute it is. theres a fromagerie right downstairs with supposedly the best cheese in paris (I can add a testimony to that). we dropped our bags off and went to the Rodin museum, which was OKAY … we saw the thinker and the gates of hell then shopped around the area that the apartment was in. got sushi… and then i walked kelly to the train station to see her off to italy. it was sad. we mimed through her compartment window filled with seemingly stinky people… poor kelly. the train was 20 minuites delayed so i hope she caught her next one the next morning. Anyways, i got back to the apartment and then matthew came in later and we talked about my trip till 2 am which was nice. today i woke up an hour and a half later than i wanted to because I was going to Versailles today. I picked up camembert from the store downstairs, a baguette and a bottle of water and litterally just walked onto a train to Versailles without buying a ticket… but i had a eurail pass just in case. got to versailles for 12:30 and spent 16 euros walking around napoleons grand palace and the versailles gardens, THAT took 4 hours, and by the time i actually GOT to the castle it was too late to buy tickets cause i wouldn’t have time to get through the whole thing.
When people say VErsailles is big… that’s an understatement. I didn’t QUITE understand exactly how BIG, BIG WAS. To walk the entire thing, (I mean the entire estate would take 12 hours or something. I’m sure of it. I mean, i walked so far I saw sheep!!?!? So there was classical music and lots of americans and lots of italians and lots of asians and lots of spaniards… and it was hard to SEE the chateaux from a distance because of all the tourists standing in front of it waiting for the fountains to go off. I found a quiet spot by the canal (i mean GIANT, MANICURED, POND) and read Jane Eyre and ate baguette with cheese. and ENTIRE baguette with cheese. yes, i am taking full advantage of the parisienne way. i got clausterphobic and hot and decided to leave bit early, got back to paris, metroed it to Notre Dame, caught a free outdoor concert hosted by FNAC, (european future shop), got a free entrance to Notre Dame, got clausterphobic, but got a free organ and choir concert to go with the free ticket into the cathedral, walked to Shakespeare and Company, bought Bill Bryson’s book about his trip to Europe (which seemed so fitting I couldn’t resist), took the metro to Montmartres, walked pretty much the ENTIRE Montmartre area, found a vegetarian restaurant, paid 13 euros for another home cooked meal (I mean this place was the size of this apartment i’m staying at… so very small) complete with lentils and tofu etc then i walked up ALL the stairs to the top of sacre coeur, expected a nice relaxing view, and was surprised to discover the most happening place in paris. Litterally there were 50-100 kids my age and older of every race sitting on the steps of Sacre Coeur. one guy brought out speakers to the middle of the steps and started blasting michael jackson through his macbook. the crazy gangster dudes started to do tricks with soccer balls and one guy actually climbed the lamppost in front of the stairs, held on with one arm, and with spinning the ball on his chin, about 20 feet in the air. Impressive? UH yeah. I have to say, paris is a sketchy place when you’re on your own. everywhere i walked i got: “bonjour moffette, tu t’appelle quoi?” or “ca va? Tu es interesse? Tu viens d’ou?” etc. I was really good at pretending to be parisienne, I walked with a destination in mind, not straying my eyes from where i was going and full on ignored the looks and calls. i heard at one point some guy tried and then he said “Ah bon, tant pis” hahaha.
So then i climbed the stairs down and here i am waiting till tomorrow to go to the airport.
And that was my two and a half month trip in europe. Bordeux seems lifetimes ago. Even Lisbon seems like it wasn’t even this summer. I am so much more comfortable in my own skin. I think that is one of the biggest things I can take away from this trip. I am more comfortable with people, with hard situations, and mostly just dealing with things that go out of hand.