Monthly Archives: October 2011

worst tourist ever

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we finally made it to belgium.  bonding over the clash and nuclear energy while going 140 km through the french countryside, we drove a few hours to brugge.  i wish i could tell you i took lots of pictures, but i have this aversion to tourism.  even in that beautiful old city with japanese tourists snapping away at the sights i could not bring myself to pull out the camera.  so a description will have to suffice.  it is very clean for it’s age and the belgian people are nice and speak like 5 languages.  i had a general idea of the architecture before we went because of an irish movie i saw a while back.  it’s like a fairytale.  brick houses squished together and waterways like venice running through it.   we walked around and then had lunch at a sidewalk cafe.  guigui insisted on kwak, which is a famous “strong beer”, and is served in a beaker type thing that sits in a wooden base that is about 2 feet tall.  i had fries too so i think i have tried all belgium has to offer except for the chocolate.  yesterday, i watched a lot of tv.  i got engrossed in a french movie that takes place in greece while he was at work, and although i couldn’t understand, i’m pretty sure it was about this psychotic arab that is in love with a woman so he kidnaps her boyfriend.  then we watched indiana jones and jaws.  the french seem to love speilberg but insist on dubbing it so harrison ford has too high a voice.  the teachers go on holiday this week so i think we are going to paris.  i promise i’ll take some pictures.  oh and we are going to versailles.  i had a big mac yesterday.  maxi best of.  that’s what a super-size is called.  i know, i know.  i came all the way to france, and went to mcdonald’s?  it was on a lark i promise.  the food i eat is usually a bit more french.  i have been experiencing culture shock in a way that i didn’t expect.

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the hilarity ensues

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oh man.  so i should be writing you from belguim right now but it seems i had what the french call gueule bois this morning and could not get out of bed until french billy, as my mother calls him, fixed me a tonic and then a coffee.  last night we went down to the beach to watch the sunset, or sun belt, and it is more beautiful then i can express.  i have seen the sunset from every angle in the states, but the way it melts into the sea here is pretty amazing.  after that we came back, and i proceded to knock back half a bottle of rum.  needless to say, electronic devices will now be locked up after a certain hour so i am not tempted to drink and type because i think i might have sent out a maudlin email or two.  as i adjust to this way of life, i am apt to think about things that are better left to poets and philosophers, so i may get a bit morbid from time to time.  anyway, today we decided to stay in berck and behave like the suburbanites we are.  this meant going to carrefour to shop for food and to the florist for flowers for the window boxes.  i behaved like a complete space cadet at both places.  the french say hello and goodbye to everyone and i am still getting used to this.  so while i am staring up at the sky, guigui has to nudge me so i say bon jour and au revoir.  the language barrier between the two of us is eased by dictionaries and his understanding of english, while i have found my french is atrocious and my pronunciation hilarious to him.  the reverse is also true.  for the past few days i thought he was saying political crazies while speaking of foreign policy when he was saying crisis.  he finally spelled it for me, and i was in hysterics for a half hour.  perhaps we should keep the conversation a little lighter, but we are getting along.  on to the flowers.  we got pansies and two other plants i have never seen for the window boxes, and i planted them while he made some chocolate dessert.  there is a mess of soil and flour now and guigui typed onto the translation program that i can now clean it up with my little hands like cinderella.  he laughs and i shake my head.  really we should have a video camera following us as a lesson to future generations about unity and understanding.  i have not laughed so much in years.  i have pictures to post from paris soon.  guigui calls it jackie o in paris because there are shots of me smoking in my sunglasses next to the arc and eiffel tower.  i will post the pics of his apartment and the flowers so that maybe someone can tell me what they are.  my french lesson for the day is swear words.  as guigui laughs at my pronunciation, i am thinking of tom hulce as mozart.  it is very cute.  that is all for now.  i miss everyone but i am happy.

arrival

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well, here i am in france.  please excuse some typos as i am still trying to figure out the french keyboard.  i had an uneventful trip over the sea on the red eye out of philly, and onto an airbus in london to paris.  i have to say british airways is the greatest airline i have ever flown: a private movie screen, tons of food, and a lot of space.  i did not sleep so i was nearly delirious when i reached paris, but consented to the eiffel tower, the arc de triomphe, a walk along the champs elysees[i have a beautiful new coat from promod], and dinner at a cafe.  the very old man who waited on us laughed about the little american girl drinking a bigger beer than her french companion, but i just shrugged.  i needed a full pint!  i fell asleep in the car on the way to berck, but was pleased when we arrived.  it is beautiful here.  the air is clean, and guigui has a large apartment that is decorated impecciably.  i spent yesterday finishing tropic of cancer by henry miller, and though it made me cry, i came away from it in a fairly good mood.  guigui gave me a lesson in french cooking and then i read some french comics.  i am a little out of my element, but as i settle my writing should become more detailed.  i carry the states in my heart and wonder what i have done to come into such good fortune as this.  i will post pictures again when i figure out the computer.  bye for now!

a date is set

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my mom got my ticket after much frustration on her part.  her paycheck didn’t come in so she had to borrow money, then put it on a card to buy my ticket online.  then she could only afford a one way ticket.  so i am at the mercy of my friends to send me back when the time comes!  but i’m sure it will all work out.  anyway, i leave tuesday october 11th at ten pm.  i have one hour to changeover at heathrow, so i am very nervous about the flight being on time.  i’ll be in paris in the early afternoon, and we are going to see the eiffel tower and some other things then drive back to berck because my friend has work at 11 the next morning.  i already packed my suitcase and backpack.  that’s how excited i am.  i mean, i have a week to go and i’m already packed.  i just want everything to go smoothly.  i have always been one of those people who are super-prepared for any thing.  i wasn’t able to sleep in high school unless my clothes were laid out over the chair where i could see them.  i finished delta of venus, and was blushing the entire time.  i’ve been around the block, but her descriptions of sex are very detailed.  now i am on to a moveable feast, and i really am enjoying it.  i think i will take it with me so we can go to some of the places he mentions in it.  i have already been asked to christmas dinner at guigui’s parents who live near paris.  he says his dad speaks english well and it will be funny watching his mom try to speak it.  i will, of course, try to speak french to her though out of politeness.  i really am out of my mind with excitement.  i packed only my very best clothes so that i feel chic, and my mom gave me her chanel number 5.  this is going to be such a new experience.  i’ve seen all but 13 of the united states, and i’ve been to niagra falls on the canadian side, but never across on ocean.  my flight is at night so hopefully i will sleep.  it’s just amazing that i have this opportunity.  life and love are waiting for me.  i leave on the hunter’s full moon.  i hope that brings good luck.  i have worries about lost baggage and not catching my connection.  but other than that, i feel really comfortable with the idea of being in a foreign country with no resources other than my friends.  what’s the worst that could happen?  i’ve seen enough tragedy that nothing will be able to spoil my good time.  i’m going to be a brave little bohemian and take each day as it comes.  no agenda, no plans.  just life.  nine days and i get a chance to be who i really want to be.  away from this dirty city and these downtrodden people.  away from the memories on every corner.  i get to make new ones in new cities, new corners.  who could ask for anything more?