I’m off to Paris in the morning.
I don’t know what my access to the internet will be like until I get to where I’m staying in Belgium, so I may disappear for a few days. Rest assured, I’ll be back with tales of travels, mishaps, book readings and new friends, and of course the obligatory photo of me pretending to hold the distant Eiffel Tower between my thumb and index finger.
For now, everything I own is once again packed up in a far-too-heavy rucksack, although I will note that for the second time now I have ditched a lot of unnecessary stuff. By Christmas, I’ll be travelling with nothing but a change of underwear and a clean t-shirt in a carrier bag. Oddly, though, despite having jettisoned a reasonable amount of clothing in Tallinn, and now again in Lyon, my belongings still seem to take up exactly the same amount of space in my bag. Is there some kind of mathematical theory that applies here?
Lyon has been fantastic experience, computer problems and pickpockets aside. I think it was the perfect introduction to France, for me – I got to find my feet in a city that’s not too scarily metropolitan and is actually very quaint and traditional in places, with a flatmate who spoke good English. Note to self: plan on taking French refresher course upon return to France.
Paris is shaping up to be fun, too: I’m couchsurfing for the first time, which could either be nightmarish or a great opportunity to make new friends. I’m hopeful for the latter, as it might be nice to have someone show me around rather than spending most of my time just trying to find my way out of the Metro station. There’s sightseeing to be done, a book reading to attend, a dinner invite to accept, and more bad French to be spoken, no doubt. Then off to “my” new house (for a month, anyway!) in Belgium! Le Flatmate is unspeakably amused by this, and keeps grinning to himself when he thinks about it. He says that if I’m struggling to keep up with the accents in Lyon, I’ll have no hope of understanding Belgians.
Ah, well. I’m from Ballymena. I’m used to complex dialects.