dimanche, juin 29, 2008

travelog part 1.

Today, when I arrived at the Toronto airport, I flopped down in a seat facing the huge windows. Tired from the 8 hour flight and passage through customs, I pulled out some math-riddles that I found in one of those on-board magazines and started doing them mindlessly.
Behind me, I heard a girl on her cell phone talking to her mum. Talking about how her boyfriend (I'm assuming?) had hit her and pushed her in front of "them" (her friends, I suppose?). She was crying and yelling at her mum, and from the conversation, I gleaned that "he" had thrown her out on the street and tossed her wallet somewhere. She had no money.

Something inside me wanted to hand her a $20, just like that man did at Starbucks to me, what seems like ages ago. I wanted to ask her if she needed anything, if she was okay. But I didn't.

A mother with a young child was standing beside me, so I offered her my seat.

I end up sitting next to the girl on the cell phone, who had by then finished her conversation.

I see the girl, who must be in her late 20s, with her styled and curled blonde hair, and her big sunglasses, her perfectly pedicured feet, and though I know approaching her would be the right thing to do, the thing "a missionary should do", the thing Jesus would have done, I am afraid that my feeble attempt at comfort will be rejected. So i sit in my chair, pretending to look elsewhere--anywhere but AT her. But I steal glimpses. Though her glasses mask her eyes, I see her sorrow, and my heart pounds. A voice (the HS perhaps?) says "Talk to her."

But I don't.

I just sit, like everyone around us.

The announcement goes off on the PA system. "Flight AC421 now boarding."

The girl gets up and walks, her shiny stilettos clicking against the floor, her hips swaying back and forth in her perfectly fitted skinny jeans.

She disappears into the throng of people waiting in the boarding queue.

i am left to gather my stuff, and I can't help feeling disappointed with myself.

As i settle into my plane seat, i pull out my bible, well worn from 3 years of use and most recently, a 2 month stint in North Africa, Paris and London.

i know i am a hypocrite.

though i am disappointed in myself, i can't shake the feeling that had i a chance to rewind, i would still do the exact same thing.

bye bye Europe!

Well, I'm flying back to Canada today. I've been gone a solid 2 months, and the pictures on my camera have PILED up, waiting to be uploaded.

I don't even know what to say.

So here's an interesting story:

Yesterday, I took the chunnel back to Paris (the last train of the day), and because my parents didn't want me sleeping at an airport, they booked me a room at a fairly nice hotel in Paris. So, it's 11:30pm by the time I arrive at the hotel, and I'm all tuckered out, and all I want to do is sleep. But as I'm checking in, the stinking receptionist is trying to strike up conversation with me. Needless to say, it was pretty unwanted conversation. First, he proceeds to flirt with me, and then asks me my age as a part of his dodgy flirtatious conversation. I reply that I've just given him my passport, and that he should be able to read.
Then, when I've finally gotten my key, he says, "So, when you go to the club at night, do they ask you how low you can go?"



I went to my room and double locked the door and proceeded to call my parents. Of course, i didn't tell them about the sketchy receptionist. But i suppose they'll find out, since my dad reads this blog (hi dad!).

Anyways, minus the complete unprofessionalism of the receptionist, the hotel is nice, and everyone seems quite normal this morning. Which is a good sign.

jeudi, juin 19, 2008

Cliche, but embarassingly true.

I can't believe I just spent another 2 Euros just so that I can have another 30 mins, in order that I might blog. There MUST be something wrong with me. But, I mean after 6 weeks in North Africa, you must imagine the restraint it took not to blog right after arriving in Paris.

Now that I'm in Paris, I fear that I must confess something. But first, a preamble. The first couple of days were a BORE. To be honest, I'm not a fan of museums (too much sensory overload, too little time) and monuments (here today, gone tomorrow). I know, I sound uncultured, but in my defense, I think the general populus wants to admit this, but like a person who thinks Shakespeare is overrated, there is a fear of the unavoidable backlash by the pompous (or the posers) in society. Anyways, this is the reason for the delay in blogging. All those museums (minus Versailles....that trip was GORGEOUS) were putting me to sleep.

Now, to what I must confess. Today, I spent my day alone (I have two travel buddies here in Paris) and darn (I want to use the word da*n to express my excitement, but I know that this too would cause inevitable backlash) it was GLORIOUS! I know people often say that they LOVE Paris, and gosh, it's SO ridiculously cliche, but I LOVE Paris! Stuffy monuments and buildings aside, Paris is what I totally imagined Montreal being like. With no disappointment thus far at least.

The great thing is.. I'll leave before any disillusionment sets in.

You see, the tourist things aren't that hype; I mean, the Mona Lisa is like the smaller than the length of my arm. But those little streets lined with all colours and kinds of vespas? BRILLIANT. Today, I sat in a Starbucks (I know, I could have at least done a cafe...but Starbucks is SO much cheaper), spent time with God and people watched for hours. Then I picked up my stuff, did a little bit of shopping, and for the rest of the time, stuck in my iPod, and meandered the streets of Paris.

Let me tell you. At this point in time, I am so enamoured, that though I know the following statement is untrue, it feels true, so I am going to write it anyways. I feel as though there is little that is greater than roaming these streets with Feist, Yael Naim and the Across the Universe soundtrack in ear. All the little shops dedicated to fashion, design, DIY and randomness is enough to make my heart sing. All the vespas, zooming around, taking people places.... oh the joy.

So, here I am with two days of Paris left to go, 8 days of vacation left...and I just have to say, God has really blessed me.

p.s. the men here wear scarves. SCARVES. There is nothing better (again, hyperbole) than a guy wearing a blazer with a scarf, a pair of dark jeans and a pair of good shoes.