Sunday, October 2, 2011

I see London, I see France...

Wow… It’s been so long since my last blog post, it will be hard to remember all of the details!
My last blogpost I posted about how gray it was in London. Well, then it suddenly turned around! It became amazingly gorgeous. I went to British Museum and saw all kinds of neat stuff! They had really interesting coffins from Africa (I think Ghana?) where the burial ceremony calls for a coffin that is fashioned after some part of the persons life. For example, there was a giant Kodak camera coffin and a big car coffin. I also saw the mummy collection which was my favorite part of the museum. And there was the real Rosetta Stone, which was pretty awesome to see as well. For those of you who don’t know, the Rosetta Stone is a stone in which there was a law or decree written in Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphs, and some other language I don’t know anything about. Having all 3 of these ancient languages written on one stone about one thing helped to explain some of the mysteries of these languages.
Then I walked for hours and hours. I found some cool square thing with some street performers. And wouldn’t you know, there was this guy that I had seen a few years ago with I went with my Aunt Martha to see the Bodies exhibit in Chelsea Piers! It was a performer who was a kind of contortionist. He could dislocate several parts of his body and make himself fit through really weird things, and in the end he fit himself into a small box! His name is Yogi Lazer and he does it for yoga practice I think (they talk about shakras and stuff during the performance). Anyway that was pretty weird, and I talked to him for a little bit after.
Then I walked down to the river and walked along it. There are some nice parks along the Thames, and a really cool skate park that has a lot of graffiti all over it. I walked all along it, until I got to the London Bridge where I was supposed to meet a friend for some annual event where they let sheep cross the London Bridge. Sounds pretty cool right? Well, sadly the event was cancelled . So I went back to my hostel, changed, and went on a bar crawl. Was not super awesome, but it was cool enough… I wanted to go on the bar crawl to at least say I went out in London, but in retrospect, the bar in the hostel is so awesome I may have had more fun just staying there chatting with travelers.
The next day Emily came to London to see me!!! I was so happy! After we dropped off her stuff at her hostel, we went to Kings Cross station to have our pics taken at platform 9 and ¾ (the famous Harry Potter platform!). We kinda just loafed around in my hostel after that, trying to figure out what to do that night. That night we went to a club called Fabric that’s supposed to be soooo awesome and have good electro music, but it just had crummy house music, but with Emily there it was so much fun that it didn’t matter. I’m so lucky to have met her on CouchSurfing!
On Friday I was so sad to leave Emily yet again (we talk every day trying to reunite since then). I went to Paris on the Eurostar. Was very nice to take the train. It was very fast and easy: you leave from and get into the city, instead of the airports which are outside of the cities. I sat across from an awesome family. They were originally from Texas but moved to England because of work. They have two really cute little boys, and the older one was quite smart. At 2 years old, he looked in the window and said, “Look at my reflection mommy.” I feel like reflection is a big word for such a little kid, and I could tell their parents were very proud. They were headed to Euro Disney.
When I arrived, I stayed at my friend Mickael’s. I was quite tired and sad because I missed Emily. Being back in Paris also brings back a lot of memories from the summer before and when I studied abroad. Mickael and I just walked around talking for a few hours. We sat under the Eiffel Tower and watched it sparkle (every hour for ten minutes it sparkles). It’s very stereotypical to do this, so there were TONS of groups of students (probably all on study abroad) and romantic couples. It made me miss the old friends I had when I was there.
The next day I went and got a phone and did a few errands. Above the Gare Monparnasse is a park, le jardin Atlantique. I had been there in the fall when I had studied abroad and there had been no one there (it was quite cold then). Now it was full of people and there were beautiful waterfalls and plants. When you walk out the back of the park, you are on street level because the Gare (French for trainstation) is on a hill. From this point you can look and see a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower with a tree lined boulevard leading up to it. Beautiful!
That night I met a friend Karim who was a close friend of my friend George from Lebanon. We had met last summer when I had been in Paris. We went to a friend’s apartment for a cool little party with half French and half English speakers. He picked me up on his scooter/motor bike. I had been on a Harley once before, but driving through the streets of Paris was kind of cool, but also kind of scary since I’m a big scardy cat. Karim’s dad was in town, so the next day Karim, his dad, his cousin and I went to a Chinese-French buffet for brunch. It was pretty funny to see eggs, springrolls, sushi, and pain au chocolat all in one buffet.
Later I wandered down the Champs Elysees and then took the metro to St Michel, which I frequented a lot when I was studying abroad. It brought back a lot of memories, and I began to yearn to go back in time. So, naturally, I went to the bars we used to go to in that area. First I went to the Frog & Princess, which has their own beers that they brew. Then I went to the Moose bar, which is an American sports bar and was showing a Yankee’s game, a Buffalo Bills game, and a Jets game. So funny.
Afterwards, I met up with a friend from middle school who is also going to be a teaching assistant outside of Paris. We met at a brasserie for a few drinks to catch up.
The next morning, I was off to Le Havre. I was pretty nervous, because I literally had no idea what to expect. Would there be cool music? Would I meet nice people? Would I practice my French enough? Would the kids I be teaching be a terror? So many worries…
And I’m still a week behind! Fortunately, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights I expect to be pretty slow, so I’ll shoot you another update about Le Havre soon  xoxo
PS: if anyone wants to get emails every time I post a blog, please let me know and there is a way I can do that!