08.15.2009 28 °C
Well, the last couple of days have definitely been an adventure! Beginning with Thursday, when I got into the lineu for the Musee d’Orsee and thought I was going to vomit, then I slowly made my way back to my hostel and slept/read the whole day away. I think I was just very run down, but it was not very fun.
Friday, feeling much better, I met up with Tierney and we went shopping down the streets of Paris. Not sure what district we were in or what streets we were shopping on, even though she told me, but it was good and fun and definitely therapeutic! Had tons of fun with her. Went back to her apartment to heat up some real food, then made my way back to the hostel to get ready for the pub crawl. I was supposed to meet up with these two guys, Nick and Brad, from Arizona, who were staying in my hostel and who Tierney had met in Greece. She told them what room I was in and they were supposed to come get me and then we would head off together. I was down in the computer room and these two guys were asking these girls about a pub crawl. So I flag them over and I’m like, “Hey guy’s I’m Kelsey. You’re Nick and Brad?” They were like, um, we could be..? Kind of looking at each other funny so we talked about the pub crawl and they totally weren’t Nick and Brad, but I had made some new friends! Kevin and Mike were from Calgary. Then we went outside while they all pre-drank and met some of there others roommates or whoever outside, Graham and Chris who were from Winnipeg. So it was fun getting to know some new Canadians, and we were literally getting up off the stairs to go to the metro when two guys pop out of the hostel and turn to me and are like, “Are you Kelsey?” I was like “Nick and Brad! Meet Kevin, Mike, Graham, and Chris.” So our big group made it to the hostel, and good thing I was there to navigate as these boys would have never made it on their own lol. But seriously. So we got to the pub crawl, met up with Tierney and hade a pretty good night out. Met up with a group of English guys, met a guy from Calgary who works for the National Bank of Canada, and some other people along the way as well. Was overall fun, I had a few more drinks than I would have liked, and definitely swore off alcohol this morning for about the hundredth time in my life. Seriously, it doesn’t like when I drink more than a couple a night. But that’s ok for me! Said bye to Tierney, making plans to shop Seattle sometime in the relevantly near future, and Nick, Brad and I found a metro to take us home… that wasn’t actually running past 1:30 AM. SWEET. We then tried getting a cab, most of which didn’t understand my alcohol-induced French, so I was like this is freaking great… The boys didn’t seem too worried but I was! I wanted to be in bed! I then saw two buses, and one said “Bibogney” on it, which is the direction of the metro line that I take back to the hostel, so I hopped on with two very skeptical guys, paid our fare, and assured them we’d get home soon, which we did! I was actually pretty proud of myself that I managed to get us home. Actually, the boys reminded me of the pact we made earlier, that they would take me home safely as long as I figured out how to get us there, which is exactly what happened. So thanks guys!
Today I got up, got ready, and headed for the Gare du Nord train station, hoping to hop on the 11:25 train to Brussels. I got there at quarter to 11, so I thought I had plenty of time. First off, I’m very lost in a station that has very little signs, and had information booths with no one at them. Right after I finally got some direction, I slipped and fell on some water on the floor and twisted my ankle and fell with my 40+ pound pack on, bringing me down much harder than I would have gone down without it on. I let out a little scream when this all happened, and the 5 or 6 people around me didn’t even flinch or look my way to see if I was alright or try and help me up. Really comforting, the French are! So I got up and could not help my emotions, but quickly sucked it up and found the line to the tickets where I had to make a reservation for the train. An English speaking girl ahead of me was told to go to a different line for international tickets, so I followed her and we sort of helped each other out from there. Not sure if she ever got where she was going, though. Anyways, once I finally got to the ticket counter and asked for a reservation she was like, Brussels, Today? I doubt it. So I get emotional again and I was like I have to get there my hostel is booked I didn’t know it was such an issue, and she finally found me a spot on the 5:00 train to Lille, France, then change to Brussels. It was 11:30, and I had all my gear, and it was boiling outside. So needless to say it’s been a long day of reading, avoiding gypsies (who pretty much pull your earphones out of your ears to talk to you and beg for money), and trying to stay awake in a very hot train station. Definitely a day I would have liked some company! But luckily there was a Subway just outside the station so I could eat, and looking back now I suppose it didn’t feel like 5 and a half hours of waiting.
Paris was good, but my experience definitely could have been better. I didn’t even get a postcard at the train station because I was so frustrated and fed up with mean French people that I almost didn’t want a souvenir! Oh well, on to Belgium, which I doubt will be better for the language, but hopefully not so busy and pushy and rude. There are some really fun people in my hostel so it should be good! Will be having an early night, but going to hang out with Mira all day tomorrow, she's an engineer from Canada and vegetarian and never heard of happycow.net so we have a LOT to talk about!