Monday, June 07, 2004

Back with my own kind...

Hello friends, I am currently sitting in my brother and his wife's apartment in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I'm happy to report I made it back safe and sound to the good ol' Etats Unis.

My last day in Strasbourg wrapped rather nicely, although it was busy. Meg and I spent the day taking pictures for our "ABCs of Strasbourg" project, then she and our friend Christelle took me out for a birthday dinner at Le Petit Ours. One last time. We decided in the end that even though we have crushes on all the waiters, they are all gay. We're not being mean--it really is a gay restaurant. Dommage.

Anyway, Megs and I camped out at Hotel Etap right across the street from the gare, which in addition to providing a nice view of the street, also had BUNK BEDS, and at 4:30 a.m. we woke up bright and early to get to the gare with all our crap.

Here are the highlights from the voyage home:

Court wakes up at 3:30, 3:45, 4, 4:15, and finally decides to just climb out of the bunk bed before the alarm goes off.

Court and Meg do final packing checks. Freak out about weight of bags. Court decides to try wearing her backpack on wheels and it doesn't rip this time.

Walk across street to gare. Pain. In. The. Ass.

Court hears her bag straps ripping.

Make it to the gare in tact. Get luggage trolley.

Two guys stop to ask if we speak German. We tell them we know our colors and some of the words to "Das ist Deutschland" but that's about it.

Court's backpack straps finally rip off completely.

Wait for train.

Giggle when we find out the name of the train is the "Orient Express."

Load all our bags on one at a time and get strange stares from the passengers.

Sleep.

Arrive Paris Est. Court cherches a trolley while Meg dumps the bags on the ground.

Court returns with trolley only to see Meg walking behind large man with all of our bags on a dolley.

Court suives.

Luggage guy goes to front of station, hails a cab, yells at French people who try to cut in line (haha!) and sends us on our way (after we paid him 12 euros of course...worth every centime).

Head out to Charles de Gaulle. Cab driver tells us "Your president will be here this weekend." Yes, we know. "Your president is interesting." Yes, we know. "I'm sure you are both tired of people asking about your president." Yes, we are.

Arrive Charles de Gaulle.

Bedlam.

Wait for check in. Hear Americans all over the place.

All Court can think about is David Sedaris, specifically his book Me Talk Pretty One Day and the chapter about the Metro in Paris.

Check in. Discover to our extreme delight that both of our bags are not only acceptable, they are actually UNDERWEIGHT!

Begin to get sad about leaving France. Then stand in typically French line (read MOB) for security and change our minds.

Grab lunch.

Board plane.

Bye bye Paris...sniffles...

Court and Meg celebrate departure by listening to Tom Petty's "American Girl," followed by "Das ist Deutschland."

Court and Meg get giddy about the first beverage service, as they are bound to serve DIET COKE!

Beverage service starts. Ask for Diet Coke. Flight attendant gives us each a can.

Inspect cans. Meg proudly lifts her Diet Coke in sweet triumph. Court does the same. To her horror, Court realizes that she has been given COCA LIGHT!!!

Meg frantically turns and fraps the flight attendant furiously. See the below conversation:

"Excuse me, do you have another Diet Coke? This is Coca Light."

"(In smart ass joking tone) Oh, what Coca Light isn't good enough for you? You have to have the American Version?"

"(in unison)Yes."

"(Eye roll) Hey, so and so (other flight attendant) do you have any more AMERICAN Diet Coke? These girls don't like FRENCH Diet Coke."

Meg and Court bask not only in the glory of their beverages, but also in the fact that they had no hesitation in asking for what they wanted. A la american.

Open cans of Diet Coke at the same time.

Satisfying cracks in unison, which causes several passengers to turn around and stare.

To entertain themselves, Meg and Court play "Spot the Air Marshall" on the plane.

Find him. Or who we think is, anyway.

Spend the rest of the flight dozing, reading, watching tv.

Arrive in Dallas!

Share our first American meal at Chili's. Get WAY too excited about it.

Hostess tells us to "CALM DOWN."

Waiter on the other hand is much more understanding, since he lived in Germany for four years. He knew all about stuff closed on Sunday and jour feries, and kept refilling our glasses of both diet coke and water. And ICE. Lots of ICE.

The roomates of 12 place St. Etienne part ways. The end of an era. Sniffles.

Court arrives Shreveport. Sees Marilyn.

Court is thrilled to see all her bags made it to Shreveport.

Court and Marilyn drive back to Monroe.

Court is about to die from exhaustion until she sees her car in the driveway.

Takes drive around the block.

Yea car!

Driving is weird.

Bed. Time. In a big comfortable bed. Ahhhhh...

**************************************************************************

So what a good journey it was, and on Sunday, Marilyn and I headed to Baton Rouge to visit Yves and Bridget. Surprisingly I am not that jet lagged, and more surprisingly, I am not freaking out as much as I thought I would be, culture shock wise. In some ways it's like I never left, although I only come to Louisiana a few times a year anyway, so maybe that's why. South Bend will be the true test.

Last night we had dinner at Mike Anderson's (I got the Joliet Rouge, whitefish with crab meat and a stuffed potato) and I delighted in ordering a meal to my specifications. Dressing on the side, can you change the fish, can we have more wheat crackers, blah blah blah.

Yea America. It feels good to be back.




6 Comments:

At 1:34 PM, Blogger Carol said...

WELCOME HOME!! I've been waiting for your new post!!!! YAY :)

I went and saw David Sedaris on Saturday night up here in Chicago. So good!

Can't wait to see you up here...
C

 
At 10:45 PM, Blogger Court said...

Thanks! I'm coming back to the Bend on Friday I think! Must get together!

 
At 9:20 PM, Blogger cristina said...

welcome back courtenay. read this last night at nearly 5a, but couldn't bring myself to comment coz i was soooo tired. anyway, glad to hear yer not too freaked out. hope to see ya in tejas in the near future. ciao :)

 
At 1:41 PM, Blogger Christina said...

That account of your trip home was such a delightful read. Your blog is always a delightful read, of course, but I got a contact homecoming-buzz from that. Yay for getting diet Coke! Oh, and happy belated birthday!

 
At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, stupid blogger system... I don't want a friggin account- I just wanted to say hi! It's Meg here and do you realize how much I miss "Das ist Deutschland"? Yeah, surprised me too. Hehe. I miss le cafe et le pain ALREADY!! And by the way- my picture of F*ckhead and the unicycle turned out! hehehehehehe-

yo HLM (hetero life mate) aka Meg

 
At 9:09 PM, Blogger yayaempress said...

Welcome back Court! If you get a chance, come see me in NYC after August 15th. We head to Italy in late July/early August.

 

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