France Day 5 – Escargot Train…

*I’m on vacation, hopefully far away from a computer/paint brush/box/dirty apartment. So my blog is taking a vacation too. Back to June 2008, during my first trip to France with my shiny brand new passport and my shiny brand new French boyfriend. This was my first trip abroad and I”m surprised David didn’t dump me when we got home.

Leaving the south of France was hard. Swimming and seafood are too of my favorite things. But we ditched the car and climbed aboard the Bullet Train.
Trains are so romantic. My i-pod started playing only sad songs. “Don’t You Forget About Me” came on, which reminded me of Maza and the scratch on my hand she gave me to remember her by while I was gone. I looked out the window and thought deep thoughts and came up with all sorts of philosophical bullshit ideas.
I think it all stemmed from the night before when I almost forgot my Visa card at the gas station, and then I was rushing around packing and tripped over my laptop cord and broke David’s wall adaptor.

Instead of getting mad, like a normal person, David made a joke and said I “need to stop being so violent” and practice Jedi mind tricks like, “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” Which was funny, but he’s right. I am always so impatient I never savor the moment. 

One of the last things my dad said to me was, “Stop reading that book and enjoy the scenery”. We were on our way back from camping in Monterey, and I was completely oblivious to the beautiful views and the man sitting beside me. And instead of relishing the fact that I had him all to myself for once, with no other sisters competing for his attention, I was off in my own little world, which is always there, unlike real moments in time.

I had also been chatting with my mom about how France was going and she told me I need to stop trying to make my vacation like my normal life and have a better sense of humor about the problems I was encountering. I am used to being alone a lot of the time, snacking all day instead of eating real meals, instant gratification and constant stimulation and a fast-paced nine hour day at work. My mom told me that I was acting like a child, but in such a sneaky way that I thought it was MY observation. 

So, while on a train going 230 miles per hour, I thought about how I need to slow down, and not be so hard on myself and other people. And like magic the world slowed down and I could enjoy the scenery tree by tree. And then it slowed down even more so I could enjoy branch by branch. Then it slowed down even more and I started to notice the world leaf by leaf. 

Then they announced “De 30 mn on passe a indetermine” and the train completely stopped in the middle of no where.
Our train was 56 minutes late, which means the price of our tickets was refunded. France doesn’t tolerate late trains. I wish Amtrak had this policy. I would probably get a refund half the time I took it.

David’s brother, father and his father’s girlfriend met us at the station and we went to lunch. Breakfast had been half a banana, so when we finally ate at 1:30 I was STARVING. David’s family spent lunch putting weird shit in my mouth, watching my reaction, and then telling me what I had just eaten. Good times!

Christian gave me some of her chicken and beef livers. Blech. David’s dad had me try some of his meal, which was sausage made of pig inards, eh just tasted like sausage I guess. Pigs cheeks “joie” from Regis’ plate was chewy and weird, and blood sausage from David’s plate was the same color as chocolate cake, had the same texture and didn’t really taste meaty at all. Just really rich. I didn’t mind that they wanted to laugh at my expense. I thought it was sweet that they shared food from their plates with me. When David and I eat out, we always switch plates at some point or at least try each others food. My sister almost didn’t marry her husband because he eats like a prisoner and guards his plate and doesn’t want anyone touching it. 

The sculptor forgot the stir-up so he got sent to the guillotine

Then we walked around Lyon. We climbed up a huge hill to visit a church. I lit a candle for my Grandmother, who was Catholic and then we headed to the suburbs of Lyon, to stay with Regis and his wife Nanou and their daughter Leanne.

Maza got sick of walking and had a temper tantrum

striking about the price of gas or something

 It was nice to be in a house and out in the countryside where it is all green like Vermont. We had apertifs (pastis for me please!) and a great home cooked meal that consisted of pasta and cheese so there was no more hanky panky like at lunch. David’s father doesn’t speak a word of english, but he showed me all sorts of magic tricks to do in bars, and I am looking forward to trying to get free drinks with them.


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