This past weekend was one spent in Chartres. Being only an hour away from Versailles, it was a nice option. Upon boarding the 9:30 train, we realized we hadn’t been moving. It was now 9:45. A voice speaking in French said something we couldn’t understand (we being the Core Four). Everyone got off the train and started yelling at the employees. We found out through incredibly nice English-speaking French men that the reason we hadn’t moved was because the front half of the train had become unhinged from the second half of the train, causing it to leave us behind. We laughed at the ridiculousness of the situation, but boarded the crowded 10:30 train where we were all separated. Michal and I stood the whole way.
Upon arrival to Chartres, we could not believe our eyes. The cathedral was so massive (in its characteristic Gothic nature) that it stole our breath. After an initial moment of stupification, we regained our composure and found a hostel to stay at for the night. We napped, sketched, and stood in the cold for a light show. The cathedral as well as numerous other buildings in the town were lit up. There were activities such as highlighter drawing boards and a field of white paper that looked like snow.
The next morning was, I have to say, the most beautiful morning I ever experienced. I picked the right music to listen to on my iPod and wrote about how I felt. The breakfast at the hostel was better than the dinner the night before (which we are all trying to forget; it was horrible beyond horrible. However, I will say we got some small amount of payback). After climbing innumerable stairs and succumbing to claustrophobia to get to the top of one of the towers of the cathedral, we took a ferris wheel ride to see the town for one last time from up high. Afterwards, we went back to Versailles with a proud sense of accomplishment, a firm sense of adventure, and a new perspective on travel.
Yes, that is the Eiffel Tower lit up. The Core Four (Caitlin, Kelsey, Michal, and I) tore up the streets of Paris. Actually, we just walked, sketched, and took pictures. We also ate at this nice restaurant that had amazing food and gourmet coffee. Our waitress, as nice as she was, was terrible at her job. She kept forgetting to bring us water. She, however, redeemed herself when she showed genuine shock and embarrassment over her mistake. I want her to be our waitress again if we go there. Seeing the Eiffel Tower is an experience everyone should have. It sounds touristy, but it’s this way for a reason. Seeing pictures of the Eiffel Tower your whole life and then suddenly seeing it as you round the corner of a Parisian street is breathtaking.
One thing that Paris makes you feel, aside from astonishment, is calm. I’m sure it’s a common saying: “I can see myself living here/retiring here,” however, I see the legitimacy of this statement. I think the main reason I felt this was because of the sheer amount of book stores. Even though the books were in French, books = calm. It reminded me that I haven’t read in a long time. Zen needs my eyes to travel across its pages.
So, I found out the problem with my computer: the firewall. What a double-edged sword. Turn that shit off and suddenly I have internet. Miraculous. I’m also starting to collect addresses of friends from home, I have a bank account and some money, I’m getting a local cell phone soon, I’m starting to know my way around town, and classes started. In short, I could say that life here is starting to reach an equilibrium. I am by no means at an equilibrium (and I won’t be until I’m back in the states), but at least the scales are starting to tip in my favor. I cannot wait start getting busy and losing sleep. That will fuel my creativity and I’ll hopefully be able to write some decent material amid all of the architectural work and traveling and adjusting to the culture. My life might become more interesting once I actually start traveling. If you’re wondering about pictures, I’ll be posting albums at the end of every month to facebook and tumblr. They will only be the best of the best. I promise they will be worth the wait.
for not updating this in a long time. the internet in versailles is a joke as i don’t have any in my apartment and i probably won’t get any. also, my comp doesn’t let me use public wifi for some unknown reason. hopefully this situation works itself out. for everyone’s sanity’s sake.
I finally saw The Breakfast Club. For the first time. It’s funny how the social commentary in this movie is so relevant today. I guess that’s what makes it so timeless. I will probably revisit this movie in 10 or 20 years and realize not much has changed. The only thing I see differently is that people are more outspoken about their ideas in this movie. Today, it seems people are passive aggressive towards people they find unpleasant. Don’t believe me? See what goes on in your head when you see something you disagree with. Would you rather go on unprovoked or unprovoking? Or would you rather speak your mind and say what needs to be said? Just a thought.