Friday, 14 May 2010

The Phoenix has landed




Despite years of trying to get here, dreams in flames and unexpected obstacles I am really in France. Am I jumping up and down in excitement? Strangely, no. I remain relaxed, everything is new but everything is ‘normal’. I’m so hungry. It’s almost lunchtime and I haven’t eaten since 4am this morning.

I’m glad I planned thoroughly but there was a nail-biting moment when the disembodied voice on the Air France Bus to Gare Paris Montparnasse announced we would arrive at 9.58 am. My train was to leave at 10am. A Singaporean man and I looked at each other in horror. Two hours to bus from the airport to Paris? I sat there for a moment feeling helpless and silly but then thought- better see what I can do to get back on track. I spoke to the bus driver and explained my situation. He said no problem I would arrive on time. I had to trust him. It appears that Paris traffic can be very challenging but on this occasion the motorways were flowing freely. The Singaporean made his stop at Gare de Lyon and I made mine in time too.
As the plane taxied on the runway at CDG I was a bit surprised to see numerous rabbits bounding about as we cruised past. No casserole de Lapin?

The TGV is a wonderful creation. It leaves on time. It was almost imperceptible that we had taken off. I saw the station moving but there was no sensation that it was really me inside the train which was moving. It’s so smooth and quiet. I can even plug in my laptop to the free power socket. No internet but it’s great to replenish my battery. That just leaves me to be replenished, in Rennes.

What a beautiful countryside. The trees are wearing their newest clothes, everything is so ordered, tidy, beautiful. I suppose that when a country has been established for 2000 years even the grass and trees know how to present themselves at their best. Even the wind turbines seemed to be at peace alongside the pretty little farms and villages.

And coming up, the next stage of getting to know France will be to meet and get to know Pascal, whom I have never met but who has so kindly offered to be an ambassador for France and look after me for two days.

2 comments:

Defogger said...

I am so utterly thrilled for you. You amazing woman! You have done it! Against all the hassles, challenges, tribulations and other higher magnitude barriers, you have tasted your homeland. It is with mixed emotion that I know I am saying 'Good bye' sometime soon as a result. I love your description of arrival and the knowledge that you are totally soaking everything in, even the shocks of 'Can I make my connection?' I appreciate being able to watch from afar and ride your coattails on this awesome adventure of yours. love and hugs from a big fan.

penteco said...

Super news
Enjoy everything!!!!!

Helen

Post a Comment

I welcome your comments, contributions and feedback.