Sunday, 19 December 2010

Snow Bunny's Ultimate Winter

Saturday was a great day. I met Alex at the parking building in the morning. He's an American missionary with a growing family, needing a larger car. We were both relieved we could conduct the exercise in English. He was very thorough in his inspection and seemed to know what he was doing. He expected every bit of documentation available to me. In the end, after a test drive, he agreed to buy my car for a discounted price which was reasonable. He was to meet with me today but the snow was too bad so hopefully I will have the money and he will have the car on Tuesday night.I felt so incredibly lucky, but more was ahead.

As I walked back from the meeting, I was accosted by a guy and his colleague with a PA system and a microphone. It seemed I had been chosen to win a prize at the markets. ERR, how was my French, he asked, not good I replied, so he proceeded to ask me a question on famous monuments, in French. I understood 60% which was enough for me to reply with the answer in French. Hello 10 euros to spend at the markets...awesome. Hello thermal underwear- top and bottom for an amazing 10 euros.

The snow had been falling for 14 hours so I decided to get reckless and splash out 30 euros at the market on cheap snow boots. They are rather cheap but are better than the running shoes I've been wearing until now. I was so happy. Not a moment too soon as the snow got thicker and thicker. I changed into my new boots and headed to the gare to meet Brad at the station.

Brad is a fellow couchsurfer who lives in Antwerp, Belgium. He was in Paris for the weekend and we arranged to meet up in Cafeolait. Despite our age difference we have a lot in common. We headed back to my studio where we chatted and I made lunch. Then it was time for a hot chocolate  and then off to the Rambouillet and the Chateau. We were a bit early so I decided we would explore the park in the snow. More good luck- as we were walking, along came two men in a wagon drawn by a drafthorse. The driver invited us up for a free ride. Cool, Brad and I were beaming. The horse picked up speed and the slipstream blew the driver's hat off into the snow. His colleague retrieved it and we all laughed like school kids.

Brad enjoyed seeing the inside of the Chateau. It's a pity I'm not allowed to take photos. More good luck... they decided to give us a commentary in English. The young lady who is training to be an archeologist had a strong accent and spoke quietly but I picked up a few new bits of historical info. The snow was turning into a whiteout as Brad and I and our guide set out to walk a kilometre to the seashell cottage and then on to the Queen's Dairy. This was my third visit but it's always impressive. By the time we had finished the tour the sun had gone down and night was on us. We walked along the snow-covered road in the dark- it was so beautiful even though it was not comfy. My hands and feet were freezing but I can dress now to keep my body core temperature at a normal level. The exercise helped too. Brad caught a train safely back to Paris and I watched the young ice-skaters enjoying the temporary rink in the snowstorm.

There's no point in stopping doing things just because the weather is awful, because it's like that most days now. Today I walked down the middle of the snowy street hauling my trundler to the laudromat and back twice. I'm an expert now. After lunch I decided to catch a bus to the shopping mall. Yuck, it was now raining with a stiff icy wind that rattled and shook the bus shelter where I huddled for the bus. No bus came...still no bus came. After 40 mins I still saw no buses or passengers so back home I went. Checking the internet revealed all buses were cancelled for 3 days due to the snow.

All up it's been a great weekend, except I cut a finger again on the bread knife. Again? Yeah, lost my co-ordination as my hands were frozen and I was desperate for something to eat. Lots and lots of blood again but this time I had the stuff to make a bandage. Things are definitely looking up.

Photos of Brad and I and our snowy day


Alison said...

Yay! A great weekend all round. :-)

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