With just about forty days left before I hit the skies for France, the pace of preparation is beginning to pick up.
It’s no mystery that my excitement for this novel research trip overflows. Hiding my enthusiasm is not a thing I even attempt to muster a capacity to achieve.
Last week, friends offered incredible amounts of wisdom and high-fiving when I opened up on social media about the bits and pieces of this trip which worry me: getting mugged on the RER from CDG to Gare du Nord; leaving my luggage at the hotel before check-in; passport security.
The best advice I received: “Everyone is going to know you are not French anyway. Just don’t look foolish.”
I totally concur and would give this advice to anyone coming to Vancouver. I cannot tell you how often I see out-of-towners with their backpacks unzipped, luggage unattended, wallets and Iphones hanging out on the Skytrain and while they are waiting for the bus. It’s like saying, “Here, have my $700 cash and three credit cards. I really wanted to visit the consulate here in Vancouver anyway. My old passport photo sucked and I wanted to pay $250 to rush a new one with the money you just stole from me.”
Now, I can’t help but stop said tourists and let them know of their prone condition before something truly shitty happens to them. I tell myself it is my wee investment in maintaining the “Canadians are the nicest people” reputation. Really, though, it’s a selfish act of karma stacking.
It’s official. I must be traveling soon because I just had the “Forgot my passport and missed my flight” dream last night.
I have the same dream in the same dream-dimension airport where I end up in some version of a country I can’t identify near the ocean in the desert every time I go someplace.
It’s like the high school exam dream. Plus, with this one, five people I hardly know decided to come to France with me. That was probably the worst part. 😉
Finally, last night, I discovered les bouquinistes de Paris.
I suspect the reason my lovely friends did not reveal their existence to me is they knew it would deeply impact my Paris itinerary (and budget).
I now fear and delight that all I will see of the City of Lights is the left bank of the Seine from Pont Marie to Quai Voltaire. That is entirely untrue, as I will be tracing the path of The Woman On The Wall’s main character, Elijah Gale.
I also will have to make sure I know the location of the closest location of La Poste. There will be a need for packages of written things to be mailed.