A Brief History of Paris (day 1)

February 24, 2006

Well, well, well. We went to Paris, as some people know. We are now in Canada, but pretend, as you read this, that I’m writing from our lovely little room in Paris.

So, we left Joburg in clear weather, after being dropped off by the nick-ster and enjoying a beer with the Wothas, to begin our Journey. Both of us felt like it was really just a holiday (still feels like that actually) and although the excitement subsided as the flight dragged on, it mounted again as we landed in Charles De Gaulle. They has Pride and Prejedice on the plane, Dawn. Neither of us could keep our eyes open for it though. . Nothing of any interest happened at the airport as we checked our bags into long-term storage (thanks, Fuzz), and climbed aboard the rush-hour-train to the centre of town. We slipped on our gloves, scarves and beenies as we stepped off the train into the -3 weather and walked to the Pyramid that forms the entrance to the Louvre Musee. Unfortunately, it’s closed on Tuesdays, so we had to make other plans.

We made our way to check into the Hotel, to try get rid of our bags and then headed for the Tower Eiffel. What an awesome experience. It was grey and chilly and rainy, and that just added to the totally European Vibe of it. Also, it kept those damned tourist away. The wind was whipping up on the first level (which took some work to get Claire up onto. Not a heights fan) where we took some photos (as you do), but oh what a way to see Paris. Unfortunately we will have to post-post those, since our meticulous planning neglected the digi-cam battery, so we only got some shots on day 2 (stay tuned for blurry Louis Vuitton photo). We decided to head towards Les Invalides (Napoleans Tomb), and stopped at a little Italian place for some lunch. We actually settled on it because we were looking all over for something not too expensive and authentic and the little italian man popped his head out the door and invited us in. Pizza in Europe (I have it on authority that its not just France) is weird. They don’t bake the topping in. Its kind of sprinkled on the top, with very little cheese. Good, but different.

We got to Les Invalides, and since the ticket price included the Museum of War (nice, right?) we whipped around there first. Armour is cool. Now, when I was in Paris before (seasoned traveller that I am) the next bit was the highlight for me. Napolean was an insane dude, and the people here love him (almost as much as he himself). This is evident in his tomb. Unbelievable. Huge, open, beautiful, oppulent, awe-inspiring. Take your pick. As much as I gushed before, Claire was still blown away. His 6-layer casket alone is mad. Its about 4 metres high and carved out of solid marble.

Next we decided to walk across towards the golden bits of stuff in the distance. We didn’t know what they were, but we thought that someone had gone to such trouble, we should at least go look. Turns out its the bridge over the Seine leading towards the Palaces, and the Palaces themselves. Unfortunately the big one is closed (except its really just a big gallery now, so not completely historical), but the Petit Palais was open, and even better, FREE!! Its also a gallery, really, but of some pretty impressive old goodies. We especially loved the Monet tucked into the one little corner (painting, not the actual guy).

From there, we decided to make our way back to the hotel and re-group. More on that later.


Commenting

February 20, 2006

Yo.

Just a quick note: When commenting, please don’t select “Anonymous”, but rather “other”. It lets you put your name in, but you don’t have to sign in or anything. We want to know who is commenting. We’re clever, not psychic :).

Okay, that is all.

T-Minus 0 Days. ITS TODAY !!!!!

I feel scared for the first time. Wish we were busier so I didn’t have time to think. Damn my efficiency (Okay, so it was Claire’s, but damn it anyway).


life without friends is like like chocolate without sugar

February 18, 2006

Right now I’m so, so tired. SO, so, so tired. I’m feeling numb I suppose. Its weird how at crunch time these defense mechanisims kick in. That or I’m just exhausted. Saying goodbye to mum and dad this morning was awful, in my heart at that moment it felt like it was the last time I’ll ever see them, I know its not, I’ll be back in under a year. I think its just the distance that makes it feel like it’ll be forever. I have loved having them so close after 6 years away, I am really going to miss them.

We cleaned out the flat entirely today, its ready for the tenents, I don’t want to see it again until it looks like this again, clean and tidy and ready for us to move back. The thought of someone else living there is too much. Having to shed yorself of all your possessions, all your small, carried up from cape town, schleped from res to digs to here stuff, is quite an experience. I’ve begun to realise more than ever that I don’t want my life to be about stuff, about things I have, I want it to be about things I’ve done.

Anyway its late. Good night my dear friends. You are dearer now than ever, and having to leave makes me realise it all the more.


The Last Supper

February 18, 2006

Just got back now from one of the most awesome drinks/dinners ever, eh. Hopefully everyone who was there will be visiting this page very very soon, eh. If this is your first time here, please leave a comment, eh. Would be cool to know who is listening, eh.

So who all was there, eh?

Also…


I know some people managed to duck from the pictures, but thanks for coming, everyone. Now get on with commenting. We are going to be in the middle of flippen nowhere, with bears and mooses (or possibly meese, not moses), so we need contact.

Cold enough for ya, eh?

It’s late now, but I guess if we are going to do any real-time communications, one of us is going to have to get used to that.

T-Minus 2 Days…


Family

February 18, 2006

It’s been goodbye day. We started with a quick cup of coffee, followed by a more lengthy cry with Claire’s folks. I even got a little froggy. They have been so unbelievably helpful I couldn’t help getting a touch emotional. Awesome people. I have been accepted like a child of their own. Fortunately my family have accepted Claire in much the same way (I think they invite me place because they know Claire will come, actually). Breakfast was quite a questions and answers session, which we’ve discovered is the best thing for us because it brings us back to why we are leaving and makes the admin all seem like its worth it again. Its so easy to get bogged down with stuff that you forget that its an amazing adventure we’re going on.

Fireman and Doctor. It seems to have stuck. Now i’d BETTER get that fireman job. House-Man and Doctor doesn’t quite have the same humanitarian ring.

T-Minus 3 days….


Claire’s crying

February 16, 2006

So, well I’ve been crying a bit. Despite my excitment. I’m getting really sad to leave Jo’burg. I’m really sad to be leaving my mum and dad. Weird for a 26 year old girl. But that old saying about not knowing what you have until its gone, well at least ’til its going is true. I hate that it is. I think human nature is both predictable and unbelievably adaptable. I know I will be fine, and more than fine, I know I will be happy, it is just the way people are, you adjust, you make do. We are all optimists when pushed, we will find the good in the sad, the unfamiliar, the cold, the hard – because if we don’t, what is the alternative? I also am a strong seeker of the hard, the challange, not just for the sake of it, but because I am not who I can be yet, and without challenge I will never know who I am capable of becoming.

So through my own quest for a better self, I must leave. I must leave the best friends I have ever known, without fully knowing that our friendships will stand the test of time. I must leave my mum and dad, my sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, evryone who loves me – who has to love me. I must leave the chocolate babies that I live to help. I must leave the warm sun. Our little house. My car. The friendly security guards in our complex. South Africa. Africa.

For now, I am unsure what for. If we return I know it will be for a longing for all that we have missed and love and with a knowledge that this is where we want to be. If we don’t, well then there will be better. Right now it feels like we’re going on an adventure, a long holiday. Its the same feeling I had before I went to varsity, and before I knew it it had been 6 years and Cape Town was my home.

So. Thats it for today. Hopefully through the wonders of technology I’ll be able to keep in touch. I can only hope you will miss me as much as I’ll miss you. I miss you already.


Buy

February 15, 2006

The work is over. Claire did her last South African work last night at Nelspruit Medi-Clinic. She was contracted to work 5 calls for them (back when we were desparate for cash) and when the Canadian stuff all came through she tried to cancel. However, she didn’t count on them having a lazy chick there who didn’t want to do the calls and making such a stink. After much anguish and phoning she managed to get rid of all but the one last night. Let me just say, Nelspruit is a long commute for work. I don’t recommend it. 350km each way. Phew.

Before we left yesterday, Claire got a call from Standard Bank’s Fraud devision. After much stress we realised that they were just checking up on the huge amount of spending we did the day before. Boots, Thermal undies, Jackets, socks. Winter things cost more than summer things. But we are officially kitted for the arctic (or Yorkton).

More packing. More painting. Almost ready to go.