||[Aug. 6th, 2005|04:37 pm]
|||||sarah vowell on this american life||]|
I spent one week in frejus, a small town close to the Mediterranean Sea, and after a really bad sunburn that turned my previously snowwhite skin into a red traffic light we decided that it would be better to visit cannes, nice and marseille instead of spending more time at the beach. the sunburn was the worst thing that happened to me in this month (which is really good, considering the fact that we didn´t even know where we would go or where to sleep), so i consider it a good, though painful sign.
after frejus, we took the tgv to lyon, where we actually only wanted to stay for one night to go on to paris right away, but then we stayed there cause it looked like vienna and we were hit by a sudden stroke of homesickness. I highly recommend lyon to anyone who goes to france, the youth hostel there is pretty (but on a hill, you will find it if you follow the poor, exhausted people that are hardly visible under their huge backpacks), the city itself is beautiful. there was a music festival going on when we were there, and i fell in love with a new band called les becs bien zen (you might find three live tracks online on their webpage but i forgot the URL)
so, after lyon we went to paris and stayed in the 3 ducks hostel, another recommendation if you don´t care for luxury but for a good atmosphere and many, many english speaking people (not even the staff spoke french properly, with only one exception) and open air showers. it´s not only a hostel, but also a pub.
i sound like a travel guide. gosh.
no matter how long you stay in paris, it is not long enough. i will return soon. the eiffel tower and the mona lisa are less spectacular than you would expect, but i guess that´s what everyone says about paris.
thought about people i met in france: first of all, two of total five roommates we had were nutritionists. that must be some kind of conspiracy, cause i haven´t met a single nutrionist in the preceding eighteen years. and every single irish person i´ve met since i was in ireland was really nice, although i didn´t meet a single nice irish person when i actually was in dublin. ok, i didn´t talk to too many people there, but its weird. sadly, the only thing i remember about him is his name and one of his stories. he once went to germany with some other englishspeaking people and one of them asked a guy to teach him some german swear-words, whereupon he started to run around calling everyone a "gänseblümchen", thinking that it was the worst thing he could say to a person. gänseblümchen means daisy. why anyone would want to go to germany and insult everyone, i don´t know, but he didn´t deserve any better than being humiliated in that admittedly cute way.
after paris, we went to brussels where we didn´t see anything cause we left the railway station through the wrong exit and were lost without a map in a poor suburb, whereupon we decided to go on to amsterdam right away, then to germany (kassel, berlin, munich).
considering the fact that my life is about as adventurous as watching grass grow, this month was...too much for me, so many impressions, so many conversations with people i´d just met and will, unfortunately, never see again, but thats one of the points about interrail, and its ridiculous to take pictures because they never, ever, grasp the full amount of what happened. when i came home, i felt trapped like a lab rat, i wanted to leave right away and sleep in a different city every single day and this feeling hasn´t disappeared yet.
i want to do that again.
on the other hand it was an absurd situation because i travelled with two friends, and the whole point of this adventure was figuring out what i want and who i am and one of the results is that i don´t have much in common with these two people. so, while trying to get away from my past and from the previous 18 years which i spent in the same environment, i dragged parts of exactly this past with me. but it wasn´t terrible or something, they are still the same nice and helpful and great persons, but apart from finding each other more likeable than other people we know, we don´t share anything. and now i have to move on, and figure out what i am going to do.
one of the two is going to australia for half a year and i am convinced that she will return as a different person, less naive, less ... i don´t know, unspoilt by reality. she will lose that wonderful childishness i love so much, but probably i am just wrong, and not everyone changes just because he lives in a less protective environment.
does that still make sense?