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Friday, August 24, 2007

The last of the last

I can’t hide it any longer--- I am now back in the States in home-sweet-home Atlanta!!!!!!  Thankfully the flight adventures coming home were non-existent compared to the chaos on the way over. (whew!) Lyon to London – just dandy, even if they saw metal in my bags, yet couldn’t locate it, let me walk through with my shoes on, and finally just said whatever and have a great flight…
I had some time to kill in the London-Heathrow airport, so I strolled through the Duty Free shops.  They were offering full-size drink samples – you should have seen the line for martinis at 8:45 in the morning (yes, I was in line…).  On the flight from London to New York, my dinner options consisted of “Butt of Chicken” or “Lamb Cottage Pie”.  I was so torn… 
Once I landed in NYC, the marvel of Customs and Immigration was before me - Customs took my chicken sandwich and grapes, wouldn’t even let me step outside the barriers to consume it, but curiously missed the ridiculously strong French cheese smell dispersing through the air from my luggage.  I guess we all have our tendencies to see (and smell) what we want to or expect?...  And apparently (and fortunately!) I don’t look or smell like cheese.

As much as I have enjoyed writing to everyone, it is time to wrap-it up; my ramblings can only continue for so long!  I've had so many magnificent days and nights this summer that I hope to never forget.    Thank you all for allowing me the opportunity to take you on this journey with me; I hope very much that you have enjoyed seeing a summer in France through my eyes.  I appreciated every letter, email and note I received – thank you all mille fois!

To end, I offer you:

A few things I learned this summer…

  • It is not advisable to buy 8 pounds of green peppers in one week at the market, particularly when they are to be consumed by only one person during that week.
  • It is difficult to eat 8 pounds of green peppers in one week and continue to like them after the first 3 days.
  • Constantly switching between American and French keyboards is a pain in the butt for the fingertips and the mind.
  • No matter how many times I use a hand-held shower head, and of course without shower curtains b/c they are not the norm in Europe, I will inevitably flood the floor… Every.  Single.  Night.
  • A flooded floor takes approximately 3 days to dry, unassisted.  Turning on the bathroom radiator and shutting the door reduces the time to only 1 day.
  • Butter is appropriate to add to anything edible.
  • “Happy hour” translates the same in all languages.
  • Drinking too much at a bar happens occasionally.  Leaving a bar at 3am is fine.  Hopping on a rented bicycle at 3am after leaving the bar is fine too. Riding on the handlebars of a bike at 3am after leaving a bar and having drank too much is… not a good idea unless you want to crash!
  • Don’t eat yogurt for breakfast.
  • Don’t rely on businesses, TV shows or newspapers to continue to operate during the summer months, especially August.  Europeans take vacation for months on end, and literally just close their doors.  I went through 3 morning talk shows and 2 newspapers in just 2.5 months!  Show is off the air, filled by home shopping channels instead, and newspapers aren’t in print for all of July, or August, or both!  Even the bar 500 feet from my apartment closed for 1.5 months. Finally I settled on watching the Berenstain Bears while eating breakfast in the morning.
  • A person can indeed survive without a cell phone or home phone for 2.5 months.  Helps to have internet access to maintain sanity, however…

I could go on and on…  some of these require no explanation whatsoever.  Others, well, it depends on how well I know you… ;)

It has been my pleasure...Jessie

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