Well, I have an answer for you all. Although most of you already know what it is, I’ll start at the beginning anyway.
With all of the strikes that have recently been going on France, I was a little worried. My mom and her best friend Natalie would be in Barcelona for a weekend before setting out on their week-long Mediterranean cruise, and I had round-trip train tickets to Barcelona for that very weekend to see them. My night-train to Spain was scheduled to leave on Thursday night from Paris, and then I would arrive just around the same time as them in Barcelona on Friday morning. When I got to the train station in Caen (which I once again had to walk to from my dorm due to manifestations going on downtown), trains were still going to Paris, so I figured I was in the clear. I hopped on the train to Paris and arrived without a problem around 4pm on Thursday. I easily took the metro from the Saint Lazare station over to the Austerlitz station, where my Spain train was supposed to be waiting for me. As soon as I arrived at the station, I was bombarded by a huge white sign in the middle of the station with a specific revised list of trains that were departing that day. I didn’t see Barcelona anywhere.
I got super excited on Friday, October 1st, when my friend Cedric, who is in the process of moving to Paris, invited me to come hang out for the weekend. I checked train times, packed, and was ready to leave on Saturday morning when he told me that he wouldn’t be back in Paris until Sunday morning. Well, I still wanted to go. So I called my friend Sean, who is a Baylor student studying in Paris for the semester, to see if I could hang out with him until Cedric got into town. Sean graciously agreed to let me stay with him, and also reminded me that Saturday night was the Nuit Blanche festival in Paris, so I decided to take the next train possible to arrive around 6pm on Saturday. As I was waiting at the tram stop in Caen to go to the train station, an announcement came on that basically said that there was a strike going on downtown and that trams wouldn’t be running for the rest of the day. Seriously?! So, I grabbed my stuff, and started briskly walking to the train station from my dorm which is 8 tram stops/35 minutes away. Luckily I had left early enough so that I still made my train on time! The only thing that threw me off before getting on the train was a text from Cedric that said something along the lines of “I can’t make it to Paris this weekend, I’m really sorry.” Well. I didn’t have any credit left on my phone, so I couldn’t even respond. Things were definitely not going according to plan, and I hadn’t even left yet! Oh boy.
It’s hard to believe that I’ve only been in Caen for four weeks when it feels like I’ve been doing so much! I’m taking 19 hours of classes per week, cooking a lot, still getting lost from time to time, and even traveling a bit.
My classes are going pretty well. Although 19 hours is definitely a lot, and definitely feels like a lot, at least I’m getting basically the same amount of credit at Baylor for the semester. Unfortunately my schedule changed, so now I’m in class from Monday through Friday. Continue reading