Due to the Barcelona mishap, I found myself in a car on the way to Lille for the weekend. After being dropped off at one of the train stations, I realized I had about an hour before Michel got off of work. I decided to wander through Lille Europe, a huge shopping center in between the two train stations. It was just like an American mall, although I had to pay to use the bathroom – definitely not American! Once I found my way to the other train station where we were supposed to meet, I just hung around near a big fountain out front until it started to rain. Luckily, Michel showed up pretty soon after and we hopped on a train to Hazebrouck, a town just outside of Lille where Michel lives.
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.