J’ai arrive!

So I woke up on Saturday super early , 4 am because I got a Charlie horse in my left leg and I couldn’t sleep. The time zone jet lag was causing havoc. I decided to hop online to talk to my people while I still had Internet access not knowing if my host would have it or not. Next thing I knew it was 6 and I was staying up to Skype Thad who was still at dinner with his work group for another half hour. I was tired I could tell but too excited and nervous to sleep. Finally I skyped and then took another nap until my alarm went off at 9:20.

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Then I took another shower and got water all over the floor. By then it was only a few minutes and breakfast arrived. I happily ate it though i wasn’t hungry and then packed up my stuff and headed down to checkout. From there I took the shuttle to the airport to meet an IAU representative at 11. Only I didn’t know where to meet them.
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So after 10 minutes of walking around I decided they weren’t there and that if they didn’t arrive in half an hour that I was going to go and call them. But then while I was standing there an older lady on the phone saw me and came over and started telling me she was from the college and stuff and that Madame Raibaud (my host) was so sad that I didn’t come stay with her for last night and that her son in law was going to come get me but that fell through so she was putting me on the bus to Aix and paying my ticket. She rushed me on and told me not to get off until I stopped twice paid my ticket and ran away.
So I sat on the bus while we drove out of Marseille looking like a total tourist as I took a bunch of pictures. But whatever. We stopped and I didn’t get off. And then once we got to Aix I wasn’t sure whether this was really my stop because I wanted to be totally sure.
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 The driver said it was so I hopped out and saw an older woman and a little ginger boy holding a sign with my name! We got my stuff out of the bus and Madame insisted on carrying one of my bags. Ginger headed Paul tried to help but was discouraged that my duffel was heavy but was delighted to find that my suitcase with four wheels could be pushed around. Once he got tired of that Madame and I both pushed it around stopping to lift it out of little storm drains or holes in the ground. Madame pointed out budings to me as we walked about 15 minutes to her house. It was also really hot and my vocal cords were starting to act up from carrying this heavy suit case up hills.
Once we turned onto Rue novembre Paul ran ahead to a man that I learned was Jean-Claude who is Paul’s dad and Madame’s son in law. But not because I guess they aren’t really married yet but they say they will be. He speaks some English so he started asking me how my trip was. We spoke English a bit and then Paul got mad so we switched back to French. Paul is probably like 7 or 8? They call him “Paul the Terrible” because he is a free spirit.
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When we finished lugging my suitcase to the third floor (Paul, Jean-Claude and Madame’s daughter live below us) Madame insisted that we eat. Which as really not high on my want to do list since my stomach already wasn’t handling eating breakfast well. I begrudgingly said sure. We talked while she made lunch.
She asked me what I wanted to drink and I said whatever she had was fine. Then when she came and set the table she put a one liter bottle of absolute vodka on the table. And my bought was “ohhhh no this lady goes hard I do not want to do this.” And then she says ” it’s water” and I felt so much better!!! But I was still apprehensive drinking it! :-)

She asked about what I like and don’t like. Then made me lunch which was tomatoes and mozerella, salad; and an avocado. Not wanting to be rude I tried to eat it even though I a) wasn’t hungry b) don’t want to be picky but I really can’t stomach tomatoes well at all. Avocados either but it is easier to chew those and not taste them than it is a tomato. So after trying to eat them and getting most of the avocado down I had two bites of tomato and my tag reflex kicked in and sold me out… I literally almost threw up… Which made me feel really bad because I was trying to be good about it. But she told me I didn’t have to eat it so I didn’t. I told her my stomach wasn’t adjusting very well and I wasn’t very hungry. She sort of understood. Then we went back into town and walked around. She showed me some buildings like the office de tourisme and the marie which is like the town courthouse. We also passed by a church that was super pretty and old looking and of course a lot of fountains.

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We stopped at the monoprix which is like the only supermarket place in town, otherwise everything oh buy comes from a store that is specific to a type of product. There I bought soap and face wash, lotion, an adapter for euro plugs and toothpaste. We had to go to a pharmacy to get contact solution. After walking around we came back and I was so tired that I took a nap for 3 hours. Oops…
After that we had dinner which a was pasta with stuff in it. Really specific I know but I dunno what it was perhaps spinach stuff? Again I wasn’t very hungry and she told me that if I didn’t eat more I would come back skinny and my mother would say that I was never fed! After every meal she offers me fruit or cheese or something but I am always so full. But it is nice here.
After dinner we watched a really cool game show that I can only compare to the end part of Legends of the Hidden Temple but harder and one room at a time. The concept is that there is this big castle and the wizard has a treasure so you have to collect keys to unlock it by winning them doing all these crazy things in each room. It was really cool. And had no commercials for two hours! What! I wish American game who’s were like that. Anyways at the end they won 18k € which all go to charity so it is pretty cool.
After that we went to bed and I figured out how to get Internet for my iPod. So now I have communication again! My room:

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One thought on “J’ai arrive!

  1. You certainly have had an interesting beginning. Your post was lively and informative. You’re a good observer and you have a certain flair to your writing. I look forward to future posts. Michele

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