Right now I should be in Italy, walking along the banks of Lake Como with my friend Simone who grew up in the area.
Instead I’m sitting in my uncomfortable writing chair (must do something about that) in Paris wondering just why I put up with France sometimes.
See, there was a huge national strike on Tuesday. Yes, yes, nothing new. It’s la rentree, everyone’s back, might as well go on strike.
Fine. My flight was scheduled on Wednesday. I checked Easyjet’s flight before leaving to make sure it was still on. Yes, it said. Planifie.
Only, when I get to CDG airport, the flight was not planifie. Not planned at all. A great big annule, in fact. Wait in line to rebook. Unhelpful ticket agent who does not want to tell me why the flight is cancelled. After about my fifth time asking, he finally says, quite haughtily, well, Madame, there was a big national strike yesterday.
Yes, yes, I’m aware, I said. That was yesterday. And today is today.
But let’s not belabor the point. When can I get out of here?
Oh, Friday? As in, not tonight, not tomorrow, but in 2 days from now? Oh, and you do not want to pay me for the expenses of my fruitless trip out here? Right. Ok. Do you think I should go now, before I reach across the desk and strangle you?
Sigh. I’m booked to leave tomorrow. Yes, in theory, I could have tried to book with another company, then fought with Easyjet again to get reimbursed, or spent another day in the airport today waiting standby.
These things I simply did not want to do. I took the RER B back home (which, by the way, will not be running on weekends through November 7 – you know, just another added convenience) and pouted for awhile. It was raining when I got out of the train and I dragged my wet suitcase the few blocks to my apartment, visions of Italy fading into the gloomy Paris day.
I could go on with the despair, but really, why bother? The most interesting/bizarre fact is that I actually managed to regroup after a few hours and get a lot of work done. And I started feeling good. Why in the world am I feeling good when instead of being in Italy I’m writing snappy copy for a freelance project? I am strange, people. Sometimes, maybe just a tad too positive.
I’m going to go to an open house at a nearby dance studio tonight and look into taking some classes. Maybe a little hip-hop for the rentree. There’s also an American cupcake stand in Printemps Nation today, that I might just have to go check out, too. France gives you a strike, you make…well, I guess I make the most of it by dancing to hip-hop and eating cupcakes.
Wish me luck for tomorrow. I’m actually off to a Saturday wedding in an ice cream factory. Yes, you read that right. The groom’s family runs a gelateria in a small town called Reggio and he and his American bride are having a ceremony there. Strikes, soggy train rides, silly French ticket agents – none of that will keep me from it.