Sunday, 3 May 2015

Weekend trip: French train trip

We are on our way down South from Paris to Bordeaux. In our train coach everyone is in a tired slumber while the rain beats past our fast moving carriage. Everyone except some young kids who won't go to sleep just behind my dad, who can't fall asleep with their chatter. All I hear is people deep breathing and the big black lady next to me lightly snoring with her eyes half shut and dad sighing in exasperation from the lack and want of sleep, from time to time. Poor daddy, still jetlagged from the long flights from the other side of the world. Wait until you get your grandchildren visiting you for the holidays. Though that won't be for a great long while.

We pass greenness after greenness on grey canvas of wet drizzles. These lush plains are the French countryside I know and love. I have spent recent weeks travelling around Italy and the UK, and coming back, I realise just how much France feels home to me. The kids chatter are familiar, the train system is familiar, there is no time wasted trying to figure out each coloured coin's worth at counters. 

I just showed my parents around my old street from four years ago. My old Metro stop has cleaned up. It has blue lights now. There are shops on 'my' street I don't remember. The scary church with the weird Michael Jackson memorial apparently is no longer a church. It has shut down, its cross taken down. Coming back to a place that once used to be home, and seeing it with a different eye, aged eye, experienced eye, is a weird experience. I think I crossed an old acquaintance at my old supermarket. Should I have said hi? Maybe she wouldn't have recognised me, any way.

Slumbering in and out of consciousness towards Bordeaux. In a few years' time, this little city I learnt to love will surely have changed, too. The next time I will have come back and see it in a different eye, at my old neighbourhood that is still as familiar as it is newly unfamiliar. Not just yet, though..

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Updates


  • I have been to see two apartments. I'm finally ending my living room squatting mode and moving into my own room next Monday
  • Went to Italy last weekend! Saw an old friend from a decade ago, one of those friends who I am in awe of because she has this aura about her, you know she will go far in life. Also got to visit Venice for a day, the one city I was told to go and see before leaving Europe in July
  • London weather goes like this: Sunny Mon/Tue, grey Wed/Thu, rainy weekends. So far, anyway. It's coooooold today
  • Things I like about London: Colourful hipster Shoreditch, flat whites, sushi, Indian
  • UK customs have been asking me heaps of questions at the airports. I travel a lot, yes. I am basing myself in London for my last three months of the European stay, yes. But I definitely will return to NZ in July! I love Europe, but, seriously, I love NZ more. It's the best place on earth, where my family and my A are!
  • B&B are on their way to Europe right now, so we are going to Spain together. A is coming in exactly one month, and I am so excited/scared. I miss him like crazy crazy crazy!

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

In transit

On the move from Bordeaux to London.
Apartment hunting.
Making sense of the London public transportation.
One broken cellphone, one French sim card on roaming.
Will be back to share my stories again, soon.

Oh, the places we go, my darlings!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Ready, get set -

The half marathon is finally approaching, J-3. What have I done to myself? Haha, excited and scared at the same time. I've spent the past few months trying to put off going for runs as much as possible, but at the same time, I really enjoy running - with others. Fortunately L has always been there to force me onwards, listening to my crazy puffed singings, my life drama/complaints in general.. Muchas gracias, L! Can't wait to cross that line together on Saturday/Sunday!

On the other hand, the move to London is just as fast approaching.

Things checked off:
  • flight booked
  • couch space for the first couple of days
Things to get under way:
  • pack 
  • arrange apartment visits for next week - I've started scrounging on gumtree.co.uk, spareroom.co.uk, various FB groups, etc. 
Things to do first week in London:
  • get an Oyster card for public transport
  • find apartment - hopefully won't be too difficult. A keeps scaring me saying it'll take awhile, but I'm not looking for a luxurious hotel room. It did take me awhile in Bordeaux, but I'm staying positive
  • fly to Milan for the weekend - so could have been better timed, but it wasn't up to me. 
Let's get going!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Fresh week with fresh juice

It's officially my last week in Bordeaux, and I am busy celebrating, packing, making last minute lists - to see everyone, to cross off those few remaining items on the to-do list.

On Saturday I went for a refreshing run with B - so sad I'm going to miss his concert next month! He keeps tempting me to stay for longer. Haha, these mixed feelings. You aren't making it easier on me, B.

Sunday started off with a freshly squeezed orange juice, like the one A keeps ordering me to take every morning. I'm still working on that. Maybe I'll have succeeded by the time we finally meet again, A. I can't wait.

This weekend, my appetite arrived back with the beautiful weather. So I'm feeling and eating better now. Thank goodness. I have started going through my things to take with me to London/leave behind in Bordeaux. Sell bike - check. This in the give away box. That in the throw away box. And those? Decisions, decisions.

Changes ahead! Bring it on.

Friday, 10 April 2015

London, since you're calling

from here
I thought I'd be in Bordeaux for another few months, but alas, it is not to be. London is calling, and I resisted for as long as I could, but finally bought a one-way ticket to the big city.

In ten days, I am moving. I'm not quite ready.

Don't get me wrong, I think London is a great place with heaps to see and do and eat. I've already been to London and was disappointed not to have crossed off everything on my wishlist. So, that will definitely be on top of my projects to do during my three months in London. I'm excited to meet up with my old friends and to make new acquaintances, of course.

Excited about going to London:

  • Flat whites
  • Teas and scones
  • Doing the touristy things: Notting hill, Tate Modern, Shoreditch, markets
  • West End Musicals!!!
  • Being forced to minimise my belongings

Not so excited about going to London:

  • Leaving Bordeaux and its lovely people when the good weather's finally back
  • especially my housemate J, running buddy L, culture crew K & C, the Node family, the P family...
  • Bordeaux wine
  • No more French every day 
London, bring it on. Would you make a fair lady out of me? 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Weekend Snaps: Tallest in Europe

Finally got to spend the weekend in Arcachon, France, and got to see the tallest sand dune in France! Blue blue skies, blue blue waters, white white sands.. The wind was still a bit chilly, but good weather is definitely on its way!
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