So… I’m in Europe. I knew this was coming, but it wasn’t real until I got out of the airport in Barcelona. Then, it REALLY settled in when I woke up and was still in the same place, confirming I wasn’t dreaming.
Much detail could be gone into about the voyage… but all in all it went smoothly. I didn’t end up in Australia and I kept all of my baggage. There was a slight delay on my last flight, and a family of 4 sitting a row ahead and to the left of me had some very bad hygeine problems that caused many on the plain to gag. I left my bags with another Arcadia student, Eleanor, and got myself a hostel not too far from her place and the station.
We had made tentative plans to go out that Friday night, but I just slept and woke up at 5am to go to the train station and head to Nice, France.
The trip to Nice is surprisingly long and requires 2 transfers. 12 hours on a train! Look at a map… they’re really not that far apart. Japan has forever spoiled my train experiences. Nothing will ever again compare. On the plus side, I met a nice Canadian couple who now live in France, and we hung out a bit and sat by each other on the train to Avignon, then went our separate ways.
Finally, I got to Nice. At the train station, I couldn’t find anybody who could (willingly) speak English. This surprised me, not that I expect them to speak English in France, but because this is quite the tourist town. You would think they would hire multi-linguals for information booths. Somehow through gestures and latin roots I was able to get some kind of directions to my hostel… if I could even call it that at that point, considering I hadn’t even called to see if rooms were available. The EU has made it really easy to travel between countries. Calling between countries, however, remains quite expensive and confusing. On that note.. since my parents probably won’t read this… somebody call them and tell them what’s going on.
Last night was fun. I went to a Chinese restaurant because it was so late. The food was good, and I ordered a Rose table wine that was excellent… only 0.80 Euro for 2 glasses worth. Yum. I then went to a dance club and stayed out until 5:30am… fun stuff.
Oh, that reminds me. Europe works on standard college time. Wake up late, dinner at 10pm… go to bed at 2am. If you stay up late, then you’re watching the sun rise. I think I’ll like this. Tonight, though, I’m heading in early.
Nice is a beautiful city. The people can be hit or miss on friendly or spiteful. I went to some ruins today, walked around the Mediterranean along the promenade des Anglais to watch the sun set. There is also a contemporary art museum. They had a pitiful display of Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and Rothko which hardly represented the actual styles we’ve come to know and hate by them all. At the top of the museum is a buch of very oddly shaped terraces which you can walk around. I watched an intersection for a while, and some chaos that insued over a car trying to make too sharp of a left turn. No damage occured, not even any form of contact, but everybody got out of cars yelling at each other on who should be moving where (in French, making it even funnier for whatever reason. I guess French is just not a harsh sounding language).
I suddenly became really sad standing way up there watching down on the city. Part of me feels like I want to be a part of this city, country, continent. Then a realization that I never could be and never was was just overwhelming. I’ll be seeing so many great places that I’ll never truly be a part of, but certainly wish to be. I wish I knew all of the language and customs. There is just no time… no way. Not in the short spans that we are given on Earth. Sobeit. I’ve decided that for now I am a ghost watching a live history book, that is, until I get back to Barcelona.