The Journey

Well, I am now fully moved in to my apartment in Saint Etienne, France. I cannot believe it has only been 6 days – I’ve already done so much. But before I get to that, let me tell you about the arduous journey.

Last Sunday, I left my house around quarter past 1 with my mom, dad and sister, after a long night of packing and repacking, and then unpacking and repacking yet again.

We arrived at JFK with plenty of time for my 6:00 pm flight, and upon entry to the terminal I noticed the departure board. I found my flight, but saw something written under the “Remarks” section… “Now 8:30.”

Well apparently the flight was delayed. I went and did the normal business with checking in and after a little time saying goodbye to my family, I got in line for the T.S.A. security checkpoint.

After being second in line at one machine, for probably 10 minutes, the officers finally decided the computer was broken and we had to move.

Eventually I got through, but to no real exciting end – all I had to look forward to for the next several hours was waiting in the airport. Boring.

Finally, about three or more hours late for the original time, we boarded the plane and had another round of waiting – but this time, on the tarmac.

The next morning, we arrived at the Charles De Gaulle airport, just outside of Paris… If the late arrival was not disconcerting enough for me – 9:45 am in place of 7:30 am – I really became stressed upon arrival at immigration when we could barely move due to a huge influx of people needing the “All Passports” section and not “European Union/France.”

By the time I got through, it was already 10:30 or so, and I really became worried I was going to miss my 11:56 train at the Gare de Lyon, in Paris.

I struggled around the airport with my luggage, found an ATM, and then was approached by a taxi driver. Usually I ignore them, but this time was different – so I asked “C’est un vrai Taxi Parisien?” – Do you drive a real “Taxi Parisien”? – because I have heard that people impersonate the Parisian taxi company, to charge more, or perhaps kidnap you.

In any case, the driver was nice and indeed drove a real Parisian taxi, which by the way are not yellow, but black and luxurious. The taxi trip cost me about 45 euros instead of the, maybe 8, I would have paid for the commuter train if I’d had the time.

Long story short, I made it on time, took a long time to get to the train due to awkward luggage, and two trains and a few hours later arrived in Saint Etienne to meet my landlord, who had come to pick me up at the station.

Probably not the worst journey I’ve had, but stressful and difficult none the less, but like I said, I am here and settled, so now it is time to forget that.

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