NB for French people : la version française est ici
I left Paris really really tired. If I have been noticed about what will happen during my travel to New York, I’d have been desperate. Sometimes when things are difficult, I’m thinking about what my dance teacher Irene used to say when we were practicing through pain. She was saying that you can’t feel how strong you are if you’re not practicing when you’re about to collapse. I’m thinking about those words when I’m about to abandon something. What happened yesterday makes me think about what Irene used to say.
I was about to stay alive in order to be awake at 4 :30 AM. A friend thought my travel will be too difficult in that case and came to sleep at home to be an alarm-clock watcher. Open my eyes and discovering that I did’nt wake up is one of my big fear. But, at 4 :30 AM, I was awake even without hearing the delicate song of Rachid’s phone. Then, Rachid sung for me Alicia Keys and we get out. The taxi driver said to me that he was just about to leave when I came to him. He has even been offered to pay for his charge by other travellers in a urgent need of a cab. He said no. Didn’t find him would have been the first issue of the day.
Issues x 3
Actually the first issue occured at Charles de Gaulle when the Air France employee asked me to withdraw things from my huge heavy suitcase. I’d put stuffs in a second hand luggage and he felt that the weight was now reasonnable. I begged him for adding a name label to my suitcase. Fortunately he accepted to wait for that. Without that piece, my arrival in New York would have been a nightmare. For the future: buy a solid label.
Transfert. Arrival in Manchester, we were going to the transfert desk in order to have our ESTA apply checked. The employee said to me I will not be authorized to enter America. I’ve made a mistake filling the application. I felt totally desperate. There was something that I could do : it consits to go to the Internet café in an other terminal with my three bags, step to one level then to an other one several times, turn here and there and… Some stuffs that appears totally undoable when you are exhausted.
I asked the first person that I met where I had to got. He spoke so quickly that the Internet Cafe seemed really unreachable. I’d just said : « I’m sorry, I’m so tired, I don’t know how I possibly could do that ». Then, tears on my cheeks, it was a need in order to let the pression goes down. He offered kindly to help me. He said to me that I’m gonna have my ESTA apply done in an airport office. He drove me to a collegue who made the application for me. The two have been some heros to me, I was so in need because of my tireness… One more time, I’d been lucky : the New York plane had been delayed. We were supposed to wait for 3 hours, now it’s 5 which had been really nice considering my ESTA issue. Finally, waiting in Manchester airport seemed really quick.
Presenting my boarding card, the lady discovered that the lost luggage’s mysterious passenger is yet arrived. Yes, this belongs to me but what happened ? Had X-ray been putting a veto to my coming ? The suitcase is actually too heavy ? Finally, the company label had been removed accidently. I’d been lucky, the label I’d just put three hours before, begging the employee, was ok. They had the chance to find me on passenger’s list. And now, I know that you need two labels for your suitcase. One on the luggage and one on the top of your clothes in it. Thus, as said this kindly Irish Delta Airlines employee, you could be found even if the label had been removed. He adviced to mark your final destination adress and not your home’s. I was so lucky. I hope my suitcase will be ok.
The passenger next to me was really smilly. My accent helps him to find where I come from. He spoke me French but I neeeded him to repeat his words. Quebec people have this accent you have to be used to hear before understanding their words well. One of my best friends, Margot, said to me that I’m gonna meet people in the plane which is a really pleasant moment during your travel. I was so lucky travelling next to him.
Even if I was sitting in the back of the plane which has not been a good thing during the motions. Even if the boy in my back was annoying me touching the pad on the back of my seat. Even after all, I would not have exchanged my room. Being next to Mathieu has been a release during that long long travel. He was smilly and kind, exactly the travel friend that I did not have next to me. There’s only a one year gap between he and me. He was travelling for business but he had that way of being that must be natural when you’re him and we chat nicely. We spoke about the cultural gap between our countries. He asked me at what time did young people are taking their independance, at what time did they have their first child. We have laught about his quebecquian expressions and we found the French equal words.
This was really interesting, because neither him knows some words like « apero » or « blog ». I explain to him : « Apero, it’s something you’re making impro, it’s just after work, before dinner. It’s not like a party, it must been no organized ». « But, you need how many time to organize a party ? », he asked. And then, a new cultural gap : in Montreal, a party can exist thanks to only an amount of 48 hours. He helped me on words that French are not using. Thanks for making me laught with the « breuvages » (that means soft drinks) and the rest, Mathieu. We recorded a video about that. Mathieu Raylight (fictive last name), thanks for everything.
Dumping one’s own fear
My friend Margot also said to me that I would feel a bit afraid at one moment. For her, it has occured at the airport before her bride’s world travel. So, I checked, I asked myself when this gonna occurs… ? At JFK, no fear already. In the cab shared with a French girl travelling thanks to a family that welcomes her, no fear. I arrived in the flat at 5.30 PM, local time, it t-was 11 :30 in France. The day had begun at 5 in the morning. So when the smoke watcher was ringing loudly every minute, I was about to cry. And I felt really lonely.
When you check in a hotel, you’re welcomed, you just have to drop your luggage into you room. That time, I had to fix some things. Find the owner. Yeah, we finally succeed in stopping the smoke watcher. There will be a new one today. It’s Sunday but it’s not a country where people are not working on Sundays. Good news, I hate Sundays, this quiet day during which you can’t do all the thing you want when you live in France. Socially, it’s nice, it offers people to enjoy a family day and it helps them with other stuffs I’m not gonna develop here. I’m not so keen on dead times, for me that’s one of the awkwards of living in France. Now, I’m gonna spend one month in the city that nevers sleep. The nice thing is that I’m not living in Manhattan so, if I want to sleep, it’s quiet.
Finally, my first day in New York
It’s 7 :49, I’m awake since one hour. I’m gonna go in the neighbourhood finding a coffee place and then we’ll see. Yesterday evening, I felt sorry to not have visited some places. I felt unwell to have only see the city through an airport reaching home balad. I needed to sleep and I did not want to. I think that I was feeling too much alone…
I needed to go to the neighbours for an ulitmate issue. They have been more than warm to me. They gave me something I need : words. We stayed half an hour together chatting about what I’m doing here, about their life in New York. Caroline and Maggie are still in the New York discovering process. They arrived seven month ago. I think it will helps to make us know each others. Caroline felt excited about that blog. « Don’t worry, you’ll be able to write every single day considering all the things that will happen to you ». Maggie approoved her and Caroline said that she was feeling sorry not had written words about her New York arrival. Thanks, Caroline, thanks for those words, that’s exactly why I’ll be doing this blog. I promise, tomorow, my words will be more synthetic. And moreover, I’ll speak about New York coz my travel stories might have only interest my folks.
It’s now 7 :57 AM and New York is waiting for me.