To be completely honest (which I always plan to do on this blog...showing the good bad and the ugly of my wondrous experience) on Wednesday after having supper and walking around this new city (in a Chicago like wind blast) several hours looking unsuccessfully for an open grocery store I barely made it to the bathroom in our room to cry my eyes out. What have I done? I have no idea how to live in this strange land!
I know I just got here and I had not taken anytime to let my jet lag ease before throwing myself into Paris and I'm sure sheer exhaustion was fueling my emotions but by the time we arrived in Toulouse I had 6 blisters on my feet and all my best clothes were worn and dirty from our time in Paris. No matter what brought it on I felt swamped and scared and so disappointed in myself that I was already having second thoughts. I felt worn to a frazzle from having to think EVERY second about how to say the few French phrases I knew or what side of the street to walk on or whether it was polite to drink directly from the plastic water bottle (since I had not seen anyone else do this), or proper metro etiquette (was it proper to sit knee to knee with a stranger...do I hold the bar below their hand or above??) After not doing anything terribly offensive or "American" I was almost out of Paris unscathed when I let my guard down and forgot where I was for a split second. Here's what happened: While David was working with the concierge to arrange a taxi big enough for our 9 a fore mentioned bags I sat down to rest my poor sore feet and send a few messages before I was out of Internet for an undetermined amount of time. A hotel worker (not sure of title...tho I thought of a couple myself after the encounter) dressed like a traveling business man asked me "Do you speak English?" "Yes" I replied. He then asked "Then would you be pleased to not rest your feet on the table?" It was 1st truly embarrassing incident of the trip. I had to bite my tongue to keep from asking "Would you be pleased to not call a 3x3 box sitting no more than a foot off the ground a 'table'?"
This was then compounded by our harrowing experience trying to check 9 bags on a very small commuter plane from a very small airport a fete that has apparently yet to be tried by any Frenchmen in history, making us stick out like 2 GIANT sore thumbs wearing American flags as togas. Then when we checked into the hotel, the bellman, after carrying 9 50lb bags a quarter of a block tried to convince the hostess not to let us upgrade to a bigger room because he would have to carry our bags 2 stories up because there is no elevator for luggage...only a small one for people. To say the least I was tired of having to do math every time I wanted to know the time after 12 noon.