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En train (d’arriver)

21 September 2009

So, this is France. Jack said, before I left, of France: “Nice country, shame about the people!” I’m not entirely certain that I agree with this sentiment, although since 4am this morning (thank you for the wake-up call maman) I have yet to have an actual conversation with anyone short of “I bought my ticket in the UK does it need the stamp from the yellow box?” and “A pain au chocolat and a large white coffee”. Incidentally, it would appear that a UK large has gone the way of an American large and is rather erm large, whereas France has not had the pleasure of caffeine addiction and still does things, as we say, by halves. Well, this is hardly the greatest problem. To experience that, you need a laptop and a power cable. Usually you would think: I have power, let’s rock; but (and this is a sizeable but) neither the Eurostar, or the considerably snazzier looking TGV has a socket into which you can plug your « prise » – quel horreur! So, praying that my battery will hold out (2h10, it currently reckons), I should have enough time to type a little and exercise my tetris fingers, or watch an episode of the west wing. The choice!

So, my thoughts on the Eurostar. NXEC’s trains were nicer, but I was sat further from a toilet, so swings and roundabouts, I feel. The parisienne next to me slept throughout and snored daintily in a way so typically French. I snoozed and doubtless snored like a northern miner. Gorgeous. For future reference, if you are going on the métro, do think twice about how heavy your luggage is, because whatever they fought for in the revolution, it was certainly not lifts or escalators (c’est quoi, technologie americaine? – horreur!).

Conductors don’t want to see your ticket, they just bid you good day. See. I knew there was a good reason to be in France, although I do feel I’m missing out on fifty-something-year-olds on push scooters (intertextual reference FTW)…

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