Sunday, 28 August 2016

Pinker and pinker (or another 36 hours in Roissy)

So when I downloaded pictures from my cellphone to my laptop, I came upon one that I forgot about.

Around the end of the last post, I managed to sleep 10 or 11 hours within a 15 hour period.  WOW.   Now I'm finally starting to realize why. No more spoiled-rotten daughters of the house doing laundry at 1 a.m.  No 4 a.m. cat whisker in my face begging to be let out. No 4:30 am skewered cat meaow demanding to be let back in. No elephantine foot-steps above my head and the old wooden ceiling. Not a single car is audible here.  Yes, the planes taking off at CDG have maybe made it to 100 or 200 meters when they fly right above the hotel, but these hotel people took sound-proofing serious.  NO NOISE, NADA!   No wonder I sleep.  But it's not only my sleep that has benefited. No, all that absence of  WMDs (Weapons of Massive Disturbance) also have an amazing effect on the amount of work I can get done.

O.K, this tune might sound old, but as cruel as it sounds, I am looking forward to the day when certain criteria have been met, so that I don't have to go back to Vancouver anymore, because then I will have done enough time in purgatory.

Not a stock photo. I'm eating one of THESE ;-)
 It is 4 a.m. and the croissants should be at their freshest right now. But I'll give them a while to cool down ;-)  

Breakfast is good, I have an epiphany, and use the time to mentally detach from a Facebook friend, who I though was one in real life as well. Beware of all those pink-heart and smiley-face icons!               Amazing how well a brain can work when it's in an amiable environment.
5:15 a.m. Less than an hour until I should go visit the power-line and the buildings with the reflecting windows again.

Just before I leave, I receive an invitation from my friend Alan to join him at this year's Bridge School Benefit concert in Mountainview California on October 22nd.  We went to that concert 2 years ago and it was a blast. Neil Young, Tom Jones, Beach Boys, Pearl Jam, etc. etc.   Oh, you can't be serious when you ask whether I accepted the invitation!  I'm going to see Neil Young, K.D. Lang, Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews, Metallica, and I don't know who else.  

The day gets even better. I get out the bike to get some exercise and maybe snap a few decent pics like yesterday.

 I noticed the weird blocked bus lanes yesterday already.  The industrial park area is criss-crossed by roads. And then is another SEPARATE set of roads only for buses and bikes.

 And they're paved with that soft reddish tarmac that they use for bike lanes in Holland and for those running tracks in schools. You know, the soft, smooth stuff.  That's what the bus lanes are made off. And they're not in use, because concrete blocks refuse anything wider than a bicycle access to them.  Get the idea yet?  It gets better. I follow one of those bus lanes past Ikea. That's where the bus lane crosses a Freeway on its own bridge.

 And what is on the other side of the freeway?  Pristine, unspoiled farm land. OMG, I LOVE France!

At 8:30 am, I hear a knock on my room door. It's a bit early for cleaning service but I open the door only to see a Chinese woman with her take-away breakfast in her hand at first stare at me and then utter what I take to be apologetic words in Chinese.  Not remembering your room number is not tragic. But given that I'm in the handicapped room, which has a wider door than all the other rooms and is located in the angled corner of the corridor (only one corner room), I'm not sure how she managed to do that ;-).

Somewhere around noon I try to go out for a smoke, only to discover that the hotel is being inundated by a thundershower.  Pressing myself against the hotel wall lets me inhale a few puffs of nicotine, before I refuse to get any more wet.

At 3:30 pm the sun and heat are back and I bite the bullet to go on the 1/2 hour ride to the TGV train station at the airport. 

I'll never look at truckers in their parked 18-wheelers the same way ;-(

 I need to buy a train ticket to Marseille tomorrow. 1.5 hours later I'm back without a ticket because I was told that bicycles without boxes are not allowed on the train to Marseille.  And I don't do bikes in boxes.                  What now?  Translate now. think later. But visiting Frankfurt from Paris has been popping into my mind,  and taking the bike on a TGV to Quimper ;-)

Depressed and discouraged by this news, I sleep after my return from the train station until 8 pm. A quick Salad Nicoise (even that doesn't taste right anymore) and a glass Rose, call Grandma, and go back to bed. I get up and enjoy water-kettle coffee at 1:30 am and attack the translation with renewed vigour.  No point being sulky. I'm in France!  Get the bloody work done and come up with a new adventure !!!!

It starts shortly after typing the above sentence.  For the following 20 hours I do nothing else but pray to the white porcelain queen.  WTF?  Stomach can't handle stress anymore?

Is there a mirror on the toilet?????

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