Getting all medieval…


I am sitting in my hostel in Carcassonne, and my bones are still shivering from the dousing that they received courtesy of the rainy weather on my 45-minute hike from the train station to La Cite.  But at least I am settled into my hostel, which is quiet and being gently serenaded by the rain pattering against my window.  It’s supposed to rain the whole time I am here, which is a major disappointment, considering that the greatness of this city is what it has to offer outdoors.  It is pretty spectacular, though, even in the rain.  The cobblestone streets surrounded by this incredible medieval walled structure… slippery, to be sure, but spectacular.


The hostel worker here is a cheery French man who wanted to talk to me at length about my opinions on Barack Obama, Turkey joining the EU, and France’s purity.  (Note: Racism is everywhere…)  At least he was kind and hospitable and did not laugh at me for too long when I came in looking like a wet dog.

My train adventure getting here was rather interesting.  I drifted to sleep listening to “Hem” on my iPod, and then I woke up in a panic because the train was stopped, new people were all around me, and I had no idea where we were.  I turned to the man sitting next to me and practically shouted, “Town?!  This town?!  Here!”  I was too panicked to remember any French at all, and so it all came out in idiot.  Still, he understood.  “Narbonne,” he said.  Crap… this is where I need to get off and change trains.  So, I grabbed my bags and headed out, my earbuds flying out of my ears in the process.  I walked up to an official with a hat.  “Um… Carcassonne?!”  “Oui, Carcassonne,” he replied and pointed to the train the front of us.  I looked behind me at the train I had just disembarked like a lunatic.  It was still there.  Peacefully waiting.  Several of my train-car-mates were looking at me, alarmed.  Not that I blame ’em.  So, I gave ’em another show.  Unintentionally.

As I walked to my car (7), a gust of wind came by and blew my ticket right out of my hand… and underneath the train.  On the tracks.  Without thinking, I jumped– pack and all– down onto the tracks to retrieve my ticket.  And as quick as I was down, I was back up on the platform.  No one said anything to me– maybe no one else on the platform saw me– but I was mortified when I turned and saw my former fellow passengers looking upon me with horror.  Way to be an ambassador to France.

In any case, I think I will venture out into the rain and the cold.  You only live once… I think.  And I can smell the French food to be had… Ooh la la.


One Response to “Getting all medieval…”

  1. Kathleen said

    I’ve had a similar experience many, many times on the bus. On one hand I LOVE falling asleep on it because it feels like the deepest sleep that I ever get. On the other hand, it’s hell to wake up from, and there is that danger that you might miss your stop and end up walking blocks and blocks back to your car.

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