So I spent three weeks in France. I don't know whether I should keep saying "three weeks at home" when it still feels like my homeland but not like my home anymore, since my home is on my tiny little island on the other side of the world in Indonesia. It's just wording I suppose.
The first day: the taxi driver is grumpy and the traffic is bad, nothing has changed. The first café-croissant tastes like heaven. The métro still smells its usual smell of burnt rubber and pee and it is so familiar still. I forgot how they are cute guys everywhere in Paris. I got to have lunch with the girls, then drinks with the BF, then dinner with my baby brother and his wife all on that first day, and it was just super awesome.
Jetlag hits me pretty hard in the face at the end of the day and by the time my sister-in-law comes home from work she finds me sound asleep on the couch despite the fact that at 8pm it is STILL day. For that first dinner, I had a steak of about 400g of bloody meat and it was more delicious than words can tell. Haaaa it's good to be back.
Day 2: taking the first flight to Toulouse, I am sitting in the airport at 6.30am, barely awake. I am surrounded by suits, people ins suits everywhere, already talking big numbers and CRM and marketing plans while waiting to board. And I remember when my life used to be like that, when I would get up at 5am to get the first plane to wherever, when I would work on the flight and put numbers in files and slideshows together and wear a suit. And I feel sorry for them.
Once there, I go with my mum to the biggest market in town and it is a little bit like hearing little angels singing in the sky, because I feel that I died painlessly and ended up in heaven (where cheese and bread and cherries and apricots and lamb and veal and any type of meat you can think of is readily available. That's probably what heaven is like I reckon, with a great reef to dive also when you are done eating).
Day 4: my stomach and my liver are holding on while my mum feeds me like I am a little goose who needs to grow a bigger liver, and I do not protest. I am enjoying it very very much. I also enjoy the pleasures of the first world: hot water on demand, even hot tub, high-speed internet, etc. I take advantage of the latest to update both iPhone and iPad to IOS 7, it makes everything crash down and takes literally 3 hours to fix, and then I wish I hadn't because I don't like it. Maybe I was better off with third world internet on that one. But hey, I have downloaded all the latest episodes of Game of Thrones and The Big Bang Theory while trying to fix my damn phone.
I am starting to miss the water.
Day 6: more eating ensues. Also some walking around in order to get the food down, and some general doing nothing with my parents. I am starting to sleep until 10am every day, and it feels great. I am still freezing though.
Day 8: back to Paris. Of course to welcome me home, taxis and trains are on strike that same day. I am standing in line to get on a bus and I feel in a fighting arena when the bus finally arrives and people try to climb over me to get in. Then I remember that I am a Parisian too and I fight back and get on the bus. Here, Indonesian mellow does not get you on transports I guess. I did not miss this either!!
Day 10: I spend my days catching up with friends over lunch or dinner, walking around and generally doing not much, like buying new bikinis and pastries. Days go really fast even when you do nothing. I can also phone people and have a normal conversation with no network interruption, and this never ceases to amaze me. High speed internet is like magic. Once again, how things you used to take for granted can make your day. Third hot bath since I'm here.
Day 11: I miss the fish.
To be continued....