And so my arrival in France has been very elongaged due to various happenings in the world, I must make special note of my travels. After being dropped off at Toronto airport 3.5 hours before my departure for Frankfurt, I couldn’t help but notice the fact that I went through security and all my travel stuff in less than 10 minutes. How is this possible? Even with not that many people there at that time of the day, 10 minutes through everything is ridiculus! Things went so fast, and then I was left to sit around for 3.5 hours and do nothing but read a book that I really wasn’t into at all.
So people start arriving and a nice Arabic woman sits down next to me asking if this is the waiting area for people departing for Frankfurt. I told her yes, and she had a seat and told me about he family in Germany and how she was so exicited; it was a nice change from the boringness. Then few hours later a German family with two kids arrived, and the parents were trying to teach the kids spelling of German words but they were clearly not interested, and they were really cute and were hopping about with all the excitement of planes and departures and such. Anyways, we board the plane and we get up into the air, and then we stop in Halifax where we are picking up some people more before we go to Frankfurt.
All I can say is that I hated the flight. The movies sucked, the food was decent, but the people around me were horrid. The German woman behind me was so old and so obese that she woudln’t allow me to tilt my chair back even a little bit before smacking me with her purse, and her yelling at me to move as she doesn’t have enough room to breathe. GEESHE. And on top of that I have a Croatian-Russian-French-English father and son talking to each other in hybrid-Croatian-French-English which is really irritating. If they chose one language it would have been okay, but noooo! Anyways, the only cool things about the flight was that they have this cool GPS thing that they use to tell us exactly where we are, so that was nice to see as we apprached land again. But also that we arrived 45 minutes ahead of schedule.
Whipping through customs was a breeze and the customs officer commented on me being so well dressed (weird: yes, disturbing: yes, flattering: yes, appropriate: no). Anyways, I grabbed my bags and then ran off to get the tram to take me to the main airport. Now, Frankfurt airport is the 2nd largest in Europe and it’s beautiful, but nobody in the God-forsaken building knows where anything is. I asked them about ticket counters, bus waiting area, and help desks and they all either didn’t know how to speak English or French, or sent me in the wrong direction. After running with my luggage from level 1-4 at least 3 times each, I went to the “Special Services” area for Lufthansa to get some help, and I felt like an idiot cause I was a ‘normal’ person. The nice woman walked me to the counter, and I bought my ticket that I reserved for 13.30, however I was trying to rush so that I could get the 11.00 bus, however I realized that I barely missed it, and would have to wait a few more hours. So technically I had been running around the airport for 2 hours (bugger).
I sit outside in the bus area with my luggage next to a flight attendant for LTU who was there for about the same time as me, and I read, and read, and read, and looked at German people walk by. All of them were polite and nice, but none spoke English to anyone when they needed help, and they were chit-chatting on their mobiles all the time. I saw the same guy walk by like 9 times in the course of 3 hours, so I was a bit weirded out at one point. Then this woman came up to me and tried to see if I spoke German, which I don’t, so she whips out a card explaining that she was a widdow from Kosovo, and her children were killed in a bombing accident 5 days ago. I was reluctant to help, because the situation was sketchy and she was begging, so she walked awat in her dress and stelettos. Few minutes later, more woman from Kosovo came over, but knowing this I pretended to not speak German or English and kept telling them words in Swedish, and saying sorry. I felt guilty, but I figure it’s an eye for an eye because they were trying to guilt trip me!
So my bus arrived hours later, and after reading 200 pages of my book I ran onto it and staked out my seat thinking there would be tons of people after putting my luggage underneith. All but 4 others got on, 2 of which were a family from Croatia, and a woman who was a flight attendant, and then some German guy that kept staring at me for some reason. I sat down and we departed, and quite honestly there isn’t anything along the highway to see, as it’s all fields and vinyards and random stuff like that! Anyways, I fall asleep because I’m knackered and I wake up about an hour later feeling like I’m being watched. Luckily since I was wearing sunglasses nobody else (of the 4 people) could see that I see them, so I slowly open my eyes without moving and I find that this younger German guy is staring at me. So I start to stretch and wake up and remove my sun glasses, and he quickly turned away. I was throuoghly creeped out as he was clearly staring at me. Anyways, I take out my book to read and I turned some pages and then I see the guy moving to a seat closer to myself, and I look up and he’s just smiling at me. And I look at him and smile and go back to reading not knowing what to do or anything. He keeps getting closer and then he says something in German that I didn’t understand and I look at him blankly, and then he started to speak some poor English, asking if I speak English or French and I said yes both, and he started chatting to me in English since he said it was better than his French.
He was a nice guy, but I couldn’t help but notice his constant moves to try to get closer to me, when I had my legs up, and clearly looking uncomfortable. And then a few minutes after he just blurts out that he thinks that my eyes are the most amazing things he’s ever seen in his whole life. Hold up a minute; what’s the deal with that, and what the heck do I say to that? I politely said thanks, and then he just like leaned over and places his head on my neck, and I jumped and he said “Sorry, did I do something wrong?”…
What’s up with that? I told him “Why are you doing this?” and he just laughed and said that I should already know, so I moved alittle bit and he took it off, and then I started to ask him to teach me some basic German, so I learned a few word and how to greet people and say my name and such, and he was a nice guy. He wore glasses and had light brown hair, was tall and skinny, and was really nice; however very creepy. Thank goodness we arrived a few moments later, as I was about to scream rape, the bus driver stopped at our stop in downtown Strasbourg, and I said “Opps I gotta go, nice to meet you” and then went to get my luggage. He followed slowly (catching up) and then I followed the Croatian family to the end of the street so I could find the main train station, Gare Centrale. He followed too but it didn’t look to inconspicuous, and then I walked through the Gare, found the taxis, and he was about 100m behind and he yelled “Maybe I will see you around!?” and I waved and said goodbye diving into a taxi and begging him to drive me to my residence and not the areoport. He didn’t understand French, as he was Chinese, but he got me to where I needed to be and I paid him the 4 for the trip and then in the sweltering French heat I walked around the corner to my residence.
The woman was nice, and she helped me as other students walked by, and I signed some papers and she took my drivers liscence becasue the bank was closed and I had to pay a 150 security deposit. Then complained to me that she was sorry that I am in the 4th floor, as it’s so far but that she had no choice, not knowing that I would have a shit room I walked up the stairs with all my luggage in hand. French apartments are fucked, the main lobby and first floor aren’t considered floors, they are the lobby and the ‘entresol’ so technically I was on the 6th floor, and the bloody place doesn’t have an elevator. So I walk and walk, and then I couldn’t find my room, so I walk around some more and the apartment is shaped like a U, so I looked at the map of it, and followed some doors, but they were locked, so I walked by another few, and then I finally (after 45 mins) found the way to it as nobody would help me and all the French students could manage to say was “Bonjour.”
I walk into my room which is in the middle of nowhere and surrounded only by open windows, and I open it and it’s an oven in my room. I struggle to figure out how to open the windows, and they only open a sliver (as I could see) so I layed down and was like “ouf” and changed out of my clothes into cooler things. I unpacked my stuff and grabbed some water, and found the bathrooms so I could was up and then go for a walk. I walked around in circles around my house to familiarize myself and the area, which is busteling with people and tramways and students who are screaming at each other. So basically my first impression of France is that people are really rude; and they like to yell. So I go inside again and fall alseep, waking at 00.00 or so and couldn’t fall asleep until 04.00, so I woke up the next day later, and then waited around as I didn’t know if anyone else arrived. I was the first, so I was screwed! Then a knock on my door in the afternoon it turned out to be Ginette, who lived on the other side of the residence (5 min walk away) and she was like “omg someone!” and I was greatful as I don’t seem to have neighbours as nobody talks, or I don’t hear anything from the hallway. It’s depressing and my room is falling apart, but it’s at least big.
I had no pillow, no sheets, noting but wool blankets which itch my skin, so I didn’t sleep well for the next 2 nights (if at all) and was struggling with the heat. Die heat die.
So all in all, the arrival was bleh, and so far things were horrid since I hadn’t eaten anything as of yet, however the score at this point was Frankfurt – 1, Osky – 0. So sad~!