Canadian Cemetery in Normandy


I was obliged by a Canadian Couchsurfer that stayed with me, Kyle, to got to the place of his wishes and where his ancestors gave their lives. Nearly a half century ago, the Second World War went on, and on June 6th 1944 the Allied forces arrived on the D-Day beaches of Normandy. Each beach is code-named after it’s plan, and is divided by nationality. Juno was the beach of the Canadians, and thus that’s where we went. Since he doesn’t speak French, and is really not a very interesting person in any respects, it was an awkward day-trip, but I made the most of it.


To get to the beaches, which are located in Courceulles-sur-Mer, northward of Caen, we had to take BusVert de Calvados, which only costed us 2.90€ each way. What a great fare, in my opinion. An hour later, we arrived in the gloomy and nearly-rain ridden town, and explored our way into the centre to find the Juno Beach Centre, a monument-museum that is run by Canadians to outine the history of Juno Beach, and general Candian history. We didn’t go in, because Kyle is cheap and it costed 12€ to go, but we explored the beaches regardless. Monuments were scattered everywhere, and there was nobody around (being off-season and all).


Call me purple and name me shotty, but there was something there that shocked me, and drew me in quickly. I bet a lot of money that this is the only Inukshuk in France, it must be. It’s impossible to think that they are found elsewhere. Kyle had no idea what it was, so I chalked it up to being an uncultured-stupid-punk Canadian, sort of like a stupid American in a way, either way something I don’t like, and continued on. The idea wa to see the stuff and make it back to Caen in time for him to go to Paris again. I welcomed this with open arms.


Since what we wanted to visit was a Canadian War Cemetery in a tiny little village, with no bus service, I decided on our part to take a long walk into a little village on foot to see what we came for. I was excited, with my sense of adventurism that is oh so rare, but armed with a self-drawn map I lead the way of the straggly Canadian. Travelling nearly 4km into Réviers from Courceulles-sur-Mer, and then another 2km East to Bény-sur-Mer, left us in the middle of nowhere, with a man-made forest which surrounded the symmetrically planned grave-site.

Canadian War Memorial, Bény-sur-MerCanadian War Memorial, Bény-sur-Mer

Armed with my camera-phone, we explored the site. I signed the registry, which Kyle refused to do. I’m going to comment on this because it kind of bothers me. What is the big deal? Do you think that the government is going to stalk you by reading a little book in a cemetery in the middle of nowhere (literally)? Get over yourself. It’s respectful and helpful to show the work that’s put into the site is appreciated. Take your ghetto-punk-ass and get yourself some education and respect for people who freed the world you see today. Grow up, also. End rant.


We waited for a bus which never came, because I failed to realise that it was summer schedule, and it’s so clearly winter, but we made our way back the same route. The tourist office laughed at us when we said we would walk there, but it really wasn’t such a big deal. We didn’t talk the entire way back into the village, because it was awkward and I wasn’t happy with his company nor what he had to say. The photograph above explains French-countryside, which is nothing, quite literally. We arrived back into the town, I bought some stuff from the HyperChampion, and Kyle almost got arrested for being dodgy-looking and having rubbish in his bag of something he bought in Paris. Basically they thought that he was a thief. I almost wanted them to arrest him, just to get a good laugh, but we got out after I was obliged to be a translator (not impressive for someone you’re awkward around!) We found our way back into the village and got our bus back (which was non-spoken). I crossed some friends on the way, then went back to the train station to drop him off, stress was relieved and then the journey was done.

Note to self, no more Americans or Candians, yes?! 🙂

Back to Normandy

Whilst Chris worked, Cédric and I explored Lyon with his friends Lionel (whom I remember as the creepy one), and his room-mate Pascal who is physicist, like Markus! They even have similar personalities, it’s quite funny. He’s from Tours, which made me drool over his accent and usage of words, so hawt that accent, and we played Wii and such to pass the time. We went to a restaurant, got stared at for awhile, and then continued on our way without being robbed, raped, or bashed.

Sunday morning I woke up early, after a quite emotionally trying evening, teary eyed because I was leaving when I was so happy, and we went to Gare Part-Dieu to drop me off. Cédric and I always lack words and the ability to express ourselves in such situations, but I managed to hold back my emotions, and appear to be happy even though inside I was so sad and the way home I was just a plain wreck. I really appreciate the attention, kindness, and gratitude that my friends showed me over these holidays. I will never forget them, and soon we will meet again somewhere-or-another.

The trip back to Normandy, 1st class again, was 1) scary and 2) successful. The train conductor made me panic when asking if I’d make my connection (with 45 minutes change of station across the city). I made it fine with 30 minutes to go, and as pick-pockets were arrested on the train back to Caen, I arrived in the early afternoon, and walked from the train station through the brisk and freakishly cold and clear weather blanketed over Normandy. I arrived back to a cold, frozen and boarded up flat, but quickly became settled again before the work week began the following day.

Operation not being alone for the holidays, successful with stars!

Paris v2.i


A few weekends ago I embarked on a huge journey and exciting activities that I will describe below. It was a fun, busy, and crazy filled week and weekend and I can’t help but recount my adventures to the general public, that is to say, those of who actually read and comment on my blog.

And so it began with meeting my fellow younger colleagues at our medical appointment a few weeks ago. We were molested, violated, and pretty much put into numerous awkward positions during our medical visit, and in bitching and complaining about it we came to the realisation that we should party together. And thus we decided that since some of them lived in a school that was large, and had plenty of space to play hide-and-seek, we would go to Vire in order to have said fun. If thou don’t know, Vire is a small town in the south-west corner of Calvados, on the border of La Manche and L’Orne.

And so, between all this planning for the story and such I learned that Markus, yes the infamous and ever-loveable Markus, would be visiting Paris, and of course wanted me to join him on his scandalous adventures. And so since the dates seemed to coincide I decided to go to Vire, and the following day continue on to Paris in order to meet up with Markus and have ourselves lovely-a-time.

And so the day came to go to Vire, I had class until 17:30 and the last train leaving for Argentan connecting to Vire was at 18.30 or so. This meant that I needed to boot my ass from my school and get to the train station with all of my blankets and shit (including mass amounts of alcohol). I made it in time, but the train was like sardines. I was wedged between the window and some Québecois people who were trying to sound intellectual, but their conversations weren’t going anywhere but in circles and consisted of phrases such as the following (translation of course): “I think that it’s a great philosophy, I think I should live by a philosophy, what was your philosophy again, I want to follow it and feel better as a person, by the way, who do you believe in, because your philosophy seems to be atheist, and I’m catholic. Does this mean that I can believe in this philosophy? Blah blah blah” and it carried on like this for the full 30 minutes that I was on the train. During all this I was standing next to a guy that was trying to break up with his girlfriend with his mobile, and she clearly didn’t want such drama to happen. Meanwhile, there was a really tall guy that kept staring at me, and I kept pretending I was on the phone and marking my papers to keep him at bay. He descended at Argentan also, and I feared that he would stalk Sophie and I, to no avail thankfully!

And so we arrived and transfered to our train heading from Paris to Vire. There was hardly anyone on the train which was lovely as it gave me some correcting time, and then Sophie some make-up putting on time. I joined her to make myself pretty for the big occasion. We arrived and walked, met up with our colleagues and went to a crêperie for dinner. It was so cute but I have to say that there were certain Americans that were being so loud and obnoxious that we were getting really bad glares from the only other people in the restaurant, a couple who were clearly trying to have a romantic dinner. I kept hushing people and getting them to be quiet but people started yelling at me, and I nearly walked out. Lucky for me, Kevin, my lovely German friend arrived and brought with him his sense of humor and cuteness that is paramount to everything.

After such we returned home and drank lots, fell asleep in respective rooms, and the next day I woke up, having to wake up Kevin to let me out. He seemed less inclined to get out of bed, and told me to jump the fence. I laughed but he was serious. So I tried, and the little prissy bitch I am struggled but I made it. Looking at the clock I thought I’d miss my train so I booted it to the station with a map in hand to avoid getting lost, and finally when I got there I had barely enough time to compost my ticket and get on the train without missing it. Missing the train to Markus would be catastrophic, to say the least.

And so I arrived, after we were delayed (as always) because of leaves on the track. What the hell Normandy, nobody else has this problem?! Got there, found Markus with all the Parisian kafuffel and we were off in search of metro tickets, and our hotel which proved to be quite difficult to find. We got there, and then went to a kebab place where we spent just about four hours eating our plate which was much to filled with miscellaneous items of Turkish food. It was cold, so we didn’t want to go out, especially since I’m a total tart and completely neglected to realise that it was going to get cold and left my jacket in Caen. Lesson learned, in a simple word.

So we pranced around Paris for awhile seeing some stuff and getting some great food. We slept, and slept, and then the next day which was a Sunday we decided to finally haul our asses out of bed (which smelled like chanel and made it difficult to sleep), and headed into the main part of the city. Guess what, like Normandy it was raining and I had no coat, nor umbrella, so we ran to the Louvre, a place I have never been and we decided that a day inside would be well worth it. We walked around the museum, people watching, and spending three hours looking at statues. At one point, going from times before Christ, and arriving at French Renaissance sculptures, Markus made a note that we need something new, and headed to find the paintings sections. Just follow the damn tourists, none of whom speaks French, which is hilarious because all the signs and explanations to everything are in French. We giggled as I translated for him.

We saw lots and digressed to saying that our minds were spongy since we took in so much, especially had fun with the “Spot the American” game. We were right 100% of the time, take note reading-Americans; try to be less obvious and you might not be so hated? 🙂

We left, in search of food, which on a Sunday night is quite difficult to find. We took a “detour” in the metro in order to kill time, and found, after countless attempts a restaurant which seemed appropriate.

A day in the life…

I think I live a pretty boring, and uneventful life. Others think differently it seems, and thus I am going to write about it, and outline “normal” things that seem to happen to me. Before I bias any readers about the possibilities of whether or not it can or can not be true, I am always honest in my accounts, and I admit that some crazy stuff does indeed happen to me.

Each day is a little bit different, and it’s always changing but there is one sure thing that seems to happen to me on a very regular basis; getting verbally molested by random people. It happens in the most obvious of places of course, bus stops, on the bus, tram stops, on the tram, in the supermarket, coming out of a supermarket, going through the market and of course in school. I’ve made it quite clear that my students come on to me quite strongly, so I am negating this aspect of my life for the moment, however this is what someone said to me the other day when I was getting off the bus:

Excusez-moi, you speak English? I need lesson, and I fuck you. Good deal?

I shit you not… Lucky for me, I was descending off the bus and ran away to the closest non-public place. I hate strangers that are creepy, but they are rampant in this part of the world. And for the record, even if I wasn’t getting off the bus at that moment, I wouldn’t have dignified that series of statements/questions with a response.

My bus stop seems to attract creepy people too. I am pondering to change my stop and walk a few extra minutes just to avoid the sketchy people, not sure what I will do as of yet. However, the trusty Ligne 2 which connects me from Place Villiers in 5 minutes to the downtown core via stop Théâtre, Démogé, or Bernières depending on where I am trying to end up. It’s quite agreeable, however I find that people on my bus are always strange. You see, I live near the psychiatric hospital, which I imagine doesn’t let it’s people run free, but I’m starting to think that they have times where they let the people just run around town because at my bus stop people talk to themselves, get into arguments with others, and all I can do is stare at my feet hoping that the old homeless woman won’t ask me for money. I don’t think I will be able to confirm nor deny the actual reason for this, but in any case that’s my reasoning and I think it’s pretty valid.

In happier news I went to the street Market at Saint-Pierre, which extends down the entire port. It’s quite huge with tons of great, and strange things. The strangest, are €100 bed mattresses. My colleague Hannah and I both agree that it’s bad enough we buy food in an open market, but we can’t come to trust getting a mattress at that price that’s from the street. Just saying. Today I bought something for the first time timidly. I promised myself that I would buy something but I found it a bit overwhelming for awhile, so much that I’ve been perusing for the last few weeks. Certain vendors have a special way they do things, like they handle the food and put it into bags, or you grab what you want and give it to them, so I need to observe a little first. I’m never in any rush, especially not on a Sunday!

So what did I buy? Lettuce, yes I know it’s simple and it only costed me €1!! That’s nearly €2 cheaper than at the supermarket, great buy! I bought it from these country farmers in a quieter area of the market. I refuse to purchase things from people that are yelling at me: “Allez! Allez! Deux Euros, un kilo de clémentines” It’s just poor form. So I found this area that was quiet, less people, spacious, and had lots of vegetables. It seems to be run by the sons / daughters of the farmers, because they were all young. Maybe they are slave workers, that I’ll never know! But I pointed to the non-green one lettuce bunch that I wanted and said “Celui-ci s’il vous plaît” timidly. “Dans une petite séchée, Monsieur?” Side-note, I hate being called Monsieur as it makes me feel older, and I hate even more being called “Mesdammes,” which always happens when I am clothes shopping. The 17 year old farmer bagged up my lettuce and I gave him the euro, but he seemed a little embarrassed, or even as timid as I. I promise to go back to the same vendor next week and get something there too just to try to work out a comfort level.

Well that’s a nutshell of my life, it’s quite crazy and pointless. Who know someone could have anxiety about going to the market? I’m just glad it didn’t rain, for like the first time ever here in Normandy!!

Up yours, Normandy…

Pet peeve number zillion. It always is rainging here, and that’s not even the part that bothers me the most. What kills me the most is that I don’t have shoes that keep my feets dry, and thus having wet feet is the worst possible thing that can happy apart from being cut off from the world.

Just saying… >:-[