[(My present-day comments will be in brackets and italicized.) In August 2000, I left Oklahoma to spend the school year in Clermont-Ferrand, France, studying at L'Université Blaise-Pascale. I was 20 years old, and Jamie and I had been dating for a little over 2 1/2 years. These posts, tagged "Europe 2000-2001," are taken directly from the hand-written journals I kept (and accompanying photos) during that time.]
I'm here! Right now I'm missing Jamie so much it hurts. I think keeping this journal will help, though. This way I'll be sure to remember all the things I want to tell him. Leaving him in the airport in Tulsa was extremely hard. I was bawling in the plane. When we turned to start taxiing, I waved and waved and he saw me and waved. I still feel like he should be here with me.
We were 20 minutes late taking off from Tulsa, and when I got to St. Louis and rushed across the airport to catch my flight for JFK, I was told the plane wasn't there yet. I was really upset because I didn't know what I'd do if I missed my flight from JFK-Paris, so I called Jamie. The phone I was using wouldn't work so I went to the next one... then I was told by the operator that I couldn't make a collect call to our home number for some reason. I finally just used my calling card, crying the whole time. It didn't help much to talk to Jamie because he was still upset and it just made me cry harder. We finally took off from St. Louis an hour and fifteen minutes late, and when we arrived at JFK, we went straight from the plane onto the next.
On the flight to Paris I was next to a nice lady that had just been visiting New York and was going back home to Versailles. I watched Return to Me and an episode of Frasier, ate a fairly good (for airplane food) dinner, and slept for about an hour and a half. When I arrived at Charles de Gaulle, I followed everyone else to the baggage claim and waited a long time for my bags. I walked right through the sign that said Customs and no one said anything or asked to see my passport or anything, so I'm hoping I didn't do something wrong!
Jean and Nicole [the couple, friends of Meme, that I was staying with in the Paris area before heading to my university city] look the exact same and they're wonderful, though I feel really awkward speaking French to them. (While I'm remembering, I had roblechon and gruyère at dinner. Really liked the former and didn't like the latter.) I saw Sacre Coeur from a distance on the way here and Nicole said we'd visit it before I left Thursday. No Eiffel Tower yet! I also didn't get to see the Statue of Liberty in NY, either.
I called home and talked to Mom a little and Jamie a lot. Started crying again when I told him I missed him.
Managed to find the toilet-room; it's separate from the sink and the shower, though I'd forgotten that since last time. [Meme and I visited back in 1996.] I put the batteries in my alarm clock and set it, but the alarm part doesn't work! I'll have to remember to buy another one. I'm going to church w/ Jean (and possibly Nicole) tomorrow and I think I'm going to change money Tuesday. (Nicole said there isn't an ATM nearby.) I think I'll be buying my train ticket Monday. I'm really worried about how I'll manage my bags, and how I'll get from the gare [French for "train station"] in Clermont to the University. And where I should go at the University! Maybe I should try calling this week? My hand is about to give out, so I'm going to read some and go to bed. I love you, Jamie!
|My room at Jean & Nicole's house. The walls were covered with fabric with some sort of batting underneath.|