Shannon’s Super Sexy Blog. Music. Travel. Randomness. And a Lot of Wine.

Worth Fighting For

Did I tell you guys that I am now staying until May 5?  No, I guess I didn’t.  Well, I am staying until May 5th.  So, right now I am in the middle of my stay here.

I am already trying to figure out how, and when, I can come back and do this again, next year.  In fact, I am trying to figure out how I can extend this year, the Year of Living Without a Real Home, into next year.  I am… at home, having no real home.  I guess the fact that I am in Paris right now seems to make this all a little easier than it would in, say, Istanbul (a place that I want to try to do this in next year, but by myself? Can I do it?)

Today I walked down to Gare de Lyon to pick up my train ticket, which I already booked and paid for online, to Venice on the night of May 5th.  Only, the ticket machine thingy would not take my card.  OK, here is one of those situations when being clueless about the French language sucks.  I go to the info guy, ask him (in really bad French) if I can speak English.  He sends me to a really long line.  I stand in the line, worrying all the while about not being understood… although there is no need to really, we are in Paris not some random outpost where they REALLY won’t understand.  Even so, there is the worry, from hearing other people talk about lines, that I will embarrass myself only to be sent to another line.

Finally I get up there and the agent figures out what I am trying to accomplish, but my credit card won’t swipe. After a few swiping attempts the agent consults another agent, he says something, then she disappears.  I figure I am going to at the best lose my money, at the worst be arrested.  Just kidding but after all that time in line I had to amuse myself somehow.

So she comes back with a piece of scotch tape.  Seriously. Then she tapes the swipe area of my card.  And swipes it and voila! It works.  I have no idea if this will ever help the readers of my blog, but I, for one, am going to start carrying some scotch tape in my backpack.

So after that I walked down to the actual train station where I will be departing from, just down from Gare de Lyon: Gare de Bercy.  And it is not like the uber fabulousness of Gare de Lyon, but rather like a train station in Fort Wayne Indiana.  So, now I know I do not have to get there early.

Later in the day, mostly because I did not feel like getting on any metro because it was Oh So Awesome outdoors, I decided to walk around the Marais a little.  After about 10 seconds of that I was sick of trying to navigate all the tourists and then happened upon a Scottish pub, called the Pure Malt.  I instantly went (inside, LOL) and asked the guy behind the bar for a glass of wine in French.  “I SPEAK ENGLISH, YOU KNOW.”  Hehe… I guess that should have been totally obvious, it being a Scottish bar.  But heck how does one navigate these things?  How do I know the Scottish owner doesn’t have some French dudes working there?  How do you tell the exact moment it goes from Bonjour to Bonsoir?  How?  How?  Anyway the guy turned out to be pretty nice, maybe I should have asked HIM about the whole Bonjour/Bonsoir dilemma.  Except he would have answered me in Scottish, and then I would still be up the river.  Right?

At any rate, I love all these daily trials and tribulations.  Besides the awesomeness of being here, eating dinner with the window open and the birds singing outside, the cool people I have met and the fantastic wines I have drunk, and all the cheese… well you get the idea.  Besides the awesomeness of all that, there are the trials and tribulations.   And this, my friends, is what makes travel worth fighting for.

8 Responses to “Worth Fighting For”

  1. Tourmama Says:

    I continue to be “gobsmacked” by your posts. They are so you! And you really pay attention when you travel, and “see” things, and share them with awesome enthusiasm. Thanks…keep on having a great time, and we’ll see you in a month or so.


  2. Chris Says:

    It just makes my day when I see you’ve got a new post! I’ve never heard of the tape on the credit card trick before — wonder why that worked?

  3. Eden Says:

    I look forward to your posts so I check Portarticus daily. I am trying real hard to be not too jealous. 🙂

  4. Kathy (Trekcapri) Says:

    Hi Shannon, glad to read that you’re having a blast. I hadn’t realized that you were traveling the entire year on the road. That is so cool! I’m trying not to be jealous too. I think I’ll also add scotch tape to my packing list. 🙂 And you are so right, travel and all of it’s experiences are so “worth fighting for.” Fabulous quote…

  5. Peter Sibley Says:

    Re: the Istanbul questions. Duh, you can. The place needs you to make some sense of it.

  6. Leslie Says:

    Shannon, so fun to read! So what do you think of the attic apartment…its been on my list for ages…thinking about renting it for September just for a few days coming from London…living vicariously girl…lesfaye from Slowtrav.

  7. Sandrac Says:

    I’m still trying to figure out how you’ve done it this year! You’re my hero, Shannon!

  8. nancyhol Says:

    Well, I am definitely jealous! But a year from now Bill and I will be there too, following in your footsteps. Why don’t you make a return trip while we are there? May 1 – 15, 2012

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