Peter M Howard ::

A Collection of Holiday Posts, September 2005

07Sep2005 [france]

This post is a collection of ?bits written over the last couple weeks in my notebook... These are mainly just comments, I also have plenty photos/video and trip reports still to come (probably not till after I return to Reims), and lots of observations about World Youth Day, which I think I'll write into a new ?bits=wyd category (particularly in the leadup to Sydney's hosting the July2008 WYD). I'm also going to try cross-reference all my posts for this latest trip, as not all will be in the ?bits=france category, and they may end up a little scattered (which makes me think I should add a 'related posts' feature to the ?bits area)


Am writing this with the intention to post it once I reach Jenni's. A Simple matter of selecting the appropriate facts, listed in order of increasing unpleasantness: (Made it / Got lost on the way / Died on the way) to England. The flight was (uneventful / delayed / full of Spanish people). I was mistaken for a European (Spaniard) 1 time(s), and stopped by security 0 time(s) (though every time a security guard moved I assumed I was about to be stopped).

I Done Been Robbed (Sept3)

Returned to the hostel on Saturday evening to discover the room a mess and my bag missing. They had kindly emptied most of my luggage onto the bed, before taking the things the wanted and taking them in the bag. Fortunately I had all valuables and important things on me, so only lost annoying things (though it adds up - around €1000 worth of stuff). Lost some of the strangest things though - a beanie, one glove, my old (Australian) electric shaver (though they left me my Australia-Europe plug adapter!), and all my power cables; rather hilarious really - I spent the night hardly able to keep a straight face - even at the police station!

As a geek/gadget-freak, the loss of power is by far the most annoying thing, followed closely by the loss of a shaver as a guy who likes a clean shave every couple of days. Further, it's annoying that tomorrow being Sunday it'll be another day before I can solve those dilemnas... I managed to pick up a replacement power cable for my mobile, so it was working again within a couple days; the video camera cable I'll replace when I return to France; the Sony PDA's cable will be tricky as Sony never sold it in Europe and no longer sell it in the States, but I've managed to find a cable on a US gadget website that looks like it'll do the trick -- just have to wait a couple weeks before I get any portable music.

Travelling with an Extrovert

New rule: Introverts and Extroverts shouldn't spend too much time together - the Introvert gets drained by the other's noisiness, and the Extrovert gets drained by the other's quietness. It was good to get to Barcelona and spend a few days alone, before catching up with a fellow introvert who knew exactly what I meant...

Falling In Love (August14-22)

Starting to fall in love with Germany, and it's giving me some perspective after 7 months in France. Being in France (and observing the States) made me realise how well balanced Australia is (for all its faults)... But after only a week I'm loving how Germany's done re: cultural imperialism -- amazing combination of their own culture (even) with American chains everywhere visible. It's so similar to Australia with the level of Americanisation, but has more of its own culture. (And it was brilliant to finally go to a city with cafés everywhere!)