I have been overseas now since June 13th. One full and fantastic month has flown by. London, Aberdeen and Edinburgh (in the middle of the G8 and all)- were awesome. Each city beautiful in its own charming and individual way.
And its people were hospitable and lovely –sometimes gritty, and always real. They enraptured me with their compelling quirks and nuances & colorful accents.
I do believe I disappointed a few Scotts with my twaang-less, un-country-fied accent. And for goodness sakes, ‘do I ever put on my cowboy boots’ someone (hi Ziggy and Susan) actually asked.
Thanks again to those who kindly put me up without a single batt of an eye. (Bill Thompson, Tommy Perman. and family).
I wish that I had started writing daily back then as the things were happening because now its too much to try and recant. Since pictures are worth a thousand words I’ll have to say it that way. Coming soon.
I arrived in Paris and was taken aback initially by its beauty, but also when every official who handled my passport saw TEXAS and sneered. Or remarked snidely, to a co-worker while blatantly holding up my documents and pointing. I suppose our countrys’ relations have not made for open-armed welcomes and I almost decided to take the advise of friend back home and not mention where I’m from unless absolutely necessary in the future. A couple of times when I first arrived I even lied and said New York. But after a while, naturally, home pride takes over and I decided that people needed to know the truth and deal it in whatever way necessary. Their hangups are not my problem. & hopefully if they want to take the time to get to know me, Texan and all they will take me as I am.
It turns out the people of Paris are so nice and hospitable and understanding if you at least attempt to speak the language- verbal meat cleaver and all. There’s nothing like the pressure of being surrounded by people speaking another language that makes you want to get savvy real quick. Note to future travellers, a person MUST at least learn how to order food, find the bathroom, the exit, the train station or the nearest bar to get by here.
I arrived in Paris two days after the bombings in London. Since I don’t understand much French yet, I didn’t bother with newspapers or TV and didn’t know a thing about what was going on just over the channel until the following day over dinner with an American friend.
I found out, that it was under those horrible circumstances that we were able to come together in a chance encounter the evening before in Gare du Bastille. I found out later that due to the bombs that morning, the entire Metro Train system was understandably on extreme Red Alert and someone had just left an unattended bag on her train. Her train was evacuated and held for an hour while being searched and I was just happening by at that moment. She looked up as I was looking over in that direction. It was my girl Song! A friend from Houston that I hadn’t seen in maybe 12 years. Small-small world, huh? My beleif in synchronicity is strengthened every day.
Song has been living in France now for 4yrs and is a successful singer in an R&B group called Rimshot. We saw the band at LeScene on Tuesday as they opened for Little Brother and they were INCREDIBLE!
Until later, A’ bientot!
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See full post here: TONYA ENGEL ART STUDIO2005-07-15.