Well, another fun week is unfortunately done. Monday was my shopping day (I seem to be having quite a bit of these…). My goal for Monday was to get 1) a Christmas tree ornament, as I’m hoping to get one everywhere I go. And 2) a Lollipops Paris purse. I’ve always wanted a Lollipops purse ever since I saw my very first one in February three years ago. I remember it clearly: the family and I went to Hendaye for the week and the day that I decided to go to Spain, I jumped on the boat that would take me from France, across the bay, to Spain. There was a family on this boat and the mom had a gorgeous purse that I instantly fell in love with. So I got up nice and close until I saw the “Lollipops” label on it. When I got back to Rambouillet, I looked it up and went to the store, but only to admire the purses as they were way too much for my $3.75/hour paycheck to afford. But now it’s sale season, and sale season is a magical time. That day, I ended up getting my Christmas tree ornament, but I didn’t find my Lollipops purse. I however found not one, but two pairs of shoes. So now I have six pairs here… Oh geez.
On Tuesday, I went to my favourite gardens, the Luxembourg gardens. It was a gorgeous day out but it was one of those days where you had to sit still or you would die of heat. So the Luxembourg gardens were great for that! Then I found a cute, little park in Bercy so I explored that for awhile.
|On the way to the cemetery|
|Uncle Walter Ahrens 30/09/20-16/07/44|
On Wednesday, I woke up early to catch a train to Dieppe. It’s a nice little town about two hours north of Paris, right next to the English Channel. It’s also the closest beach to Paris. And since it was 31 degrees, I think a good majority of Paris had the same idea as me. When I got there, I found out what bus I had to take to get as far south as I could. Then I walked about ten minutes outside of town to the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, a beautiful little cemetery on the countryside. There, I was able to find Uncle Walter’s grave, my Grandpa’s brother. I felt so happy to finally be there, after talking to my mom many times about going. I felt such a sense of pride, knowing that he fought for our freedom. But it was also scary to me. And what’s so scary about it? A combination of things… The fact that he was only 23, a year older than I am now. That he went to the other side of the world to fight for his country and for our freedom, never to actually return. That only a handful of people have went to see him in the 68 years he’s been gone. But I know he hasn’t been forgotten. No, I knew who he was even when I was a child. Grandma and Grandpa kept a picture of him in that guest bedroom with the pink bed and the organ, the room my sister and I always slept in. But I wonder… Was HE proud? Happy? Did he get everything he wanted in that short amount of time we call life? Did he love? Was he loved? What were his final thoughts when he looked death right in the eye? Then I wonder, if I were to die tomorrow, would I be happy with the way I lived my life? I think so… But did I do everything I wanted to? Well, no. I have never let myself love, never been loved, never had a child to call my own. But maybe because I don’t know really those feelings, I don’t know what I’m missing out on and therefore it would be okay. Because I’ve also had amazing experiences, experiences that I DO know how they feel, and they’ve made me live life to the fullest. I’ve been lucky enough to swim in the Pacific and Atlantic, ride a helicopter, travel the world, walk up the Eiffel Tower, fly a plane, zipline through Mexico, swim with dolphins, go repelling down a waterfall, find friends who love and care for me. I’m happy with who I’ve become, with the people I have in my life, and the family that I have been blessed with. It would almost seem selfish to ask for more… But I hope that Uncle Walter got everything he wanted out of life; I think he should be really proud of what he did. After the cemetery, I made my way back into town. I explored the castle, which was pretty cool, and then I went to the Canadian square. It was really neat in Dieppe because down all of the streets, there were maple leaf signs with “Dieppe 1942-2012” written on them. Everywhere there was a France flag, there was usually a Canadian flag as well. I went for a walk by the beach, which was really overcrowded, but then I found a deck that was reserved for reading. They were strict on making sure that everyone who sat on that deck was only there to read. So that was kinda cool! I went for dinner afterwards and I figured I should probably have seafood since I was by the sea. So I got some kind of fish soup and then a HUGE bowl of mussels. They were okay, but the consistency was really throwing me off. I made myself finish them though, even though I wasn’t sure if I could keep it up. Then I had dessert! I don’t even know what it was but it was delicious! Some sort of apple cake thing, so good! And then I had to catch my train. And I literally could not walk; I was way too full! That’s what the French do though; they give you a really awesome deal to get an appetizer, main dish, and dessert, and then they give you HUGE portions. And you eat the entire thing cause French food is amazing, and then you can’t move at all! That must be how I gained 25 pounds the last time I was in France…
On Thursday, I continued my search for my Lollipops purse but ended up buying two OTHER types of purses. Then Friday, I finally became the proud owner of a Lollipops purse, yay! On Saturday, I stayed at home to watch the Olympics before Laura came. I still don’t think I’ve seen an event with a Canadian in it. Unfortunately, France only focuses on France, but I guess it makes sense since they’re fourth place in the medal standings right now. Laura showed up later that night with her friend Kelsi, so we went out for dinner before going to bed. On Sunday, we went to the Moosehead Canadian pub for poutines and then we spent the rest of the day at the flea market. That night, Laura and I went to the movies to watch To Rome with Love! Unfortunately, half of the movie was in Italian with French subtitles, so I had to translate as much as I could to Laura. It ended up being an okay movie in the end though. Today, Laura and I went to L’as du Falafel for lunch and then we just walked down the street and shopped. It was fun! It’s good to finally have someone to talk to and to enjoy my time with; I’m really happy that she was able to come! I only have less than two weeks left here so I’m going to have to figure out if I need to do anything other than shop… Miss everyone tons! Love always