Often, pre-trip anticipation ranks right up there with the trip itself. Okay, looking forward to a vacation isn’t as cool as being there, but sometimes it is awfully close. One thing is for sure, the week before a holiday is always better than the week after.
We are a week and a half out from a weekend in Paris: the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, baguettes with stinky cheese, and, if I’m particularly convincing, Moulin Rouge await. Who wouldn’t be excited?
Amidst the anticipation, the worst thing happened: I had to go to Paris for an overnight business trip. I know what you are thinking, shut the front door that is not the worst thing that could happen. I can understand that, it wasn’t that bad. It was only the worst thing as it relates to our upcoming trip.
So I decided to fight it. I would go, yes indeed, my job required it. But I would not enjoy it.
Okay, so hear me out. I would not enjoy it because I wanted to wait. I wanted the Parisian culture, but only with my wife when I was there on my own time. So on this trip, I stepped away from it.
I did not indulge in fine French cuisine (I had sushi for dinner).* I did not try to charm my way into conversations (it’s my blog, and for this post, I am charming). I tucked my head down and muzzled the three meagre French words in my repertoire (repertoire, I’m afraid, is one of them). I drank my coffee quickly. I paid for my Metro and train tickets. I used a period instead of a comma to indicate cents. In some ways, I did not acknowledge that I was even in a different country.
I crossed the mid-point to the Chunnel and cursed myself: in my efforts to shun the culture in front of me, I probably was the most French I will ever be (Sorry Uncle Ray, it’s true)! In the end, why wait?
*No snails were harmed in writing this post (the hot garlic butter was also delayed, for another week).
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