Arrival in Europe

Trip Start Mar 30, 2003
Trip End Apr 14, 2003

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Flag of Belgium  ,
Tuesday, April 1, 2003

Hey guys,

Hope everyone is doing well.

It is around 1:30am here in Belgium. My jetlag has been out of control. My flight out was good. The plane left a little bit late from the Ottawa airport due to technical difficulties. The plane wasn't full at all so I was lucky enough to get 2 seats to myself and a window. Unfortunately napping on these small planes is not an option seeing as you can barely fit into one damn seat.

We arrived a little later than anticipated in Washington b/c it was snowing CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? There was more snow in DC than in Ottawa haha what a jok4e. A snowstorm for that matter. I barely made it to th4e DC airport in time to catch my connecting flight to Paris.

The Washington - Paris flight was great. The flight wasn't packed either and I ended up having an empty seat next to me again. I was the only Canadian on board and there were only about a handful of Americans, the rest were all old grumpy Parisians. I have come to th4e conclusion that Parisians are everything I had heard. They really are arrogant and totally unfriendly!! GEEZ. Every time I tried to start a convo with the lady in the seat next to the empty one of mine, she would glare at me wtf?? And they all pushed and shoved to get through never apologizing or asking excuse me. I was speaking french to them it's not lik4e I was speaking in English.. I managed to have about 3 hours of sleep on the plane luckily and ignored the unfriendly surroundings.

Arrival time in Paris was 8am local time and 1am Ottawa time. I really did think I'd make it through the day without worrying about jetlag since after my 3 hour nap I felt totally awake and aware. Boy was I wrong. Let me tell you first that the Paris Charles De Gaulle airport is HUGE!! OMG OMG. There were 5 buses not shuttles buses, connecting all the airport terminals and these terminals weren't close to one another either, they took a good 10 min bus drive from each other. So once in Paris CDG airport, I called my dad to notify him of my arrival, picked up my suitcase and went on the hunt for the TGV station. For those that don't know, TGV means Train a Grande Vitesse, these high speed trains run at a max of 300KM/h connecting Paris to Brussels and vice versa.

It was 830 and my TGV connection wasn't arriving until 10:46AM, so I still had some time to get to this station. I asked around and was directed to the bus terminal and told to board bus 1. I stupidly got on the wrong bus and ended up driving in the complete opposite direction of where the train station was. So here I was getting off at this other terminal and waiting for anther bus that I clarified this time did take me to the TGV station. Once there, I bought my ticket and waited. The weather was lovely, around 10 degrees Celsius so my jacket was nicely tucked away into my carry on.

Once on the TGV, I decided to take a nap, once again the train wasn't packed and I had 2 seats to myself. This ride lasted about 1 hour and 15 mins so sleep I got barely any.

Once arrived in Brussels, I met up with my dad who informed me that he had taken another local train to meet me and had therefore not driven up. ARG@ At this point I was soo damn tired of traveling I just wanted to get in a car and drive to this place. So we waited again for another train and then once that train arrived and we got on it, I found out there would still be one more train connection to make before arriving to the place where he had parked his car.

I asked my dad to remind me why he lived on the outskirts of town. Regardless we made it to Herentals(the town where my dad lives, it's a neighbouring town to Antwerp, about a 10 min drive away.) Great great town. It's super cute and very well kept. I'll be taking pictures today when my dad takes me.

Finally, arriving at my dad's house, which btw is amazing! I'll be taking pics of this too. Phil, I thought of you when I stepped into the house, very futuristic minimalistic style. You'll see what I mean when I send you the pics :) So once here, I got the grand tour and then I took a well deserved and anticipated shower, got into my pjs and finally was able to lie down and take a nap. This was all around 2:30pm local time, noon Ottawa time.

I got woken up at 6pm to have dinner and meet my sister. SOOOO cute hehe. She didn't seem to be scared and was very playful. We had dinner the kids were put to bed and my stepmom, dad and I watched the European version of Temptation Island lol, Jill, I thought of you at this point haha us and our reality tv shows. It was pretty entertaining watching it in Flemish and not understand a damn word! Haha.

I started getting sleepy again at around 930pm and I finally caved in and signed off for the night. Now I'm thinking I should have waited maybe a bit longer cos it's 2am local time and I can't seem to get back to sleep! I thought about going upstairs(my room is in the basement) to watch some tv or even surf the net on my dad's PC but my dad informed me that they have a motion detected alarm set up. Talk about crazy!. So I'm confined to the basement until 6-7am when they get up unfortunately. Thank god for my laptop!

So guys, I think this is me signing out, don't be afraid to send me a mail I'll be checking it often up until about Sunday or Saturday,, depending when we decide to leave for Paris and Bretagne(the beach where I'll be) Once I leave Belgium I go straight to France and stay there for the time being until I embark on the following week.

Kendra + Jill - Hope things are good at the apartment, I heard the temp was -16 the day after I left so I hope there weren't problems with the heat again.

Phil - how were your Spanish classes?

Eric - please email me your number since I stupidly forgot it at work!!

Adele - tout marche au travail?

Nana - send me your phone number hunn!!
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beachbumaxp on

You had me laughing very hard at the comment about the arrogant French people. I had the same, unfortunate experience while visiting Nice last year. While they ARE nicer than the Parisians, they still give you rude looks and stick their noses up at you. The young people, who I know for a fact speak English, pretend like that don't, even though I know it's required in their schools. I speak a little French, but even that won't warm them up. Will they please let their guard down and be friendly?? It feels so much better than being an ass. haha

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