Detour in Paris

Trip Start Oct 13, 2004
Trip End Nov 16, 2004

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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Today has been a lesson in letting go of expectations (especially when they have gone awry), which has allowed me to be fully present in the moment rather than holding on so tightly to my ideas of how things are suppose to be. I really have no clue and it's time I should stop pretending I do. Going with the the f.l.o.w is infinitely more fun than the alternative.

So the plan (expectation) was that I'd make all my connecting flights. It was a simple plan one that didn't require much planning or thought--a given expectation of sorts. However, I missed my flight this afternoon from Paris to New Delhi because the wheelchair I requested never showed up to take me to the gate. Since I walk as fast as a turtle in these crutches, I missed my flight by... oh, a mere 20 minutes! I was so excited to get to India that this was definitely not the start to the trip I was hoping for but therein lies great opportunity for allowing the unknown to take over.

After what seemed like an endless communication struggle and ultimate sign language showdown, Air France put me on another New Delhi flight Friday morning complete with hotel and food vouchers and a toothbrush for all my trouble. Being able to spend the day here so un expectantly has been wonderful. I have really enjoyed soaking in one of my favorite cities in the world.

By "soaking in" I don't mean the sunshine. It's freezing cold here. Their "fall" weather is chilling to the bone in my summer clothes. I have nothing warm to wear since I am without my backpack, which is probably still sitting on the international tarmac, or worse yet, it's some airport employee's prize after winning their backroom poker game of lost-and-found items (reference to the movie "Terminal" I just saw on the plane.) So, this weather shift resulted in the inevitable... I just HAD to purchase a beautiful Parisian scarf to keep me warm as I gimped my way through the city sights. Now, I blend in perfectly (sans the metal walking sticks) with the locals.

Being outside in the crist air was so refreshing especially after sitting for so long on the plane. Note to self: send special thank you note to my manager for permitting first class travel as it is without a doubt why I am still alive to write this entry!

I was in Paris 4 years ago but today it still felt new to me and I feel energized by this charming and timeless city. Highlights included walking next to the Seine as it winds its way through one of the most amorous cities in the world, visiting gorgeous museums that hold timeless beauty, resting in the pews under the buttresses of Notre Dame and the seeing the spectacular sparkling light show of the Eiffel Tower at night that added to the effervescence of the city.

Tonight, I am having dinner with two charming men from Germany who are brothers and are reuniting after years of separation. One brother lived in San Francisco for some time and is excited to reminiscence. I have found that most people are extremely kind and open to me and I have enjoyed them all immensely. Maybe my crutches have created an open door for conversation? Whatever the case may be, this trip has started off on the right foot even if it wasn't the one I had planned, or a fully functional mobile one at that.

Au Revoir,
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