Sitting the test
Trip Start Jun 20, 2012
82Trip End Aug 05, 2012
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I slept from before take-off at 6pm Paris-time through to 5:30am. We landed at 7am.
11 brown bunnies along the runway after landing. Maybe I noticed so many because I was trying, desperately, to leave my body behind and run free, chasing after their white-striped tails as they dashed back to the cover of the bushes. Arwen's rancid breath, plus the child who screamed AYHA every few moments mixed with the droning tones of the flight announcements and being fumigated to cleanse us in preparation for entering Europe and made me long to leave the aircraft and set foot, finally, in Paris.
We walked through the airport to the connecting train, which took us to our baggage-claim
Our luggage never came through so we headed to the baggage-information-desk and spoke with Marion, a French Lady, about what to do next. We left our Great Briton and Australian addresses and were told we each had €100 to spend, which we could then claim by posting in our receipts to China Southern.
We withdrew our €930 each for the university fee and then spent a half hour trying to work out how to buy a ticket without coinage; being sent from one side of the station to the other in search of, what turned out to be, a broken coin-change machine. We then promptly shuffled down to our train and headed to St-Michel Notre Dame which is a short walk from the Sorbonne university. Three buildings and an hour of walking later, we had paid and registered completely for class in July.
We headed to a bakery for three little loaves for me - raisin, dark seed and pistachio with cashews; a store for 'Président' Camembert cheese and beetroot crisps; and to the Jardin du Luxembourg park for a picnic.
Back to the Sorbonne to sit the placement test at 2pm, finishing at 3pm. To Gare du Nord for the train to London, getting provisions for the train on the way. A bomb threat at Gare du Nord keeps those with Eurostar journeys from heading upstairs to check-in. A wave of police was followed by bomb-safety-clad officials, followed by two women with Alsatians. The crowd, fronted by us, was being kept at bay by twenty-odd Eurostar desk-ladies who seemed excited, thrilled and terrified in equal measure. We finally got on to the train and with a rushed departure left for London only five minutes behind schedule.