Cysts and Highway Prayers

Trip Start May 19, 2011
Trip End Dec 21, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Friday, June 17, 2011

Saturday morning we woke up and decided to go explore the area. The weather was rain off and on, but when we left we actually had some sun. We first went to the Galleries Lafayette which is a very beautiful building full of high end stores. We took a few pictures of the architecture and then left because neither of us cared about Louis Vuitton shopping. We then visited the Église de la Trinité. As we were walking to another part of town where there was a building Guillaume had worked on the roof of one summer, we got stuck in a downpour. The minute we came to a store selling umbrellas I bought one. It was the cheapest one they had and I had no idea what it looked like. Turned out that it was white with the main tourist attractions of Paris in black on it. Super cheesy. And it broke almost immediately after opening it. Luckily it didn't really rain like that again during the day so we didn't need it. We walked part of the city in a lifted walkway called La Promenade Plantée which stretches from Place de la Bastille where the French Revolution started to the Jardin de Reuilly. It used to be train tracks but had been converted to a lifted garden and walk way. We then made our way to Rue Montgallet where you can find cheap electronics. We were looking for a battery for Guillaume's camera. We made our way home after that and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Sunday we relaxed most of the day. In the evening Alice and Florian came home and we made them dinner. We had forgotten to go shopping earlier in the day so we ended up having to go to a corner shop to get some extra food. Guillaume and I still aren't adjusted yet to the fact that everything close at 6 or 7 in the evening here and nothing is open on Sundays. It's just the strangest thing. Dinner was nice, but we were all tired so we took off shortly after eating. That night we headed back to Pierrefitte to stay at Guillaume's father's house.

Monday morning we got up early because Guillaume had to be at the hospital to get the cysts on his head removed.  The hospital was a bit of a crack up because no one really knew where we were supposed to go. First we were set to the receptionist desk who sent us upstairs to surgery, then surgery sent us down stairs to admissions, who said they can't help us until after the procedure, so we went back to reception who sent us to the office of the doctor who was supposed to be doing the procedure. After sitting outside of his office waiting for about 20 minutes Guillaume asked again if we were in the right place and the receptionist told us we were. Finally the doctor arrived and took Guillaume back. It took only about 15 minutes for the doctor to remove three cysts and stitch Guillaume up. When Guillaume came back to the waiting area I could tell something was wrong. Once we made it out he told me that the local anesthesia had worn off on the last cyst and he felt everything when the doctor began cutting into his skin. The doctor gave him more anesthesia but had to shoot the medicine into already cut skin. It was quite painful. Also the stitches were very tight and that caused him a lot of pain. We spent the rest of the day relaxing and for Guillaume recovering.

Tuesday was another slow day until the evening. With Guillaume's head hurting we spent most of the day relaxing. That evening we met with Alice, Florian and another friend Anthony in downtown Paris in the Marais area (aka Gay Area, which everyone had to tell me more than once) for Fête de la Musique. Fête de la Musique is a yearly celebration on June 21 (solstice) that takes over France. Every city has music playing all night long. In Paris the music is organized by neighborhood. One will have classical, another will have rock, etc... We first came upon a classic drum line which was very cool. Then we found a Caribbean drum group, and was passed by an african drum parade. We also found a few rock bands, and a few horn bands. Hearing all the music and enjoying my time with Guillaume really lightened my heart. We had a good night but headed home early-ish because it started to rain and I was tired.

Wednesday was another down day. Guillaume went to the library to work while I stayed home and relaxed.

Thursday we decided we needed to go out and explore so we went to Paris. We intended to climb the Effiel Tower in the morning, but it turned out to be school group day and the place was packed with kids. Deciding we would come back another day, we took off towards the Trocadéro and got some nice pictures of the Eiffel Tower. Then we headed to the banks of the Seine and decided to take a boat tour. It was nice to have a little hour sitting together and taking in the sights. Unfortunately it was quite cold, but we did it anyways. After our little fun in Paris we had to head back, because Guillaume had a doctor's appointment. We had lunch at a little place by the office, which was good, and then met with his doctor (who is a really nice guy). After that we went back home and that evening left for Guillaume’s uncle's house, where we are now (see Saga of the Cars Part 2).

Friday was another relaxing day. Guillaume was supposed to meet with his advisor, but seeing how crazy Thursday had been with the car we postponed until Monday. We went back to Guillaume’s Dad’s house to get some more of our stuff, but mostly just hung out.

Saga of the Cars Part 2:
Thursday night we left in a bit of a hurry to get to Guillaume’s uncle’s place. Because we were in a hurry we decided to take the red car (the one that won't accelerate). Guillaume’s uncle lives about 30 minutes from his dad’s place. We made it probably half way when the car broke down. On this particular highway the shoulder was very small and there was no call box leaving us right out in the open. In Drivers Ed it is beat into the kids heads that your life expectancy drops drastically for every minute you are stopped on the side of the highway. We made it to the side of the ride with no issues. Unfortunately, we were out in the plains by CDG and it was getting dark, and cold. We grabbed our jackets and stood out in the field while we tried to call Guillaume’s aunt and uncle for rescue. But that was a difficult task because our phone had no minutes and it turned out we had multiple wrong numbers programed for them. We were able to get a hold of them long enough to tell them to call us back. Finally we were able to give them our location so they could come pick us up. But Guillaume’s aunt didn’t seem to really understand where we were. Guillaume was very concerned about my safety because the temperature was dropping quickly and we weren’t really dressed for the cold. After probably 20 minutes and me saying “that is the problem with no one having a truck in France, in the US some guy with a big truck would have pulled over already and asked to help” a small car with three guys pulled in behind us. They had come to offer us help. Guillaume and the guys talked and they decided to push us with their car (on the shoulder) to the next exit so we would be safer. We all piled back into our cars and they began pushing us. It was quite successful, but after only about 5 minutes of pushing they honked their horn and stopped their car. Guillaume stopped our car and went to talk to them. Turned out they were Muslims and needed to do their nightly prayers. So stopped on the side of the road, these three men pulled their matts out of  their car and got down and prayed, with the semi's flying past and everything. After only a few minutes we all piled into our cars and they pushed us to the next exit. We thanked them, offered to buy them dinner or pay them (they refused) and 10 minutes later we were in Guillaume’s Aunt’s car headed to their house.
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