Friday, December 10, 2004

Walking

Walk down that lonesome road all by yourself
Don’t turn your head back over your shoulder
And only stop to rest yourself when the silver moon
Is shining high above the trees

--James Taylor

This morning I had a French lesson at McDonalds at 11 am. Or I was supposed to have one. I left my place about 10:30 which is a bit more than you need taking the tram, but I was hoping to walk most of it, hopping the tram if I saw I was running late. McDonalds is right on the tram track so I normally walk along the tramway to get there. This time I decided to take a short cut. From my way the tram actually makes a little curve on its way to McDonalds. By my way of thinking I was going to make a straight shot of it, going from one point of the curve to the next without actually taking the longer curve of it. Does that makes sense? Think of a circle and realize that the shortest distance from one point to the next on the cirlce is a straight line, not the curve. Apparently the actual curve is a lot less than I imagined it to be and so I wound up walking more parallel with the tram than actually running into it. This comes from hindsight and was unknown to me at the time. I walked, and walked, and walked always believing I could spot the tram tracks just ahead of me. Eventually I noticed a little garden section of the city that is on the road to Germany. Knowing that McDonalds was not on the way to Germany I decided to turn. I walked, and walked, and walked and the road ran out. Before me was a section of field followed by a lot of trees. McDonalds was definitely not in a forrest! I managed to find a map at a bus stop, but I could not find any of the streets around me on the map. Again I walked. Did I mention that the temperature was right around 0 degrees celcius? Freezing is the word. Back in the city, and not the forrest, all the streets look the same. They are all lines with the same type of tree, they all have the same sort of stores and the apartments look identical when your lost. I began to just backtrack hoping to get back to someting familiar. Finally after an hour and a half I saw the tram pass in the distance! I didn't know what tram it was or where it was located, but I nearly lept knowing it would take me somewhere in my knowledge of Strasbourg. I kept staring at that spot waiting for another tram to pass, hoping I hadn't hallucinated it the first time. Nope, a second one passed in minutes. At about 12:20 I made it back to McDonalds where, of course, my tutor was no longer waiting on me. After 15 minutes and I was back home. After a few e-mails (EVERY call in France costs money, so it's easier to e-mail) and lots of apologies Ann, my tutor, forgave me. It turns out the student before me had also not shown up. So poor Ann had waited in McDonalds for three hours!

The rest of the day was uneventful. We went to Daniel and Tammy's and had a good visit. Then we went grocery shopping. Constantly grocery shopping. When you only have a small cart to carry them in, and a small refrigerator to put them, you are always grocery shopping.

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