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September 26, 2010

Three of my meals thus far have had a Nutella course

I'm trying to stay up as late as I can to limit my jet lag to one day, so I thought I'd update my favorite ninnymuggins on my adventures thus far.

After my travails trying to make my flight in San Francisco this summer, I was determined to make it to the airport with plenty of time to spare yesterday (my goodness; was it only yesterday? feels like many moons ago). Thankfully The Dude was able to wrangle a gate pass, so I didn't have to spend that extra 2.5 hours staring moodily into the distance and missing him. Instead, my fellow passengers were treated to a gross display of human emotion as I boarded the plane and we were forced to part. What can I say. Four months is a long time without your beloved.

I wedged my way into my window seat next to a fleshy Englishman intent on invading my personal space. He promptly dozed off, leaning ever-closer to my shoulder, when he would awake with a snort and correct his posture. This continued for all six hours of our flight into Reykjavik, as I made several failed attempts to find a comfortable position that would allow me to doze. We made it into Keflavik Airport at 6:30 a.m. Icelandic time, 1:30 a.m. Minneapolis time.

(At this point jet lag claimed me. It is now Sunday morning for moi, the middle of the night for toi.)

I stumbled around the airport bleary of eye and definitely not bushy of tail. I got a croissant that was 250 krona. I thought it was kind of a lot of money for a croissant but I handed over my card anyway.

My next flight was much more comfortable and pleasant. I enjoyed looking at the quaint English hamlets from above and imagining that they populated by Middle Ages peasants as illustrated in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

The plan was to meet my high school buddy Nick (henceforth known as St. Nick) at the RER station at Terminal One of Charles de Gaulle Airport. Which was great, except it doesn't exist. I took the airport shuttle to the next terminal, where I approached an official-looking man in a red vest to ask, with a huge smile plastered on my face, "Euh... excusez-moi, monsieur, mais ou est la station RER?" (I worked really hard on pronouncing that AIR-euh-AIR in my sleep-deprived state.) His response was something like, "Garble garble nonsense ferme garble garble bus nonsense. Tu comprends?"

I tried again. "La station AIR-euh-AIR. C'est ou?" Big, big smile. That tipped him off that I was a dumb American, and he told me, "The train ees close. You mus' take zee bus to next station. Go by there. OK?" No, I told him. Not OK. I was supposed to meet my friend by the train station and now I don't know where to go and I think I need to call him and I need a phone is there a phone I can use? At this point a Helpful European decided to take me on as his cause and he led me to a pay phone. He told me I could use my credit card to make a call. I thanked him profusely for all his help. Which was great, except my credit card wouldn't work. I awkwardly wielded my two suitcases into a shop with bizarrely small doors and bought a phone card. I awkwardly wielded my two suitcases out, went back to the phones and, as I called St. Nick's wife Mrs. Clause, I saw a tall lanky dude loping toward me. St. Nick! Merry Christmas!

Thank Rudolph for St. Nick, for I have no idea how I would have lugged my two gigantic suitcases up and down the dozens of flights of stairs on the way back to his abode. Elevators, Paris! Get on it! Mrs. Clause was waiting for us in their adorable French apartment with the yellow cupboards and blue and yellow dishes and view of Parisian rooftops. She made us delicious baguette sandwiches and, more importantly, proffered a giant vat of Nutella for dessert.

Once I could make my legs move again, we headed out for the Centre Pompidou, home to the world's best modern art. I'd gone there maybe five times before but never made it inside. The first gallery we went into had a gigantic painting of two faces. That's odd, I thought. That one's mouth looks like... and that one's eyes look like... oh. And there was a fiber sculpture in the room that looked like a weird canoe, except... oh. And there was a video of blood coming out of... oh.

Moving on...

I saw more nakedness in that museum than I have in my whole life. There were videos of butts clenching and unclenching. There were videos of naked ladies hula hooping with barbed wire on the beach. There was a massive sculpture of bloody gloves.

Once I get my teacher's card that gets me into national museums for free I'm totally going back.

The rest of the evening was a blur of skinny, booty, scarfy, chic, skinny, OMD eat a crepe Frenchies; me trying to make OMD (oh mon dieu) happen; Nutella; and crashing.

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