Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Why I want to give the world a great big bunny hug

Yesterday I woke up at 3:30 in the morning in a Holiday Inn Express just outside of Milan, got on a bus in a bone-chillingly cold drizzle, and went to the airport. Nine hours later I was finally lugging my 21 kg monster suitcase up the front steps of my house, and basking in the nearly 70 degrees and sun shining on the suburbs of Paris. It has never felt so good to be home.

The trip was a success, and my group was the most well-mannered and laid-back bunch of kids you've ever seen, except when it came to punctuality, when they turned into time-keeping machines. They were so punctual it was embarrassing. I was always the last one. Before this trip I hadn't really thought too much about the Canadians as a people, but now I can say that, as a race, I find them utterly charming. And the funny words they use! They eat supper and use the washrooms! Instead of knit hats and hoodies they wear toques and bunny hugs! Bunny hugs, people! Any civilization that can coin a term as adorable as bunny hug, and then proceed to use it in everyday conversation and with a completely straight face is ok by me. (Although according to this article it appears it is only a Saskatchewan term).

The trip itself was pretty much a whirlwind of travel and sight-seeing, and in only ten short days we managed to see: Paris, Biarritz, St. Jean de Luz, Lourdes, Carcassonne, the Pont du Gard, les Baux de Provence, Nîmes, Eze and the Fragonard, Avignon, Arles, Nice, Monaco, Genoa, Lido di Camiaore, Cinque Terre, and Milan. We dipped our toes
in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, we saw mountains and olive trees and miles upon miles of vineyards. I led them though the crowded streets of Paris, clipboard held high in the air, and through the crazy bustle of the metro at rush hour, and then felt completely out of my element once we reached the relative calm of the countryside. Being from rural areas themselves, I think they all breathed a collective sigh of relief once we left Paris, but I tend to get twitchy and nervous when I'm cut off from public transportation and wireless internet. Which is why I am oh so very glad to be home again, with my envelope of tip money and a suitcase full of dirty clothes.

It is spring here in Paris now, officially and earnestly spring. I left it for a week and a half and everything changed. I took this picture from my bedroom window before I left:

And I took this one just now:

And granted, one was taken at sunset and one was taken at noon, but still, oh what a difference a couple of weeks can make. Oh, and in case you were wondering, I'm still at Casa di Patrice, Fred, and Rachel. I haven't moved! I figured, I have until the end of the month here, so why compound the stress of a long trip with the stress of moving? So in short, I'm home again, I have an envelope full of enough money to pay my rent for the next two or three months, it's spring in Paris, my sister is coming to visit me in a few days, and I'm going to see Hervé tonight. And far be it from a glass-half-empty person like myself to say, but at the moment, at least, life is good.


  1. With a view like that, life really IS good. Enjoy your sister's visit, and everything else!

  2. I will definitely clarify that only those who have lived in freaking Saskatchewan call Hoodies, Bunny Hugs. I, myself coming from Ontario, BC and most recently Alberta (province beside Sask.) did a 180 one day when I heard that moronic term. Like really? Bunny Hug. Its so lame. lol....Glad to hear your trip was successful. Your view is vrey pretty. Want a couple canadian chicks for a visit? Or not....we don't have any one to watch the plethora of children we have. Dang...I guess I always have my dreams.

  3. I am jealous of you - Paris in the spring looks lovely.

    My family ate "supper" growing up. I thought it was a Texas thing, but maybe not - my grandfather was Canadian.

  4. Damn girl! Was that ALL tip money? You must have worked it...

    Funny I spent the last two weeks being annoyed that my mom's new bf called dinner "supper"...I thought it made him sound quaint and rural, and not in a good way.

    Spring has also sprung in Grenoble and you're right, it's making it a much more fun place to be.

    Let's talk soon and plan my trip to Paris in the springtime! Can you still m'héberger?


  5. Your trip sounds amazing and the pictures are beautiful! How do you find out about these amazing opportunities? Seriously, jobs like this are NOT on Craigslist :)

  6. So glad that this trip was a success!

    As another Canadian (from BC), I have to say that I have never heard the term "bunny hug" before. We call them "hoodies" just like you do. We also say "dinner", not "supper" here. I think that in the prairie provinces, "dinner" means the noon meal and "supper" is the evening one. Regional dialects, I guess.

    So are you not moving at all, or just postponing it till the end of the month?

  7. Questions, questions, questions!

    LaRicaine - Yes, that was all tip money, I haven't gotten my salary money yet. Actually my tips were only average. This is a tip-based industry, apparently, and the recommended amount is 2-5 Euro per person per day. Multiply 26 people by 10 days and there you have it. And yes you can definitely come visit me again, of course. I'll be in my new digs as of May 1 so I'm not sure what the accommodations will be, but you know you're always welcome!

    BebeJardin - Funnily enough, I actually found it on Craigslist. :) But they only post these things on the CL for European cities, because you have to actually live in the country you're leading tours in, so that's the catch.

    Pinklea - No, I'm still moving, just postponing it as long as possible, which will be the end of the month.

  8. I never thought it was wierd to refer to the evening meal as supper or dinner. I thought those words were interchangeable. But when my grandparents (who grew up on farms) said dinner - they meant lunch.

  9. why no birthday blog? hmm? too busy eating doritos are we?
    hope this year is even more blogable than this one! miss you!

  10. I don't know why did you come with this 21 monster suitcase if you could buy all the clothes you want out there ? :) well, like you, i have a sibling there, and now after i found some good deals online I can go visit her and even see all of France! (and without a suitcase of course)