Monday, November 25, 2013

If we had blogs in 1998: This is the end

The final entry in my journal from my year abroad in Europe in 1997-1998. Last trip to Paris. I remember the tiny hotel room where I wrote this, barely enough room for a bed, where I stayed so I could get up early enough to catch my flight home. I remember the feeling vividly, perhaps because it was the first of many times I was to feel it, that desperate longing to rewind the clock, do it all over again, every minute of it, even the unhappy moments. Many students study abroad; all are changed, but the MUDEC situation is unique from most other programs. It's set up for exploration. It gave me a permanent sense of wanderlust.

As always, spelling, grammatical, factual, and emotional errors have been preserved from the original journal. Today’s comments are in red.

14 Mai 1998

Well, it's over. I'm sitting at Hotel Carlton for my last night in Europe. Tomorrow it's home for me. 

Back to May 1: dinner with Andrea at Chi Chi's. I told her how I didn't know what I was going to do with my life. She gave me a bunch of ideas, though I'd thought of them all before. I had just been so depressed. It was a good dinner. She told me about her and Matt up on a wall next to Scott's the one night I had been so glad to see them and about how they were worried that we had seen them through the window. Then Saturday I went and saw the Rainmaker with them and Ryan and Brad, following a trip to Pizza Hut and Pub 13. Sunday was a study day. Monday was EDP & Haag exam day. I should have studied more for both. But the rest of the week was cake: Soc on Tuesday was a journal entry basically and French on Thursday was open book. Tuesday me, Erika, Molly, Kieran, & Emilee ate Chinese in Differdange. Thursday we (Andrea, Matt, Erika, Ryan, Brad, Molly, Emilee, Julia, & I) at at La Boulegerie in the centre. Then I went with Andrea to get world cup tickets for her family, then we said good bye to Erika, who was leaving for Poland. It wasn't sad. I don't miss her. Still don't. Then Andrea, Molly, and I went to find Molly a magazine. Then Molly left and I went with Andrea to her host family's house for a few minutes. Then we met Matt at the train station and sat there forever. I was grouchy & angry because I lost my jumbo card. Train pass We ended up going to Pizza Hut/Pub 13 and it was actually a little fun. We said our good byes, but it wasn't really sad, just strange. Matt, April, Dana, Lucy, & I took the 11:59 and finally did the Petange thing. It was hilarious and fun. Something about the late night trains. Woke up late the next morning, hung out at the chateau all day, listening to U2 in the cave, emailing, and just killing time. Andrea took Matt to the doctor because he was really sick and he came back with a pharmacy. Saturday I spent the day in the city taking pictures. I hung out in the park for some hours, starting my tan, listening to U2, reflecting on things. I rean into Matt & Andrea when I was going back to the train station, and I was glad to see them. A day alone is not what I needed. But then I became even angrier with Andrea when she told me that she and Matt would be staying in Dublin for two days, the same amount of time we would have spent there. I was really pissed. She chose to go with Matt rather than me. It's ok now though, because we had a good time in Paris. 

It was a few days of relaxation. The weather was incredible even a little too hot. I didn't realize that Paris got that hot. But Sunday I started the coughing. I was getting sick. Matt must have given it to me. But Andrea did get sick and she was kissing him. So I'm thinking it was still the same infection from study tour. I'm afraid for my ears on the plane. Sunday we spent $60 on lunch between the three of us, and it was not really worth it. (The soup was good though.) Then we decided  to go back to the hotel to nap. It's the story of the week. I started feeling worse. I slept for two hours. For dinner we went to McDonald's. I had deluxe potatoes deluxe, yeah sure and a large Coke and sat out yet another argument, this time about the founding fathers and slavery and the euro and some stuff that didn't fit anymore. Matt was taking the role of asshole. I was in agreement with Andrea though I was never allowed to say anything. Finally I just told them that they weren't listening to each other. That shut Matt up. He's always telling Andrea that he respects her opinion, but it doesn't seem to be true. But then she started talking about the guilt she feels about having so much, and I was explaining my disillutionment and guilt for not feeling guilt and then we got a bottle of cheap champagne and split it between the two of us. It was gone in an hour, but neither of us were buzzed. There was a movie about Elizabeth Barret Browning and they both were in heaven. Browning is Matt's favorite poet, and Barret is hers. Sickness was getting worse. I didn't want to get up in the morning. 

I did though, and we went to Versailles. It was closed. I didn't get to see it. And to top it off, we had to eat at Burger King. And they didn't have sauce for the chicken nuggets. Quelle horreur! But it was great, just being there with those two. Paris is our city. I hope the three of us go back some day. Nope, we never have. I went back with Matt once more a couple of years later but I haven't heard from him in ten years, and Andrea and I don't talk, either. We went back to the city to musee D'orsay but it was closed as well. We were glad though, because we were tired. And hot. That was when Andrea couldn't figure out where the Champs-Elysees was. It was all good fun. We went and lounged in the Tuilleries for a few hours. For awhile, I was perfectly content (except for the damn city birds). Back when tweet meant the thing the birds did way too much. Then I got hot and went to sit in the shade. I couldn't find Matt & Andrea, but I didn't look much. I was going to play the I'm sicker than I am act when Andrea came to find me, but it didn't work. I soon felt better, and we went to Hagen Daas and spent 10 bucks each on sundaes. They were good though. Then we looked for a good movie, but there were none. So we went back to the hotel and slept. Till 10:30. Then we went to Tex-Mex and ate. I ate a shitty chicken enchilada with ketchup instead of salsa, and drank a shitty pina colada with 3 shots of rum, or so it seemed. I still remember this awful meal. Parisians trying to do Tex-Mex. Ha! Then we went back to bed. I didn't sleep. I felt absolutely horrible. Poor Andrea probably didn't sleep much, with my coughing and tossing. It was awful. My ears hurt. 

They got up at 4am to go get Vicki. Andrea's friend who was going to travel with her for a couple of weeks. I stayed in bed. I wrote a Dublin itinerary for them. I took a shower. Then I finally slept. Then Vicky came. She's cool. She gave me Claritin. I started feeling better. We went to the Latin Quarter and ate at Segfried. I don't remember the name exactly, but it's our cafe. Segafredo. We got watered on from above. Assuming someone dumped water from a balcony or something. Andrea got coffee though it was hot outside. We bought Tropicana OJ and went to the Luxembourg Gardens, got kicked off the grass, watched others get kicked off, sat in the shade, slept on a park bench, then went to see Notre Dame for my third time, then Saint Chapelle. The stained glass windows were cool. Next: sleep at the hotel. I slept for a couple of hours. [I forgot: Andrea told me her UFO story at the Tex-Mex restaurant the night before. I couldn't help but laugh.] You know how they say it's the little things in life that matter? Well, sometimes it isn't. I woke up first and sat on the balcony. We had an awesome view of Sacre Coeur. I wrote Andrea a letter. I know I didn't say everything I wanted, but I hope it was ok. I couldn't help but cry out there a little, until they all got up at 9:30. We went to eat at a pizzeria. I had the worst pesto pasta ever. This is funny because I'd never heard of pesto until we went to Italy the previous September. We bought more champagne. That was a good night. We discussed U2. (I have to remember to tell Andrea that the live 'Please' CD counts as a studio album.) #firstworldproblems I didn't want to go to the Louvre, would have been rushed so it was decided that we'd sleep in and they'd go to the Louvre after my train left. Only I didn't know there was yet another train strike. #europe No train. So I called Hotel Carlton and said it'd be after 11 when I got there. We ate lunch at an Italian place near Gare de l'Est then went to the Louvre. I saw the Mona Lisa, Lady Leading Liberty, and the french paintings, then left. I went to the Virgin Megastore in the Louvre and bought little miss and mister books in french, and the new Natalie Imbruglia and the Verve old CD A Northern Soul and laid out about 70 bucks there. Jesus, what a waste. I mean, first of all, I see a few things in the Louvre then go to the freaking Virgin Megastore? Then, spend a ton of money on crap music? WTF? Then I went to the outside world and bought a world cup shirt I do not have that anymore and bought Matt a Champs-Elysees sign for his birthday. 

We then headed to Gare de l'Est, ate at McDonald's (it was too hot for me to eat. I had a shake and a Fanta.), then to the Gare. Saying goodbye is still vivid. Still is. Leaving Paris. Looking back, trying to get a glimpse one last time of the Tour. More tears. My European adventure with Matt and Andrea was over. I miss them now. I miss Paris with them. I'd rather be sitting at McDonald's with their arguing than sitting here alone. Why must all good things end too soon? In less than 9 hours, I will be home again. Why must all good things end to soon? The silence of my new loneliness is broken only by the ticking of my clock and the planes flying overhead, a reminder that time is up, time to go home. But I don't want to. But I must. But I don't want to. But I must. But I don't want to.

I sure did get the ending right. 

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