Travelling with Invalids
Technically, I’ve made it. Two flights, three airport waits, a taxi, a train, and a long suitcase-laden walk later, I’m in Nancy, the biggest city close to my eventual home of Epinal. Because I am 100 percent unsure of where exactly I will be living in a couple weeks, I bunked last night with my two Irish travel buddies. On the floor.
An interesting fact about my travel buddies: one is on crutches. This means that you get to jump to the front of all the queues, and that people treat you very, very nicely. Helping hands were coming out of the woodwork, especially every time she refused to wait for us while we moved the luggage, and tried to make her way through the airport/train/bus station by nudging her rolling carry-on suitcase along with a crutch.
I sincerely wish I had a picture of this, but I was too busy carrying my two 50-pound suitcases, my carry-on, and eventually her bag as well, strapped haphazardly to the top of my rolling case.
Maybe I’m jumping the gun, here, but Nancy does seem to have the benefit of smaller-town living, in that people are less accustomed to foreign idiots, but also less likely to be mad at them. I’m not sure that anyone but Americans would call one of the two largest cities in the province “smaller towns.” But to me, most French cities are towns: a town center you can walk to, fewer than 100,000 people, two-lane one-way streets in the shadow of three-story buildings. So I say as I sit at the McCafe counter trying (and failing) to connect to McDonalds wifi.