Arriving in Silfiac, Brittany, France
Arriving in Silfiac, Brittany, France
Well, after an arduous journey to say the least I arrived exhausted, bedraggled and hungry. of course. The jet was empty so I had three middle seats to myself and was able to lie down and sleep a couple of hours so that was a plus. For some reason my aircard wouldn't connect in JFK so I was unable to get online and keep you posted. Amy and I went to her house for lunch b/c we arrived in NY at 1:30ish and then she and Al drove me to JFK. It took 2 hrs from the time I checked in, go through security, buy Euros and get to the gate. The people watching was better than any movie. the get ups of a few resembled Halloween costumes and some of the flight attendants' idea of a "uniform" were quite the mix of color combinations. The initial climb out and first hour were really rough so the captain left the seat belt sign on and the service didn't start until almost 8 o'clock and we blocked out right on time at 6. When we landed in CDG it was typical winter morning. still dark and raining. The kid who sat in front of me and I were in baggage claim together and he was visiting friends after interviews at NYU and Columbia. When I told him my sister graduated from Barnard he drew a blank. Never heard of it. Had never heard of TWA either. I found the bus down to Montparnasse and got there about 0915. There were no seats left on the non stop train in second class so I had to take a train that stopped in Rennes and change to another. I had just enough time to buy an Evian and a baguette and run through the drizzle to the next train. Two hours down one and a half to go. Finally arrived in Saint Brieuc at 1330 only to have to sit in the restaurant/bar until 1730 bus to Bourg Coz. The directions from the email said "Exit the train station, cross the street and take the number 5 Tibus." OK sounds simple enough but there were three bus shelters to choose from so I decided to go check it out. None of them had #5 posted on the schedules. In my broken French I managed to learn that it's not a bus but more like the P&B coach from BOS to the Cape. In the meantime I had a mini beer in the only other place that was open and it was all men watching horse racing on TV and scratching Lotto tickets and smoking the stinkiest gitanes you've ever smelled. I returned to the train station and recognized the other student who had arrived on the non stop train (he had bought his ticket on line back in November) and the two of us proceeded to guzzle down cafe au lait after cafe au lait. By this time I was so jet lagged I felt like I was hallucinating, my teeth were furry, my face was gritty and my clothes had the look of being worn for days on end. Five thirty and off we go on the final leg of a very long journey. Through little towns that progressively became smaller and smaller until finally there weren't any at all. Just miles and miles of empty, magnificent farm land dotted with the occasional house. some small and old and others magnificent and newer. We were the last passengers on the bus and he plopped us out in the parking lot of an old beautiful stone church where miraculously Toby was waiting for us. He's a 37 year old musician from Plymouth England who bought this house 5 years ago and just finished renovating it in July. It's probably 200 years old and made of stone. Even though there's no central heat there is a wood stove in the great room/kitchen and each of the four b/r upstairs has a mini electric radiator. The walls are the most beautiful rippled concrete and the floors are bare unpolished wood. We all have our own b/r the only difference btwn "single" and "double" is the size of the bed. Bryan and I both chose the doubles and the other two students arriving today get stuck with the twins. All the windows are French double door types and have no curtains and the view out to the night sky is like sleeping suspended in space. The moon was as bright as a night light and the stars were EVERYwhere. There is a barn out in the back yard similar to Nancy and Joe's with chickens (and eggs) so we don't have to buy any at the grocery store. Dawn doesn't break until about 0745 so they don't start crowing in the middle of the night at least. I was awake anyway right on time bright and early at 0645 walking around holding the softest, sweetest black cat named Moussie who lives here too. We also have a white Czech wolf named Nannook lovingly nicknamed Nookie. Talk about a well equipped house! Toby and Nookie sleep upstairs in the finished attic which has the most magnificent wood beams and walls. The grocery store isn't open today but we stopped last night on the way home and bought the basics for dinner . hamburgers, salad, tomatoes, clementines, Roquerfort, a slab of butter and made bakers in the wood stove. Plelauff is pronounced P-L-U-L-O-F-F where the school is and this is the village of Silfiac. Next door is the bar/tabac owned by a Brit named Morgan and the only customer was a John Belushi look alike. Evidently, it's easier to get here from Plymouth on the ferry which is only 20 minutes away than it is to make the trek from Paris.
Time for me to take my jet lagged body back to bed . Bryan and I are up like two little kids on Christmas morning and we're coffeed up and eaten enough . croissants. More later, gottago take a nap.
TEFL ESL Instructor