Mother of the Bride Spot

Random thoughts on being a Mother of the Bride...although since we are now past The Wedding, perhaps this would be better titled Random Thoughts On Life In General...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

London to Chambery

According to all reports, Tim had a great time visiting with friend Aaron in London. He said they didn't do much sightseeing except for St. Paul's Cathedral -- just hung out, walked around, and hit the pubs. He & Aaron did have dinner with Helen Clare, Adam and Adam's parents on his last night there...he even talked to Rosie & Rob!! (Such a deal, my sister getting to talk to him before I did!!)

I miss him.

He called from Heathrow at about 2:45 am (his time). He was spending the night there in order to catch his flight to Lyon the next morning -- too far& too early from Aaron's flat to get a train. He sounded tired, but excited. The phone call that came at 7:00 Sunday morning -- he didn't sound quite so excited. He was exhausted -- had not slept well at the airport and got to Lyon -- only to find out the only method of transport to Chambery wasn't going to happen until 4:00 that afternoon -- AND, by the way, did I have the name and phone number of his host? He couldn't find it....

Fast forward to my next communication with him...he never did get in contact with JP (our name for his host) as JP never answered the phone. Did Tim not dial correctly? Did I give him the wrong number? Did the school give us the wrong number? We'll probably never know. Suffice it to say that JP wasn't there to meet him at the bus station when he got to Chambery, so after another fruitless phone calls to JP and to the emergency number at the school which no one answered, Tim decided to take a cab. Easier said than done when you don't speak a lick of French. Picture Tim wandering around the (hot) town with his backpack, briefcase, duffel without wheels and duffel with wheels, trying to find a cab. Tired, hot, frustrated and just a tad homesick, Tim finally arrived at JP's -- to be ripped off by the cab driver claming he had no change for the 10 euro bill Tim proffered -- only to find a rather annoyed JP wondering why Tim hadn't called!!!

Dinner was interesting -- JP only speaks a few words of English, but his partner (!!) is pretty proficient, so they were able to communicate. And Tim had an opportunity to briefly present the gospel. JP & his partner practice Sufinism (you'll have to check that out on Wikipedia) and live a very minimalist lifestyle - no TV, no internet -- bake their own bread, grow their own vegetables -- no frills. Tim doesn't miss the TV, but he sorely misses having internet access. He is able to e-mail briefly from the school, but there are only a few computers and a lot of students wanting to do the same thing.

I really miss him.

He's rented a bike which is cheaper than taking the bus every day -- and presumably, since he's now been in school 7 days all together, he's becoming a bit more proficient at rudimentary French. That means he probably can find the loo, and order a bit more than green beans and cheese for his lunch. JP speaks a little Spanish, so when they find themselves not able to communicate with Tim's limited French and JP's limited English, they resort to Spanish. He did say that Spanish keeps popping into his head whenever he is supposed to speak French -- and he is missing Spanish terribly. "I LOVE Spanish" he said when we had a nice long conversation last Tuesday afternoon.

He's the only American in his class, and knows the least French. He said he was the first one done with the exam the first day. It was easy since he didn't know anything. He was also supposed to take an oral exam -- he walked in and said, "let me make this easy for you. I don't know a single word of French." So he got more time on the computer...

I've not had a chance to talk to him since his first weekend in Chambery, but he e-mailed briefly to tell me he has some stories -- I'll just bet he does!! I'm eager to get pictures, but that probably won't happen until Tim gets the adaptor for his MacBook which SHOULD get there by Friday, Lord willing and the US/French postal system doesn't fail us.

Have I mentioned that I miss him?



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