Travel updates

Well here’s an update for the two or three people who still read this thing:

I was all set for my flight out of Belgium on Monday… knew there was going to be a huge government strike but FOOLISHLY thought I might still be fine since my flight was with Quatar airways who are not affiliated with the Belgian government.

WRONG.  The airport in Brussels is completely closed today.

So I had to grab a bus to Paris yesterday because that was the only place where I could get a different flight to Quatar.  

So I just woke up in a VERY fancy hotel next to the airport.   At first I was sort of angry that I had to spend all this money on getting to Paris and a hotel room… but sometimes it is nice to do the luxury thing for a night.  It’s also good for me to have to let go of money sometimes, because I am so miserly in general.  And somehow I’ve managed to meet a few nice people…

Dude from Mozambique on the train studying to be a doctor.  I asked him if he liked Paris and he’s like, well…..  Then he showed me a video of the beach in his country and I’m just “you poor poor man…” He said people in Paris aren’t very friendly.  Well yeah.  Stereotype confirmed.  They’re not friendly unless they aren’t from Paris, or unless they’re trying to hit on you, or sell you something. 

Also met a dude from Bangladesh at breakfast, because I’m wearing my only Indian dress and he wanted to know why.  I guess a kurta isn’t a very common thing for a white girl to wear.  He has the same first name as my Bangladeshi friend in Fargo (are they all named Rahman or…?)

SO!  I will post pictures from the Brussels Christmas Market as soon as I get a little break from my Delhi family and access to a computer.  

Paris

I think I mentioned before that I did not want to go to Paris.  This is based largely on stereotypes that exist in my own mind about French people.  Basically I feel VERY rude for going to Paris without any French-language fluency.  Also, yeah, I think those guys are angry and rude.  And don’t like tourists.  I said it.

But hey.  My boyfriend told me he was going there, so I made it happen.  His parents were also with us.  So not quite as romantic as you might think.  Got a nice lecture on cultural differences from his father.

 February till August… finally got to see him again. Holding hands nearly killed me I think.  Overdose.

 Mona Lisa at the Louvre… biggest celebrity in Europe.

 LOUUUUVRE. (next three are Notre Dame Cathedral.)

 We’re so cute. Put a lock on it.  (also cliche.)

 Arc de Triomphe.  Paris is just a big art gallery. head to toe.

cute, cute, we are cute.

Liverpool/Cork

Aight I’ve been lazy.  It’s been like three months since I left Europe and now I’m leaving for India soon SO. We gonna smush some destinations together.

LIVERPOOL.

The only thing you need to know is the walking tour is very boring.
AND.  If you want to meet some locals and dance, go to Bumper. One of my favorite nights of my whole trip was spent there.

The dude on the right was my couchsurf host.  Really awesome Desi, might meet up with him in India too.  The other two are scouses who enjoyed imitating my American accent to much hilarity.  Met lots of interesting characters here.

NOW…

Cork, Ireland.

I went here for the 2014 Salsa Bonanza.  It turned out to give me hope in European salsa dancers.  The setting was very small and low-key, so that I got to meet and talk with most of the people who were there.  Met this Reiki master who had the most energy of anyone I’ve ever seen.  He was an AMAZING dancer, but he had never had any lessons.

The dancing sessions were ten times better than the ones at the Croatian festival.  Probably because they were ten times smaller.

 European Sensual Bachata Champions…I took classes from them, learned a lot…

This couple taught Kizomba, and their adorable baby would squawk until they picked her up and danced with her in between them.

I am planning to go back to Ireland just for the next festival.  Amazing experience.

I did a walking tour of Cork, that mostly told me Irish people are very superstitious and they have beautiful college campuses.

Huh

I have realized I really have no use for sightseeing. The leaning tower of Pisa, Statue of Liberty, blah blah blah. I like people, and I like dancing, wherever in the world I am. Despite traveling all over Europe for the past month and a half I must say that the summer I spent in one of the crappiest parts of Thailand (Phuket) was much much better than this one.  Thailand was a three course meal. Europe is me stuffing candy in my mouth. Don’t get me wrong I’ve been having a blast… I just don’t spend enough time anywhere to really develop closeness with anyone, and I miss that.