Yes, I have arrived in the much talked about France. The travel, as usual for me, was a bit of an ordeal. I’m not good on planes and in lounges and airports for hours on end. This time was especially challenging because I was quite impatient to just get here. I anxiously await the day when we can be transported like on Star Trek magically appearing anywhere in the world. That being said the trip had some points of interest.

First, I got upgraded to executive on the Halifax-Toronto portion of the journey which was most convenient as my wacky-loves to fly-husband was already sitting up front (guess who did all the booking?). Then we hung out with a rather large group of Newfoundlanders in the lounge in Toronto, so nice to ‘talk the talk’ for one last time before living in a place where no one has ever heard of the phrase ‘what are ya at?’

Finally we got on the big plane. Again my travel genius husband scored us Aeroplan points seats in the executive section so we each had a little pod with a seat that went flat and a choice of food (it’s still bad but at least you get to pick what you think might be the best of the lot). Executive is quite interesting on these transatlantic flights, full of people who have actually paid for these seats. Next to us was a young, dapper chap who was moving to Paris to take up his diplomatic post, complete with a Paris apartment and a driver, courtesy of the Canadian tax payer. Honest to god, I said “hello, what do you do?” and he says “oh, I’m a diplomat, what do you do?” He had had 2 meetings with Hilary Clinton, 2!! Suddenly my little story of running away seemed a little dull.

There was also an obviously very famous rock band on the flight, long haired, red-eyed, scraggy guys who looked like the dregs and smelled like a tour bus but were wearing $500 jeans and reading music magazines. I wish I knew who they were so I could impress some French teenager when the need arises. Also a young actress from one of my favourite movies, In Bruges, was on board, looking so lovely after 8 hours in the air, ah the miracle of youth and stylists! I looked and felt like a wilted piece on lettuce. I didn’t sleep at all. Of course Neil slept, ate everything in sight, and at one point I looked over and he and the diplomat were buying watches from the duty free catalogue, hilarious.

But my friends, the best part of this whole journey is the ill fated hockey bag that contains everything from my beloved LL Bean shearling slippers to Neil’s 5 pound French cookbook. As I saw it going down the conveyer belt I had this sense of doom, that I was not likely to see it again soon. Clearly I am as wise as I suspected because after waiting in Paris for 2 hours we were told that the bag had never left Toronto. Now today we are told that nobody knows where the bag is but that I may have it by Tuesday of next week. Now I ask you, if they have no idea where it is then how can they possibly know when I’ll get it. Imagine what kind of state it will be in by that time!

Poor Neil is on the phone trying to be indignant in French yet polite enough to prevent some pissed off Air Canada employee from setting the bag on fire. Well shows you what pre-registering your bag does for you. Now I have to deal with French customs, give a detailed list of what’s in the bag. I can’t remember what the hell is in that bag and as for doing the list in French, well one thing I do know that’s in the bag is the bloody French dictionary.

Never mind, the dinner and wine I had last night as well as the gorgeous breakfast I had this morning eases the pain. Our hosts at the B & B couldn’t be more helpful and gracious so one has to be grateful. But for god’s sake, if you are traveling on Air Canada today and see a black Reebok hockey bag with my name on it, pick it up. There could be a free trip to France in it for you…

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