Thursday, September 03, 2009

The bus stopped outside a Parisian terminal at the crack of dawn. Through my groggy state of little sleep from the bumpy overnight ride from Amsterdam, I managed to drag my luggage out. I could barely see out of my extremely dry contact lenses, and I remember a stranger asking me in indecipherable French, then shrugging to walk off. Disorientated and badly in need of sleep, I vaguely remembered the exit ‘sortie’ sign, and headed out into the freezing cold. Lamps glowed in the foggy morning, the street was quickly deserted, and I had no clue where I was. Out of sheer luck, a bus labeled ‘Le Louvre’ stopped nearby, and I quickly hopped on. After asking 4 different café owners, I finally found my hostel. Their 2:30pm check in policy meant that I had to curl up on the narrow couch in the luggage storage compartment, exhausted, I slept.
So began my solo adventure in Paris. The 5 days I spent was probably the best time I had in Europe. When you have nobody else to rely on, you have no choice but to be independent and look after yourself. It was a time for solo reflection and doing things entirely on my own terms; I left Paris feeling stronger with more clarity.

xiao ying @ 3:29 PM.