Gare Routière, Montélimar
There is some form of epic struggle going on at my core right now. Part of me is already feeling relaxed, that time does not matter, that to have a 40-minute-late train make you miss your bus and have to wait another three hours for the next one is no big deal, that I’ll just arrive a bit later than expected and no one will really care that much. Besides, the SNCF people are holding my luggage, they gave me a free boxed dinner that rivals any catered lunch in the States, and they helped me make a valiant attempt to make some phone calls. But apparently, my chambre d’hôte is not listed in the phone books. Tant pis. I know where I’m going. I think. Anyway, this part of me is just loving the fresh air, the trees in the huge park — or small forest — just across the street that show the first signs of non-emerald colors, the small bar across from the station and the quaint ocre-roofed building that line the street. I’m definitely in the south of France now…no more gray and black roofs.
But there’s another part to my core. The part that thrives on speed and strength and perfection and maximum organization under stress, the part that would love to live in New York City forever. That part makes my stomach churn, that part tried to wrench the phone book away from the man at the information desk because I could navigate it faster, better, more easily, that part clenched my entire body when the schedule was read incorrectly and it appeared that there were no more buses to L’argentière today. That same part is extremely nervous about finishing my travels (for now), about finding a place to live, about teaching childrean when I have absolutely no experience in any degree of education besides what I’ve seen from a student’s perspective. That part is the reason I still freeze up trying to speak French in certain situations.
Mais tant pis. I’ll get to L’argentière tonight, and I’ll settle in nicely, and I’ll adjust. And maybe I’ll visit the school tomorrow, and maybe I’ll find a place to stay by Monday, and maybe all of these fears will be nightmares in the distantly recent past. Maybe I can actually do this.
(Yes, this entry was written a couple days ago. I have two more older ones coming soon. I’m currently at the mercy of having to use someone else’s computer, since I have no internet connection. This computer also uses an AZERTY keyboard…so forgive any typos.)