Strange and Wonderful

Strange things I’ve seen and done: 

Soldiers patrolling malls with assault weapons as the ready; police outside a church on Palm Sunday, weapons at the ready; water taps that turn opposite and are mounted on the side of the faucet; toilets that flush with a push button on the tank, a pull button on the top of the tank, or a palm-sized plate set in the wall; using hair conditioner instead of body lotion in an early morning after little sleep (my arm hairs were soft, silky, and didn’t tangle when I combed them); a train strike that left flyers walking to Charles de Gaulle airport but didn’t affect my high-speed train to the south of France; people who never smile; navigating the Paris metro and train stations; dogs in restaurants.

Wonderful things I’ve seen and done:

A Mediterranean sunrise; the Royal palace in Monte Carlo; Marie’s family!; a three-hour lunch in an Italian restaurant where we didn’t order. The staff just brought course after course and somehow my wine glass never was empty; Sitting with Manu and Livia, planning my rail route to Transylvania, being surrounded by palms,  hyacinths, wisteria, orchids, OMG all the spring I thought I would miss by being here instead of in my own yard; meeting intelligent world travelers and being asked, “What do you think of the Second Amendment?” “Are there a lot of churches in Grand Junction?”; people who accepted me immediately–and who speak English! Tomorrow off to Italy and the Balkans to see if I can make myself understood, get to the right trains, find places to eat and sleep, and a beer or two.

Adventures take the oddest turns. That’s what makes them adventures.

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