The hostal has computers and internet, so I might as well continue my little account of Eurotrip. Bear with me in this post... this computer is workable, besides the fact that the left click button doesn`t even work and well, the "at" key doesn`t work, and sometimes when I press different keys, weird symbols show up. Oh, french keyboards.
This morning I woke up feeling strange. Maybe it was the 2 hours of sleep, but I think more it was the fact that I was leaving my new favorite place for an undeterminable amount of time, plus I had not done any packing, due to myself being in complete denial last night about it all happening. I did manage to find all my clothes and shove them in my suitcase, print boarding passes and various schedules, and even shower before leaving Roberto and Pili at 9. I really am not that good at goodbyes. The whole long voyage to the airport is kind of just a jumbled blur, really... I was semi freaking out the whole time because none of my travel buddies had shown up at 9 like we`d planned, and while I knew they`d get there at some point, the Madrid airport is kind of a very big place. Between the train and the metro Brittany showed up, so that made everything better, and 90 dollars later, after I`d sent my very overweight 32 kg suitcase back to Utah with my Provo friends (I was just too tired to think about sorting through it and getting rid of things in the middle of the airport... it just wasn`t reallyworth 40 extra bucks) Brittany and I were off looking for our terminal, hoping Casey, Cade, and Dan would show up at some point. They did! We spent a couple of hours in the airport, and then before I knew it we were on a plane to France, and I was only carrying one bag weighing 6 kg with me, containing everything I will need (or maybe the lack thereof) for the next 11 days.
The flight was only about an hour, and I was pretty busy staring out at the Mediterranean coastline the whole time, so things were pretty great. Upon descent into Marseille our plane didn`t land at a gate, but inside we got to do the whole "get out of the plane and walk down the stairs like a movie star" landing. What a rush! haha
After getting our bags and finding the "sortie" we had no idea what to do next. What a weird feeling it is to not understand a single thing people are saying to you, any of the signs, or know the least bit about anything, really. We were definitely fish out of water as we tried to find someone who didn`t hate Americans to help us out. Finally we found a map and a bus to take us to our hostel... and 8.50 euros and a very hot sticky 15 minutes later we were again playing "where the heck are we" until we found Vertigo. Oh, Vertigo. That`s the name of our hostel, and what a place it is. Upon walking into our room we found an already occupied bed, where some random hostel dweller will sleep, Dan got dibs on the loft bed, and me and Brittany tried to be as close as possible for some moral support, and we all had a good laugh at the community shower and lack of towels. What an experience this shall be.
Marseille is a funny place. Basically France is living up to my expectations. It`s dirty, there is pee on the streets, it smells like pee, but all that is overshadowed by the fact that hey- WE`RE IN FRANCE. As far as I`ve seen, this place is nothing like Spain... which I miss a lot, by the way. Anyways, since I hadn`t eaten anything all day, and we were all pretty hungry, we made our way downtown to try to find some kind of food to eat... which was hard since we couldn`t make heads or tails of most of the menus. Finally we found a cute little cafe to eat in, and the "All French people hate Americans" stereotype was broken when we found a guy who could talk to us kindly in English! We ate paninnis and pizza in the sun while watching the traffic (which is even crazier here than Spain... you WILL get run over) and all the people.
After eating we just wandered aimlessly around Marseille, and the theme of our night was basically "hey, let`s go look at that cool thing!" over and over again. Who knows what we saw, but we found some cool views of the city, the Mediterranean, and took in the beauty of the Marseille port... which is supposed to be the big deal here. Pretty neat, I must say, but mostly we just enjoyed playing "American". Our best American moment? The bar.
So while walking around the streets earlier today, we noticed there were tons of men outside, just sitting in the streets, some with flags, some with booze, and all of them wearing the same look on their faces. Come to find out they`re all Algerians, and our hostel is basically in Little Algeria. They were all hyped up because they were playing England tonight in the World Cup, so becuase tonight after all our wanderings, we wandered onto a patio, took a seat, and watched some of the game. Our most American moment was definitely at this bar when the waitress came over, and there were very clear gaps in communication. Plainly put, she would ramble things off in French, and we would all stare at her, look at eachother, and then look at Dan. Yeah, we figured maybe he would have a solution. He didn`t.
We finally found some guy at another table to do some translation for us, and it turns out the waitress just wanted us to pay. Imagine that! Yes, she definitely looked at us like we were very very dumb, and walked away. Oh boy- and the Coke here sucks. I want Spain back!
Like I said before, World Cup here is a big deal, so we couldn`t have chosen a better time to be bumming around Spain. The best part of the night was that despite the fact that Algeria tied with England, there were still tons of riots and carrying ons in the streets complete with lots of scooter chases, flares, police on every corner, and a lot of honking. (In fact, the honking still continues...) Oh soccer, oh France, oh Europe.
And with that, it is off to bed where I plan on getting more than 2 hours of sleep tonight. Maybe even more than 4? ... we won't push it.
Tomorrow our plans are pastries and Nice. Hello beach!