I enter a café and am greeted by a few “bonjours“. I order a simple double cappuccino and croissant, and take a seat in front of the tele. Sipping the heated café through a fluff of whipped crème fulfills me in the most unique of ways, while the croissant only intensifies the cliché. The morning aromas in general have an inviting feeling, it’s like I do this every day. Everyone who enters says “Bonjour”, and we all respond “Bonjour”.
Around this time the local students are heading to school. Highschoolers smoke cigarettes front of the lycee, while gradeschoolers travel in herds. A mother walks with her small son and carries on a conversation. Because it’s in French I assume it’s something important, but when he said “le shit” while pointing to dog poo I realized something. Walking amongst crowds we’re all the same. If not for the dull roar of French murmurings it could have easily been a street in the U.S. I could easily be French.
Until I open my mouth.
I have a few goals for the day; and they seemed easy enough.
1. Visit the Bureau de Change to exchange for more euros.
2. Buy a cell phone.
3. Check e-mail.
However by noon I had managed to accomplish nothing except “le fatigue”. I tell myself, “Shameless; drop the shame. Ask the next attractive Frenchwoman (which there are plenty of) for directions.” There was a tall one getting something from her car, and I boldly approached.
“Pardon madamoiselle. Ou est la Grand Post?”
She pointed to the building 10 feet away.
It took me 30 minutes but I was able to get my money and phone at the poste.
Back the dorm I run into the Office Manager, who still only speaks in French, and escorts me to the room of two Mexican students. One answered the door and the strangest conversation ensued. He spoke to her in French, I introduced myself in Spanish, and she Responded in English. However, we settled that I could take her and her roommate to eat.
The three us embarked to the other side of Strasbourg via the tram. We found ourselves in the tourist area, which a loathe. The last thing I want to see if a McDonalds. We exchange interests and stories in Spanish and English, take photos and eventually find a pizzeria. Filled up on quatre fromage and proscuitto we embark into the bi-polar Strasbourg weather, which is now raining. We scatter for cover with cold winds whipping all around, until we encountered La Grand Catherale, an absolute spectacle of power and architecture. Standing in front of its splendor is humbling to say in the least.
The rain doesn’t matter. Neither does the wind. The structure is photo-ready 24 hours a day. It’s just that amazing.
We continue to aimlessly walk and chat, and are not really sure where we are, until we see an expressway with all German signs.
“Are we in Germany?”
We have no idea.
“I think we walked too far.”