This is how the last month of my conversations have gone:
Me: “blahblahblah, yeaa, I’ll be going to France near the end of August”
Person: “OHMYGOSH that’s soooo exciting! It’ll be so much fun. What part of France? Do you speak any French? I’m so jealous! Are you excited?”
It’s not that I’m not excited to be going to Lyon, basically the food capital of the food country. And it’s not that I’m annoyed by the repeated script. It’s just that, it can be hard to be excited for something you know almost nothing about.
I’m a very organized person. I know what I’ll be eating for dinner two days from now. If I’m going somewhere new, I look it up in Google Maps, and street view it, and look at what stores are nearby, and zoom back out and see what major turns there’ll be. I keep chapstick and a water bottle with me at all times. I like to be prepared. It’s like my mom says,” It’s not for the thousand times, but the one time”.
But in Lyon, at a totally new school, I have NO idea what to expect. Heck, I don’t even know where I’ll be LIVING yet. And did I mention I’m leaving TOMORROW? Ya, that’s a far cry from not knowing my dinner plans.
Will people speak any English with me? Will I be able to understand their fast-paced French? Will I even be able to communicate without looking like a dunce? And what if these super judgy French people, with noses up to the sky laugh at me, for my baby French, or my matchy-matchy luggage, or my all-around noobness. I know I shouldn’t care, but it’s hard not to. All I wanna do, is get there, and slip right in. Move with the current of the Lyonnaise. Nobody wants to be the awkward rock in the middle of the river.
Amidst all these college freshman-type angst, I haven’t really had time to process that I’m leaving. Like, GOING. GONE. Not dead, but certainly not in Kansas. Well, Washington. Same thing. I went to the UW to see my friends one last time (and got a parking ticket. Ugh. Nice parting gift, Seattle popo), and it felt like I was just gonna see them the week after next.
Somehow, though, my brain has processed that I won’t be eating the same. I practically ate all the Chinese food I could for past few days, trying to make myself sick of it so I’d be ready for something new. But of course, I’m not sick of Chinese food. I could eat it for the rest of my life and probably be fairly OK. I mean, I’ve had it for the past twenty years. What’s another forty?
But my bags are packed, my clothes tucked away, my room cleaned, my apartment cleared out, and my flight checked in. All that’s left now is my computer and my cell phone. My Netflix (or rather, Frank’s Netflix. heh) and my Freecell. Good to know I keep the pure necessities right by me to the last minute.
I’ll be a big mess when I get there, for sure. At best, my suitcase be overweight or too big and I’ll have to frantically rearrange things at the airport, and I’ll miss my layover in Amsterdam, and when I finally do make it to Lyon, the guy I’m supposed to find who’ll help me find a place will be at lunch break (aren’t they always?) and never come back. If you see a very disheveled girl on a sidewalk in Lyon with two matching suitcases, that’ll be me. But hopefully, through all the crazy uncertainty, I’ll figure it all out. I’ll make it to Lyon and the school with my luggage in one piece, find a place to live, and learn to navigate the city and its people. Once all that initial stuff is over with, then ya, I think I’ll be excited to be there. I hear they have great food.