Day 223: Go "Home" for Christmas.

Illustration by Inslee Haynes

I'm back in New York! Sigh. Why does it feel like I never left? Oh, I know why because I'm always freaking here. In all seriousness, I could think of worse places to be traveling back and forth from, so I'm going to recognize and appreciate the fact that I call the City of Light and The City my home.

I arrived at CDG bright and early this morning and after check-in, breakfast at the airport brasserie, security, and customs, I headed to the gate and that's when I saw her. I just knew this was going to happen. It was her - Non-Marie: the gate agent from the Summer 2011 fiasco who made me change my clothes in the middle of the terminal because she accused me of not wearing pants. Why couldn't Non-Marie have been on strike like a normal French person? I know, because she is a gate agent and they aren't on strike, but still...

Not wanting her to recognize me, I ran into the bathroom to recall how I looked that morning in July in an attempt to disguise myself. How did I look? I asked myself - oh yeah! I remembered: tired, worn out, pale and ugly - perfect because this morning I just happened to look vibrant, luminous and sun-kissed. Clearly, I'm lying but with a little bronzer, Rosebud Salve and some mascara that I had in my carry-on would smooth out these details. After a mini airport make-over, I walked out looking...functioning. I'll take it. 

Even though I was the victim from this summer's mayhem, I arrived at Non-Marie's counter with a warm smile and while she still had on her bitch face, she actually issued me a boarding pass in coach on this very full flight back to New York. I was grateful because I really didn't want to take the RER back to Paris to try again tomorrow, so thank you Non-Marie. 

Nestled in my seat and sending Aurel an "au revoir, babe" text, I realized that I was surrounded by students who appeared to be going home from their study abroad semester in Paris. These youngsters were showing off the new vocabulary and expressions they had learned these past three months in France, gem like: "I'm going to f*ck your face up," and "Shut the f*ck up, a-hole" could be heard in French by America's fine youth. Their parents and FAFSA would be so proud. I needed a Bloody Mary - stat. 

The elderly woman who sat next to me wasn't impressed either and by the look of her face was horrified with each French profanity that went flying through the cabin. Their ignorance to the fact that 90% of the flight fully understood French was impressive and kept me wildly entertained before take-off. It's not like we were on a flight from Spokane to Boise where perhaps you could get away with calling each other profanities in French, but Paris to New York?! That's hardly speaking in 'code'. Allez.

One young man in this spirited group kept popping up from the seat in front of me to lean over to his friend who was sat behind me to tell him how wasted he was. You can imagine my concern when I realized that he was located next to the emergency exit. Respire. After seeing him hack up into the "airsickness bag", I was grateful that he didn't vomit on me back when he was hovering over me to communicate with his friend. I'm also grateful that we didn't need to evacuate, putting our lives in the hands of someone who can't hold down their booze.

The rest of my flight was calm where after two strong cocktails and the in-flight film, I fell asleep, every so often waking up on the shoulder of the elderly woman. I'm now at my mom's house about to sit down to a dinner of orecchiette e brocoli di rabe (a traditional Barese dish) and a bottle of Far Niente red with my family before I pass out from jetlag, as I'm six hours ahead. It's good to be home for the holidays and I thank you all for your bon voyage wishes.


  1. Yay! You got your broccoli rabe! Hope it was great.
    As for the abroad kids...hah. I had a few study abroad kids in my French class this fall and I totally know what you mean. But I also totally remember studying abroad - learning the language was the last thing I tried to do! It was more a competition of how late could we stay out every night of the week??!

  2. @K - That's the thing! They did learn the language...and quite well otherwise they wouldn't have been able to tell each other to eat shit in French! LOL! And the "b'rabe" was everything I'd hoped it would be. :)

  3. haha cute!

    when do you come back ?


  4. Ooh such ignorant students making us Americans look bad. Yeah, Paris to NY flight; have some respect kiddies! Shameless.

    Joyeuses fêtes!

  5. I'm glad you made it home in one piece:) And you're right: jetsetting between Paris and NYC ain't too shabby:)

    By the way, I'm in Paris now! Had to change my plans at the last minute and come a day and a half sooner because of the strikes in Belgium! From 8 tonight til midnight tomorrow, there will not be a train running in that country, including the Thalys! I hope everything is sorted by the 23rd so my husband can hook up with me in Paris as planned, otherwise we'll have separate Christmases!

  6. Also PS: now that you're stateside it means your posts are all off Paris time. You're like clockwork and normally by 6pm I'm really for the Daily Ella... but now I have to wait until morning. Joyeux Noel! ;)

  7. I'm happy to hear that you're safe and sound in NY and eating your mom's food.

    The study abroad kids remind me of when I traveled to the States in the summer and had the bad luck to be surrounded by a group of European teens on their way to summer camp. They were using some fairly colorful words in English to impress each other until the flight attendant asked them to tone it down. And babies - there were so many babies on that flight.

  8. @D - It was actually really funny! They were like 18 or 19 and were excited to come back after their big excursion abroad! The woman next to me was horrified! Happy Holidays to you too!

    @Duchess - Awww, you're in Paris and I'm not! We missed each other just by a few days! I hate not being on Europe time, I feel so out of the loop! I hope you connect with your husband! I hear that the strikes have settled down a bit..but what do I know, I'm in the States. : ( Happy Holidays!!

    @k- I'm a bit behind! Between making homemade presents, catching up with people, getting my paperwork sorted out, I'm over loaded! I'll update soon. : ) I hope you and Sir L, have a lovely xmas! :)

    @MK - Omg! What were they saying in English? Ahahaha! That's so funny! I was on a flight that my mom was working and there were rowdy kids and my mom looked at me and said "birth control". LOL!