Ok, so I know that it’s taken me a while to get started on this, but I had to get the design juuuust right! lol You know me! Though I’ll probably end up changing it like 20 times again…
So where do I even begin…
Why not start with the adventure that was packing… aka. giving my mom an almost nervous breakdown because I was packing until the very last second! Very unlike me in fact, but packing for a year was rather daunting afterall – as was the giant stack of clothing alterations I was still working on until 6 am the day of my flight (hence the delayed packing). Thankfully Dad stepped in to the rescue and said he’d pay the overweight charges – MERCI!!!
I had a 7 hour layover at Heathrow, and as I’d hardly slept the last 3 nights, I decided to catch some shut-eye and set multiple alarms. So I woke up after napping 2 hours, and the gate still wasn’t posted for my connecting flight to Toulouse, so I thought, ok, I can go back to sleep for another 1/2 hour. Re-set my alarms, good to go, and… I wake up at 2 pm. Here’s the thing, my flight was scheduled to leave at 2:20!!! So I jump up and tore off for the now announced gate – only to find that the flight had actually been delayed, and they hadn’t even started boarding! I think I had an angel watching over my shoulder that day, amen!
So, I finally arrived in Toulouse, with my two medium sized suitcases, my carry-on suitcase and my backpack and finally got to meet Mao! What!!??? Steph, you met the Chinese dictator? In Toulouse?? No, no, I met Mauricio, aka. Mao, my lovely Mexican host and now friend who was kind enough to offer up the bed in his apartment (while he sleeps on the floor! No matter how hard I have tried, he will not budge on that one, though I’m still working on it. Chivalry is not dead ladies! but he’s taken.) and welcome me to Toulouse. Thereafter, he promptly laughed at the amount of luggage I had brought with me, but a girl needs her clothes, and art supplies, and sewing supplies, and teaching supplies, okay?!
So how the heck do I know Mao? Well, actually, funny you should ask, ’cause I didn’t. See, it went a little something like this… my dad works with this guy Alex. Alex is Swiss and his son Corey recently completed his MBA here in Toulouse. So being the good dads that they are, they decided to put two good people in touch (that would be Corey and I, ;P). However, Corey was about to move to Paris for a new job, 6 weeks prior to my arrival. So a few days before my departure, in a desperate last ditch attempt to avoid the only hostel in town, and that had sketchy ratings on hostelworld.com, I sent out a random plea if any of his friends might take me in, and I’d sleep on the floor or standing up or whatever necessary and pay rent. Well, Mao was kind enough to offer. He is from Mexico City and is working on his PhD in Aerospace Engineering… yeah, pretty cool, eh? He’s a pretty smart cookie, and a nice guy to boot.
That first evening we hit the “centre-ville” to eat some Doener Kebaps whilst chilling on the banks of the Garonne River. This was our view!!!
Don’t know how I got this pic to turn out the way it did, but I love it!
So that was the start of “ma belle aventure française!”
xo Steph 🙂