Thoughts on returning home, or home?

Thoughts on returning home, or home?

I have been back for over a week now from my trip to Paris. One of the prices I pay for traveling is the level of headaches and fatigue I deal with on my return, boo hoo, right? But through the fog of jet lag and migraines is the awareness of my resistance to being home. Home is where the heart is, we say and write, wanting to believe it. But my heart sits in a damaged place so returning here just feels like returning. I am just back here after being there.

I realized on the return flight just how much denial I was living in. I was saying I was fine about a few subjects that when brought to light had the stink of rot all over them, fine my ass. As soon as I am on the ground my sense of responsibility lights up like a christmas tree and my resentment right alone with it. All of the sudden I am not in charge of my life, it is happening to me. I have to take care of them. I have to tend to them.

My son shows up and I can see that he is off, is he taking his medicine? My grandson is so needy I can hardly get a breath. He spends the first 3 days I get back with me and has to be tolerant of my jet lagged ass, preferring that to anything else going on. I knew something was up. I was only gone 2 weeks.

I made a sacrifice when I decided to come back here to live and help my son and more importantly my grandson. It is a sacrifice that must be like a promise and like promises I make I try to keep. I broke off with my family in order to put aside and finally the constant negativity that is how we relate to each other. So I deal with this unaided by family support. My life is hard enough dealing with a bipolar son who is constantly mad at the world to having to constantly explain how what I am doing is not enabling it is keeping a household together until my grandson can fend for himself. I think of how my life might have been different had anyone taken notice of my struggle.

Right now my son is mad and out there, and he did not come over as usual this morning, all the signs I need to know just how bad this next few days and weeks could get and my grandson is to start school soon. Fuck me, excuse my french.

While I was away in the fantasy world of Paris I began thinking again of relocating. I try so hard to imagine a land where more people spoke my language and understood my sensibility. I sometimes just want to live where I just like it better. I want to be somewhere I enjoy being. All the same bull shit sentences I heard my mother say. She was eternally dissatisfied with her now short life. I don’t want to be that. I made a promise to be here. Maybe all I want is some peace.

It takes so much out of me my only hope is getting on a plane and leaving for a while but it only can be for a while because I made a promise to call this home, for a while.

I just don’t get other travelers

I just don’t get other travelers

It has been raining today so it has been a slow moving day in Paris. I took the train to the Champs-Elysees area to watch a movie. So did hundreds of others, of course. There are shops there as well, high end shops, you know, the usual suspects for the display of riches, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior, Tiffany’s, blah blah blah, all of them. A great way for a girl to feel underdressed even just for a movie.

I choose to sit in a cafe to avoid rain after my movie, oh no here they come, the rich. Silence, bow your head, do not look them in the eye…I of course can’t keep my mouth shut and speaking with my server and the manager we remark about the rudeness of these humans, they will take a chair from table without asking, they will move in front of you like they don’t see you. They are seemingly unaware of the rest of us, us mere mortals.

Then they opened their mouths.

I just don’t get it. I don’t get the notion that a human that is serving you your food or drink needs to be treated like they are dust under your table. I don’t get where the server, male or female, is there just for you needs, and needs to be flagged down with a whistle or a ‘hey’. Really, did you just walk out of a cave? Were you born yesterday? Are you really so ignorant that you don’t know that’s a human you’re talking to? Oh let me guess its raining and your pissed. Wait, is it because you have money?

Not today, today in my neck of the woods, or restaurant, we learned some manners and that the man was a server, not a servant, as if the woman had not heard of such thing.

Now this is a cafe, not the Ritz, we are all allowed in cafes, not so much the Ritz. It’s the great equalizer in France, cafes, because everybody’s money works in a cafe. What was irritating was watching when the women walked in dripping jewels and the men accompanying her through the door, they were greeted, they ignored that, they were asked if they wanted to be seated, they ignored that. They frankly, did and sat where ever the hell they wanted, as if none of us mattered including the actual place they were being seated. How interesting to be “so” in your own space, I mean mine, they were right there next to me.

So note to self and all other foreign travelers, yes they were foreigners to this land, quit being such a pompous ass when visiting another country. Always remember that the server you are treating like shit will be holding your food at some point, also the person you are treating like shit is a mother father sister brother of someone, not a plastic doll put on the earth for your amusement. And most of all remember there by the Grace of God go I and you. Past that can’t we all just get along and drink some good wine together.

traveling alone and dealing with fear


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There can be no doubt we are by nature fearful creatures. I figure it comes from being chased as prey, a deep-seated memory that frankly does us good for survival, and hurts us when spreading one wings to become a more well-rounded person. A person can be so filled with fear that traveling or doing is not a good idea, thank you I’ll be staying at home. We are not as safe as we think we are, nor are we as unsafe, maybe we should relax our grip on fear. Not to mention that after being on the planet for so long fear is not as much of a tool as intelligence for staying alive anyway. Reminds me of horror movies where they will inevitably run towards the horror rather than away. Why do they always go and check out the basement? Plus running away screaming is not a good look on anyone, esp men, just saying.

Cut to me walking across Paris when I spy with my eye the very same ferris wheel I had seen the last time I was here at Christmas, the pic above. It is huge, my words, and you sit in a covered car, seats facing each other for a slow up and around to enjoy the view of Paris. I tried to stay in line last time and chickened out as every excuse came to mind; I am in a foreign country what happens if it falls apart and starts wheeling its way to China? What happens if I am up there and it stops? With this cold I would freeze to death. What happens if I pass out and slip through the crack to my death? followed by the line is just too long. Whew, didn’t have to do that. Lost in a fog of memories and fear I was actually walking right towards it.

As luck would have it, cursing myself under my breath, and why did I walk this way? I walked right up to it and got on. No time to think and if I had it would occur to me that a ferris wheel never just loads and goes it has to slowly be loaded as each car fills and slowly unloaded, and you become stranded at the top, waiting for each car to empty. There you are swinging, being blown by the wind while you wait, God my stomach hurts just writing this. I nearly screamed when my brain woke up and told me all the horror I could expect.

Not to embarrass myself in a foreign country, I had a death grip on my seat, why gritting my teeth. Voice in my head, I am sitting in car alone, no one to balance my car, I feel the wind, ok, gently swaying, screams are forming, death grip continues and eyes closed. The ferris wheel went up and around, nice and easy, be calm it was so quiet, and then I looked out.., snapped a fricking picture…

 

 

 

 

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picture for proof as none of my kids would believe I did this and rode it by myself, fu*king hell yah. It was scary. I was scared every minute, and I was excited. I know the more I can make myself do these fearful things I will pull myself up and out of this horror that has been my last few years. There is no fear like real fear, it’s a motivator, and people made up fear, well it can kiss my lovely ass.

Following said ferris wheel adventure, I kicked the hell out of the subway again, went for a walk without a map, got lost but now I am found. Off for a massage, so I can continue making Paris my bitch, ok that’s was harsh, but you get the drill.

Traveling alone and learning to speak up


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After getting to my hotel following my very long flight, the very french woman behind the desk proceeded to tell me that I had made my reservation for the night before I arrived, meaning I missed a night, and because there was no refunds, it was just to bad. I had made an honest mistake due to time differences that would be my costly mistake. As if waving a “sucks for you” banner in my jet lagged face. Then of course she proceeds to look for a room and I said, “seems my room was ready yesterday”, right? Bull shit they rented that room and put me somewhere else, not in the kind of room that I made a reservation for. I was way too tired to deal with her.

I  saw my view which to the left as the picture shows, awesome, just to the right was a horribly modern ugly building. I decided that since the way everything had been handled by the desk was less than awesome I would just speak to the manager about it the next day. Why carry anger and resentment when I could a least tell him how I felt about the way I was treated and could also ask about my room.

That same woman was at the desk the next morning and I just couldn’t deal with her. She had been rude about the whole thing. What was I suppose to do, talk to her again. I thought I was going to have to make myself just be ok with it, I am in Paris, it is fine. Right!

Not so much…

She wasn’t at the desk the next morning,

do it Leanne speak up for yourself………

Those women behind the desk did not want me to talk to the manager until I kept saying I am a paying guest I am allowed to speak to the manager. I want to speak to the manager. I had to wait all day. Later on I sat and waited and this young man approaches me and I say, “oh still lower level management, really, this hotel is going to blow me off”. He sat down.

I explained to him how I felt about his hotel. How I would write to their parent company and leave a review, your hotel front desk staff is unfriendly. I told him I understood my mistake about the reservation but did the girl have to wave it in my face? Was it not possible that the hotel could have done something for my costly mistake?

And about my room? I told him about the deceptive web site description. How I was spending nearly 2 weeks in his hotel and that ugly building was a drag to look at every day. What happened to my Paris apartment like room. I just wanted to say my piece and felt better. I told him it was hard enough to travel alone and then have to be treated like my money wasn’t valuable to his hotel. I of course told him that he wouldn’t want his mother treated like I was, simply dismissed by a hotel, taking lots of my money.

He leaves me with my wine and I feel better like a weight was lifted. I didn’t get upset, just said what I wanted, knowing full well it was my mistake and hey I was still in Paris.

He returns with a smile and a follow me. He takes me up to the highest floor to show me a suite that is just like a Paris apartment, exactly what the web site had said about my room… he was right, it was, modern, updated and beautiful.

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and then there was the balcony, i mean a balcony with a view. And in that second what I had lost in money because of my mistake was more than made up for in a room upgrade, a room that was twice the size of my first, and twice the cost.

A woman traveling alone at a certain age does things to make herself feel safe. I carefully choose my hotel and if I am staying awhile I carefully choose my room. When something like this happens especially with fatigue, it is easy just to take it. Be disappointed and say nothing. Try not to take up any space and do not raise your voice. The truth is when you speak from the heart and use words of neutrality there is no need to get defensive so the manager didn’t have to defend his hotels position on policy. Upgrading my room was easier than refunding my money and I got a much better deal.

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Breakfast the next morning, and my trip becomes extra awesome. Way to speak up Leanne!!!!