Monday, March 14, 2011

freaking out just a little someplace between Spain and France...

As I write this I'm sitting in a train station in a basque country town called Hendeye only famous for being right on the border of France and Spain. (Well, that, and it's also the place Franco and Hitler once met and Hitler decided Franco was not worth his time, and thusly Spain never really got involved in WWII... but mostly, it's not very famous).

Already I'm hearing more French about me than Spanish, a language I know hardly nothing about (I can barely count to ten in it). I'm used to being able to ask for whatever I need now. But France? I won't be able to do so. I'm about to go to Bayonne, the capital of French basque country where I will stay with a couch surfer named Audrey and her husband whom I've only communicated to in Spanish so far. We are going to meet in front of a cathedral that I'm not exactly sure how to get to... I'm going to follow the spires. I had to text her to say my train will be arriving an hour later so I must meet her an hour later. She responded saying (in Spanish) that only her husband will be there, will have her phone, and that he only speaks French (I speak NO French!) I have seen a picture of audrey. She's blond and petite. I've never seen a picture of her husband, but I know he's Muslim and named Muhammad... This whole situation seems almost ridiculous. I'm going to go meet strangers in a strange city in a strange location where i don't speak the language and don't know where anything is. Yes, this sounds like a great idea (and it sort of is in an adventurous sense). But I know my best option is to stop worrying and to wait and see how it plays out! And then switch to plan B if necessary. I know by now there is always a hostel, and always someone somewhere who speaks English and can direct me to said hostel. So I shall be fine. But I'm certainly, though amusedly, nervous. In addition I still have little idea where I shall be going and staying the night of the 7th and 8th though it shall be somewhere in France. Toulhouse or Montpellier perhaps?? This is nuts.

Traveling is such an exercise in being ok with the unknown and trusting that all will be ok. I like it this way; it keeps things very interesting, but I need to often calm down the part of me that's less ok with the unknown and wants to freak out, and tell myself it will be ok. Cus with the right attitude, and a little street smarts, it will always be ok. But that's why I'm doing this! To learn to feel confident in every situation.

Also, I arrived at the station here with no one around but about two dozen people standing in line for the "toilettes" I found this a bit odd. Perhaps there are no restrooms on the train?

I'm nervous

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