Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Volcanoes, Strikes, and Lolita

As it stands, two of my three classes are cancelled tomorrow. I am very much okay with this. Thanks to both the volcano in Iceland keeping people from flying in and out of Europe and the SNCF strike, the only train company in France, travel has pretty much come to a halt. While this would be annoying any time of year, Europe is supposed to be on vacation. Actually, vacation ended Sunday... They are supposed to be back to the daily grind of school and work by now. Many people are stuck in other countries or other cities with no way out unless they leg it. And like many of the students at the CLA here in Besançon, they have cancelled classes. It's kind of like a snow day... just cooler because it's a volcano day.

This had minor effects on my travel home from London. I luckily had my Eurostar tickets from London to Paris booked several weeks in advance. I may have been typing this from London had I not. Every Eurostar train going anywhere from London was sold out. This meant a very crowded train station, a lot of angry people, and a very full train to Paris. I got to France to find out that there was in fact an ongoing strike of the SNCF that started the day after I left Paris for Brussels. I found one of the workers with the lists of cancelled trains and lucked out that my train from Paris to Dijon had not been cancelled. This was in fact quite lucky since 2 out 3 trains were cancelled and all the trains going towards Besançon were completely sold out.

I had 5 hours before my train left and the Gare de Lyon is just a short few blocks away from my biggest weakness, Baby, The Stars Shine Bright. The stock over the past few weeks has diminished quite a bit but I think they are waiting on a lot of the spring and summer stock to actually be released. I wandered the little store for a bit and couldn't really find a whole lot that I wanted, aside from the Castle of Nightmare JSK in red. At a whopping 345 euros though, I couldn't afford to buy it. I then noticed something that wasn't there the last two times I went...

I tried it on and loved it. It was also on clearance for around half price. It fit so well I couldn't say no. It's made of a nice velvety fabric. I like that it isn't an over the top childish print, but still screams that it was made by Baby... I'm such a brand whore XD. I also bought a pair of socks.

I'm hoping that they match my Cherries in Syrup skirt well enough to coordinate an outfit.

The store owner asked me if I was going home or if I was stuck since I had my huge ass suitcase with me. I explained to him that I had train tickets, but I wasn't sure how far they were going to take me. He acknowledged that the strike was a real pain and ran off into the stock room hurriedly. I assumed he had forgotten to do something important. The shop girl continued to wrap up my purchase in tissue paper like they always do. He suddenly came back out with a small pink bag of Japanese candy. He put them into my shopping bag and told me that they were for my long journey ahead. It was really nice of him and quite adorable. And they were super good! I'm hoping I can find a store in the US that sells them when I get back home.

I went back to the train station where I decided to wait in line in hopes of changing my tickets to Dijon and the Besançon for a ticket that went directly to Besançon. No such luck as everything was pretty much sold out here too. I went to the waiting room where I managed to grap one of the like eight chairs for an entire train station of people. Eventually, the coolest little old lady ever sat down next to me. She definitely surprised me with her views on religion and her rather liberal political opinions. She was super nice and a blast to talk to. My train then showed up so I had to go. I got to Dijon five minutes late, which meant I had less than six minutes to get to my connecting train. I quickly found out that there would be no connecting train since it had been cancelled. I somehow lucked out again though. Another train was due to show up 20 minutes later. It was running a half hour late in addition to that, but it was another train to Besançon regardless. I had avoided spending the night in Dijon. I finally arrived back in Besançon only 45 minutes later than originally planned. However, after that fiasco along with my trouble from Amsterdam to London, I officially hate trains. This bullshit better be over by the time I need to get home. I'm gonna have to kick the SNCF in the balls if they try to make me miss my precious plane home.

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