Send Me On My Way -Rusted Roots

Jul 11, 2013

Paris (The Part Where I Am Alone), BJ Novak, and CouchSurfing Central

June 18th-21st
Notre Dame. It's big and not a cartoon.
The inside is like a fine wine. Not really.
I just wanted to sound sophisticated.
     Hi again! Rusty here, checking in for another installment of my adventures. We are now two posts away from what I am currently doing (which is going to Switzerland Italy), and soon I can actually write about what just happened and not what happened two-three weeks ago! Unless I relapse into a state of non-writing. That won’t happen… I hope.
It's weird taking a pic in church.
Look a door and a good hair day.
     I left you as my parents and Loni left me: Alone in Paris. First thing I do after they leave is find a Starbucks and log into the WiFi. Hey now. Don’t judge me. I was waiting for 11 so I could attend mass IN NOTRE DAME! Suck on that. Plus, I had nowhere to sleep that night and needed to send out some Couch Requests. 
I made it to mass just in time for a snooty old hag to yell at me in French for wearing shorts to church. Sorry lady, but I don’t have an abundance of nice clothes in my tiny backpack. Pretty sure Jesus doesn’t care about my bare legs. I even shaved. So there. She shut up in time for the service to begin and I sheepishly covered my bare thighs with my owl purse (which you can see in almost any picture and infer that it totes didn’t cover much). I’m all talk. What can I say?
Shakespeare and Co. LOOK AT ALL THE BOOKS!!!
     After the service that I didn’t understand at all, I wandered through the cathedral, visited the treasury, and then aimlessly wandered about Paris, occasionally finding free WiFi and checking my Couch Requests. Accidentally, I wandered into a really cool looking book store and began browsing. From behind me, a girl was speaking with the cashier, gushing about how she’d always dreamed of visiting since she was a little girl. Wait. What? Where am I? Turns out I had wandered my little ole self into a Shakespeare and Company bookstore; only the most famous English bookstore in the world. Oh. That’s where I am. Hmm. Hell yes! Best place ever. I even played a piano that was upstairs. And embarrassed myself because my hands were shaking so much I couldn’t play. I bought a book and high-tailed it outta there and into the arms of their outdoor WiFi. Yes. Shut up. I NEEDED WIFI. QUIT JUDGING! How else would I have found out that a host named Guillaume, with a lot of positive references, could host me for the next few days?
     I met Guillaume a half hour later and he took me to get some fantastic ice cream. Then we took a train out to his place in the suburbs and he gave me a rundown of the rules. Basically common sense stuff like turn the light off if you aren’t using it, keep your things tidy, tidy up the room immediately after you wake up. Stuff like that. No big deal, however, a couple Californian teens hadn’t respected his rules and were extremely messy and unapologetic. When they got back to his place after a day of whatever they did, Guillaume blew his top at them and started yelling at them to apologize. They did, but in a more scared/stubborn way than sincere and Guillaume kicked them out for a half hour because he was at his boiling point. By now, I’m like ‘Oh shit. WHAT did I get myself into…’ I mean, he’s really nice to me, but damn. The boys came back and told Guillaume they found another place to stay, he said fine, and they packed their bags. The boys held up a sign for me that read: ‘Come with us?’ And I thought about it for a second before deciding not to. After all, I hadn’t broken any rules and G was fine when they weren’t around. It was a nice gesture though, so I thanked them and asked them to Facebook me when they got to where they were going. They never did, so I don’t know what happened.
The love lock bridge! *Forever Alone*
     A little after that, Preston, the other CouchSurfer from the USA, returned from the city and G told him what went down. Preston and I talked a little and we three shared a delicious pasta meal that G made. Another hour and it was time for sleep. I lay on the couch, G turned out the light, and then he kissed me goodnight. That was kinda weird. And I really didn’t like it, but the French are very kissy people, so it was no big deal. Leave it to the French to kiss strangers they met that day. Preston asked if he could have one too. He didn’t get one.
Sean and Chelsea fell asleep in church.
*PLOT TWIST* There was no service going on.
     The following day, Preston left G’s house in hopes of getting a room in the Shakespeare and Co. upstairs quarters, Sean and Chelsea, a couple from California arrived, Noah and Steve, father and ex-step-son from Georgia, arrived, and On, from Korea, arrived. Sean and Chelsea were exhausted from the night before because they didn’t find a place to stay (literally EVERYWHERE was booked because of a festival) and they had to sleep in a hotel lobby. Steve and Noah offered Muse/Paramore tickets to G and his girlfriend, but since they recently broke up, I got the extra ticket. On was quiet. And late. This made G unhappy and he gave On a stern talking to. We spent the day in the rain, walking all over the city and seeing the sights. Noah and Steve decided not to stay with G and to get a hostel, so there went my Muse ticket. Oh well.
Yep. That's me. And BJ. We're engaged now. Sorry Pancho.
     The next day, Sean and Chelsea left and Ana (Mexico), Paco (Mexico), and Francisco (Chile) arrived. Ana and Paco were also sternly spoken to by G for their breaking rules on an Emergency request page. They had posted three times because, like Sean and Chelsea, they couldn’t find any accommodation whatsoever. I think G was impressed with their manners though, because he let them stay two nights. During the day, we visited Notre Dame and then I went to Shakespeare and Co. again for a reading by BJ Novak.
And they lived happily ever after. Unless he doesn't like Harry Potter. 
     There was a crowd milling about outside, but I went inside, found a book and sat down contentedly in a corner. Preston was there, but he didn’t get a room like he had hoped. It was nice to see him again, though! Before long, BJ walked by and I said ‘Bonjour’ to which he replied ‘Bonjour.’ By being sneaky and having tactics, I scored the front and center seat for his reading. This meant that basically, his sweat was falling in my lap and if I moved my foot slightly, I’d kick him. He was THAT close. I mean, cool and all, but the wonderful part was that his short stories were actually good. REALLY good. I sincerely enjoyed his work. He is obviously a good writer since he writes for The Office US show. He had one piece about Elvis and how he used to be spotted everywhere after his death and he asked if we had heard about that because we were a relatively young audience. I nodded my head coolly and he asked ‘Okay cool. How old are you?’ ‘Twenty-One.’ I said in a totally not shrill voice. Moment of fame? Check. There was a brief discussion after and then he went outside for pictures. I asked the bookstore for the poster of the event and they gave it to me.
Reward: 10 bucks if found.
     I went up to BJ and we had a short discussion about his pieces and he said he recognized me from the front row to which I responded that he had favorite my tweet the day before. He remembered and I promised to put up a picture of us that he also favorite later. So after a few more minutes, I told him I didn’t want to monopolize his time and asked for an autograph on the poster and a photo. I got both, said goodbye, and slipped into the crowd for him to never see again until I’m famous and we do a movie together. No but really… I met up with Ana and Paco, showed them the poster, and we went back to G’s.
Sleeper train. 6 beds!
     In the morning, Louise, Emily, and David arrived and then it was time for me to depart, so I grabbed my things and then noticed my poster was missing. I looked all over, but I’m sure someone snitched it. I don’t know who, because they were all seemingly trustworthy, but if you stole it, reader, GIVE IT BACK. Please? It means a lot… You have my address. While waiting for my train, I met a CouchSurfer named Guillaume Peter, yeah. Another Guillaume. And he made fresh apple juice and we talked about our travels. He was a really nice guy and offered to let me stay with him in the middle of Paris next time I visited. Too soon, it was time for my train; an overnight, sleeper train. I met a neat family in my compartment and after a guitar session by the youngest boy, Adrian, we were all off to sleep and off to Spain.
The Notre Dame Damsel.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading that long ass post. The next one is shorter. I just wrote it. See you soon!

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