29.7.10

Salut, Paris

So, as my video post explained before, I ended up switching everything up and flying directly to Paris from Salt Lake. Looking back on everything, I'm convinced that this would have been the easier solution from the beginning...I can't remember why we chose Brussels, except that it may have been cheaper at the time.
First of all, let's rewind and talk about business class. I was told that once you flew business internationally, you'd never go back to coach. Unfortunately, my inclination to dirt cheap travel and my pocketbook tell me differently, but my body, mind and soul completely agree. I felt, at first, more out of place there than I did when I accidentally walked into a black-tie event in my speedo (you're right, it never happened, but IMAGINE how I would have felt!), because everything was so proper. They serve the food in glass dishes and give you salad forks...SALAD FORKS! And like three knives. Whatev. Needless to say, it was an enjoyable experience, but since it was non-stop, it was almost too short to enjoy! Still, I enjoyed every minute of it. Especially the cheesecake dessert!
I got off the plane and set out to get into the city and find wi-fi to contact Jonathan, my cousin, who flew into Brussels as we had planned. I got onto the train from the airport (thought about taking the bus to see more of the country side, but who was I kidding! I just got off a posh flight, the bus was the last thing I was going to take.) Not one second later, I was introduced to France by a trendily-clothed man and his spectacular looking trick making out on the train. I'm talking full on French, man! Right in front of everyone! While I half expected them to start taking off clothes and doing the dirty in front of the kids, I realized one thing: these two had passion. Not saying we Americans don't...but well, we don't. We lost that ages ago. Somewhere between having style in the 60s and losing it in the 80s, we also lost our passion.
Paris is the city of love for a reason, and this I've seen. I really have! Everywhere you look, it's love. The Beatles must have adored this city. I do now. Honestly, Paris is one of the best looking cities I've been to. It's clean, everything is beautiful (including the people!), and style is pouring out. I don't even think some of the natives realize how trendy they look. Seriously! It's just a part of these people!
So while Jonathan was scouting Brussels out, I decided to walk around and get my sense of direction. I quickly learned that the Seine runs relatively east to west. That helps. Except you don't know where it is, unless you know where you are, so....maybe not so much help. Regardless, I did as much as I could with a pack on: visited the steps of the Pantheon (free wi-fi!), checked out Jardin du Luxembourg (where I took a nap while kids played soccer around me), then jaunted over to Notre Dame where I couldn't go in because of my pack but was treated to a German Rastafarian band behind the cathedral...with free wi-fi! I decided then to go to the Eiffel Tower, stopping by Hotel de Invalides on the way over. I didn't spend too much time at these places, instead focusing on learning my way around. I feel like I did a pretty good job, and that I know my general way around the south half of downtown Paris. Not bad for a day!
But...then I had to find a place to stay. Where would I do that? My couchsurfer friends had let me down, and I didn't know where to go. But, where there're people, there's a good chance that you know someone! Well, at least, there's a good chance that you know someone who knows someone who knows someone who happens to be in that place you are! Which is what happened. When I told my friend Meghan that we didn't have a place to stay, she contacted her people. One friend of hers lives in London and informed us that a friend of hers, Trent, was arriving in Paris the same day as I. After e-mailing round the gauntlet, I finally got an email back from him at 11pm tonight, assuring me that I had a place to stay. Woot woot! And THAT is why I don't plan! You can never have such great luck on the fly if you plan *everything* out. (Note: I really am being sarcastic. I promise! But that doesn't mean I don't love the rush of spontaneity or the crunch of figuring out what to do in a foreign place...that's my own type off drug!)
So now, I leave you all. I meet up with Jonathan tomorrow at noon-ish, then we'll be together for the rest of the trip. I'll miss being on my own, actually, but it'll be good to have a comrade with me.
Ciao!

There are some pics on facebook, by the way! Here's the link: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=192880&id=620687279&l=ccf4293991

Plane to Nowhere

Today, a vlog post, courteous iPhone 4, iMovie for iPhone, aaaaaand Delta

UPDATE 2: Here`s the video

video


(There's a video, obviously that goes here...but the internet is dying over here! You'll see it in a bit, hopefully! Here's the gist: didn't get on my flight to Atlanta, ended up flying straight from Salt Lake City to Paris! Jonathan is still flying to Brussels. I say in the video that I'll arrive at 11.50 at night, but see the update below! I'm funnier in the movie, I promise, but I have to post my next post, so, I had to get this up too.)

(I'm sorry for the quality...one, front facing camera makes it easier for me. Two, I had to rotate the whole thing [thanks iMovie!] because I forgot to record it landscape...sorry!)

UPDATE: Yeah, so I was excited, and I think I said I'd be in Paris tonight. Not true! I'll be arriving at 11 in the am, just enough time for my cousin, Jonathan, to start the drive from Brussels to Paris!

7.7.10

Cats Got the Tongue

I am good.

Those three words elicit in me so much confidence, it might be considered over the legal limit. I try not to be cocky, but, well, let's be honest. If you know me, I joke about my cockiness often, and like I said before, joke's are half-truths. But, there's nothing wrong with being confident. 
Back in High School (did I just capitalize that? Sure did!), I was walking away from a football game once--in the dark--and I heard a voice from behind yell, "Tyler! Slow down!" I had no idea who it was. I slowed down, but didn't turn. Again, "Tyyyyyyyler!"
Ugh.
I turned around and saw who was calling my name. I chuckled and asked the girl how she knew it was me. "It's the way you walk. You walk with confidence."
I've been complimented often about my air of confidence. People always notice, and some have been turned on by it. You know the ones. And, usually, I'm really good about the whole facade.
But the problem with an air of confidence, is that usually, that's all it is: air. Hot air. Thin air. Good old fashioned air. Good for breathing, good for wifi, and good for flying really fast in. Yep. Air.
Don't get me wrong, I like breathing! And I like feeling confident, or at least convincing others that I am, because it really helps you accomplish great things. But when it's one of the many masks you wear, sometimes you can get knocked off of your feat and all of that confidence comes crashing down, shattering like glass in a Hollywood movie. 
(Pause for the image of glass crashing all around some generic Ethan Hawke-like actor looking up at light. Maybe even pan around him, Matrix-style, as the glass is bouncing back up. Use your imagination, that's what it's there for.)

I always hated this feeling. When somebody knocked me off the confidence ladder, I immediately felt insecure. I couldn't speak. I hated it.

Then suddenly, as your confidence builds back up and you're flying high, somebody comes and knocks you down hard. You stumble over the simplest phrases. You make awkward moves. You freak out and start planning everything in your head: "I should say this in this order and then she might do this and I'll then have the perfect opportunity to not make a fool of myself." But something's different. You still make a fool of yourself: but you're not freaking out. They've done something not many succeed at doing. They take you out of comfortable, yet you don't complain.
One day, you hope to say the things you planned on saying. One day, you hope that your confidence will rise again. But for now, for one small moment, you are okay being stripped bare . 

After all, I always liked being naked.