The thoughts of a woman trying to live simply yet abundantly, contentedly yet expectantly, wisely yet adventurously... all for His glory.


en route (Houston to Paris)

(Where in Paris did I take this picture? Guess in the comments)

I'm safely ensconced in my lovely little cabin onboard the AFM, reveling in the simple fact that I have within my view the following items: a mini-fridge, white Christmas lights, three chairs, a side table, and a window(!) framing the night-lights of Tenerife. I have moved up in the pecking order on the ship and am in a four-berth this year (four women living in one room with one bathroom and the amenities listed above). This arrangement is rather blissful compared to last summer when I lived for six months in a room with 5 other women and no window and no chairs, sitting area, or fridge, etc.

I had safe and uneventful travels from Houston to Paris (where I spent a day wandering around frozen to the bone--but hey, it was Paris, so I won't complain!), then from Paris through the Barcelona airport to finally arrive in Tenerife, a city in the Canary Islands (owned by Spain, but off the coast of Morocco and Western Sahara).

I promised last time that I had a packing/luggage story to tell, and I do. My luggage allowance appeared to be one bag weighing less than 23kg for charge with the option to add another bag for $40. Sounds great, right? However, I ended up calling Air France to clarify whether that $40 would check the bag from Houston to Paris or all the way through from Houston to Tenerife... and thank goodness I did call! Turns out that since I was staying a night in Paris I would then be under Air France's European baggage rules, which allow for one bag of only 20 kg-- every kilo over that would cost me 15 euros. That second bag would have cost me $485, not including the $63 fee for the "extra" 3 kilos on my first bag.

At any rate, I managed to completely pare down what I was intending to pack to just the bare minimum: 20 kilos checked, plus a carry-on. Nothing that I would have packed in that second bag would have been worth the extra money--at $21 a pound, I will just make do or live without. So I am living on a mere 70.5 pounds of stuff for the next 8 months.

I've decided that you meet the most interesting people on international flights, provided you speak a little of the language or are willing to make yourself understood with gestures. When I flew to Benin last summer I sat next to a Beninoise musician (apparently a "real" one with a band and all). This time, on the leg from Houston to Paris I sat next to a Tunisian (that's in North Africa) businessman who travels to market some sort of new technology for collating MRI images. He was just friendly enough for me to learn that he's Muslim and considers Tunisia one of the more open Islamic countries (which it must be since he was watching episodes of Sex and the City on the plane... go figure). I was able to share with him what I am doing with Mercy Ships, and we talked of our families and places we'd like to travel to.

On the flight from Paris to Barcelona I sat next to a French electrical engineer who traveled to 25 countries last year on business--he does something with machines that package carbonated drinks. And from Barcelona to Tenerife I sat next to a sweet old couple--he wearing suspenders to hold his pants around his round middle and she opening and closing a fan, the kind with painted wood and black lace all accordion-folded together. Unfortunately for me this sweet old couple spoke not a word of English or French, and I can do nothing other than count to ten in Spanish. But at any rate so much fun to watch them interact.

Next post: pictures from Paris which was lovely, but freezing cold and I have decided that I don't really enjoy hauling my luggage up and down all those stairs to get in and out of the Metro. But I was able to snap some good shots in Paris despite the cold and all the luggage-lugging. Can anyone guess the locations of each of the teaser pictures in this post? (Sorry, no prizes, only the knowledge that you are incredibly more cultured than the rest of the population.)

(Where in Paris did I take this picture? Guess in the comments)


slinger301 said...

The bottom one is on either the Arc de Triomphe (sp?) or Le Snappy Stop. Can't figure which.

Chinwe said...

Hmm...the top one is from Le Basilique du Sacré-Cœur!

tea said...

I'm uncultured. I have no idea. I know nothing about Paris. Hopefully someday I will though. I'm glad you had good travels!! I'm so thankful for your service on Mercy Ships and that you share it here on you blog! :)

Abigail Jasmine said...

You made it! Praise the Lord!

Man..there's always a travel story..and I love 'em!

I'm so excited to keep reading your blog & hear about your new chapter in life.

Can't wait for pictures, too!!

*prayers, blessings & hugs**

lindsay said...

@Ben: which is your final answer? :) (Pick the Arc de Triomphe, btw)

@Chinwe: YAY, you win... fame and glory!

@Ben and Chinwe: how to you guys know this stuff anyway? I would never in a million years have known.

@Tea: I would have had no idea either, especially the bottom picture of the sculpture. There must be a million sculptures in Paris! Thanks for your kind words though.

@Abigail Jasmine: *gratefully receiving prayers, blessings and hugs* thanks so much--I needed that today! I am sure you have lots of travel stories of your own, even just the day-to-day getting around town.

Chinwe said...

That was one of my favorite places in Paris and I have some pictures of it too. I just love the shape of the church and it's beautiful perch over the city. Anyway, I looked at a picture of the church again and figured out that you were probably overlooking the same view when you took the picture :) Some nice detective work ;)

Michelle said...

I'm just a Georgia country girl who's barely made it out of the South...much less travelled the world, lol!

Great story though. I'm glad you called. You could probably BUY a whole new wardrobe for that price!