Posts Tagged ‘lines’

Home Again

July 29, 2018

I got back from my travels last night.

I was in motion for 24 hours.

Although what with the time change it looked like I had just traveled 11 hours.

But no.

When I got in to my studio last night the clock said it was 6 a.m. Paris time and I had been up since 5:30 a.m. the previous morning.

It was a long day.

I am very, very, very grateful that I woke up before my alarm went off, it was too hot to sleep and I kept waking up and having difficulty falling back asleep, so when I woke up at 5 a.m. I never got fully back into sleep, just lay in bed sweating lightly and wondering if I should just get up and get going.

When the light began to grow bright enough I gave up the ghost, got up and started my getting ready to leave.

I gave myself time to have a light breakfast, which thank God I did, because there was no time at the airport to get food, I was super lucky to be able to snag a bottle of water for the flight, let alone have had anytime to forage for food.

I had done most of my packing the day before, even went a bought a cheap suitcase to haul back my goodies from my trip.

Notebooks, a stuffed hippo for one of my charges, a model car for another charge, stickers and rainbow unicorn rub on tattoos and a pretty notebook for the little girl.

Other gifts for folks.

And then the things that I had gotten for myself: a purse, a market basket from Aix-en-Provence, an art book from the Zao Wou-ki show I went to at the Musee Moderne, lots of notebooks, five or six I think, magnets from the Klimt show and one from Marseilles, some notecards, three dresses (three! I was so thrilled to have found a shop, with the help of my friend, that carried my size and had lovely clothes), a sweater coat, and a blouse.

I can’t believe I found such lovely clothes, it’s very rare for me to find clothing when I have gone to Paris before.

Partially because I just didn’t know really where to look, having a friend who lives in Paris show you the spots is a huge perk.

I also got a vintage candle holder/lantern from a shop on Ile St. Louis and some prints from the Klimt show.

I couldn’t have squeezed all of that into my little carry-on.

My carry on, which as it would turn out, was not so little anyway.

It got flagged at the airport.

I was not happy.

This was the first time that it’s been flagged.

I didn’t even get it through security.

A couple of times I have had to check it at the gate but never before did I have it flagged before even going through security.

I was not happy.

I was on the same airline I took to get to France, so I knew it would fit, in fact, it had slightly fewer items in it since I had bag checked the other suitcase and figured I would fill that one heavier and keep my carry on fairly light.

But nope.

It got flagged.

Ugh.

I had already had a bit of a rough start to my Charles de Gaulle experience.

I got to the airport with plenty of time, I splurged and took a cab.

Again, thank God, if I had done the train I would have likely missed my flight considering the amount of time it took to get to the gate.

When I arrived I did a check in on a kiosk, printed off my boarding pass and got a sticker for the checked bag.

Then I stood in line with my checked bag to get it to a counter to get loaded onto the plane.

I was in line about thirty minutes.

About twenty minutes into being online a little voice in my head said, “hey, did you get your card from the kiosk?”

I couldn’t remember.

I took a deep breath, got out my wallet, opened it up and looked.

No debit card.

Oh fuck.

Oh fuck.

Oh fuck.

I had left it in the machine!

I flushed very hot then almost started to cry.

I took another deep breath.

What should I do?

Odds are it’s gone.

Somebody was right behind me to use the machine.

Either they took it and went wild at the Duty Free shop.

Or maybe they turned it in to lost and found.

I started to think about how to ask the next Air France agent I saw about where the lost and found was in French.

I resolved to stay in line and check my bag and then go look.

It was a long ten minutes.

I got my bag on the belt and dashed back to the machine.

Of course.

The card was gone.

I looked around, there was a desk next to the kiosk, but nothing on it.

I turned to go back to the line that had to Air France agents working it.

I should mention that there were three different areas to queue up to, each area having two agents, then agents roaming between and agents at the desk.

I don’t know how I decided to ask the woman I asked, but I made a snap decision and walked towards her.

I approached and asked if I could speak English with her, I really wasn’t sure I could get across in French what had happened, although I had been practicing it for the last ten minutes.

She said of course.

I told her what I did, I pointed to the machine, I was about to ask if there was a lost and found and she said, “you’re Carmen?”

I nodded, yes, yes, yes, as she pulled my debit card out of the front breast pocket of her jacket.

I nearly wept for joy and thanked her profusely.

What are the odds that the person I asked would have my card in her pocket?

I don’t know, but it felt like winning the lottery.

I was so happy about it that when I was told my carry on would cost me 80 Euro to process I didn’t give a fuck.

Who cares?

I had found my card.

And though the whole process set me back over an hour and a half of going to and fro, it was all worth while.

I made my plane with minutes to spare, enough to be able to dash to the nearest counter and buy a bottle of water and then get myself settled in for a very long flight.

There were a few other adventures.

Like the plane having to sit on the tamarack for another hour because a person had to be de-planed, which led to me literally sprinting through the Atlanta airport to make my connecting flight, but I did then too.

So even though it was a long trip getting back.

Get back I did.

And I am very grateful to be home, unpacked, all my laundry washed and put away and almost ready to get back to my regular routine.

Almost.

I have one more delicious day off.

Ah.

Summer vacation.

You did me good.

Advertisements

I Passed!

March 26, 2014

I failed.

Huh?

I passed!

I got my motorcycle licence today, but man it was a confusing sort of experience, courtesy of the DMV and a weird little stipulation for the licence which stated that if you haven’t renewed your regular drivers licence within the last year, you also have to take the written test for a car.

What?

No!

I did not know that.

Fuck.

I did not study that booklet.

I got to the DMV with plenty of time to spare and re-read a few things that I figured were going to be on the exam.  I waited patiently for my appointment time to be hollered out by the security cop on premise.

And whoa, there needs to be security cops roving about, there was some serious feelings happening, a few of them were my own by the end of the two hours I was there, a man and a clerk hollering at each other right in front of me, a nosy busybody woman who kept trying to engage with me, until I moved, more than one person getting yelled at in the test area to turn off their phone, not talk, and put away the booklet.

I actually watched one woman get booted from taking the exam as she was consulting her phone, whether or not she was looking for test answers I don’t know, in fact, I don’t think she was.

She was doing what everyone else in line wanted to be doing, checking their phone, because the line for the test was super long.

Not to take it.

Not to take the photograph either.

But to have the test corrected.

I get a head of myself here, just a bit.

Let’s reel back to the sweet gentleman who was helping me, expediting everything really quite quickly, I had hopes of not only getting out in time for work, but getting there maybe even a half hour or so earlier than I had told my employers.

But no, those hopes, dashed.

Before said dashing of hopes I was able to pay all my fees–$33 for the licence itself then another $169 for the registration and taxes on the scooter–I got the sticker, I am the registered owner of a 1965 Vespa, it’s all mine, the title is being transferred from my friend to me and I have the receipt all tucked away in the scooter’s little side compartment should I be stopped before I get the real one in the mail.

First thing I did when I got back to the house was slap that sticker on the license plate of my scooter.

My scooter.

Oh my God.

I have a scooter.

It’s not just some fantasy imagination in my brain, this is all really happening.

The motorcycle safety course, the putting the deposit on it, all of it has felt unreal, surreal, fantasy like, the reality is not reality yet.

But it’s getting there.

After I got the sticker I was routed to take a photograph.

WORST photo ever.

I mean bad, bad, bad, how did I get a double chin in this photo?

How?

I was horrified.

But ultimately, I don’t care.

I know what I look like and it ain’t that bad awful photo on my licence.

No.

I cringed when I got the picture back, but I carried all my paperwork and my receipts and my form from the safety course over to the next contestant on the Price is Right.

Er.

I mean.

The next window of harried DMV worker who really could give a fuck.

She was slow, but had a number of tasks that she was doing, including monitoring the test area–she was the one who kicked the girl out of line for using her phone (she had to turn over all paperwork and was told that she couldn’t come back and take the test for six weeks as a penalty. Damn.) as well as processing the test paperwork and correcting the test.

There were two lines just for her.

And she took her time with it.

Oh yes she did.

When I got to the front of the first line she flipped through my paperwork and handed me the tests I had to take.

I was still miffed to have to take them both, but I shut up about it.

I got two wrong on the motorcycle test.

And four wrong on the automobile test.

One too many.

Fuck me.

I of course did not find this out right away.

I had to wait 45 minutes in the test correcting line to find that out.

By the time I finally got to the front of the line it was almost noon, ie, when I was supposed to be at work and I had not been able to take out my phone and send off a text to let the families know I was still at the DMV.

I did not want to get kicked out for “cheating” with my phone.

I was super upset to find out that I had to retake the test.

At first I was just disconcerted.

She handed me back the automobile test and asked me to answer four more questions on the test.

I apparently did not get them right.

Then she said I could take the test again right then and there, but I would have to get back in line.

I could study over the tests with the correct answers and get another test (they have three different versions of it) and try again.

Should I not answer that one within the limits I would have to have a four-week wait to retake, or something like that, I was too mad to hear exactly what she was saying, it also was made clear, I would have to make an appointment to retake the test on another day, versus just staying put.

But I couldn’t stay put.

I had to go to work.

I was in tears and pissed and it was raining and I texted the families and said I was on my way and on my way I went.

Wet and mad as a doused cat.

Not exactly the best way to show up to work.

I eventually got myself together.

Eating a hot bowl of homemade soup for lunch really helped.

Then I realized I did not have the booklet for the automobile test and I would want it to go back and take the test.

Ugh.

Then in rapid succession things happened.

Fell into place and within a half hour of leaving the house with the boys tucked up into the stroller in rain jackets, I had passed the written for the automobile test at the DMV.

Huh?

The heavens parted, the sun came out, I wheeled the stroller over to Fell Street, the baby fell asleep on the way, I got to the office, grabbed the booklet and saw that there was no line.

NO LINE!

There was also a new woman at the desk for the tests.

I walked over and took out my paperwork and asked and she said, go to it, park the stroller next to you and keep them quiet, she handed me a new test and shooed me off.

A snack cracker for the older boy, confirmation the baby was still asleep, and voila, in five minutes I re-took the test, 100% and was out the door with my paper receipt saying I had passed and my new license with my motorcycle upgrade and horrible photo will be arriving in the mail in the next seven to ten days.

Holy crow.

I was amazed.

Did that just happen?

It did.

I have the paperwork to prove it.

And I took my scooter out for her inaugural run in the park with my friend.

I have a bit of practising to do before I am able to run it around town–it’s not an automatic–and I need to get used to using the clutch, but I am on my way.

Scooter Town USA.

Here I come.

I am still in awe that I actually was able to go back, re-take the test, get 100% and be out the doors of the DMV a half hour after I left the house in Cole Valley pushing a double stroller with two little boys in it.

But I am not going to question it anymore.

It really happened.

I have my license.

It’s on.


%d bloggers like this: