The French Misadventure – Reaching La Havre

Well this is going out a whole lot later than I expected. Regardless, here is the French Misadventure.

The whole idea started a pretty long time ago. I was bored and surfing the internet (procrastinating to the max!) when I found out that the Royal Republic were playing a tour in Europe. As I know I’ve mentioned more than once, the Royal is my favourite band and, knowing that I probably wouldn’t get an opportunity like this again, I decided to buy a ticket to the concert in France.

I then completely forgot about it and didn’t even think about booking travel tickets or a hotel until the week before I was meant to leave.

Initially, I had been planning on going with a friend, but when that plan fell through, I suddenly realised that I would going abroad for the first time since I was seventeen on my own. It was a little bit scary building up to it. Having to get things organised wasn’t the easiest thing to do when I was worrying about an interview as well as having to rush around and buy currency and whatever else I needed. It isn’t exactly surprising that I ended forgetting my camera, phone charger, plug converter and phrase book.

I managed to get a lift from one of the girls from my old work place, who dropped me off at the ferry port having told me that I was mad for doing this alone and making me promise to let everyone know if I make it back alive. (In case you’re wondering, you’re reading this because I did survive.)

Now, I didn’t know much about ferry rides abroad. I certainly didn’t know that if you leave your luggage with the carriers, as I was recommended, you wouldn’t get anything back until your arrival. That sucked as it was an eight-hour journey and my earlier nerves had meant that I hadn’t eaten or drank anything for several hours. So I ended up on a journey with nothing to drink and nothing to do. In a way, it was good since I got to sit back and sleep through the majority of it, though the waking times were fairly boring.

I’d never been on a boat longer than the time it took to get to the Isle of Wight so I also didn’t know that I get sea sick. The journey there wasn’t too bad, I wasn’t actually sick although I felt unwell. It reminded me of being incredibly drunk but without the benefits of actually being drunk. Either way, I managed to make it to France without dieing of dehydration or sea sickness.

Since we arrived fairly early, I decided to wander around La Havre for a little bit before getting a train to Paris. This proved to be a stupid idea since I got lost. This became a theme for the rest of my time in France.

I wandered around in the pouring rain for quite a long time before going into one of the cafes there. As I stood there, ready to order, I suddenly realised that I couldn’t remember how to order anything except for black coffee and beer. I don’t care what I usually say, buying a pint at around 8:30AM is not socially acceptable. Especially when you’re lost.

I spent a little while in there, reading and people watching, sipping on my espresso as the rain poured down on the little conservatory style part of the cafe I was sat in. It was a little bit hard to believe that I’d actually made it to France without anything too bad happening and I was content to wait out the rain and try to work out what the hell I was going to do for the rest of the day.


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