Thursday, November 29, 2007

Off to Paris

It's my turn to make a European research trip and I'm leaving tomorrow at 6 am.  I suppose in the interests of keeping this blog somewhat active that I shall go ahead and blog over the next 3 weeks about the travails and wonders of my time in Paris.  

Most everyone knows this, but I've had a particularly interesting 10 days since my laptop hard drive completely died and I was stupid enough to lose the chapter (the last of the body chapters!) that I had just finished drafting.  I still had a lot of work to do on it, but the bones were there.  Then there were no bones and I've spent my days (other than the 4 that I took off for Thanksgiving, dammit) madly trying to write it all down again.  I'm almost there.

My trip will not be all work and no play as my mom is going to be there for a week and we are going to the Marché Noël in Strasbourg for a couple days the first weekend of Advent.  It's going to be crowded and full of all the Christmas kitsch I could ever want.  The invited "country" guest this year is Quebec.  Last year it was Romania.  This kind of irritates me because I just went to Quebec and heard all these things about how 2008 is their 400th anniversary.  And the tourism minister of Quebec will be there!  You know, so he or she can help you plan your trip for next year.  Yay.  It is also weird because, as much as some people wish it so,  Quebec is not technically a country.  But, who are we to question?

I will need lots of luck on Monday when I attempt to access the administrative nightmare of the Bibliothèque Nationale, where I have to have an interview with a librarian about why I should be able to do research there.  I will be jet-lagged and having to speak in French--what fun!  It's not so much the speaking that's the major problem, it's the understanding the clipped Parisian accent.

I arrive on Saturday very early in the morning, when it is supposed to be raining, and have to kill 5 hours before I can check into my apartment at noon.  This too shall be interesting as I'll be schlepping my bags around and trying to buy a SIM card for my cell phone, while praying that the hundreds of euros in my pocket which will pay for the remainder of my rent will stay there until I can get to the 6ème.

Pray for me.