Well, it has been an interesting day so far. The laundromat was an adventure. I put my clothes in the wrong machine…but man are they ever clean!!! It took 2 hours for them to wash! Learned my lesson there.

So needless to say I arrived at the train station just in time for my train, but I couldn’t get my ticket to print at the kiosk. So I went with 10 minutes left to the ticket window. The lady was so rude, unhelpful, and snide I was beside myself with anger at her impertinence. So I thought that I could access the internet and get my number quickly, that proved unsuccessful. At this point I just sat back and decided to embrace this moment. There was obviously something to learn here. I was trying to force my way on the obstacle, instead of being the water that flows around. I then tried a different agent; she was way more friendly and helpful. But, she said with certainty that there was definitely no ticket purchased with my card. But, I new that I had. I then tried to call Visa thinking that it might be my card. On the back of your card is a number that they say you can call collect from around the world. I have never used this feature before, and it wasn’t successful. Again more frustration. I tried different cards, different numbers, finally after calling 7 times, I got an international operator who actually made the collect call for me. I don’t know how this happened, but it worked. The problem wasn’t my card, but it was good to check in with them anyway. So finally I checked in with main desk. The people there were all flowers and roses. The finally did what I asked the very first lady to do was search the manifest for my name, and voila! There I was. So, now the problem I had already missed my train, but I was booked on the next one.

I went down to find some wifi, and voila! A starbucks. So, I got a tea and began thinking about my little adventure. The thing I didn’t like was the feeling of being helpless, and I resented the way I was treated. So I had to think a lot about that. Why would such a little thing upset me?

That morning at the Laundromat, I met to guys from Taiwan. We talked at length about living in the past, present, and the future. There are two kinds of people who live in the past those who relish it above the present. Those are the people who are infatuated with what went on before and miss all that is great going on now. Then there are the other people who live in the past with their failures and those of others. The constantly refer to how someone hurt them in the past and feel tremendous guilt about their own failings. Then there are people who live in the future. They two are divided into two groups the ones that are constant trying to earn a latter reward by trying to achieve some promised treasure. This is a very American way of thinking. Work hard now and your reward will be retirement, heaven, etc. Then there are those who keep waiting for something they hope to happen to them. These kinds of people are those who buy lottery tickets everyday. Then there are those who live in the present. We all arrive here at birth as hedonists. We want it now. Milk, food, poop, you name it we want it now as babies. Many people, and most young people in America haven’t got out of this mindset. When I was a kid you had to boil a hot dog. That took 10 minutes. Then microwaves came out and it could be done in a minute. Wow! Just a minute! Now, I find myself impatient with the 1 minute it takes the microwave to work! But, there is another kind of person that lives in the present. Those that view all that happens with wonder and awe. The men from Taiwan did a far better job of this than I. When they put their money in the wrong drier, they just laughed, when they did it a second time, they simply laughed again. I marveled as the guy said, “Life is an adventure.” So good that he recognized the moment. I wish I had more of his perspective. When I mentioned it to him, he said you must laugh, if it was a T.V. show, THAT would have been the punch line. That they did it once and then twice! J

So here I sat in Starbucks and counted my blessings. Everything worked out, people love me, I have health and enough money for trips like this, I have Chaz whom I don’t deserve. The list of things that I am grateful for went on and on and on. What a different perspective. Perhaps if I had caught that earlier train I wouldn’t have taken time to reflect on my luck in this world. Now that I have I pray to keep it. There really are a lot worse places I could have been stuck than a starbucks. 🙂

Update: Arrived finally in La Rochelle. My hotel here ROCKS!!! Full kitchen and all for the same price I was paying in Paris. It is good to get out. Tomorrow I will go see the museum, and probably the next I go see the aquarium here which is supposed be very good. I would love to here from you all so feel free to email me or add a comment.