A Journey of Discovery

Trip Start Apr 03, 2009
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Trip End Apr 14, 2009


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Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Saturday, April 4, 2009

The 7-hour flight to Amsterdam was, for the most part, uneventful. Neither Michael nor I had flown KLM Airlines before, so it was a treat to have a Dutch-speaking crew and to hear the many announcements in three languages -- Dutch, English, French. After dinner, we each watched a movie on our individual screens. While Michael enjoyed "Frost Nixon" I decided to go for something with a little less tension, "Marley and Me," which was at once, hilarious, sad and entertaining. 


Afterwards, I wrote an article for Canadian Builders Quarterly, for which I do some freelancing, then I tried to get a little sleep. Ha! Before I knew it, it was midnight, and the crew started to serve breakfast. Are you kidding me? Breakfast at midnight? Their rationale was that it was actually 6:00 a.m. in Amsterdam -- breakfast time! Okay. 


We will land in about an hour, and suddenly the reality has hit us. The Globetrotters are going to France and we are so ill-prepared to speak the language that it is embarrassing. So there we were, reviewing our French language books as if we were cramming for a high school exam.  How do you say "Good morning?" What if I want to ask how much something costs?  What's the reply when someone says "Parlez vous Francais?" How about if I want to ask for water? Remember how I screwed that one up in Montreal! Oh, this is terrible!


Before we know it, we're in Amsterdam. Lovely airport.  Very modern. Lots of shops and art and restaurants. Then a short wait and we're on our flight to Marseille (about an hour and a half). Michael is clearly anxious about meeting his distant cousin, Jean Gignoux. After about five years of communicating via email, the two will finally meet in person, and of course, Michael wants to make a good first impression on Jean and his wife, Dominique. Oh, the pressure! If you missed how these two are related, read our first journal entry; it's very interesting.
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