Europe | France | The North | Lille – Hello to France!
Bonjour! I arrived in France on Friday, February 20. I found my way through Charles De Gaulle Airport (Customs? What customs? Some guys in uniforms watched us walk past, that was about it) to the SCNF Train station in another terminal of the airport. Buying a train ticket was easy, I tried in French, and he answered me back in English, and I had a ticket to Lille. Then came a payphone to call Mary. The payphone was not as kind and after about twenty tries (no, seriously!), I figured out that the telephone voice was instructing me to push * after dialing my partys number. After conquering that, I felt like I could conquer anything in this country!
It is about an hour’s train ride from the airport to Lille. Upon arriving, I spotted Mary sitting on a bench as the train glided past. After a little bit of swimming upstream through the crowd, I finally found her again. Mary is about 5’1′, so finding her in a crowd is sometimes difficult. Lots of hugs, and introductions to Jan, and we were off!
Lille has its own Metro system. Depending on which book you are reading, it is somewhere from the second to the fourth largest town in France. Jan went his own way, and Mary and I went to her house to drop off my things and meet her house mother, Marie Paule. Next, back on the Metro to downtown to meet Ben and look at the Museum of the Future of the Cinema.
There is a shopping mall in Lille, and Lille is famous for it. I never understood weather it was bigger than other malls in France, or if there just arent many malls in France. This mall is about four stories tall, with a stores inside. Everywhere else I went shopping in France, the indivual shops all had an indivulal storefront on the street. On the third or fourth floor, there is a space they have turned into the Museum of the Future of the Cinema. Lots of exhibits on different types of projection systems and interactive theatre spaces.
There is a grocery store in the mall called Carre-Four [car four]. Carre-Four is two stories tall, so to accommodate the shopping carts there are moving walkways (like you see in airports) that move at an angle. This allows you to move up and down, like an escalator, but without the steps so that you can take your cart with you.
Back to the house for dinner. Marie Paule wanted to have a big dinner, so tonight at dinner will be Marie Paule, Mary Helen, Ben, Jan, Aili, Geetu and I. The main course of dinner is a tarti flett [tart flet] that Marie Paule has made with potatoes, ham, scallions, and cheese. It tastes like a casserole with lots of potatoes.