Cookies and Rain -or- On my move back to France

Cookies really are the savior of an overseas, over packed, delayed flight.

It was over two years ago, but this one goes out to that savior provider, you know who you are, that was able to stuff Milano double stuffed chocolate cookies into my carry on bag without my knowledge. The pure joy that lit up my face when I saw those little delights hiding in my luggage probably sent a shock wave of jealousy that rippled through every passenger in coach…or at least it should have.

I guess it didn’t occur to me before I left that I had only spoken to these people three times. Countless emails, I just assumed counted as talking, but thousands of feet in the air, it suddenly dawned on me that it was actually…..just the three that I talked to my future Au Pair family. I stared at the back of the seat in front of me during take off, realizing I actually had no idea where to go once I got off the plane. I would have no phone, no internet, and two giant, bursting suitcases – that were definitely over the allotted weight requirement, mind you.

This had happened to me before, coincidently in the exact same airport. I had done a short summer abroad program in Paris a few years back and was told there would be a bus waiting at the airport for arrivals. But as I stepped off the plane savoring my newly regained leg space, for the first time, I realized I had no clue where to go.

I did the most instinctual thing I could and what would later become a quite often used tactic in my foreign girl lifestyle…I followed the sound of English.

A group of twenty somethings mumbling about the south, Bingo.

I had found my group and was chatting away with them all before exiting the passport line. Take that, Anxiety.

But then two things happened rather quickly.

One was an overly perky blonde asked me where I was living.
“… the dorm…with everyone.”  …duh
“What? um no, you had to find your own housing…wait, oh my gawd. you didnt!?” she had screeched in that weird mixture of laughter and snark that only self aware pretty girls ever seem to accomplish.

mini throw up.

But then luckily right before I was about to bust out my signature mixture, that of yelling obsencities and crying at the same time,  I saw the second thing happening. One of the boys in the group suddenly jolt over to the window and start excitedly screeching that it was raining.


My panic and entire body froze, except for the likely sour milk type of expression I unknowingly possess from time to time, as I watched the whole group enthusiastically run over to the window.

With that I backed away slowly, still hung over from the momentary panic seconds earlier, but instantly quickened my step as I turned away, because I knew that they was no way in freezing hell these kids were from the pseudo sunshine state of rain filled – Florida.

Later, I had been told that my flight had been booked solid with kids from USC, University of Southern California, state of the endless sunshine, or as I like to call them….spoiled.

ah, clarity.

I did end up finding the right group eventually, and that whole summer passed by in one amazing blur. Well, obviously it did, since while I was remembering this,  I was trying to drown out my neighbor’s snoring by stuffing my face with cookies, 30,000 feet in the air. I was on my way back to France, two years later,

and this time I was staying.



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