Archive for August 22nd, 2008

 

Stopover in Europe, en route to India!

Aug 22, 2008 in Uncategorized

Le Pic St LoupOn my way to India I spent a couple of weeks visiting friends in France. I was fortunate to stay with Audrey, Greg, and Mailys at their newly built home in Castries. I also managed to make a brief trip to the UK to stay with my friends Carl and Dave. My visits to the UK and France reminded me of how fortunate I am to have made friends with a great group of people in my year at Lancaster University!

First I arrived in Paris on a flight from Chicago. From there, I traveled to Montpellier via the TGV (currently the fastest conventional train in the world!). Arriving late, Greg and Audrey met me at the station and it was like we had seen each other three days ago, not the three years it had been since they traveled to Boston. Our journeys around southern France included a visit to Nimes, a hike up Le Pic St Loup (see picture above), a visit with Anais and Ben in Narborne, enjoying the Maguio festival (including bulls running in the streets!), and a couple of trips to the beach. The best part, of course, was seeing my old friends and making new friends. I also think Mailys will miss presence in the back seat of the Picasso! Among the foods I tried in France were crepes (of course!), snails, and home-cooked rabbit (thanks Ben!). I have to say that would be difficult to top the food in France, even if it sounds disgusting to some (can you believe that our chef, Greg, doesn’t like escargot?)

The most hilarious part of this trip was the conversations, or rather the complete lack of any communication between Audrey’s father and myself… Sometimes I would catch a few words that made me think that I had some idea what he was talking about… and then came the hand gestures! That confirmed the fact that we might as well have been trying to communicate in hieroglyphics, maybe I’ll try that next time if I still don’t know French! At one point there was some swimming motion combined with a thumbs up, I think that was regarding the awesome performance of Michael Phelps in the Olympics, so at least that was something. Haha.

It was great to see Audrey and Greg again, and to meet Mailys too. We decided that it is their turn to come visit me in the US, although it may be after adding another child to the family. Hopefully by then I will be well into my Ophthalmology residency and maybe progress has happened on other fronts too… We’ll see!

From Montpellier I went back to Paris, then to Liverpool via notso-Easyjet. Carl met me at the airport and drove us over to Harrogate to spend the day with Dave. Driving along in the countryside we managed to get lost, have a minor accident with a Porsche, and generally have a good time. It was great the next day in Bolton too when about ten of our group from Lancaster came down to Bolton to stay at Carl and Em’s place for a couple of days. It was great to catch up, the bowling and karaoke were fun too! I am hopeful that at least some of them will make the trip out here to visit me in India. For those who don’t, I’m sure it will be just like old times again next time we meet too!