The hardest part about being back in Ottawa is just moving on. It feels like things were on pause here while I was gone and now I have to pick everything back up where I left off.
As much as we all don’t want to admit it, a big part of the whole studying abroad experience actually involves going to class.
When this Gee-Gee travels, only the finest greet him… and by finest I mean the finest cut out. While I may not have been greeted by the actual Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban ki-Moon while visiting Vienna a few weeks back, just a cardboard cut out, my colleagues and I did get the opportunity of a lifetime to visit and tour international institutions based out of Vienna.
We soon learned the location of the shooting was mere metres across the street from several of our apartments. Just the week prior, many of us had come together to celebrate a birthday only a few steps away from the Bataclan theatre. The subsequent hours were spent awaiting messages of assurance from friends in the affected area.
In an effort to reinforce our patriotism, and temporarily make our way back onto Canadian soil, a friend and I decided to purchase tickets from Paris to Arras, a city just eight kilometres east of the memorial. We arrived at Arras station at around 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8 and waited for a taxi to arrive to take us to the memorial. Alas, hours later and after many calls, no taxi came.
Let me be clear—I was raised on chicken and beef kabobs. I’ve never faulted chicken for its ability to satisfy me, but prior to coming to France I never understood the French fascination with raw meats and animals that have no business out of picture books.