So today was interesting. (Didn't end up going to Brussels yesterday, sorry.)
In the afternoon, Elizabeth dropped us off at the Mons main station. According to confusing website details, the busses stop at the same place the trains to, since it's a relatively small town.
All of today it was absolutely pouring out, and we hadn't walked around in the rain with our packs on yet; that was a super duper fun new experience.
Our bus was a half hour late, and for that hour before, we weren't even sure it was the right place since nobody inside the station knew where EuroLines buses stop. (EuroLines is like Greyhound at home.) And once our bus finally arrived at 3pm, we walked up to it and Tessa suddenly couldn't place her passport. Much searching ensued in the two minutes the driver allowed us, while I stalled by putting my baggage on, etc...and then she found it! That was extremely stressful.
Rain, busses in traffic, rain, border control check, rain.
Three hours later we arrive back in Paris! It's starting to feel a lot like home base now. But this station we are at, we immediately realize, is somewhere in the city, and we aren't sure where. Thankfully there was a Metro connected to it so we hopped on. But it wasn't so easy because the ticket machine thingy, that lets you through? Wasn't working. None of them were. So we, and the people around us, kind of slipped through the "out" doors in a very complicated manner that took a good five minutes. This station was so ghetto and scary we hopped on that train real fastlike.
Then our connecting line/stop was down for maintenance for the week. Of course.
Off the next stop, we look at a dozen maps and pick a direction. Hopefully to the Metro line that will take us back home.
At this point we weren't even sure what the difference between the rain and our sweat was, so that was miserable.
We walked for a good 25 minutes, through the red light district, down some cool looking alleys, and across puddled streets, and finally made it.
Finally 30 minutes later, back on Didot street where Micheline lives, we buzz in, knock on her door, and she answers...in French, and goes on for a whole minute, in French, looking at us like, why are you staring at me silently? Tessa and I look at each other, because she knows we don't speak French. We just keep staring at her for a whole minute, dripping on her doormat, and then finally:
Pause. "Oh! You are someone else! You are backpacker girls! Come in! I completely forgot you were coming back..."
"Let me think, I don't have your room anymore but we will put you downstairs and you no pay! I'm so sorry!"
We were wondering the whole way over, if she had forgotten we were coming; yes she had. But we got the downstairs mysterious rooms. This place is endless, and has about a million passageways.
So yeah, that was our crazy day. If you didn't skip to the end here, thanks for reading. ;)
Right now we finished eating and are now talking to Micheline's newest houseguest who's French, and taking our room, and he is telling us about his favorite US rappers. ....
Now I get to sleep, and hope it's sunny tomorrow so we can go up in the Eiffel Tower! *crosses all my fingers*