After a month in the states, I finally touched down on French soil yesterday afternoon. I breathed a sigh of relief when my plane landed. That was one of the bumpiest flights I've ever flown, and it was long, from Los Angeles to Paris. It was so bad the overhead luggage bins kept popping open, which is never a good sign. I'm glad I took some Dramamine earlier and drank some red wine, as that probably helped keep me from screaming and blubbering hysterically.
I was also relieved when I passed through immigration control without a hitch. When I first arrived in France over a year ago with a visa, I wasn't expecting any questions, but the immigration guy grilled me on my reasons for coming to France. Now that I have a carte de séjour, the policewoman yesterday didn't ask me anything.
The biggest sense of relief came when I opened the door to my apartment. My landlords were planning on fixing the water damage in the kitchen and bathroom while I was gone, but weren't sure if it was dry enough. For a month I wondered if they were able to do it. But as soon as I opened the door, I could see that the kitchen had been painted off-white and the shelves had been moved and stabilized. The bathroom has also been painted off-white. It's so pretty and pristine that I'm afraid to mess it up. And all my stuff is still here! At first there was no hot water, until I saw that someone had switched off the hot water tank.
I was so tired last night that I should have stayed away from glass and sharp objects, but the first thing I did was break my coffee maker's carafe. That forced me to go out for coffee this morning. I thought I had bundled up pretty well, but I was wrong. The other day it was 80 degrees in southern California. Today's high in Paris was 47. It's definitely time for gloves and wool scarves. My poor body just had to deal with ten hours of turbulence and now has to withstand a thirty-degree-plus temperature change. It's good I have all that hot water.