It is strange being home again. It's a bit like being forced into clothes that don't quite fit any more. I don't think I was quite ready to come back. I said a very sniffly goodbye to my room in Paris, the cat who used to shed all over my bed, the lady at the cafe nearby who gave me cheap sandwiches, and various other friends and trailed back home yesterday.
Things began to look up on the way back home, since I was wedged into a tiny seat next to a very interesting person who offered, quite sincerely, to tell me The Funniest Joke In The World. I think it's best to say that it involved muffins and a terrible punchline, and leave it at that.
Anna and I managed to get on well in the end, despite the fact that we have utterly opposing viewpoints on not just diet but religion, lifestyle and politics and books. I have other friends who disagree with me on the first four subjects, but I've never before had a friend who actively disliked reading. From what she said I'm guessing it was a learning experience all round.
We went through a real-life equivalent of Harry Potter troll-in-the-loos-experience, in the form of one of Marie-Christine's dinners, which was an experience you can't survive without becoming friends. (This isn't to say that Marie-Christine wasn't a lovely person and an excellent cook, because she was. Just very hot on her napkins.)
We wandered up to Montmartre and the Sacre Coeur together one day and discovered that we got on very well if we only allowed ourselves small doses of conversation about relgion, politics, lifestyle choices, and especially books. This proved easier than I had expected, but it took us a while to get the hang of it.
Anna: What's that I saw you reading yesterday evening?
Ro: Ah, you wouldn't be interested.
Anna: Oh, okay then. Wha-
Ro: Well, if you insist. It's about a man who is sent as an envoy to another planet where all the people have no fixed gender most of the time. He gets caught up in the political currents of two nations who refuse to believe that he's telling the truth about the greater interplanatery organisation he comes from. It explores gender roles, cultural differences and is put together beautifully.
Ro: What's your favourite kind of cheese?
Parisian Pigeons are insane. Their favourite pastime seems to be flying directly at your head so that when you jerk aside at the last second and look like a complete idiot, they can sweep off to the side, and you realise that they wouldn't have hit you anyway.
And then you see that everyone is staring at you and you walk away, very quickly with your head down.
I was a little hyped up on sugar and a lack of sleep when I got home, which is probably why my family keep eyeing me nervously. I might have overreacted just a little to the news that Tutee had gotten A in her physics test while I was away, (up from a D in her previous one).
Ro: I am Awesome. I am possibly the awesomest tutor in the world. No one can beat my awesome, the world will cower at my awesome. Children will wave multicoloured flags when I pass and I shall sport a velvet cape, and there will be free books!
Long-suffering father: Not that we don't love and support you, despite your apparent megalomania, but is it possible that Tutee had something to do with it too?
Ro: You'd like me to think that, wouldn't you? You'd like her to sport the velvet cape.
So, I'm left planning my next trip and searching for a job. This means an interview with intimidating people in business suits today, so I shall wander off to that now.