Someone please explain Mark the concept of jetlag and time difference!
After the exhausting trip from Ottawa to France, the guys passed out around noon shortly after we arrived at my parents’ place. I stayed up, took a walk and caught up with my family. Feng and Mark woke up in the evening and we all went to bed at midnight.
At 3:30 a.m., Mark woke up hungry. We fed him but he didn’t feel like going back to sleep. Unlike us, he was wide awake, playing on the bed—he eventually fell asleep at 5:30 a.m. after another feeding. Feng passed out but I couldn’t and I didn’t want to wake everybody up. So I got dressed in the dark, stole my mom’s jacket, grabbed my bag and the camera and left a note: “NOT crazy, just not sleepy. Heading out for a walk!”
I am not a morning person and I am never ever out at 6:00 a.m. I don’t think I have ever walked around Nantes, my hometown, that early. It was like rediscovering a familiar place under a new light.
The streets were being cleaned from a night of drinking and the sidewalks were still wet, with broken glass here and there. Everything was closed. Nantes is not a morning city, unlike Ottawa, and most businesses only open around 10 a.m. It reminded me of going to school before 8 a.m.—we kids were the only ones out that early, the city belonged to us.
I decided to walk to the train station where I knew a coffee place would be open. I passed the many budget hotels and the hostess bars and sex shops—the train station is this kind of neighbourhood. Once arrived, I bought a couple of magazines and ordered a coffee. It came in “French size”: a tiny cup of very strong espresso, not exactly the kind of beverage you can nurse for hours, unlike the large burning hot cups of Tim Hortons coffee.
I read my French magazines and observed the flow of commuters, to the sound of the various announcements: “train delayed”; “train cancelled,” “train boarding,” etc.
On the way back home, I stopped by a bakery and bought breakfast for everyone. We shared croissants and chaussons aux pommes—a perfect French morning!