Soooooo where was I?
Ah yes, Christmas with Yoan and his family was spectacular. The food was to die for and there were a thousand courses. Everyone was extremely warm and welcoming to me, and everyone talked and ate with merriment. Julie, you can appreciate the fact that Yoan's cousins and I talked about Jeff Dunham for the better portion of the night.
Yoan's spanish grandmother cooked a mountain of paella, in the largest frying pan I have ever seen, for the main course. She's absolutely adorable, a head and a half shorter than me, speaks french with a strong spanish accent, and her main worry is that you haven't eaten enough. The meal also lasted until about 1 or 2 in the morning afterwhich I rolled my fatty girth into bed and hybernated for a couple of days.
A few days later Yoan, Mikael, Virginie (Mikael's friend), and I did what four mature adults do....we went to Disneyland Paris
Then for new years Yoan, Mikael, my friend from studying abroad in Paris, Robert, and I all skipped down via car to Aix-en-Provence to visit a mutual friend Aymeric, well, we were about a half an hour away from Aix. It was an eight hour drive and the two europeans were forced to drive for the entirety of it due to the handicapped americans being unable to drive a stick....ya, need to learn how to do that one day.
The second day we went out hiking again but this time we did some bush-wacking. Aymeric forged the way which proved challenging for the rest of us to follow. A path made by a guy who's ~6'6 (2m) doesn't work all that well for people of a more standard height such as 5'5/5'4 (~1.65/1.63m) me. That aside, after a decent hike up a sizable hill through rather prickly bushes (not sure of the name though, there was some rosemary in the mix) we make it up into an old quarry. There were huge vaulted ceilings, graffitti, and carvings dating back to 1909. It was so sick!
The rest of our stay in the Aix region was just as wonderful, Aymeric being an excellent host, and we had a great new years roaming the streets. Then we took on the eight hour drive back to the Paris region.
Theme song of our stay:
Back in Ile de France to meet the new year. January is a magical time in france, it is the time of the galette des rois. A galette des rois is a patissery from the gods, filled with gooey frongipan lovingly coddled by flaky puff pastry. I, of course, had to eat at least one while I'm here in France. Hit count of galette consumption is now up to 2.
Now to explain the title of this post and my stressful situation. I was suppose to go to England with my friend because she wanted to visit a farm she had worked on five years ago. Due to her lower level in english, I would come along and act as translator. I was waiting for her to buy her ticket so I could do my planning...and I waited. I will skip details and just get to the part where she kept telling me "ya I'll do it tonight" and in the end after multiple calls from my part she told me she couldn't go. By the time we got to the "I'm not going part" it was already january 5th and I didn't have a plan B.
Cue stress mode!
After a good while of freaking out, I finally made the plan to fly home. I was tired and I missed family and I was ready to start focusing my attention fully on searching for a job. Yay! plan made, I was going home. Now how much would it cost to change my ticket?...... $2000 to $3000, buy a new ticket at least $1000.... How about plan C! Plan C: fly straight to Cork, Ireland, stay with my mom's friend there, and then wwoof in ireland until my flight early feburary. A flawless plan! I though, and so I bought a ticket to Cork for the 12 of january.
Yet, mom couldn't get in contact with her friend. No problem, I'll just go straight to a farm.
Warning to anyone trying to wwoof in ireland, it is a stupidly popular destination even in winter. I sent out a total of 60 requests to host farms and after 5 days, 18 reponses of 'we already have wwoofers' or 'we dont need anyone now', 40 no responses, plenty of posts stating 'Already booked for the rest of 2013!', I finally got two positive responses, the 45th and 49th farms I contacted. Yay! not going to be a homeless person in Cork, though my friends have cracked jokes that I already have the appearance of a homeless person with my backpack and manner of dress...they're just jealous.
Anyhoo! So, I'm off to Ireland! I'm just excited at this point to be going to a place where everyone know's how to pronounce my last name correctly. Wooooo!!!
Ah yes, the title. For those of you who know me, saying "Lauren is stubborn" is a redundant statement. Since I was born my father has been telling me that I'm 'as stubborn as a mule', in the alpes I was called 'tetue' (stubborn), and in Turkey I was called 'keçi' (goat)....hey, at least I'm consistent right? Well, it's moments like this when my stubborness and persistance comes in handy. Had I given up after contacting only 40 farms, I wouldn't have sent a message to the the 45th and 49th farms. Persitance people, persistance....and a touch of stubbornness
Hopefully the farm in Ireland works out. Only a month left of my voyage, but a month is plenty of time for plenty of adventures! Now off to the land of my peoples!