There I was, in Nordstrom in Paris. There is a Nordstrom in every city in my dreams, naturally.
I evidently was not minding any kind of budget, because I was clutching multiple shopping bags when I stepped onto the cobblestone streets of a Parisian alleyway. My shopping bags turned into suitcases and suddenly, I was pushing a suitcase cart full of luggage. Didn’t think twice about it.
I was pushing my bags out of the crooked alleyway to the meeting spot overlooking the river where I was to meet my fellow study abroad-iennes. I could see the river and bridge through the archway of the alley, but I could also see a surly man high-stepping it toward me. I thought, I’m about to get robbed, but if I just do this one thing, he’ll pass me. Heavens knows what that one thing was, but I did it and he walked right past me and robbed someone else. I kept walking… Much to my conscious embarrassment. IT WAS A DREAM, people.
I found the large group of excited girls and knew I had found my travelling companions. Weirdly enough, no one from my actual study abroad was in this sleep group (sorry, ladies!!!). The director was my boss, who does incidentally speak French. I asked him who my roommate was, and the entire group responded asynchronously, “You’re roommates with Aeowijiaek,” “You’re with the girl who always wanders off,” “Oufjduieea likes to be by herself.” Even in my dream, I couldn’t understand what the heck name they were saying. Lots of vowels, though. And it was clear that she was nowhere in sight.
I thought, Great, they give me the wanderer, and I walked off in the direction of my host family’s house to see if I could meet up with her there.
I arrived in a picturesque French country village and started walking up a hill towards some houses in the distance. The hill was not very high, and was covered in long, waving grass and the occasional dandelion. Oh my gosh, this is JUST LIKE in Beauty and the Beast!!! I thought. You know, the part where Belle sings, “I want adventure in the greeaaat wiide somewhere…”?
I was just about to run up the hill singing that, when I saw the village messenger boy walking past and glancing at me as he did so. I contained myself.
At the top of the hill and down the lane aways, there was a grouping of absolutely picturesque cottages—each one a different color and covered in ivy and moss. I couldn’t wait to see what my temporary home would look like, if these were all so beautiful!! I pulled out the paper to remind myself of the address and tried to hurry, as the sun was going down and I was in an unfamiliar place. Trying to look composed while being a little giddy, I started fast-walking.
Then Nathanael’s alarm went off. C’est la vie.