Half-asleep, half-awake, over-stimulated in airports, under-stimulated on long flights, out-of-sorts, out-of-routine, off-keel, and off-base, much like when you wake up after surgery with the effects of heavy-duty drugs. In short, jet lag.
And in this condition, you are expected to navigate new airports…
And take off your jacket, sweater, shoes, belts and jewelry, have your Boarding Pass and Passport ready at all times, and God Forbid if you should forget to put your liquids and gels in that clear plastic bag.
We had 3 flights to get to Marseilles, on 3 different airlines. Flights were all fine and on time, however on the flight from Toronto to Amsterdam, the meal was, let’s say, “less than delicious”, and within half an hour the cramps started, followed by frequent trips to the bathroom, headache, nausea, and general malaise.
I asked for a cart to get to my new gate from Amsterdam to Marseille, which was a life-saver since it was a good 3 km walk.
Between 8 am Wednesday morning and 6:30 am Thursday morning, Canadian Eastern time, I slept a total of 1.5 fitful hours. Hence, there was the most enormous feeling of elation at the sight of that big white bed in the hotel room. I immediately crashed for 3 hours.
T arrived (we were on different flights – don’t ask – long story) at 5:30 pm local time.
We walked over to Le Grille Restaurant in the hotel next door, and we sat outside even though it was chilly, but it was just so nice to be somewhere warm enough that you could sit outside.
The waitress did not speak English, so there was a quite a bit of pointing going on. She brought us a salad and rolls before she even asked for our order.
Every meal was over 16E ($24), but I wasn’t very hungry so I had a starter of warm goat cheese wrapped in bacon with toast. It was served on a nice bed of mixed greens with a balsamic vinaigrette, and except for the dry hard toast, it was delicious. T had pork with a baked potato, and the baked potatoes were served with a little pot of a blue cheese sauce that was heavenly good.
For dessert, I had to have the Petit Pots de Chocolate Gateaux and Chocolate Mouse. This was what I came to France for, and since it was beyond decadently delicious, it did not disappoint. Both the gateau and the mouse were served in tiny white pots but the cake had only a thin crust of cake on the outsides while the inside oozed rich creamy dark chocolate…
The total bill for one appetizer, one meal, dessert and one beer: $52 C. But the chocolate gateau was worth double that.
In fact, that chocolate gateau almost made up for a night without sleep.