Sadly Sierra and I ended up taking separate flights. However, that is ok. I don’t mind traveling alone and you shall soon see why.
My dad put me on my first solo plane ride when I was 10. I was a bit nervous as one might expect, however, the flight attendants fussed over me and put me in first class. In general, they made the most of my two hour plane ride and spoiled me. Ever since then, I enjoy traveling solo.
One of the reasons I enjoy solo travel is the people. You can meet some interesting people on the plane, another trick my dad taught me. Sadly, the first trip was a bust. While I discovered that the guy sitting next to me was also a PhD student (but in English literature), he was afflicted with the terrible illness of being unable to talk to new people. While he answered all my questions, he clearly wasn’t very comfortable. Maybe his mother taught him never to talk to strangers.
However, the second flight has been very rewarding. I sat next to a lovely older French lady who spoke no English. I rarely let a little thing like a language barrier stop me. She was very kind to listen to my shockingly bad French and eventually, after I made it quite clear that I was going to talk to her, she warmed up.
When you are trying to learn a language, it really is best to speak to older people. It’s less likely that they will speak English and you will be forced to use your language skills to the max, whether you want to or not. There was no one to rescue me when I couldn’t remember a word. Which happened so often, I was reduced to laughing frequently. But she was very patient and kind, attempting to help me when she could understand what I was saying. (Which wasn’t often ) Nevertheless, we muddled along, until the lady in the seat in front of me took pity on me and helped me out a bit with some important words I wasn’t remembering. She was very nice and surprised that I was an American and knew any French. It was really very nice of her to say that as my French is truly atrocious.
Even with my terrible French, she told me that she was visiting her daughter in Montreal, who had two of her grandchildren. She showed me many pictures of her adorable grandchildren and told me a bit about her trip. She also has two sons in France and she lives in Tours.
She is also a knitter! In fact we had a whole knitting row, but I’ll come back to that. She knits sweaters and blouses and scarves. She was very complimentary on my own knitting. In fact the flight attendants were joking about buying some stuff from me. She is a very lovely lady.
The other lady knitter is a prospective Canadian med student. She hasn’t been knitting very long but she does beautiful colorwork sweaters. We had a lovely chat about knitting and I told her she had to join ravelry. I gave her my username and hopefully she will friend me. She did seem very interested in the free patterns.
Also I experienced the midnight sun as seen in the picture below. It was very beautiful. I need to go be on the ground to see it sometime as well.
The real question is, what is happening with the knitting projects? I made some good progress on both shawls. I finished the first lace chart on the lilac wish shawl and I finished the first border chart on sheherazad. People were very curious how I got the beads on (I use a crochet hook, it’s the best, i never prestringing). So it was a successful flight for knitting.
I also started and finished Son. I love this author and I really enjoyed the book. However, it would have helped me a bit if I had read Gathering Blue recently. It’s been a long time since I’ve read that book and I barely remember anything. Since Son is the culmination of that book and the Giver, it would have helped if I had read them recently. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it and finished it in a couple of hours.
After I landed and found my luggage, I headed straight to the nearest bakery and bought bazel Brötchen and worked on my lilac wish shawl. I think I’ll finish it within the next day or so.
I have had a sucession of interesting people. First some construction workers who were making fun of me in German (Mostly because of my accent (southern German) and then for speaking English. I met some nice people from cap town here for a wedding and a bike race. Lastly I just had a whirlwind of a time with a group from India. They were very friendly and invited me to this island on which a friend was having his 70th birthday. I was also asked what is going on in America, but wasn’t allowed to answer since the Indian press had told him what the solution was. However the saddest thing he said was that India no longer sees America as a safe place. Which makes me really sad but I can see why. Though I don’t think anywhere is really safe right now.
Lastly. Here is a picture of the work on sheherazad. It’s coming along quite nicely despite the crazy number of stiches.