OK, I have officially given up all hope of finding something affordable, without even looking. I don’t need to look. I already know, Disneyland Paris is not a place conducive to one on a dancer’s budget.
Simeon woke up this morning with a gasp – he didn’t know where his collar was. He looked everywhere and came to the conclusion that he must have left it in London, which is really just another knot in a long string of forgetfulness for him this trip. Sure, I forgot some things, too. But none of them are imperative. Like, for instance, my cold-sore pills, which I normally travel with in case I feel the tell-tale tingle; and my exfoliating scrub, which I can always buy here. But I can live without these things. Simeon? He forgot, of all things, the poet-shirt (1700s shirt with poofy sleeves) he needs for the World Showdance championships. Wanna know what else he managed to forget? His custom-made pants that he uses to take ALL of his lessons with, which is terrible because he didn’t bring any other pants except a pair of jeans and his tailsuit pants. And now, he left his plastic collar for his tailsuit in London. What a mess. Luckily he managed to find a vendor’s stand at the competition that is selling the collars. He literally just walked out of the comp right now and showed me the collar in his hand. I am breathing a deep, deep sigh of relief. Not that I was terribly worried. If they didn’t have collars, and therefore if we couldn’t have danced, I would have made him take me into central Paris for an expensive dinner in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Why not? I didn’t forget anything important. Don’t you think I would’ve deserved it?
Luckily for Simeon, and our account books, he found a collar… and speaking of account books brings me to my first sentence, that I have completely given up hope of finding a hat for an affordable price because I know they do not exist here in Paris. I just went to Starbucks (yes, I managed to find the Starbucks at Disneyland Paris; I have a honing device for that company, they should really use me for advertizing) and ordered a latte. You know, my normal drink: Venti Quad Shot Skinny Vanilla Latte. People always look at me weird when I order a quad-shot, particularly in Europe, but they don’t realize that it’s actually for Simeon and me to share. At least in America, when I order a quad-shot, they don’t look at me weird. That reminds me, one time at the airport, a guy ordered a six-shot latte, and he was all by himself. One word: whoa. Anyway, this Venti Quad Shot Skinny Vanilla Latte cost us about €6, which translates to about $8… I am not joking. I paid $8 for a latte. That’s a huge difference to London, where we pay £2.70, or about $4, for the same drink. Disneyland Paris, that is NOT cool!
We did manage to find a mall here, out in the boonies of Marne la Vallée, which had a huge grocery store which allowed us to buy an entire reel of brie cheese for €2.50. Considering that brie is intensely more expensive in London and the States, and that I paid €6 for a latte, I think of that price for a reel of brie rather reasonable. However, no matter how hard I looked, I could not find shampoo and conditioner anywhere. The hotel, charming little thing in Jossigny as it is, gave us a pathetically small bottle of gel to use as a hair and body wash. It left my hair surprisingly soft, but stripped most of the color out meanwhile. I’m not happy. It means I have to buy hair dye and dye my hair in London when we get back. This is where I heave my great big sigh of frustration. And Simeon has valiantly decided, sharing it with me as we walked into the mall, that he doesn’t like France. He’s got a point. His question: what does France offer? Besides very affordable, very good cheese and bread to die for, that is? In my opinion, France wouldn’t be so bad if the French didn’t do everything in their power to interfere with my coffee. When we were boarding the plane for Paris in London, the ticket-taker told me I couldn’t take my latte on board if it was hot. ??????? She made me throw it out, which seriously threw me off for the rest of the day. And of course, you all know how much I just paid for a latte at Disneyland, which means Simeon won’t let me have one tomorrow. Interference with Kora’s lattes bode ill.
Understand, I am not necessarily addicted to coffee (maybe just a little). I live a lifestyle that requires both of us to sacrifice a lot. We have to budget everything, from monetarily budgeting where every last cent goes (or pence, if we’re in England), to budgeting every bite of food that goes into my mouth because those costumes are not forgiving… and neither is Simeon. And when I’m travelling around the world and spending more than half my life on the road, a daily treat that allows me just a moment of ritual and relaxation is something I take very seriously. Whether it’s the process of making my cappuccinos at home with my machine, or standing in line at Starbucks, the second I take that sip of my coffee slows everything down. It’s my escape. Even if I’m drinking it while travelling somewhere, which is undoubtedly what I’ll be doing on Monday, while on the train back to London, it’s my one sliver of same-ness in my world of chaos. If this makes any sense?
Anyway, I guess I’ll just have to sneak downstairs to the bar and order a single-shot cappuccino for €3 tomorrow. Wait and you’ll hear it… my second great big frustrated sigh. And to make things worse, having just danced our first event at the competition, my back is beginning to seize up again. I had major seizures in my upper back about three weeks ago, and I can feel it’s starting to go bad again. I did remember my painkiller/muscle relaxers I bought in Canada (trick for those of you who push yourself to the limit, like me: a pill that mixes aspirin and a rather strong muscle relaxer is available over-the-counter in Canada, while it is only available via prescription in the States), so I will be filling up the bathtub, taking a couple, and try to get my back to relax in time for the event tomorrow.
Then, back to England. I can’t wait to get back to London! I’m tired of listening to French!