Thursday, June 21, 2012

In which lightning dances and giant monuments sparkle

We just got internet at our apartment!

Well, by ‘just’ I’m referring to almost two weeks ago- but let’s not think too hard about the words that Rashed chooses to open his blogposts with. 

The first week after finals was a bit unusual- it started with me arriving at the airport in Geneva, walking up to my grandfather, and waiting about twenty seconds for him to realize that the person standing in front of him was not, in fact, some random person who decided to situate himself right in the middle of his field of vision. I’ve never had hair this long before, and apparently this gave my grandparents great trouble in identifying me.

We drove from Geneva to France, where I would stay for a week before heading to Paris for a night, all to visit family. I wanted/needed to visit my grandparents, and their spending the summer in France instead of Kuwait meant I only had to cover half the distance to see them.

Lac Léman/Lac de Genève. Lausanne (and therefore, theoretically, a Sumin) is on the far shore!
The first week was wonderful- pretty much all of it was spent reading, swimming, and sleeping (when I wasn’t spending time with my grandparents). It feels good to actually have time to do things like read!

I went to Geneva a few times, bringing home more and more chocolate each time. I currently have a fairly large suitcase filled with chocolate, mostly because my grandparents decided that I would not survive through the summer without boatloads of chocolate. Walking around Geneva was a bit unusual, though, mostly because it seemed to be filled with Laura Gilsons.

Allow me to try and give a bit of context to that last sentence: whenever I leave an area that I’ve been in for a while, (Kuwait, summer camp, or MIT, for example) and travel to a new place, I often mistakenly identify people around me currently as certain people from whatever area I just left. The fact that I can’t see people’s faces too well without my glasses on (which is nearly all the time) means that this happens fairly often. Usually it’s just a bunch of random people with no pattern to it, but for some reason an awful lot of people in Geneva looked like Laura Gilson. Take that as you will.

This was taken right at the border between France and Switzerland.
At the end of the week, I bid my grandparents goodbye and headed off to Paris. I arrived there pretty early in the morning, and after visiting certain people and finishing my business in Paris, it was well into the afternoon, but I still had about 24 hours to explore the city.

I’ve been to Paris once before, but I was only 7 years old at the time, and 7-year-old Rashed didn’t exactly have much appreciation for the city. Paris was just the mandatory pit stop on the way to Disneyland. 18-year-old Rashed could enjoy Paris a bit more (though he probably wouldn’t mind going to Disneyland afterwards either way).

I wandered around the city for a bit, since I couldn’t remember the last time I had just walked around a new city. After a while, I met up with Erin, and did Paris-like things (most of which she has already mentioned). We walked up (the?) Champs-Élysées, grabbing macarons and eventually working our way up to the Arc de Triomphe.

We also stopped for dinner on the way, at this restaurant where, instead of offering you a menu, they simply ask how you want your steak cooked. This restaurant has a branch in Kuwait, which I went with my family. My sister decided to ask the waitress if they served anything other than steak. The waitress proceeded to stare my sister down until she finally uttered ‘well done, please’ in the quietest voice I have ever heard her speak in. I am generally very fond of this restaurant.

See, it sparkles!
With considerably less empty bellies, we sauntered off towards the Tour Eiffel. While sitting on a random patch of grass and admiring it, it suddenly started to sparkle, which I don’t think either of us was expecting. Sparkling is not something I generally associate with French monuments- I usually link it to things like water, juice, faux vampires, and the like.

It turns out Paris is a lot bigger than I thought it was when I looked at its map- by the time we reached Erin’s apartment, it was about 1AM. I tried calling a taxi, but my sleep-deprived taxi-acquisition skills could not find a taxi that could come before 3:30AM, possibly because of the thunderstorm happening right outside. The thunderstorm itself was magnificent, though- not often do you see lightning arc horizontally across the sky instead of vertically.

I finally managed to get back to my bed by about 4AM, and about five hours later we not-quite-woke-up so we could take advantage of the fact that most of the museums in Paris were free for the day. After finally making my way towards the Musée D'Orsay, Erin and I spent a few hours walking through most of it, an experience which was surprisingly enjoyable despite the sleep-deprived haze (there’s still one Monet that will probably bug me for a very long time, but that’s a long story for a different time). After grabbing lunch, we walked through the Notre Dame, after which I headed off to the airport and finally came back to Boston. All in all, they were quite a busy 24 hours, full of deliciousness and sparkly things.

Sadly, did not have enough time to climb to the top. It was still plenty impressive, though!

Since it is almost past 4AM, I will have to stop typing (until the next post, in which large wooden objects are built and slept upon, and certain other family members are revealed).

Bonne nuit, tout le monde!


  1. again, you're kind of fantastic. stay awesome. :)


  2. I misread "bid my grandparents goodbye" as "bit my grandparents goodbye".


  3. Wait I just read are awesome.