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Travail

Travel: the word travel has a common origin with the word travail. Once upon a time, travel was exceedingly uncomfortable and often dangerous. Indeed, the ultimate source of the word 'travel' is a medieval instrument of torture - the trepalium - a contraption would pierce its victim's flesh with three sharp stakes (tres 'three' and palus 'stake'). The trepalium became a verb, trepaliare, which meant any form of torture. From torture to the Old French concept of travailler - or 'putting oneself to pain or trouble. Travailler came to mean 'work hard' in French. English borrowed the word as 'travail' and this, in turn, was used to describe a wearisome journey - travel.

The French language, on the other hand, never regarded travel with quite the same sense of discomfort as did English. Voyager - to travel - comes from the Latin via, or 'way'.

Just about the only benefit of Larry's business travel is the chance for the frequent flyer tickets that make our trips possible. Due to some bad timing this year that I won't bore you with, we were only able to use our points to get an Aer Lingus routing involving a nine hour layover in Dublin. Add to that the difficulty of getting to Logan these days made for a very long, tiring day of travel. Twenty four hours to get from Boston to Paris? Travail.

We tried several times yesterday to get on the earlier connecting flight, but Aer Lingus was less than cooperative. Yes, there are seats available. No, you may not have them. Those frequent flyer tickets don't exactly gain you a lot of friends at the airlines. On the other hand, our luggage actually arrived on the conveyer at CDG, always a triumph. And we got to walk around downtown Dublin, Temple Bar, Trinity College, see the Book of Kells, and have lunch. Someone, please explain the mushy peas to me. By the time we finally arrived at the apartment at 9:30 last night, we were beyond tired.

So, here we are. The apartment is cosy, very well equipped, and comfortable. Half a bottle of wine (kindly supplied by the agency) was all the dinner we had energy for. The little air conditioner and fan are doing their best, and we slept well. La canicule is promised to break tomorrow with some thunderstorms, which will hopefully bring relief. We went out early and bought the first croissants and some figs, raspberries and peaches for breakfast. So damn good. Today we're planning on walking the neighborhood in the morning to gather groceries and reaquaint ourselves, and then get to an air conditioned museum this afternoon.

Hey, we're in Paris!

Comments (1)

Kim:

Amy - so good to hear from you!! I am so jealous. Can't wait for the next entry.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 25, 2006 11:57 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Still At My Desk.

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