Friday, April 22, 2011

A Good Friday? Well...

In Norwegian, we don't say Good Friday, but Long Friday (Langfredag), which to me describes well this particular day.
Seven years ago I experienced a real "long Friday".  We had been in Achen, Germany for a few days, while my husband attended a conference, and on Good Friday, we left for France. Friends were meeting up with us near Chartres, where we had rented a little house for our two families for the Easter Holiday.
Our plan was to arrive around 5:PM. so we would have some time to get settled before dinner.  Since our friends live near Paris and only had about an hour's drive, they would be the ones to do the grocery shopping and prepare dinner this Good Friday night.  We looked forward to a nice dinner among friends.
Well, our plan didn't exactly work.  You see, we had forgotten to check out the traffic news, so we had no idea the start of that year's spring break in the Paris area coincided with the three-day Easter weekend.  What this means, is that on that particular Friday, everybody in Paris was going somewhere...
It took us more than five hours just to get past the city,  (We would have walked faster.) and it was way past midnight when we finally arrived at the cottage. We rhen had an exhausted 7-year-old,  4 1/2-year-old and a 5-month-old in the car, and it became more and more unbearable.   The traffic was so dense we had no chance of even pulling over.  So, no toilet stops, no snacks, and we hadn't eaten since lunch...  I ended up nursing the youngest in the car, since we hardly moved anyway, so at least the baby was fed, but the rest of us, well, we got to know the word hunger, and the word patience (or lack of it.)  At one point, most of us were crying, either loud or silently, my husband and I were kicking ourselves (and each other) for not checking the traffic info.,  and I felt awful, not being able to feed my kids!  When traffic finally opened up, and we could pull over to a gas station and roadside diner, it was almost midnight, and  all three kids were sleeping.  They actually cried themselves to sleep.
A long, long Friday indeed.

Picture: "Embouteillage", aquarelle by Masmoulin. 

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