November 17, 2006

a day late

So, the Gilmore Girls episode this week found Chris and Lorelai in Paris. Outside of their annoying habit of not speaking French, and complaining about how rude French people are (general aside...when in a foreign land, if you make no attempt to learn the language, you absolutely deserve any rudeness you get), it made me long for Europe. The crazy lights on Tour Eiffel, L'arc de triomphe, the ready availability of bread and wine...*le sigh*

Our first day in Paris was a bust, as I so very briefly mentioned earlier. First of all, Charles de Galles is HUGE. So very, very HUGE. Pack some snacks for the trek it takes to get to your luggage. Pack additional snacks to get out of the airport. It felt like we were walking for at least a decade before we got to the RER. It may have been longer, I lost track with the sherpas and all. We made it to the RER, got our tickets, and plopped down on a train. There was a group of mildly amusing teens at one end of our car. The obligatory deaf man with trinkets made his way through. (If you make it through a trip to Paris, using the metro/RER system, without encountering one of these it is not a real trip to Paris.) We wound our way to transfer to the Metro. We found ourselves in what appeared to be an underground mega-mall. We needed tickets, and silly us thought this would be an easy affair. As if. Dragging our heavier-by-the-minute luggage, we eventually found the entrance to the metro itself. Just inside were ticket machines--hurrah! Except that it appeared only one of them worked and had a line. Bleck. So I sat with the luggage while G attempted to find a counter staffed by a human. i sat long enough for everything I'd packed to go out of style, come back in style, and then go out again. Just as I wondered if I needed to send a Saint Bernard out for him, he returned. Sans tickets. Apparently after finding the counter, there was a five year wait to get to the window, so he decided to try his luck with the machine. He waited. He arrived in front of the machine. He inserted a credit card. The machine wouldn't recognize it. The machine didn't take cash. It was back to the five-year-line. I decided to go along htis time, as I didn't want to grow old without my sweetie. G leading the way, we headed to the world's tiniest elevator. We managed to cram in with our luggage and got to the right floor. We got in line. We were two people behind a woman who I am hoping, for the sake of the Franch people, was not French. She was obliviously gnawing on what appeared to be Maize on a stick. (Wonder if that will be at the MN state fair next year?) Chewing with her mouth open, and making a godawful smacking noise as she went. My sking is crawling just thinking about it. We inch forward. We get to the window and procure metro passes. Hurrah! Woever, we still need to get to the train itself. We drag our luggage back to the miniscule elevator, a few more miles and we are finally on a train to our hotel. A very crowded train. We make it to our stop, ease our way off, up too many stairs and eventually encounter daylight. According to our map, we aren't far from our hotel. So, we begin walking. And walking. We get stuck when a mass of people are blocking the road. We aren't sure what is going on. There is food, music, and people in what appear to be large vats of grapes, stomping away. We consider our options.
a) Push through the dense crowd of people, towing cinder block-laden luggage behind, keeping our eyes on the hotel looming on the other side.
b) Follow the alley to the left, dodging puddles and a small white dog, all the while hoping that subsequent streets will take us to the hotel.
c) follow the street to our right, dodging cars and scooters, all the while hoping the subsequent streets lead us to our hotel.

We chose option A, flipped to page 54, and mentally crossed our fingers. We made it to our hotel. After turning down the 10 Euros/person charge for breakfast, I crammed into the world's smalles elevator (for real this time) with my suitcase. The elevator claimed a 4 person capacity, but I couldn't figure out how that was possible. I got off into the world's narrowest hallway (single file only) and wedged myself near the door to awai G and the room key.

Success! We were in our room! We still had our luggage and carried only the slightest odor of locker room. My head was killing me, and I was all congested. I needed to lie down. The rest was a blur, but G managed to get me some French cold medicine and cough syrup, which I took despite not being to figure out what was in it. The next thing I knew it was the middle of the night. The streets were mostly quiet. We didn't get to go clubbing. We didn't do any exploring. We just slept. We figured this would mean we would be totally refreshed on Sunday for lots of fun Paris action.

I promise to write more soon. I just dropped G off at the airport for a short trip to Florida, and I am a free woman this, in between learning lines, I shall get to more details of the trip, all of which promise to be far more interesting than our first day!

Posted by raven at November 17, 2006 10:12 AM
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