The First Night of Paris

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*Pre-Flight picture…it is important to note the lack of Post-Flight pic as I would have broken the camera.
I expected to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go—but having only ‘slept’ for three hours…I felt even more zombie-like with just a little less of the eye-burning quality.

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 I’d like to pretend I was more of an Ola Ray in Michael Jackson’s Thriller, but in all honesty I was more of the fuzzy decaying man to the right (at least he has a stylish coat).
 
After crawling to my suitcase to change out of my filth and sweat, I immediately put on new clothes which actually did help me feel better.I say crawl because I am not kidding when I say that my suitcase was at least 65 pounds and my travel backpack was around 35 pounds….and I still had to carry a laptop case and a purse. #whatanidiot
Let’s talk about the first metro ride…or as I like to call it “the passage through hell”.
It was so packed that I could barely move to adjust my jacket, so hot that I was having difficult breathing, and so full of Parisian body odor I thought I was going to pass out and/or vomit onto any and all passerbyers–mind you, this was a Thursday night. When the metro finally did pull in, about 22 people unloaded from the one cart I was trying to get onto. I tried to squeeze in past the people, while my sister was behind me trying to push me through. Keep in mind we were riding Metro 1, which is one of the nicer metros in Paris–there are two doors to get through: the first one is like a security gate so no one tries to pull a kamikaze and jump in front of the subway and the other is the metro door that lines up with the security door. I didn’t realize it, but the security door had closed and shut my sister out (she was still behind me) and the metro door had closed on me and was literally ramming me–trying to close. The fact that they have a security gate in order to prevent people from getting hurt by a subway, but do not have a sensor to ensure metro riders do not get chopped in half by the doors is comical to me. However, I was far from laughing when I was broken in half by these relentless subway doors. I was able to briefly release the metro doors and as they slid open, I tried to open the security door. Note: security doors do not open when you try to push them open..even if you try really hard and start screaming at it. The subway doors had closed on me….again..and by this point, I was clearly creating a commotion as random french people were screaming and trying to help me get the doors open while my sister stared at me in terror. With the help of random Parisians, we were able to get the door to open off of me and I immediately scaled the security gate and hopped off the other side–landing next to my sister, her mouth gaping and in serious shock of the possibility of what would happen if we got split up within the first few hours of a new city. I had managed to drop my jacket in the process of pulling a Lara Croft (it was in my arms, not on my body) and some french woman quickly picked it up and threw it over the security gate just as the metro doors closed. I pray she could still hear my exasperated yell of ‘MERCI!!!”.

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Warning sign on the Subway doors. I wonder why they don’t warn people of trapping their entire bodies in doors. Also, I’m afraid I was nowhere near as cute as this frazzled bunny.
After the traumatic subway ride, we got off at Saint Germaine des Pres and walked around the street until we found a cute Parisian cafe–with happy hour. I was too shaken up and sick from jet lag to drink, so I stuck with water and my sister and I shared a tapas of guacamole, tomato and mozzarella pesto salad, miniature Chinese egg rolls the size of my pinkie toe, and France’s version of Dorito chips. It was all delicious except for the guacamole which (sans spices and onion) was about 20% avocado and 80% sour cream. Our waitress was a little dismissive and repeatedly slammed our drinks and dishes onto the table, but maybe that’s just how she sets things down—with purpose….and a 2% chance of breakability. She really warmed up to us after we asked her how to say ‘check’ in french (‘la-diss-ye-own’). Note: my sister and I still have no clue what the rules are on tipping in France–we know to never tip at bars..but that’s about it. I just assume we’re over-tipping and leaving a better name for Americans. You’re welcome U.S.A.
After dinner we walked along the Saint Germaine and picked up a few Macaroons from a gorgeous French man who taught some french to me–most notably, ‘Chocolat’ and ‘Pistache’–chocolate and pistachio for those less adapt to French than moi. We continued to Saint Michel and passed Notre Dame, and walked alone the Sienne River–past the Louvre, the Concorde, random mini-amusement parks, all the way to the end of the Champs at the Arc (which is where our hotel is). It’s accurate to say I could not feel my legs once we reached the hotel because they were in such constant pain that I became numb to it. My sister had horrible blisters on her feet and my legs were shaking once I lay down on the bed. It was 1 a.m. and we had successfully stayed up over 24 hours (give or take a few naps in between) in order to try to beat jet lag. It’s safe to say that I slipped into a coma the second my head hit the pillow.
 *Note–Childish Gambino = Donald Glover = Troy on Community (aka one of the funniest characters hands down) = script writer on 30 Rock
**Note–Don’t watch Community? SHAME ON YOU

 

 

 

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