Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Events Leading To My Untimely Demise

Yesterday I was so tired that everything I looked at was blurry. My own face, my RRHB's face, the television, my life, work, everything. And after the hell on wheels experience of getting to the airport I almost melted after getting home. But first, let me relate via list and ensure you that it's a whole lot more entertaining when I tell the story in person.

The Day I Left Paris And Almost Lost My Mind

1. I woke up an hour early before the time I set my BB to because I was obsessed with the weight of my suitcase. Halfway through the night I'd had a brainwave about repacking. Yes. I know. But the way I had done it I couldn't fit everything in, and I didn't want to leave anything behind. So, 6 AM after a wedding is not recommended.

2. The guardian for the apartment was 15 minutes late showing up, but whatever. We got our deposit back. She was pleased with my cleaning.

3. I left 1 rue Jacques Coeur at 8:20 or so AM for a noon flight at Charles d. G. airport. It should have been enough time, right?

4. My luggage was heavy. Like 30 kgs. But I carried it down the Metro stairs, settled myself in, and got to Chatelet okay, and even found the RER entrance to take the train to the airport. Here's where the trouble started.

5. A ticket for the train costs $8.60 (Euros). I had eight. I needed sixty centimes. There were no attendents and nor was there a change machine. "No biggie," I thought, "I'll just take the Metro to L'Opera and take the Roissy bus." Gathered up my luggage and dragged my ass back down to the train levels and got on the pink line. And sat there. And sat there. And sat there.

6. An announcement bings and I sort of half-understand that there are problems at Pont Neuf, which means I can't get to L'Opera unless I go halfway around the city and that would take forever. Sigh. So, I gather up my luggage again and make my way back out to the myriad tunnels of Chatelet with the hope of discovering the one store I saw was open when I descended from the 1st line from Bastille. No such luck.

7. The clock is ticking.

8. Again, dragging my impossibly heavy luggage with me, I go back up to street level. When I reach the sunshined streets I am bawling.

9. There is NOTHING OPEN. Not a bakery, not McDonald's, nothing. So I wander around the area heaving and sobbing.

10. At least I spot a cafe opening up. I trudge inside and am so verclempt that I can't even barely get out the English version of needing change vs. the French. They refuse me. I ask, in French, to buy a bottle of water. They say no. But then the guy pours me a glass of water. Um, thanks. I offer to pay. He says no. I pull out ALL OF MY EUROS and half-scream, "I JUST NEED SOME CHANGE." They refuse me. I refuse to leave until I get my change. This goes on for about 10 minutes.

11. 5 fresh Euro coins in hand, I make my way back down to the RER platform (after using up 2 Metro tickets because my luggage got stuck before I could get through. I kicked it) and buy a ticket from the automatic machine. The entrance to the CDG section of the RER won't let me through even though the machine says my ticket is good to go. I cry some more.

12. I then go in a different entrance and find my way to the tracks. With terrible signage (it looks like I'm going to Orly, not CGG), I stand and wait for a train. The illumination board says it'll be 26 minutes until the next one comes. Um, it's now 9:30 and my flight's at noon.

13. Some random guy comes up to me and says, "Hey, are you from Canada." I do not have time for him. But he does reassure me I am in the right place. He makes awkward conversation. The train comes in 3 versus 26 minutes. I am saved.

14. The stop for Terminal 3 is the second-to-last, at least I didn't have to take a bus from the wrong place.

15. The lineup is huge. It's now well after 10.

16. Finally get up to the check-in and have discovered that you can take ZERO liquids on French flights. I furiously repack my girlie bits and am happy that my luggage is well under the weight restrictions. The check-in fellow was kind as it took me A WHILE to pull all the liquids out of everywhere and repack them in my bursting suitcase.

17. The funny security girl makes a witty remark about having to leave my tragic hip behind as I go through the metal detector.

18. The next security check rifles through the Louis. Contraband liquids? Of course! I'd forgotten a lip gloss. I hand her all my papers and go throw it out. The colour was awful anyway.

19. I return to collect my things and discover: SOMEONE HAS TAKEN MY BOARDING PASS.

20. Without shouting, I calmly say, "Um, where's my [totally wishing I could swear but I didn't] boarding pass?" A second security woman who had waved some sort of magic wand over my carry-on hands it back five minutes later. She gives me no explanation as per why she took it in the first place.

21. At last, the gate! I'm there at 11:15, exactly when boarding was supposed to start.

22. The plane was late.

6 comments:

sassymonkey said...

lol This is exactly why I insisted that we take a taxi to the airport in Paris. Because if we hadn't this exact same thing would have happened to me only I'd never had left Paris because they'd have scraped my exploded head off the sidewalks.

Well...at least they give you wine on international flights.

Zesty said...

Heh! Sounds like you had quite an adventure. And not giving you change! What is that? The French do "a**hole" so well.

metro mama said...

Something shitty always happens to us either when we arrive, or when we leave a place. On the bright side, it's better to happen at the end of the trip, no?

scarbie doll said...

OMG Dee, I couldn't help but laugh! I could see you getting all flummoxed and red faced and I have tears in my eyes now.

I so wish I went with you. Next time.

twhit said...

These are the stories I miss so much!!!

Melanie said...

Oh god, what a horrible day! Glad you made it home in one piece, and that the rest of your stay sounds like it was fabulous. (except for the mysteriously closing veg restaurants...)