Saturday, September 15, 2012

Paris Would Be Fine . . . .

When Wendy and I were waiting in our Golden Tours line of tourists in London waiting to take the Eurostar to Paris, I wondered why I was the only one carrying any bags. The answer came when we got to Paris and our guide Michael announced that, "One lucky pair would be spending the evening in Paris."

Just us? Sure enough, at the end of the first day the bus dropped us off a few blocks from our hotel while the rest of the tourists continued on to the Gard Du Nord, the train station where they would board a train back to London.

So we stayed at our hotel that night then the next morning walked the block down to the Metro to begin our adventure, the Metro being the excellent Paris subway system that transports tourists around central Paris.

"En Francais," the clerk demanded when we tried to tell her what we wanted. So I used hand gestures and a few short words to tell her what I wanted. But she wouldn't take cash and claimed our credit card was 'no good.' Believe me, the French are going to hear about her. Rudeness is something they shouldn't tolerate in France.

So we walked some ways to where there was a tourist office on my map. It was right by the Opera house of Phantom of the Opera fame. We circled that opera house and the nearby neighborhoods so many times that the phantom himself would have pitied us.

Ended up walking to central Paris where we enjoyed the Seine, the beautiful weather, the unique French cuisine, and of course all the scenery. Walking back late in the afternoon, thinking we would have to walk all the way to the train station, we ran into that tourism office we had been looking for that morning. The gentleman there was more helpful. He told us to try the Metro office at the opera house we had spent so much time circling earlier.

There, some gentleman, NOT a Metro employee, helped us to get tickets for the Metro which we were finally to ride back to the trainn station to catch the Eurostar.

Paris would be fine if it weren't for the French. The man who helped us, btw, didn't have a French accent.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess harry dunne is right, the French are assholes.

6:45 AM  
Blogger Lynilu said...

I guess I need to send the French government my plan to erasing negative thoughts/words/deeds and replacing them with kind and positive ones, eh? It's working for me, but I'm one American female, not a whole nation of predisposed French.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Carine said...

oh dear-I'm hoping that this auspicious start doesn't carry through the rest of your romantic European getaway Dave. (( ))

2:05 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

Unfortunately, our travel difficulties in France paled in comparison to major difficulties getting to Edinburgh today. There's even an article in the Glasgow Times describing the misery faced by train travelers, including myself and Wendy.

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave Isn't there a song "smile be happy" you have to be cool like me uhhh or like Wendy

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sure hope the rest of your vacation goes much better. I hope you are taking lots of pictures. Tell Wendy I am looking forward to hearing all about your trip when we go to the bar.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

Your tale is not unfamiliar, Dave...I've heard others have been treated similarly as you were. There are no excuses for bad manners; for rudeness...not from any country. The French don't take kindly to those who can't speak their language...or those who try...I think a few lessons in courtesy wouldn't go astray! ;)

Keep smiling - keep proving that you are the good-mannered, nice ones...perhaps they will take a leaf from your book, to their betterment.

Take care. :)

1:32 AM  

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