Friday, June 22, 2007

Travel Karma Take 2

So, Paris. Yes, again. The big bad prostate cancer project has come to an end, and I get to once again puddle hop and hang out for a weekend in the great city of Paris. If only my newly discovered bad travel karma would just... not exist. My flight was last night at 10 pm, so I went home after work to pack. It was sunny, nice, not humid. 2 hours later when I went out to my car to take me to the airport, the sky is black and ominous. No, please no. But the good news was that I had my favorite driver, Levani. He's great, originally from Georgia, lived in Germany for awhile, and now lived in Brooklyn... so, basically awesome.

Immediately upon my arrival at Newark last night it was like God decided to play a little game of “let’s make the worst possible storm ever, and have it be immediately over Newark, and no where else,” so needless to say, my 10pm flight didn’t leave until 12. And they’re crafty little buggers, those airline people, because they totally boarded us at 1030 and I thought it wouldn’t be SO bad, but then we sat there, IN THE DARK, on the runway, for a long time. It was special.

So today we get in, and I go to get some money out of the ATM, because, right, I need Euros to do approximately… everything. And I have, ohhhh 5 euros left from my last trip. A cab to the city costs approximately 50euro. The ATM is out of order. Iiiinteresting. So I ask a dude where there is another one. In the next terminal. So I schlep my stuff over to the next terminal. Wouldn’t you know, that one too is broken, like completely enveloped in a “hi we’re doing construction” type of out-of-order. So I ask the women there where I can go. They say back to the terminal I came from. Nope, sorry, I inform them, that one’s broken too. And, by the way, why in the world is there only ONE ATM MACHINE PER TERMINAL???? Seriously?? Seriously.

Ok, so then they inform me there is one at the post office, in between the two terminals, down the stairs. Excellent. So, third time was in fact the charm, and I got my money and then ventured out into the rain to get a cab.

There is a convention in town, and where do we have to drive to get into paris? Right by the convention. I wouldn’t call it “driving” so much as “crawling.” But I was so friggin tired I just kind of half-slept in the back seat. And ya know, the rain here is like a little game, because it’ll rain… then it’ll clear up and the sun will come out. Then it’ll rain. Now it’s just grey and not raining. So I have decided I’ll strategically plan my day tomorrow and Sunday (forecast: rain) so I can go from shop to shop or café to café reading in between the rain storms.

See, there’s always a way to make it work. Maybe I’ll just eat a lot. Mmmmmm.

My hotel is super cute, and particularly for what I'm paying it's totally a steal. They let me use their wireless for free, let me store the food I bought at the grocery store in their fridge, and they have goldfish in their lobby. And since it doesn't bother me at all that I have to share a bathroom, it's totally a good deal. I'll take pictures. Not of the bathroom, just my room.

I wasn't allowed to check in until 3pm though (it was 2:20 when I got here, come on now), so I went to get some lunch and walk around a bit. I ended up sitting outside under an awning watching the schizo rain come and go, eating some yummy food, drinking tea, and reading. I also met a lovely older couple who is here for the weekend from Alexandria, England. We were commiserating about how expensive everything is here (and these people have it even better than me, since the pound is better than the euro!), and got to chatting. It turns out that the woman is Palestinian and a Christian. Woh, woh woh. A Palestinian CHRISTIAN? What an interesting combination! Anyhow, I also love old people who are active and travel and have SO much knowledge and interesting stories. And where better to meet people like that than Europe?

Ok, so in contrast to the expensive-ness of most everything here, I love going to grocery stores in paris, because it's so cheap. And by that I mean, the stuff that's expensive in the states is like DIRT CHEAP here. For $25 I bought: yogurt, apricot juice, a bottle of water, 3 types of cheese, ham, a baguette, a bottle of red wine, and cookies. Um, area you kidding me? That will be enough food to feed me for the entire weekend. AND I can keep it in the fridge at my hotel. And they gave me a bottle opener. Sweet.

So, ok, last night while I was sitting on the floor in the airport (yes, the floor, because there were two flights worth of people at our terminal because the flight before ours was like 5 hours delayed), I vowed that I was done traveling for awhile. But really, it's the actually "travel" part that I don't like, not traveling. So, I may have to be ok with that minor inconvenience that is travel, cause traveling is such fun. :)

Paris, I hope you're ready for me.

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