Now I want to tell you about our most hilarious day in Paris on our 2007 trip.
Well, it didn’t start off hilarious. It started off completely normal. Which, for us, means exploring a cemetery. I’m serious. (In the future I’ll write many more blog posts about the various cemeteries we’ve visited all over the world… so keep an eye out for those bits of awesomeness.)
And so, my journal:
“Friday July 6, 2007: After a continental breakfast in our room at the hotel, we went to Montparnasse Cemetery and saw numerous graves belonging to famous people such as Sartre, Beaudelaire, and others. What a gorgeous cemetery. So old and unusual to me.”
Andrew thinks he looks like a zombie here. In the cemetery. Furthermore… I REALLY like this picture of him. Hmmmm.
It looks like I changed clothes while in the cemetery… but no, I merely removed my sweater and scarf because the day was turning out to actually be fairly sunny. (The previous days in Paris had been unseasonably cold, rainy, and windy.)
“Then we went off to the Cinematheque Francais museum. The building is designed by Frank Gehry, and inside they had Lumiere and Edison cinema machines, and props from A Trip To The Moon, a dress worn by Louise Brooks, among other things.”
Andrew outside the aforementioned museum. My photography skills were clearly lacking.
“Then we prepared for our French picnic. It was a gorgeous day for that, too. So we found a grocer and bought a great bottle of wine for just 6 euros or so, a bottle of water, some brie, tomatoes, grapes, and nectarines, then went to the boulangerie next door and purchased a baguette. Then we went to the Eiffel Tower and had lunch out on the Champ de Mars.”
Could I LOOK any more French?
“It was perfect! Just wonderful. So delicious and relaxing and fun!”
I now see that I neglected to document my drunken yelling at a Gypsy. And yet, I clearly remember it. (Sort of.)
You see, this was our first overseas trip, and we were raised to be very nice people. (Andrew more so than me, evidently…) So when we were approaching the Eiffel Tower with our picnic, a Gypsy stopped us with a sign explaining why we should give her money. We felt bad, and gave her money, and we all moved along.
Then… yes THEN — she promptly found us once we sat down, and began asking for our food! We’d JUST given her money — more money than I was comfortable with, frankly — and she approached us right away AGAIN? I instantly felt like she had pegged us as being major idiots, easy to manipulate. Also, I’d had a fair bit to drink by this point, and was tipsy AND feeling insulted. So, I did what any other very nice Prairie-raised girl would do — I began to yell things at her while flailing wildly. I am not proud of what I yelled. I can be quite an ass. Yes… Andrew has a real treasure on his hands with me.
I find it interesting that I didn’t choose to record this incident in my journal. I think I omitted it because it made me feel like a moron. I didn’t want to remember that feeling of being perceived to be a hapless tourist. I was ashamed of having been duped, and I may have been ashamed of my wine-fueled tirade. Maybe.
“Then we used our Seine River Cruise passes — so much fun!”
Love on the Seine! *happy sigh*
Good grief, I didn’t document the crazy thing that happened on this river cruise, either! But, I remember it. Also, we’d written about it on Facebook as the caption to this picture.
Okay, so here’s the scenario: there are all these chairs set up on the boat, in rows, and the guide at the front telling us all about the buildings we’re passing. There was a deaf person in attendance, and so there was someone signing at the front. At one point during the tour, an extremely large Texan tourist decided he’d had enough of the guide’s explanations, and got up and began wandering around. But, he didn’t waddle to the back of the boat. Ohhhhh no. He waddled to the FRONT. He proceeded to slowly waddle in front of the guide, stop, and just stand there, in front of the guide, apparently enjoying the view. I’ll tell you what, none of the rest of us were enjoying the view. Not with him standing front and centre like that. WTF.
Suddenly, an agonized sound raised the hairs on the back of my neck — the deaf person in attendance was sitting directly behind us, and the large rude Texan was completely blocking the person signing at the front! The person behind us was trying to express that the Texan needed to stop being such an inconsiderate asshole. (Well, probably not so much in those words, but, you know.) The Texan appeared to be, in addition to very large and very rude, also very slow to pick up on messages… even when now ALL of us tourists were yelling at him, “GET OUT OF THE WAY!” and, “YOU’RE BLOCKING THE INTERPRETER!”
I very much wished to toss that fellow overboard. Andrew restrained me, as he always does. Eventually, the Texan managed to pick up on the subtle hints that 40 people were screaming at him, and waddled out of the way, miffed that he couldn’t do what he wanted. Really, he should’ve been grateful he wasn’t tossed into the water. Ugh.
What happened next is actually one of my fondest memories of the trip.
By this point, we were quite tired of running around everywhere, trying to see all the essential sights. I mentioned to Andew that I’d never been to Disneyland… maybe we could check out Disneyland Paris since we were hanging around anyway? So we hopped on the metro. It was a very long metro ride out of the city to the very edge. But, we made it! We got off the train… we could hear the children laughing and having fun at the park, just outside of the metro station (it was above-ground by the time the metro route got to the edge of the city). Everyone went through the gates to exit the station… but our cards would not work. We could not exit the station. Moreover, there was no human in attendance that we could pay to just let us through. And we’re both goody-two-shoes so we weren’t about to jump the turnstile. You see, we hadn’t realized it until it was too late, but our metro passes were only good for zones 1 and 2… but the Disneyland Paris stop was zone 3. That’s why we couldn’t exit.
We sighed, shrugged, got on the next train, and headed back into the centre of Paris. We were exhausted and fairly dumbfounded at our mistake. And then… we laughed.
I still laugh about this today. I’ve still never been to any Disney park, and it’s not like it’s a huge goal of mine, but I’d always been curious as to what it’s like, and if we were there anyway, then hey why not. The small child in me really did want to see a Disney park. And… the small child in me was brutally denied on that day. And that surprise just makes me laugh and laugh.
Oh life… you sure can be hilarious sometimes.