Bonjour à tous!
How are you all my bookworms?
I have decided that Monday is going to be my regular day for Paris updates.
First I must be honest that I don’t have much to say about this week. In some ways this weeks was quieter with the kids and in someways it was worse than last week.
I considered writing this while I was in the waiting room at a the orthodontist while three out of my four kids had an appointment but I decided it was better to wait till I could put this all down all in one go.
First I am beginning to be convinced that Parisian public transport doesn’t like me.
On a Tuesday night I go to a young adult group at the American church. I meat young people like me, we chat, we have a laugh and a joke and sometimes we go for a drink afterwards. Tuesday I was tired by the end of the group so I headed home when we had all finished chatting. It was about ten o’clock when we left and one of the lads agreed to wait with me till the bus arrived. After about fifteen minutes of waiting a work van pulled up and said ‘sorry there’s no bus tonight’ (in french obviously) which left me a bit lost. I always get the same bus to and from the church because it’s easier. There is the metro and RER but none of them stop as close as the bus. On that bus line there is actually a bus stop called Église Americain. But what to do I had to walk ten fifteen minutes to the RER stop. My friend once again accompanied me to the RER as he was getting the metro at the same stop. I almost ended up on the wrong platform and once I found the right platform I had nearly another fifteen minutes to wait till the train arrived. By the time I had got home it was 11:15 pm and I was tired and hungry because I’d had no dinner before I went out.
On a positive note, and I always try to find the positive, I did end up helping two different pairs of tourists get to their destination/hotel that night. When I finally got on the train an we were moving a couple came up to me and asked if I spoke English. Of course I do so I asked if I could help them. Their journey had been interrupted by works on the line and they were sure how they got to their destination by this new route. I explained where to get on and off and what to do and they thanked me and I got off at my stop.
Just as I leaving the platform to climb no less that three sets of elevators to the surface a gentleman comes up to me and in french with a very English accent and asks if I know where the Jardin Luxembourg is. Of course I do. It’s about ten fifteen minutes from my apartment. I told them that they could leave here and take such and such an exit and then they had to walk such and such a way and they looked at me like I was speaking gobeldy-gook. So I said I was heading in a similar direction I would walk them to street level and direct them from there. And on the way I ended up hearing their whole life story.
I just looked up and seen how much I have wrote for just one story. It is probably a good thing I didn’t do much last week.
Apart from a orchestra recital and the boys playing up on Thursday and Friday the rest of the week was smooth running. Saturday I decided I wanted to laze, and write and read and Sunday I was meant to meet a friend to go to the centre Pompidou. If you haven’t been to/seen that building look it up. It’s fantastic! But my friend ended up cancelling because she’d been working 6 and 7 day weeks for the past month and she was too tired and feeling ill and run down. So I went to church instead.
Now for my other, considerably shorter, reason why Paris public transport doesn’t like me.
So on the way back from the orthodontist tonight I took the metro/underground/ subway (which ever word you prefer) with the kids back to the apartment. We got to the first gate to enter the metro and would my ticket work? No! And the kids had already gone through. I told them to wait (good job I trust them and they’re pretty mature) and went to the counter to inquire about my ticket. I still don’t know what was wrong with it but he signed it and let me through.
I had to go through another gate as we went on to the RER and this time there was no help desk. In the end I climbed over a turnstile (I did have a valid ticket, it just didn’t work) and then headed on with no one any the wiser.
And those are the most interesting events on the week. Next Monday I will recount to you any other complaints I have about public transport and maybe a bit about what sights I actually have been seeing in Paris.
Until then …