Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Taxi Ride


Finally, we were in the taxi, and on our way. I mentioned earlier, the driver staring at us, as I said the address over and over. As we drove, we realized this guy didn’t know the streets of Paris, at least not like he should have. He spent a majority of the time, with a book of Paris street maps, inches from of his face, as we changed lanes, and avoided the crazy motorcyclists. He was not only not French, but blind as well.


As we sped along, I chose to look out the side window. I decided if I was about to die, I didn’t want to see it coming. I saw many things looking out the window, and NONE of them looked Parisian. I was in shock. My surroundings were industrial and ugly...not old and romantic. We were on a freeway...not cobblestone streets. I was sure there had been some mistake. We were obviously headed in the wrong direction, the ugly direction...


Only murder or mayhem could ensue!


The taxi driver then began to talk on his cell phone, in Chinese, as he looked at the map, still in front of his face. I guess he called up a friend for help. I finally interrupted him, and told him the apartment was next to Sacre-Couer (a church) in Montmartre, in the 18th arrondissement. Surprisingly, considering my southern accent, he understood, and screeched across four lanes of heavy traffic, and exited the freeway. Scott and I didn’t say one word to each other the entire ride. We were just too exhausted.


We drove along, slower now. Still looking out the side window, I noticed lots of riff-raff, but at least the signs were in French and the buildings were getting older. Everything I saw was fascinating, but still, not the Paris I had dreamed about. I was about to give up all hope, when, I saw it...


Sacre-Couer! Like a huge mountain, the beautiful church rose up out of the ground. Closer and closer the church came into view. I knew we were on the right track...I pointed it out to Scott silently, and his expression said, "We just won the lottery!"


breath...


After the taxi driver drove around and around in circles, he got so frustrated, that he halted us to a stop.  He was trying to enter the tiny street our building was on.  It was a one-way street, and try as he may, he couldn't seem to enter it from the right direction.   He looked back at us, said something in French/Chinese, and suddenly, we were backing straight up a hill, on the tiny street, with cars parked on both sides. Finally he stopped, we paid, and got out. As he unloaded our bags, he was telling us all kinds of things, obviously frustrated. I think the gist of it was...”Don’t call me for a ride back to the airport.”


So...there we stood...on a cobblestone street...all alone...not a soul in sight. I could see the church looming over us, so I knew from my research, that we were at least close to our building. The air was damp and cold, and there were no sounds, except a lone horn honking in the distance. We stood there for a few seconds, looking around, completely in awe, but feeling completely lost, (top photo...our apartment building).



Then, the most wonderful thing happened. The most exciting thing that had happened since we left Florida the night before...


...we heard a voice, calling our name...



12 comments:

Bonjour Madame said...

What a story! I was scared seeing all the industrial buildings as we approached Paris too. I cannot wait to hear more about Montmarte. I only went there to see the church but did not explore the area enough.

The Flying Bee said...

This was wonderful! I was so excited to see you had finally posted! I had been getting up everyday checking and waiting. I just had to hear more and once again you didn't disappoint! I just love your writing, truly, I mean it! I even have my husband hooked. We both have been dreaming of going to France for so long, well, we have only been married for 12 years, but it seems long to us! Anyway, thank you for taking the time out of your day to share with us. For me, it's my escape for a few minutes. I feel like I'm there in Paris and it's MY story. I got chills this morning when I read the last sentence! Who called your name? A stranger? A friend? I'm on the edge of my seat! Thank you!

Adrienne

Lori said...

I love reading your blog! Do you know when you wrote from Paris I used to get my coffee ready every morning and start my day reading your adventures!

Andrea - Faded Plains said...

The apartment building is stunning...and I'm biting my nails waiting to hear the rest of the story.

Teri said...

OMGoodness... everyone is SO nice. I thought everyone would think this post was so boring. Thank you so much for your kind words.

Here's a question I'm throwing out there...please be honest...

if this were a book, would you keep reading???

celiajuno said...

I will be first in line to buy your book. This is a great post. I know that ride from CDG well. It is not attractive at all, at some points a little scary. When you finally reach Paris, though, it is everything you imagined it would be.

The Flying Bee said...

Teri,

Do you even have to ask??? YES, YES, YES!!! Sign me up right now for an advanced copy, please.

Chrissy said...

OH my...looks and sounds devine..soak it all up!! all the best,Chrissy

The Flying Bee said...

Hi Teri!

Me again! Can you believe that when I saw that I put advanced copy and not advance copy, it bothered me so much, that I had to come back and comment about it. I know, I'm crazy! Wanting everything to be perfect all the time, is sooo bad. Anyway, advance copy or not, it would be a great read!

char said...

This is so much fun to read. We stopped our newspaper so this is my morning news. It is so much more uplifting and fresh than the daily grind of everyday life. No, my life is not a grind but this is pure escapism that we can all hope to experience one day. Yes, I have been to Paris but I want to do it your way. I personally would like an episode a day. As far as the book goes of course we will buy it and love it.
Have you ever thought of being a guide for a "Teri Shares Paris" girls trip?" Or, "Teri and Scott and Paris, for Couples."
Sounds like so much fun!
Char

Bonjour Madame said...

Yes! I would absolutely read a book of your stories!

Diane said...

You are so gifted in the way you are able to tell your story and draw the reader in to the very place you are writing about. I love reading every blog, and you already know my answer to your question, friend --- YES!

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