This post may seem confusing, because I'm confused. Is it day 2, day 3? I've already lost count. I also make it a point to only make my posts 2 minutes long...for the next few posts it will be different.
Yesterday, Monday we decided to head straight over to the metro, to buy our weekly passes that we couldn't seem to buy Sunday at the train station. I timidly went up to the window, and I knew I was in trouble when the lady was on the phone. The French do not like to be interrupted when they are on the phone, even at work. She glanced at me, and finally asked what I wanted. I told her I wanted "Carte Orange" (a weekly metro pass) which is what we've bought for the last 3 years. She shook her head no... what? Was this a "no" to me personally because I interrupted her, or a "no" in general? She kept shaking her head everytime I asked for the "Carte Orange". She kept trying to sell me something for 5 euro, and I knew it should cost around 17 euro for the week. Finally, Scott and I gave up, and walked to the next station...
At this station, I asked the same question, and the man behind the window just shook his head, and kept holding up a purple card for 5 euro. It was maddening.
There was no way to break the language barrier.
Scott and I walked off and stood in the corner, feeling so stupid. Things that should be so easy, were totally baffling us. We got back in the same line and tried again. When we got to the window, the man decided it was now time to leave his post, and go fill up one of the ticket machines. This took awhile, but I was not to be deterred. He finally came back, and I tried again. By now, quite a line had formed. People were starring to say the least!!!! Finally, an elderly french woman walked up and talked to the man and then explained...the Carte Orange ticket was discontinued as of TODAY. Now you have to buy a special card for 5 euro, and then fill it one week at a time. Then instead of inserting a ticket at the turnstile, you just wave this special card over the magic eye. We sheepishly bought the cards, apologized to everyone in line, and got on the metro. We kept looking at each other, still wondering why things seem so difficult. I can honestly tell you, that if this had been our first trip, we would have been a heap on the floor, crying, and begging someone to take us back to America. Instead, we just counted our blessing that we finally succeeded.
We bought groceries, hauled them up the hill, and had a nice lunch at the apartment. Feeling revived, we decided to head out to the Tuileries Gardens (between Concorde and the Louvre). There, we searched until we found a group of people having dinner in the sky. They lift up about 15 people on a huge crane, and they eat dinner overlooking the city at night. Pretty cool. I then decided that we would WALK to the Eiffel Tower, and see the lights click on. We walked and walked and walked, and finally one bridge from the tower, it started pouring rain!!!! We stood, huddled under a tree, laughing our heads off. We ran to a metro stop, and headed home.
Once we got home, our legs and feet were killing us. Scott says this is all due to the fact that I tried to save us money, and all the walking and dragging luggage the day before, set us back 10 years. I can't say I disagree!
This morning we got up, and decided it was necessary to go to the Eiffel Tower and mail the postcards from the Blog Giveaway. Quick and easy...we thought!!! We got to the tower, and I decided we would take the stairs to the first level where the E.T. post office was. When we read that it was 360 stairs, Scott refused. We got in line for the elevator, and luckily asked if the post office was still located on the first level. "No" said the clerk, the post office has been shut down!!!!! She pointed us across the way, to a teeny tiny booth, were you self bought stamps, and mailed the letters in a tiny mailbox. Sorry girls...I don't know if the cards will have the special postmark or not, but the stamps were really cool.
The rest of the day, we spent walking all over Paris. We were so tired of all the changes, that we decided not to get out our book or our map, and just WALK and enjoy the city...and that we did. We were in a fancy-smancy part of town. We walked aimlessly for about 3 hours having no idea where we were in relation to any landmarks. No objective, no destination in mind. It was great. I got fantastic pictures of the coolest buildings. So old and so Parisain.
We are home now. Tired, but loving Paris just the same. Honestly, I would love to write you nothing but a perfectly romantic account of our first few days, but the truth is always more interesting, don't you think? The funny thing is, we had just had a discussion about how Paris never changes, how she can be counted on...well, changes there are, but she can still be counted on...if you keep your sense of humor and your patience intact.
No particular plans tomorrow, but I'll keep you posted just the same!
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