Late Arrival In Paris
Paris Travel Blog› entry 2 of 6 › view all entries
The train arrived in Paris â€“ Nord about 9:15pm and I reassembled my belongings. There was nowhere to put everything in one place so Iâ€™d had to spread it out in the entrance and above my seat. The train stopped outside the station so it was a fairly long walk to the main terminal. By the end of a day of standing in lines for tickets and running around terminals the pack really starts to destroy my shoulders. In Paris I will be getting rid of nearly all my books, about half my clothes, and whatever else I can live without.
After arriving I tried to make a call to Thibault but was unable to because most of the phones were calling card-only phones and the one local coin-op phone I found was out of service. I knew the train stop and the address, Iâ€™d looked it up on Google Earth and it was only about .6km away from the subway stop. And it really was, thatâ€™s just not the route I went.
Somehow I got turned around, not hard to do when youâ€™re in a city that was settled somewhere around 250BC, growth happened, central planning came later, and there may not be a straight street in the city. After stomping around for a little while I started asking people if they knew the street I was looking for. Unfortunately no one did. I made my way back to the metro stop and found a taxi. Even he thought it should be around there somewhere but put it into the navigation system anyway.
The taxi lets me out at the address and I pushed what I thought was the bell. Nothing happened, I push some other buttons, nothing happened. After a little bit I ask a man walking in my direction if he has a cell phone and if I could give him some money to make a call. He kindly agrees, puts in the number and hands me the phone. I get voicemail. Just in case he is screening I say â€śThibault, Itâ€™s Brad, Iâ€™m outside your address if you get thisâ€ť and hand the nice man his phone back. He accepted no money.
About 30 seconds later as Iâ€™m considering my options the large front door heaves open and an exasperated Thibault flies out. Many hugs were exchanged and lots of â€śhow, where, whenâ€ť questions were asked. We collected all my gear and headed upstairs where I found that there were a few people waiting for me. His girlfriend and his roommate and her boyfriend weâ€™re all in the apartment and there was an intricately set dinner table where it looked like nothing had been eaten. It was now 11pm.
They had prepared a full French meal, with French wines and cheeses, and even French apple pie (no top crust)! I felt terrible that they had gone to all this effort and then I show up some 4 hours after anticipated. The reception was fantastic and I was incredibly happy to be there. We sat down to eat at about midnight and everything was excellent. We all started to fade about 2am and retired shortly after.