Late Arrival In Paris

Paris Travel Blog

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The train arrived in Paris – Nord about 9:15pm and I reassembled my belongings. There was nowhere to put everything in one place so I’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, I’d looked it up on Google Earth and it was only about .6km away from the subway stop. And it really was, that’s just not the route I went.

Somehow I got turned around, not hard to do when you’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 “Thibault, It’s Brad, I’m outside your address if you get this” and hand the nice man his phone back. He accepted no money.

About 30 seconds later as I’m considering my options the large front door heaves open and an exasperated Thibault flies out. Many hugs were exchanged and lots of “how, where, when” 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 we’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.

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photo by: Sweetski