Paris: Frustration on the Metro
Paris Travel Blog› entry 1 of 8 › view all entries
June 2nd, 2008 – by: ellechic
I arrived in Paris from Hamburg, excited to finally arrive in Paris. Okay, so I really wasn't THAT excited. I've had several layovers here and neither of them have been great experiences. The plane landed and I looked out the window. It was raining. Shit.
Through the customs and baggage area, I followed the RER sign that will take me to the metro I will be connecting to get to my friend's duplex condo, where she was staying in her month long vacation in Paris. She was already 2 weeks into her vacation so she more familiar with the whole metro system. I called her to let her know I've arrived. I bought my RER ticket. It was about 10 euros, I think.
I must've looked really pissed and at the same time very lost that some guy asked me if I was okay. I said I was having a problem with my ticket. It wouldn't let me through. He looked at it, said it has already been used and isn't valid anymore. When I said I didn't get the chance to pass through, and since there were no staff at the turnstile, he said I should just jump over the turnstile, and he'll help me up and carry over my luggage for me. My immediate thoughts were... "Ummm... excuse me? I think not!". I said my thanks, because it was really nice of him - he's not French, by the way, and told him I'd just buy another ticket.
I went back to the ticket machine, bought another ticket, and finally got through with no problems this time. I got to the train platform and made sure I was on the right RER train. The train ride was about 40 minutes before I disembarked on the Denfert Rochereau stop where I had to connect to the #6 to CDG Etoile to transfer to the #8 at Le Monte Piquet Pigalle to Lourmel. I got to Denfert Rochereau, called my friend and ask if she can just meet me up at the Denfer Rochereau-RER platform instead. I was not in a good mood and refused to carry my luggage up and down the damn metro stairs. Thankfully, she said yes. I waited for her at the platform. Spent my time looking at my guidebook, familiarizing the metro map and listing the places I wanted to see in Paris. She arrived 30 minutes later and thanked her for picking me up. I think she knew that I was frustrated - usually not how I am when I travel. And we took the metro together to her place. The rain had finally stopped when we exited the metro but there were still puddles from the rain. After we arrived at her place and dumped my luggage in my room, she gave me a tour of the duplex condo she apartment-swapped with the French couple who at the same time was staying in her apartment in the Upper East Side in Manhattan. It was a very spacious 3-bedroom, 2.5 bathroom duplex on the 5th floor, with balconies on each floor, accessed from the bedrooms on the 2nd floor and the kitchen in 5 storey building.. The neighborhood area is quiet. Very residential. It was a very nice apartment.
She wanted to show me around Paris so at her suggestion, we decided to go to the Latin Quarter for an early dinner. We bought metro tickets - 10 tickets pack - and took the metro to St. Germain des-Pres. We had dinner at the cafe, popular to locals and tourists, and people watched.
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