Train to Paris
Trip Start Sep 01, 2005
24Trip End Ongoing
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Ok, so boarding the train was a humorous experience. One of my bunk mates was very grumpy. I guess cause he was on the older side and there were three 21 year olds and me bunking with him and he was incensed at our age or something. I really don't know or care. Actually I was supposed to be in the next berth, but I noticed a girl standing and looking a tad concerned so I asked her if all was ok, and she was a bit nervous about bunking with all men, so I noticed my berth had two women in it and I offered to swap. She was most appreciative and we settled in. The conductor didn't have issue with it either. The 'frat' guys went to the dining car. It was 11:30pm when we departed and me, having had my three martinis(made the correct way!) was in no mood to lie down so I went down there as well with my deck of playing cards in hopes of getting a game going. The three guys were sitting having a beer and I started to chat with them
We got into Paris around 9am. I woke around 8. When we pulled in I had no idea where we were in relation to the city center
The guys were still insisting on breakfast and we were to meet their friend as well. I didn't really want to at this point cause I was starting to feel linked to them and I wanted to be on my own, however it WAS nice to have people who knew where they were going. So we found a cafe and got lattes and croissants. True to the reputation of French bread and pastries, they were the best croissants I believe I've ever had. They insisted it was a tradition to have a smoke with breakfast(smoking is still allowed in alot of places in France) so we also smoked which almost made me throw up. Their friend came and they got all caught up. He was kind enough to give us all a subway ticket and we made our way into the city. We walked a couple blocks and then they made their goodbyes. I got their number cause I was going to a club that night and I had invited them cause they were alot of fun and I thought they would get along with my friend I was meeting.
Being in Paris gave me a certain unavoidable tendency to be romantic, or at least view everything romanticlly. I celebrated this feeling with another coffee and croissant. Then I felt up to the challenge of finding a place to stay. I went only a few blocks away to a place that was listed in my guidebook
The Eiffel Tower- Due to it's structure you have to take two separate elevators to get to the top. One to the lower observation deck, and another to the upper deck. They didn't plan it out all that well and it was the most confusing system of any monument I had been to. I was not alone in this as I saw many people going around in the same circle I was trying to figure out which of the four lines went up. I also did an informal poll and even the obnoxiously loud Irish guys agreed it was, in their words, '***ked up'. But we finally got to the top.
So deciding not to let this little snafu get me down, I did what any logic minded tourist in Paris would do...I went shopping. Ok, so I did need a pair of shoes for the club. I was wearing my jeans and white distressed cracked leather jacket with a muscle tee. I simply could NOT go in sneakers. besides, although it was a private party, I doubt they would've let me in with sneakers
So how do you get invited to a private party in Paris you may be asking yourself right about now. Well, when I was on an island on the Great Barrier Reef, I hung out with a group of girls and I got some of their info cause they wanted the pics I had taken and to keep in touch. One was from Paris and her brother was a DJ. Pretty cool, huh? So there you have it. I e-mailed her and we set it up. Luckily for me the club was only about ten blocks away. We were supposed to meet there at 11 and although I had a bit of trouble finding the place I finally did, albeit frozen to the bone! I get in and a wonderful host said they were expecting me! She led me downstairs, but to my great dissappointment I had to check my coat as they said it'll get too hot. The club was very small and cozy. Your quintessential avant garde Parisienne affaire. I was told my friend, Elina, was not there yet, but I was introduced to her cousin the DJ, Christophe, and his fiancee. Everyone kept talking to me and kept me entertained which was very nice cause they could've shoved me into a corner somewhere, especially since English was the second language. Christophe's fiancee was especially nice and I feel terrible that I can't remember her name!! Elina, tell her I said hi! And thanx! So Elina gets there with some foot thingy so she can't dance although the music was pretty good. The current DJ was mixing alot of fun 80's stuff. She and I catch up. Her cousin it turns out DJs only once in a while and was feeling not into doing it tonight, most likely cause so many of his friends were there and he didn't want to mess up so the other guy spun all night, but not without alot of ribbing from us to Christophe for not spinning. Well I must've been having a great time because before I knew it, it was 3:30am! I made my goodbyes and headed home cause I needed to get up and out the door by 9 at the latest to catch the train to London. It was a great night and alot of fun to see Elina. On my way home I was so hungry I got a simple baguette sandwich and of course that tasted great too even though I could've chipped a tooth on the baguette.
In the morning I pack up and head to the train station and the superfast train to London via the Chunnel which goes under the English Channel. On my way to the station I was consulting my map and a nive woman asked if I needed help. See? Parisians can be very nice! At the Duty Free shop in the station i picked up a bottle of Veuve Cliquot, which is a very good champagne, for $30! It is normally at least $50 in the states and in Australia it comes in at $70! Woo-hoo! It even came with an orange insulating jacket with a leather strap! Very good deal. So with only 10 minutes to spare I get on the train for the three hour trip to London! After sitting in my seat next to a kid playing a game boy I decide to head to the dining car. Since I had euros and they wouldn't do me much good in Britain where they are still using their own currency and I only had like 15 Euros left I decide to spend it. So I have a couple extra strong beers and a sandwich. About a half an hour or so from England I start talking to a woman about things. We get into a philosophical/ethical discussion involving the consequences of having the sister of a man carrying to term the baby of his and his deceased wife. I didn't think it warranted that much discussion but we managed to fill up the better part of an hour with it. She was a psychologist so I thought she should be able to decide for herself or perhaps I was just a sounding board for her. Just for clarity I thought it was alright cause she is the vessel, but the child is still clearly the man and his wife's product and the child should grow up knowing that and the fact that the aunt carried the child. I don't think the sister should be considered the 'mother' per se and I doubt that a woman in that specific situation who is willing to do it for her brother would feel that it was her child. I think that she has the added benefit of having a deeper bond with her niece/nephew. Of course I am not a woman and it would be a different situation for everyone so you can decide for yourself, that is merely my personal perspective on it. Can I get back on track? (no pun intended)
By the time we were done we were pulling into London Station so I had to go to my seat. I will continue the story in the next installment!