Remember when I talked about how I’d used a lifetime of luck in one instance when my wallet was found in Monopoli? Well this appears to be true, with the string of bad luck continuing today. Again I’m having wifi troubles so it may not work at all!
Poor old Paris, it was bound to happen wasn’t it? The last stop on the trip, feeling tired, itching to get home etc. But far out – anything that could go wrong, did go wrong today.
I had pre-purchased combination transport tickets online which were delivered to the hotel the day we arrived. Awesome! But today I realised a huge segment of RER C (a type of train/metro) is out of service due to refurbishments (I think – don’t actually know wtf is going on as it’s all in French but no trains are going there). But it just so happens to be the EXACT stations I was intending to use whilst here – the entire purpose of said tickets. So trying to get to Notre Dame this morning was a total fucking shit fight. I ended up walking. What’s a bit more walking hey!?! This came after trying to get Hardy to get dressed. His only clean clothes were his “date night shirts” which are collared/button shirts. ‘These are only for dinner!’ ‘You don’t have any other clean ones – they are still wet!’ (I had washed them the day before). This is the extent of most of our arguments for the entire trip – clothes.
ANYWAY I actually wanted to go to Hotel de Ville as there is apparently another cool carousel there. But upon arrival – nothing. We had a “cheap lunch” at Maccas (it cost 17 euros) and decided to try our luck at Jardins des Plantes. There’s no carousel there but I imagined it to be like the Tuileries.
Getting there led us via Notre Dame (what’s left) and Il St Louis which is a gorgeous (and I’m assuming VERY EXPENSIVE) island on the Seine, and also a playground. I felt bad for Hardy; having virtually sat in the pram and tolerating the walking, so I was happy to sit there and watch him play for as long as he wanted. He made friends with two sisters who were bi-lingual (and not modest in saying so). He was absolutely cackling on the see-saw with them. So sweet. Their mum seemed to be having a hilarious conversation with her friend and I felt a bit lonely there sitting on my own, as all the other families or friends etc hung out together, as we do and as I do weekly at home.
That is actually the one thing I miss most. I know no one here. I haven’t hugged a person since I saw Shannyn and Ben in Puglia (apart from Hardy of course). The concept of bumping into someone and saying g’day etc seems so mundane and normal but when you’ve gone weeks with no human contact, it’s like you’ve lost a limb. It’s so isolating. So if you see me when I get back, please hug me!! This is a time-limited offer though of course. I will eventually return to awkward self.
Anyway, we pressed on to the next Jardin, passing this sweet dancing class or group on the way. I almost cried it was so sweet to see. I don’t know if they were actual couples or just a dance group of some kind but it tugged at my heart strings! Imagine – out in your Sunday best with your best girl or guy, dancing next to the Seine. What a dream!
We got to the Jardin but it’s more of like a botanical garden or, I don’t know how to explain it, an assortment of plants? Like a nature museum? We did go to the playground briefly but some dumb French kid was playing super rough and Hardy got upset. I did my best angry French parent expression, saying ‘Ooh la la! Non!’ And death-staring him appropriately and wagging my finger. I wanted to punch him so I showed such restraint!
I knew walking home was out of the question, so I looked at other metro/train options and figured out a combination that would get us to the Eiffel Tower, which was close enough. But of course, during the course of the day my ‘Paris all pass’ tickets had somehow fallen out of my pocket, so I’d have to buy some more. For some reason the machine would only offer me 10 child passes (I only needed two), but ok. So when we attempt the turnstyles the transport person tells us to go through a separate area which didn’t actually require a ticket. Ok.. Get to the other end expecting to use said tickets, and nope – straight out onto the street. Goddamit! Wasted tickets! THEN when we changed trains, Hardy wanted a drink from the vending machine. Fair call. We decided on Orangina because it’s delicious and by the way is pronounced in no way like Vagina (oran-geena). And guess what! It ate my coins! I wanted to actually scream. I settled for a rather loud ‘I HATE THIS CITY I DON’T KNOW WHY I BOTHERED TO COME HERE.’
Hardy found another vending machine on the platform and I said no in case it also ate my coins and consequently sent me on a rampage. ‘Great, now we’re never going to buy anything ever again,’ is what he said. He was pretty spot-on!
We reached the Tower and walked to a bistro we had discovered on our first full day. I knew they served snails so this dinner was our first splurge and proper sit-down meal. Escargot! For those who don’t know, Hardy has been desperate to eat snails the entire time we have been away – I think you told him about them Nelson? Every city – ‘is this where we eat snails?!’ Anyway, here’s the proof:
I opted for a steak which was overcooked to the extent Hardy wouldn’t even eat it. Sigh. The Alsace wine was nice though. As was the Nutella crepe for dessert.
So another rollercoaster day of huge frustrations, beautiful scenery, laughter, smiles, high fives etc. I’m so glad that we have a half-day tour of Monet’s house and gardens tomorrow, and then Disneyland the following day (my casual avoidance of actual days shows I don’t know what day it is). So that I hopefully don’t have to walk the streets of Paris again!
Au revoir xx