Thursday, October 1, 2015
bon jour from Paris
Bon jour from Paris on this bright, chilly October first. After flying all night I am now tucked up in my hotel for two extra nights before Alex joins me. I got seated in Business Class on the Sact'o - Seattle flight but wasn't so lucky on the long, 9-hour ordeal. But i did score an aisle seat close to the front so it was easy-on-easy-off . I probably snoozed for a total of an hour; mostly I watched movies and listened to my book (and to a couple of very unhappy babies) and fretted about what I would do if this hotel was full. I hesitated to make a reservation yesterday because I wasn't absolutely positive I'd make either of the flights. But by the time we landed at 8 AM this morning I had decided to just wing it and show up and see what happened. Sure enough, they had ONE room left and I snagged it. So right now I'm sitting in this lovely breakfast room getting this written until 2 PM when I can go into the room, get my down jacket and hit the streets. First thing I'm going to do is walk over to Carton's, a bakery that has the best croissants in Paris. Dear Delta gave us something they referred to as a croissant this morning; no croissant it its right mind would lay claim to it. Then over to the little market to get some fruit juice to have in my room, check out the restaurant scene for an early dinner. Then it's going to be an early night and just hope I sleep all the way through.
Some random thoughts from my arrival. The rudest travelers are Asians, specifically the Chinese. They are terrible at lining up and waiting their turn; a whole lot of pushing and shoving and scolding and cutting into line as the agents tried in vain to get them to cooperate at passport control. I'm talking about a LOT of people, not just one or two. The scariest people in line were nine Africans; one was a rather diminutive man in a pin=striped suit and his eight BIG bodyguards, all of them scanning the other passengers back and forth, back and forth. And when we all finally made it out of the airport this guy was completely enveloped by his shadowers. Creepy.
I took a taxi into the city, not a shuttle or the train, although the latter would have been very smart because there were gigantic traffic jams all the way in from the airport almost to the hotel. My driver, Amir, was at a loss until we went by the Palais Royale which is all set up for the beginning of Paris Fashion Week tomorrow (known here as la semaine de chic}. It ended up taking 2 hours to get here rather than the usual 40 minutes. As a consequence it cost me €90 instead of the usual €50. I am thinking of that, plus these two extra nights as coming out of the bundle I saved by not having to buy plane tickets!