Monday, August 2, 2010

hit the road jack

[editor's note: i started this the other day on my blackberry and am posting for you today.]

Omg! I really can't believe this. I'm sitting at a cafe in paris waiting for a friend and thought "I HAVE to blog about it. " So.... Its about 1030 in the morning on saturday. I was meant to meet my friends at 9 am. Elaine stayed at a friends house last night and the three of us agreed to get an early start in paris before the tourists got up. That, and, the wedding was great and we were up until 5am the night before. So last night I planned to go to bed around 1030 so I could get a lot of sleep. Of course I ended up checking my bb and then called my people at work. So I don't fall asleep until after midnight. This is important bcs I really really wanted to get at least eight hours of sleep. My alarm went off at 745. I was still tired so I stayed in bed. The next thing I know, its 815. I'm thinking that it'll take me 15-20 min to walk to the place de la bastille, where we are meeting. (for those who know paris, we're in the 6th arrondisement right off of st. germain.) mThat means I had 20 min to shower and get ready. I rushed and when I got out of the shower, I see elaine had called. "please tell my you're running late" I said when she answered. "Yes, I overslept" she replied. We were going to meet at 10 but then we decided we should meet at 930 instead so I didn't fall back asleep, which was very tempting.

i used to live in paris, and used to walk all over, so i feel like i kind of know my way around. and i'm pretty good with directions. so i take out my paris guide, which is the same one i had when i lived here, and open it up to the 11th arrondisement, where bastille is. i look at the main road leading there and see that i can cross the seine and then head past chatelet all the way up. when i left the house, i put on a podcast that was about 52 minutes long. "no big deal," i thought. "i'll finish it when i get home later." so i start walking. and walking. i look at my guidebook to make sure i'm going the right way. i am. and then i'm like "oh, i remember this road! great. i'm almost there." then my podcast stops. and i was like "holy crap! i can't believe how long it's taken me!" so i keep walking. finally, i get into the place. elaine had emailed my blackberry to say they were at a restaurant having breakfast. she gave me the street and the resto name. i look in my guidebook to find the road where she's at, but i can't find it. i also had a missed call from her, so i call her back. i'm like "i JUST got here - i can't believe how long it took me!" she thought i must've gotten a late start. so she tells me the name of the street again, and says they are in the 4th arrondisement. so, i look in the guidebook and i finally find the road. i tell her i'll be there in 5 minutes. i'm looking around the place and i can't see the opera, where we said we'd originally meet. i'm kind of confused. i look at the street sign to see where i am and i see "place de la republique." NOT "place de la bastille." i went to the wrong effing place. i call elaine back. "i'm in republique!" i scream. we both start laughing. i walked an extra 2 miles north of where i was supposed to go. and all of a sudden - everything made sense: bastille REALLY IS only 20 min from our apartment; the street i was on looked familiar because thats the street i used to walk home on when i lived at REPUBLIQUE; i couldn't figure out why they were in the 4th, when i was in the 3rd, etc. it was soooo silly and such a STUPID mistake that its just a huge joke. to compare, this is like saying you'll meet someone at west acres and then end up at moorhead center mall. or saying you'll meet someone at harvard and going to havard street on the green line instead of harvard square on the red line. it was bizarre.

so anyway, since they were in a car, they drove to me. which was good. i spent 70 minutes walking and was still tired from the past few nights. i got a tea and waited for them. they came and elaine stayed with me while our friend went to run errands. elaine and i then walked from republique to my old apartment (oh, we took a picture, i'll have to download for you!) and then past le canal st. martin (right by my old place which is where amelie was filmed). we walked up to this new area we had never been, for about an hour, and then it started raining, so we ducked into a cafe and had a drink (martini blanc, pour moi!) while we waited for the rain to finish. then we hopped on the metro to le sacre coeur - my favorite place in paris. it would be SO fabulous if there weren't a ton of tourists and fake deaf kids trying to get you to give them money. (who, btw, were NOT deaf, because they kept pointing at the word "deaf" on their sheet instead of "sourd" (the french word) which means they HEARD us speaking english to each other.) we had lunch at this really really french place in montmartre and then walked down from le sacre coeur, but accidentally went the wrong way down and ended up heading OUT of paris. so we jumped back on the metro and headed home. i finally got a nap in, which i desperately needed, and then we met our friend again for dinner at a very very french restaurant just below our apartment. was good fun for last day in paris. i still can't believe i walked to the wrong place.

if you look at the map below, we are kind of by the jardin de luxembourg. then you see how far i walked when i didn't go to la bastille. then we basically walked form republique to sacre coeur and montmartre (we only took the metro 4 stops, which was really close, but we were super tired). lots and LOTS of walking today.

[ray charles - because i really hit the road today. and sometimes they call me jack.]


  1. walking waaaaaaaaaay to far in Paris is like re-visiting an old nightmare.

  2. and just for the memories... based on above, you guys walked (after a red eye) from basically l'arc de triomphe to ... halfway between the palais des congres and la defense...

  3. Yeah but we were told it was like 6 blocks... not the 32 it actually was...