July 01, 2005

My Paris Trip: Episode I

As I'm starting this entry, it's about 9:30am in Paris, but only 12:25am in California. While most of you may read the title of this blog and desperately wish you were in Paris too, you may have second thoughts when you hear what I went through to get here.

Me on the Pont Neuf on Thursday, June 30. Can you tell it's raining?

Check out the rest of my pictures here!
(Episode 1: pictures 1-43)

I got up at about 7am (PST) on Tuesday the 28th, got myself ready and, of course, made some last minute packing changes and checked my flight status online. Aaron came home at about 9:30, bearing gifts of BK breakfast sandwiches and hashbrown pieces. After installing a DVD playing program on my laptop, we headed to the airport at about 10am to make my 12pm flight. Our goodbye was short but sweet and I was very proud of myself for not crying. I got in the self check-in line, but after 10 minutes I was informed that I had to go to the other blue-roped line (red is for special people in First Class) because my final destination was international. Thanks for the heads up American Airlines. After about 10 minutes in that line, an employee asked if anyone was on the 12pm flight to JFK and instructed me to go to yet another, although shorter line. However, this one only had two attendants instead of five, so by the time I checked my bag for the JFK flight and got my boarding pass, the girl who was in front of me in the 2nd blue line was just 5 people behind me in the security line. Of course, First Class passengers, even those with non-quickly-approaching boarding times, got to go in a special line.

After all the usual (post 9/11) security fun, just as I was walking up to my gate, I saw the gate attendant slide a "canceled" sign under my flight number. My heart sank and then began racing when I realized that I was to be on a 9pm EST flight from JFK to Paris, arriving in Paris 4 hours before my sister Joy who was flying from Ireland to spend time with me in Paris. I immediately walked to the desk, but some woman had already been standing there before the sign was placed. Of couse there was just one gate attendant who seemed more interested in informing us that she was the only one there than telling us how we were supposed to deal with this "minor inconvenience". She placed a pile of cards with American Airlines' customer service number on the desk and told people to call because she was the only person there and she couldn't rebook everyone. I decided to wait in line because I was only second and I had packed my cell phone in my checked bag because I'd figured there'd be no reason for me to have it.

For about 10 minutes, the desk attendant silently tapped away on her keyboard, sighed wearily every few minutes and impressively completely ignored every question and comment made by the (French) lady ahead of me, who was also supposed to by on my 9pm flight to Paris. Finally, she made a call to someone somewhere to complain about how she was the only attendant although there were still about 50 people left in line and how she couldn't find anything for those of us connecting to Charles de Gaulle until the next day. At first I was mad that she had "told" us this news while on the phone with someone, rather than announcing it like a normal human being with a heart, but then I went into some kind of panic/shock about arriving in Paris 24 hours late with no way to contact Joy or my prospective landlord to let them know about how American had screwed me out of two flights for which I'd paid what seems like a lot of money to someone who makes as little as I do. When her call ended, I asked her if it was true that there was nothing for tomorrow, thinking that I should immediately call Aaron to get him to come back and get me. She very rudely told me that she was going to have to take care of the people going to Heathrow (London) first because they had a chance of getting out that day whereas the Paris people would have to wait until tomorrow. I don't think she could have sounded any more nasty if she had simply told me to "fuck off".

Me at the Palai Royal/Musee du Louvre Metro entrance. A lot of Metro entrances are cool, but this one is awesome.

1) $paginate_current_page = 1; $paginate_sections = array( 0 , 1); $paginate_top_section = $paginate_sections[$paginate_current_page-1]+1; $paginate_bottom_section = $paginate_sections[$paginate_current_page]; } else { $paginate_top_section = 1; $paginate_bottom_section = 1; } $paginate_self = '&' . $_SERVER['QUERY_STRING'] . '&'; $paginate_self = preg_replace("/&page=[^&]*&/", "&", $paginate_self); $paginate_self = substr($paginate_self, 1, strlen($paginate_self) - 1); if($paginate_self == '&') $paginate_self = ''; else $paginate_self = htmlentities($paginate_self); $paginate_self = basename($_SERVER['PHP_SELF']) . "?${paginate_self}page"; ?> Posted by Kristina at July 1, 2005 12:51 AM

Was the bathroom dirtier than Ward Street D?

I am glad you're having a good time on the trip...sucks about the cat hair though :) Can't wait for episode 2!!

Posted by: Jess at July 1, 2005 02:01 PM

Sorry I didn't give you a proper sending off! It sounds like the trip can only get better from here. My love to you and Joy. Bon Soir!

Posted by: Cody at July 1, 2005 06:11 PM

I'd have to say it was on par with the Ward Street salle de bain, but more from being abandoned than from constant use. At some point during the cleaning process, I commented that I felt like we were squatters, randomly taking over an abandoned home and making it our own. Today, I washed the shower curtain because our new washer/dryer came yesterday; a vast improvement.

No prob about the send off... you can make it up to me by hanging out with me when I get back.

Posted by: Kristina at July 2, 2005 02:10 AM

I watched Amelie in your honor last night Kris. Your airport chaos sounds about as bad as waiting in line for eight hours behind thousands of hippies and their fricken hippie cars to get out of the muddiest place on earth. Am I right? Have a blast and buy me something french. Perhaps fries or toast.

Posted by: Susan at July 4, 2005 11:56 AM