It all started on the 18th of October. I was originally going to work on Wednesday the 19th but my friend, Allie Johnston, was suppose to meet me the night of the 18th in Paris, France. Little did we know everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong.
As I was leaving my room I left two very important things, the first was my medication and the second was my laptop charger. You wouldn’t think these things were important but oh they were. As I rushed to catch the 5:20pm bus I was almost too late. The bus thankfully arrived at 5:25pm to take me to Valence Ville were I would take a train to Paris. While on my journey with the train, half way to Paris I call my friend Melannie. It was so great catching up until a man beside me opened up PowerPoint and wrote “No Cellphones in the CABIN.” I was like… alrighty then. I get off the phone with Melannie and begin cussing in my head because I have never heard of that and I was super quiet. As I was cussing the train came to a stop. My train was delayed 90 minutes. All the while Allie was waiting on me at the Charles de Gaulle Airport. She didn’t have service and all she could do was sit in a McDonalds and pray to have wifi. What we also didn’t realize was that soon all the metro systems would be closing. I remember telling Allie over and over ‘RER B take RER B.’ She was still panicked because first of all she didn’t speak French and second the police informed her that the trains were stopped due to a bomb threat. Ohhhh great.
Once I arrive in Paris, it is now around 11pm. Almost too late to go anywhere. Allie asks me to make sure to call the Hostel so they will let us in. They did of course but we didn’t know. Once we finally met up I gave Allie such a hug, she couldn’t believe it. If anyone really knows me, they know I am not very good at hugging. As soon as we see each other we start our journey with both suitcases and backpacks. We truck our way to the hostel which was by what looked like China Town. I really couldn’t tell you where we were.
The hostel doors were locked but we finally found someone. A man came to the door, checked us in and we were on our way to our 6 person dorm room. Did you know by 11:30 pm everyone is Paris is already passed out? Neither did we. I was expecting at least a couple people still awake, but no. Not a soul. As Allie and I creeped into the room it smelled of dirty socks from a days walk, I kid you not. Also I knocked my bag into every possible metal thing in the room. I know they had to have hated us. Also to make it worse they didn’t even give us a bunk bed together. I was going to use the top bunk and Allie the bottom, but I couldn’t take it. We went out into the hallway and I said “I’ll be right back.” Also did I tell you the French like to take their time?? Yeah because it felt like 30 minutes AT LEAST. I had no patience at this point because we were already delayed, there was a bomb threat, I couldn’t find Allie, and the room that we were going to stay the night smelled AWFUL! So I asked the guy “Is there a single room still available?” He says “Yes but its too expensive, you will not pay it.” I was like I will pay anything. Finally after all the hassle I get upstairs and I locked my suitcase in the other 6 person dorm. I could scream at this point. Thankfully Allie offered to go get the key.
We finally settle into our own room and begin unpacking, and just discussing what our plans would be for the next couple of days. We then realized we only had about 3-4 hours in Paris so we decided to see the Arch de Triumph, the Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame. This whole trip all we kept saying was ‘We will get up as early as we can!’ haha
The next day we wake up at like 7am. We try to make it to breakfast because we already paid for a single room, all I wanted was something to eat. I guess everyone and their grandma had the same feeling because there was literally no room in the kitchen area. Did I mention that the kitchen area was under construction and we tried to have instant coffee and some bread in a room no bigger than our room. Well we did, and it was not good.
Also at this point I was freaking out about my medicine. Since I left it in Privas, France. I had no way of getting my medication. I tried calling the doctor about 8 times, I kid you not, and every time it was busy. Melannie told me that the French are a lot more relaxed than America and if I explain to the pharmacy that I left my medication and only needed a two week supply that they should be able to help me. I was like great…. Another opportunity to make an idiot out of myself trying to speak French to the Pharmacist. By the way Pharmacies in France are around every corner it seems. When we walk in I try to prepare myself for what I am going to say. When I got up to the counter I know I was speaking broken French, I could tell it in the Pharmacists face that this was going to be complicated. As I began explaining she just asked for my Visa, first name, last name, and my french address and she handed me my prescription. I couldn’t believe it. My mouth dropped. I told Allie if I were in America with the same situation they would have just looked at me and laughed. Once we got that we headed to the Arch de Triumph.
All day long I felt like we were on a Scavenger hunt. Once we found the Arch de Triumph, we literally took a picture and began racing towards the Eiffel tower. Same with the next stop, took a couple pictures, and raced to Notre Dame. After that we raced to the hostel to make our way to the Airport. In a way we didn’t get to experience Paris the way I wanted but I think Allie overall liked it.
Once we arrived at the airport we were so glad to have arrived a little early. Since there was a bomb threat it took two hours just to get through Border Control and then we still had to go through security. It was a hot mess express. Oh did I mention that I always manage to get stopped at security because I kid you not, I was stopped and searched every time I went through security. Anyways we finally made it to the gate and we took a breath. And that was our Paris adventure…. next stop Ireland.