I apologize for the delay in posting. Let me tell you the jet lag is real. But ya girl made it, alive and well in this beautiful city of Paris. Let me catch you up to speed on the craziness that went on. So, last you heard the Delta flight attendant was in relaxing in the spa. Great news, she showed up (pretty quick too, must I add) the crowd applauded as she made her grand entrance. That was Saturday night. Aside from that small hiccup with the flight attendant it was pretty smooth. I sat next to a nice lady and her daughter, who were so grateful to be sitting next to me, instead of some creepy person. (I felt that same way.)
We landed in Seattle, where I had a 7 and a half layover at would normally be 2:00AM for me. Shoutout to SEA-TAC airport for their curved couches that create the perfect place to sleep, but of course I’m too paranoid. There was too many times where I fought myself to keep my eyes open. I pushed through and we started boarding at 11:50AM for our scheduled departure at 12:46PM. We begin to taxi then the captain comes on, letting us know there is an issue with the thermometer and that needed maintenance. So, we sat on the plane with no movement for the next hour and a half. The 10 1/2 hours flight felt the longest ever. If I learned anything on that flight is that you survived an almost 11 hour flight by getting drunk LOL. Just kidding, but 5 people around me constantly ordered drinks all night.
Arriving at CDG airport at 9:50AM, was when the nerves started to kick in. I need to make my way to my hotel all by myself. So, I go through customs, super easy and painless. Then my luggage came pretty quick. I, then, headed to a single stall restroom to reorganize my bags due to the previous overweight luggage fiasco. While being in there for just a few minutes the janitor started pounding on the door and yelling at me in French. She continues this for at least another 3-4 mins as a finish arranging my belongings which is taking me longer because I feel pressured with her yelling at me.
I need to look for the information desk. I see it through some glass windows and I approach a large door that says “EXIT” in green letters. Naturally, you think green means go. I was mistaken. A woman stopped me and said “no” as she pointed to a sign across the room that says “Sortie” in blue letters. I follow that sign and turns out sortie means exit. I make it to the information desk where I pick up my portable WiFi pack and I ask the guy the easiest way to get to my hotel. He gives me a map, circles the trains I need to take and lets me know that there is a 10 minus walk from the train station and my hotel.
I make my way to the train, a lady sees Im confused and said “for train go straight, go straight and then down” then hands me this paper in French so I don’t understand. She said “donation” and I said “oh, I’m so sorry. I can’t.” She rips the paper out from my hands and continued on.
(( Later I found the front zipper of my backpack open. I can’t remember if I left it open on accident or if she trying to pickpocket me with someone behind me. Luckily all my bags have locks on them. Execpt that front pocket, which I kept empty for that reason. Or again, maybe I’m just paranoid. ))
I finally get down stairs and need to buy my train ticket. I go to the information desk for help. I needed a one way pass to La Defense. She tried to convince me to get a Navigo RAPT month card. I explained to her that I don’t need one. I just want a one way pass. She tells me I need the month pass as it would be more cost effective. I say okay and walk away. I find another information help person and he, too tried to get me to get the month pass but he finally explained to me how to get a one way ticket. I purchase my ticket and I’m off.
I get on the train. I just want to say and huge thank you to Dr. Kim and Dr. Luke for teaching my how to use the trains in Japan. Because if not, I’d still be at the train station trying to figure it out. I make it to my last stop and I’m in a food court mall, and don’t know how to get out. And again, my favorite thing, I go to the information desk. The lady tells me it would be easier and faster to take bus. 5 min bus ride, 3 min walk as opposed to 15 min walk. (The last guy told me 10 min walk, but okay) I purchase my €1,90 bus ticket and wait and the bus station. I get on the bus and it looks like I’m only 3 stops away. After the first two stops, I suddenly realized we’re going in the opposite direction. We go to all the stops and the driver announces this is the last stop, your ticket expires here. I ask him about Léonard Di Vinci stop, that’s where I need to go. He tells me that we are on the other direction, but he tells me I can stay and he will continue around in 7 minutes. My 5 minute bus ride turned into a 2 hour bus ride, but I made it. On a positive note. I got my first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower while on the bus (as you see pictured) I arrived to my hotel and went to the front desk. I let her know what program I am from and tell her I will be staying here but I need directions to a neighboring hotel to meet my program leaders. She said “no, keep going” So I continued to walk and I found the other hotel. Met with my program leaders, was provided with that Navigo RATP month train pass everyone was trying to convince me to buy, and we go to check into my hotel. The guest service agent sees me with the program coordinator and apologizes for turning me away as I was correct. As I head up to my room, my program leader says we will be meeting at the other hotel at 4:15PM to go on a tour. That gave me 10 mins to get to my room and change.
I met with my roommate, she seems really nice and we both headed to the tour. We were shown where the trains were, grocery stores, shopping mall, etc. We ate dinner, grabbed a few things and called it a night.
Probably the most stressful day of my life. It doesn’t help that I don’t know a single French word. But my hopes are still high, and I hope to really enjoy this crazy ride.