09 June 2012

Auf Wiefersehen Berlin! Bonjour Paris!

We left our German host's house at 5 am to head to our two separate airports. Since the sun had already been up an hour, it wasn't as bad as it could have been if it were still dark. AlphaPoppa made sure The boys and I got on our correct train, gave the boys a pep talk about behaving themselves and listening to/ helping mommy. We had a group hug and gave each other a million kisses and off we went.

The Easy Jet Airline check in was super easy and while waiting to board the plane I met a great young Canadian couple who had graduated from high school and then spend 4 months backpacking across Europe. Paris was their last stop and they loved every minute of their traveling experience. They begged me to continue encouraging my students and others to travel. They now feel that they have a priceless education and want to share that feeling with everyone.

The boys and I arrived in Paris at about 10:30 am. Our first order if business was to buy a sim card for my unlocked cell phone. Then I needed to figure out how to get me and the two boys and our two bags to the apartment I was renting for one night from the airbnb.com website. We just needed this apartment for one night until we met up with the owner of Grant's school and the students with whom she'd been traveling. The apartment for us all would be available the following day. After getting my sim card I was instructed to buy tickets for the OrlyBus, get on it at platform 4, and get off at the last stop. That last stop would be the metro station them I was to get on the 6 train and get off at the Picpus train station. The apartment would be walking distance from there. I did as I was instructed, many kind people helped me lift and lug bags along the way.

Once again buying a metro tickets was like a visit to Pluto but people were helpful and nderstanding. I successfully arrived at my station and a woman stopped me on the platform to ask (in Spanish) if I needed help carrying up a bag. I accepted her offer. Another golden rule in travel is that is a sane/safe looking person offers you help (or a gift) graciously accept that offer or gift. I will explain why later. As she helped me, she asked where I was from and mentioned she heard me speaking Spanish. She herself was from Spain but she'd been living in Paris for some years. Like me she only speaks To her two sons in Spanish. So since I had a new friend I showed her the address where I needed to be and she pointed me in the right direction. Another angel placed in our traveling path.

The apartment owner met us at the apartment got us settled in and asked me to leave the key under the door mat when I left in the morning.  The apartment was one extremely small room on the sixth floor! Zane and I thought we'd have heart attacks by the third level of of our new tiny spiral staircase! If you are not familiar with these European staircases please google them or something because my words cannot accurately describe!

We were hungry and exhausted. By now it was after 2pm. Some of the nearby cafes were mind-blowingly expensive but I finally found a cheaper spot and got myself some pasta and the boys French fries and burger patties. Dude was so hungry and tired that his head almost fell in his plate when he finished his fries.

I then rushed us to a grocery store to buy juice, water, milk, and pan au chocolate. After almost meeting our death on the staircase we got in bed and slept!! After a 2 hour nap I woke up my homies and we decided to walk and explore. We walked for about an hour looking around and buying fruit from street vendors. As we finished our last orange wedge. We looked up and saw the owner of Zane's school running down the street with her arms wide open. She and the three kids had been waiting for us in front of our apartment and it was a complete love fest for the kids to all be with their friends in France!

We walked over to a nearby park and let the kids play quietly. They then joined in a game of Patonk with some adults who were willing to teach them the game.  After that we found cheap chinese food. All of the kids spoke to the restaurant owners in chinese and won their hearts. We later returned to my small new crib. We talked for hours and the kids played happily for hours. Once we realized how late it was we decided to just all sleep at my place then to head to the school apartment in the morning.

1 comment:

  1. You go ECHO!!!Well written.Just like being there.Don't have to imagine,I feel the Love and ambiance. Thank you very much .Peace Profound.JACK :)