Why is it that when a human being gets behind the wheel of a car, his (and it’s generally a male) IQ drops by at least 50 points? I always tend to wonder about this when I’m in a big city. Can anyone justify the constant use of car horns? What does it signify? What effect does the driver think it is going to have when all around him is motionless?
Of course, if the intention is to piss off as many other people as possible, simply because you hate being stuck in traffic then I understand. I don’t condone it, of course but I do understand. My suggestion to those that think this way is to leave your car and walk, catch a bus or train, skateboard, cycle, wheelie, float, transport, etc because, seriously, driving is not going to help you.
I was reminded of this fact yet again, as we walked across an avenue in Paris this evening, on our way to a hotel we had not originally booked. It’s about time one of our holidays was blighted by something interesting to blog about!
Everything started well enough, though somewhat early. We left the flat some time after 7:30 and headed for the DLR to Bank. From here it was a transfer to the Northern Line (far too many stairs for my liking) and on to St Pancras for the Eurostar.
I’m not going to rave about the convenience of train travel to France because I’d said it all before however, this time, we travelled in the premium section. For some reason, when I booked the tickets, the premium seats were only £10 more so I went for it. They’re normally twice as much as normal. For this reason we’re travelling normal on the way back!
The trip was very comfortable and remarkably quick. Before we knew it, we were heading down to the Metro for a quick trip across the river to Invalide and our apartment. This is where things started to fall apart.
After I’d booked the apartment we were hoping to stay in, I had an email from Expedia (who we booked it through) giving me the details of the contact for the apartment. The idea was that I should let him know when we’d be arriving. I immediately sent him an email detailing our plans. This was a while ago. When I’d heard nothing, I resent it this week.
When we arrived at the apartment, it was to a door with an input plate next to it waiting patiently for a code to allow access. We had no code or any instructions. I rang the company who handle the lettings and a person who sounded like a ten year old boy gave me the phone number for the contact for the apartment.
I rang a few times but kept getting the same automated message that said I couldn’t leave a message. How Monty Python is that?
We decided to go and have a coffee (and eventually lunch) in the tabac on the corner. What a marvellous find! Excellent service, coffee and quiche. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
We returned to the door to the apartments and hung around for a bit longer. I rang a couple more times then rang the agents back. It seems they finish work at 3pm on a Saturday because no-one answered and there was not a message saying I couldn’t leave a message. There wasn’t even a message to say I COULD leave a message.
It was cold standing outside the building and I just wanted to get rid of our suitcase as well as get out of the wind. An executive decision was taken and we decided to book into a hotel and cancel the apartment.
Satisfied that we had chosen a positive course of action, we headed off for the Eiffel Tower, our hotel being on one side of it…well, almost.
Check-in was very smooth and we were soon in our very comfortable room. This was the view:
While checking in, Martin asked me to put my PIN in the card machine. After I did, I asked him if it was PIN in French. Martin burst into laughter. He told us that it’s better to use the word ‘CODE’ in French. He then told us the story of when he first started to speak French in Paris (we think he was Italian).
He would quite happily say “Just put your PIN in” to customers. He is a jolly chap and I’m sure he’d say it with smiles and laughter. Well, Martin got quite a few strange looks from the customers until one day, someone explained to Martin that PIN sounds very much like the French word for penis. He immediately switched to ‘code’ instead.
After a rest in the room, we headed out to check out the vicinity. We are (obviously) very close to the Eiffel Tower so we wandered up and took selfies under the legs. We also walked across the love lock bridge with it’s new sets of locks and graff.
We ended up having a late dinner at a restaurant called Ribe, opposite the hotel. Perfect.