After the business trip proper, some colleagues of mine decided to extend their stay for a night to join me. The last hotel that we’ve inspected was in La Defense area and from there we took our very first metro ride. Well that was after about 30 minutes of figuring out how to buy a metro ticket in their machine. I think we’ve pissed off a couple of Parisians for taking so long with the machine and at that point in time, I don’t really care anymore. They can be pissed for all they want but that machine drove me mental.
When we finally have our tickets, the next thing that we have to worry about was to figure out how to pass the luggage thru the tiny entrance of their metro stations. I felt like we were in the Amazing Race. At the Charles de Gaulle Etoile station, we were divided into two groups since we were staying in two different hotels. So myself and Salwa headed off to take line 6 towards Nation while the other group took line 2.
Now here’s where we had our problem, when we arrived at the correct platform, the train was already there so we hurriedly ran towards it. Then like we’re in an episode of a real Amazing Race, like for some unknown reasons a director decided for this to happen just so it will be more “interesting” for the viewers, the train doors closed before I can even board the train. So my colleague who’s got no idea where we’re going as I’m the only one who knows the name of the hotel and which station we’re getting off, was inside the train looking out to me helplessly. Her face became very pale right that instant and her expression was a combination of fear (on the unknown perhaps), confusion and sadness. I immediately shouted the first station that came up to my mind “PASSY!” and I wasn’t even sure if we will pass by that station on the way to our hotel. Then off the train went.
At that point in time, I was just hoping that my colleague will be in her right senses to just get off the next station or maybe she will have a copy of the hotel reservation that we booked and be able to ask around where that hotel is located. I don’t have a roaming number and even if I did, I don’t have her number anyway. I know, that was a rookie mistake but we never really thought that something like this happens in real life. The next train arrived and I jumped in it as fast as I can. I took the same cabin where my colleague took it and again, I was hoping that if ever she got off the next station, she just stayed in the same area as where her cabin stopped so I’ll be able to see her right away.
Kleber station passed, no sign of my colleague.
Boissiere station passed, still no sign.
Trocadero station passed, still no sign.
Passy station passed, still no sign (for the love of God, where is she???? It turned out that I was right that we will pass by this station.)
Bir Hakeim station, still no…. wait! There she was, standing 5 feet away from me. Still pale and having the same facial expression when we got separated 5 stations earlier. As soon as the train stopped, I shouted for her to get inside the train. Turned out that she heard me saying something with a BER not Passy so she got off at BIR Hakeim. See? She was still in her right senses.
The next station was Dupleix which is where our hotel is located. Just imagine if she got off one station after Dupleix, how am I able to find her?
Lessons learned from this experience:
1. Make sure that all parties will be able to board the train.
2. Make sure that you know where you’re going (or at least which station to get off) before getting in a train and not only rely to your travel partner.
After that unfortunate event, those two lessons were properly observed by both of us. 🙂