Random Musings

Paris, you almost gave us a heart attack.

May 3, 2013

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. 🙂

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  • Reply croquecamille May 9, 2013 at 17:06

    If it makes you feel any better, I live here and I still find those ticket machines confounding! (Granted, I rarely have to buy “normal” metro tickets, since I just use my pass, so it’s only when I’m going out of town, but still.) Glad you and your friend were reunited! My husband and I have a standing rule that if we should be separated like that, we just get off at the next stop and stay in the same place. So far, the system works. 🙂

    • Reply Pinay Flying High May 9, 2013 at 18:24

      Yeah, that was one complicated machine. I do believe some people were cursing at us already.

      That’s actually the wisest thing to do if ever you get separated like that but my friend was too shocked to think of that. Lol. It was funny though.

  • Reply Matthew Curry May 5, 2013 at 02:43

    I’m glad it worked out OK. I got stressed out, just reading about it. Yikes.

    • Reply Pinay Flying High May 5, 2013 at 10:32

      We had a good laugh afterwards. That was a good experience though. :p

      • Reply Matthew Curry May 5, 2013 at 10:33

        Good? It sounds horrifying.

        • Reply Pinay Flying High May 5, 2013 at 10:37

          At first it was, I was worried about my colleague but then when we saw each other again all of those negative feelings vanished and we were both squealing out of excitement of seeing each other again. LOL. I believe the French in the train got annoyed with us when we were talking to each other in a really high-pitched voice. Hahahaha.

          • Matthew Curry May 5, 2013 at 11:52

            I can understand that. I got lost in Germany one night with a group of guys from my high school. We annoyed all the people who were walking along the streets that night. (But we didn’t talk in high-pitched voices.)

          • Pinay Flying High May 5, 2013 at 12:25

            You sure it was high-pitched? Lol

          • Matthew Curry May 5, 2013 at 12:27

            Not me! Ha ha ha ha….

      • Reply Matthew Curry May 5, 2013 at 11:53

        If you say so!

  • Reply Mitzie Mee May 5, 2013 at 01:08

    Sounds like a scary experience. Especially for your friend! Glad you reunited again:)

    • Reply Pinay Flying High May 5, 2013 at 01:36

      Lol, you should’ve seen us when we were “reunited”. Hahaha

  • Reply Asli May 3, 2013 at 09:13

    Hahaha same thing happened to us too and I did get off in next station. We took the metro from Dupleix and we wanted to see if monoprix was still open before we head to our friend’s place. (nice coincidence our place is at dupleix too :D)

    Well I got out and started waiting for next metro then saw my bf running into la motte piquet grenelle station before the train 😀 it was funny as hell :p

    Fact1: slow people can’t/shouldn’t survive in Paris so I suggest different machines for tourists.
    Fact2: having luggages in Paris metro is one true nightmare but in most stations there’re doors for people in wheelchair when you ask the guy in guichet they open the door for you et voila you don’t even need a ticket anymore 😀

    • Reply Pinay Flying High May 3, 2013 at 09:33

      Hahahaha! So it happens a lot then. Hahahaha. I couldn’t believe it, I mean I seriously couldn’t believe that it happened to us. That day. On the first day. Your facts are absolutely true and there should be a different line altogether for tourists. LOL.

      Dupleix is a nice area, I liked it. It’s quiet there and you have the view of the Eiffel Tower. :p

      • Reply Aslı May 3, 2013 at 15:06

        Fact3: Dupleix is the best area for a tourist to stay, everything is packed together; mcdonalds, monoprix, franprix, bistros, same metro line to champs elysees, eiffel tower and also away from the crazy crowd. Lot’s of fairly cheap hotels. La Motte Piquet Grenelle is a very central metro station which has connections to very useful lines. Aaaand last but not least it’s on the same line with Danfert Rochereau which has a direct bus to Orly airport.

        • Reply Pinay Flying High May 3, 2013 at 16:10

          I did pick the right location then. I already knew that when I was there but I am more convinced now after all the things that you just said. 🙂 it is very accessible and yes, far from all the tourists. It felt more like a normal Parisian neighborhood.

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