My last embarrassing moment from my first trip to Paris (it happened on my very last day, on the way to the airport)…
The morning of my last day was a mad rush. It had been such a short trip, I was still jetlagged, and I was trying to drink my coffee and smoke a cigarette and haul my suitcase down the bustling street on my way to the airport.
I ended up going to the wrong Metro station, which made me even later, and guess what? Turns out Monday mornings in Paris are as busy as Monday mornings in the States! The Metro was PACKED.
Even so, I tried to board one of the packed trains. The people were glaring at me and would not budge. Had to back out and wait…and wait…and wait…aaaaand wait.
Finally caught a train, but then I realized–I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember where to change lines. The paper was in my purse…but I had my coffee thermos in one hand and my other hand on my suitcase, which kept tipping over and hitting other passengers.
My train went thru several stops. I felt sure I needed to change lines soon, but even after wrestling my suitcase between my legs, I could not get my purse open! The stupid zipper was stuck.
Panicking, I looked around. An older French lady stood crunched between me and other passengers. We looked at each other. I smiled REEEEALLY BIG and handed her my thermos. Her eyes widened, but she accepted the thermos while I yanked on the zipper to my purse.
Finally the purse opened, and I fished out the piece of paper with the directions. “Got it!” I held up the paper. The French woman nodded approvingly and returned the thermos to me–I gave her the biggest, most-proficiently-pronounced “MERCI BEAUCOUP” I could muster. She smiled and chuckled.
SIDE NOTE: I was so glad I was standing next to that lady. Everyone else on the Metro looked like they wanted to murder me.
SIDE NOTE 2: Try not to act like such a tourist next trip.
-Notes from my first trip to Paris (November 2011)