Friday, May 13, 2005

(From Paris): catching up on the blogs of others

After reading Ann’s “10 things I’ve never done,” I decided to do my own, from Paris, limiting it to five items, because it is almost time to “wake up” and “get going”:

1. I have never smoked cigarettes while in Paris. I just smoke everyone else’s secondhand smoke. Actually, it’s not unenjoyable in a short-term “live dangerously” sort of way.

2. As Paris is en route to Poland for me (and I would willingly make it en route to just about every other destination in the world, including, I am sure, Cincinnati, were time and money not an issue), I come here often. But I have never stayed on the Right Bank.

3. I have never stepped on dog poop on the sidewalk, missing it by a hair sometimes, but still, I have clean soles thus far.

4. I have never taken a boat ride along the river Seine.

5. I have never gone to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

(From Paris): reasonable or … not so much?

1. Is it even fair to compare other Europe-bound airlines to Air France? No. A toast to the continued pleasures of (endless) fine wine with every meal.
It was a very good year. They all seemed fantastic, especially after sampling the first one or two... Posted by Hello
2. How long is it “reasonable” to wait for a suitcase to come off the plane? Is one hour reasonable?

3. How long is it reasonable to wait in line to purchase a city-bound metro ticket? Is one hour reasonable?
the waiting game Posted by Hello
4. What is the first thing you do when you set out to see Paris? Stop sightseeing minutes into the walk and sit down over a protracted lunch. Just like the French.
Langoustines over baby epinards Posted by Hello
5. What is the second thing you really need to do? Stand under the Eiffel Tower and wait for the bottom to fall out.
JFW author, puzzling over the construction of the E.T. Posted by Hello
6. What is the reasonable thing to do when you take your first-of the-day walk through Paris? Ignore the monument to the Statue of Liberty and ignore the splendid view of the Eiffel Tower, and act mesmerized by the graffiti honoring Princess Di in the spot where she was killed?
a commemorative moment... Posted by Hello
7. How likely is it that Jeremy will not allow his dark chocolate ice-cream to drip into his flavorful apricot? Into the cone? Onto his clothes? The sidewalk? The world??
a chocolate drip is forming... Posted by Hello
Ocean authour's cone: cassis and dark chocolate Posted by Hello
8. Is it reasonable to be posting from Paris at 3:30 a.m.? No, but what if you really do not have any other time for it? (Thank you, tiny little Hotel Delavigne, for having high speed Internet in the lobby. The night clerk and I are bonding.)
UPDATE: Oh, look what other insomniac-blogger joins me in the lobby for a computer marathon at 4 a.m.! Posted by Hello

(From Paris): wait, where is everyone?

Did anyone doubt that a trip where you’re traveling companions are a blogger and a non-blogger would wind up having high drama even before anyone reached the airport?

Traveling with me on this leg of the journey are Jeremy and Madeline (one of these is identified by their true name the other is not). Madeline was to meet me at Memorial Union to catch the bus to O’Hare. Jeremy was to meet us at O’Hare to catch our flight to Paris. I come to the Union, get on the bus – no Madeline. She missed the bus (for good reasons but who cares, Air France doesn’t reimburse for good reasons unless it’s a death or dismemberment and there was no death or dismemberment in this case).

I am at the airport now and I have no idea what’s going on. No Madeline, no Jeremy. Okay. DO I REALLY HAVE THE WRONG DATE??

No wrong date. Jeremy shows up. Madeline is en route, he tells me. There was confusion as to the departure time. She is now speeding with a co-opted friend. She may get here on time. Or not.

Meantime, Jeremy and I are given business lounge privileges and I am handed a dilemma. The AirFrance agent leans over and whispers: Madame, I can upgrade you up to business; you are our most favored customer [this is an artifact, btw, of this year where I have used AF for everything, including travel from Chicago to Tokyo: it earned me super brownie points, though only for 2005.]

What would the ethicist say? Abandon Jeremy and move to Business?? Here, I am proud to say that I did the honorable thing. And the more fun thing: I sat back with the sardines so that we could repeatedly beat each other in chess, checkers and hangman. [Jeremy will undoubtedly blog that he beat me at all these games but if you only knew how I set him up for a win you’d realize that I was the true victor.]

Madeline showed up as we were boarding. She showed up. On time. To board the plane.

Can this trip not be a success? No it cannot.

Damn it, in four hours I AM GOING TO BE IN FRANCE!!