04 January 2009
THE PARIS JOURNALS FIRST ENTRY December 17-18
I think of it as contrived drama. It’s those scenes in a movie in which the heroes are making their dramatic getaway and the car won’t start. Or someone has to go back to the house because they forgot something. You know they'll still get away but you’ve got this extra anxiety to deal with. We had that at the outset of our trip. We’re riding BART to the airport when the missus checks the flight on her iphone and realizes that at some point the departure time has been moved up an hour. We’ll barely make the flight and the deadline to check luggage will have passed. There’s nothing we can do but hope the “rapid” transit system doesn’t suffer one of its frequent delays.
Unnecessary anxiety in a contrived drama.
We make it, of course. The woman at the Virgin Atlantic check-in counter is the nicest human being on the planet and personally sees to our luggage, gets us through security and rushes us to the plane.
The flight is just fine though sleeping in economy is economical at best. I watch Tropic Thunder (2008) on the itsy bitsy screen and find it hilarious. Robert Downey Jr. is masterful and I must admit so is Tom Cruise.
We have to change planes in London which is fine but we’ve got about three hours at Heathrow. Not enough time to take the underground into London to see a site. So we sit with exhaustion enveloping us.
We fly into Paris in a sardine can with the British Airways label on it. It is a mercifully quick flight. We get a cab for a drive that seems to be the longest leg of our journey as we are stuck in highway traffic horribly delayed by an accident.
But the drive concludes with what is seemingly a tour of Paris which almost makes it worthwhile. We drive by the Louvre! C'est Magnifique!
We’re staying at a friend’s apartment in the Latin Quarter (he lives in England) and its all ours for two weeks. We’re across the street from a park that the Romans used for aquatic sport. Cool.
A long much needed sleep follows the fun now really to begin.