Paris 2013: Day 2, Arrival in Paris


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A french market on Rue Poncelet.

Thursday, 7/25/13

Our plane arrives on time.   Customs is packed with hundreds of people entering France!   It takes us almost an hour to get through the two gates that are open.   But after the security person flips through our passports and gives us a stamp, we are on our way to the luggage area.   Our luggage is waiting for us and it is a long walk to the RER station to catch a train to take us into Paris.  We learned from our trip last summer — we got a credit card with a chip so purchasing the train tickets at the kiosks is quick and easy.

Dragging two pieces of luggage, two backpacks and one laptop case through the train station is a real drag.   Most Parisian train and metro stations only have escalators that go up, leaving you to manage your luggage going downstairs.   Our bags got heavier and heavier with each stairwell and each time we boarded a train.   The heat and the humidity did not help either, but we knew it was going to be hot, so I will not complain about that.

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Our small, but cute, French kitchen!

The apartment we rented is small but nice.   It is situated in the 17th Arrondissement — a quiet up-scale neighborhood close to the Palais de Congrès, Arc de Triomphe, and Parc Monceau,  This apartment looks to be recently remodeled and has a small kitchen, small sitting/dining room, one bathroom, and two bedrooms.   Unfortunately, it has a wireless router that blinks a row of green lights that turn into crazy blinking yellow lights before they completely go dark  for a while.     Needless to say, we have no internet.

Having no internet is like having no air for us, so my DH contacts our landlord who is vacationing in Quebec.   An hour later, he calls to tell my DH that he is trying to work things out with the cable company.  French communication companies are not known for their speed or customer service.   I have visions of this problem stretching out into weeks.  Without the internet, I cannot take my final exam in the Digital Photography class I took this summer – all that work and to get an failing grade on the final just p*sses me off, if you pardon my French!

We make the most of the what remains of the day.   We scope out the French market nearby and try to generate a list of food to buy tomorrow.   We also get a couple of large bottles of water and cookies to snack on.  We return to these apartment and finish unpacking.   My DH takes a shower.  We watch a little CNN.

By 9pm, we are tired but cannot sleep.   We go to a café, order dinner, and use their WIFI on our cell phones.   The evening is cool but muggy.   The food is good (fish and salad) and we pick at our dinners while we watch people and dogs go by.

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La Place — good food, free WiFi!

As we walk back to our apartment we discuss the only big black cloud on our trip so far, the internet problem.     By midnight, we are in our comfy bed, waiting for sleep to arrive as we begin our adjustment to our new timezone.

Quote of the day:   “Oh no, not again!” — Anna in response to lack on internet in the apartment.

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