The dreaded day is here. The day Soleil and we part. The day we leave our smurf bust. The day Fifi stays behind. She certainly has made herself at home. The last day when I look out the window or off the deck and will be reminded by the Eiffel Tower that I am in Paris.
I didn’t want the day to come but it’s here.
I very unwillingly pack. We cross the plank with our luggage and place it in the garden. One step further from our beloved péniche. Fifi huddles behind it, probably because of the shade, but I am sure it is because she wants to come with us.
I pick her up and go to our neighbor in the boat next to us and ask him if she is his and what her name is. Fifi is now Yaya. I think Fifi fits her better.
Up until now we have felt nothing but safe and have been on the receiving end of helpfulness and courteousness. We walk to the station of Passy where in one swoop all that changes. We are carrying substantial luggage that can only pass through the gate so I show our ticket and our luggage and ask the attendant how we can go through the gate. He says it’s not free. I continue to smile and say I understand but how can we input the ticket for the gate (it has no slot)? Not free. I know. How? Validate through the regular entrance and he’ll open gate. I do. He does not. He is rude, nasty and unhelpful. Had it not been for a passenger on the other side who opens the gate from the inside we would still be there.
Onward to the train (metro). Two young women enter our wagon and stand at the entrance. Plenty of room behind them, but as I go in, one moves towards me. In French I ask her what she is doing. Arreter! Stop. She continues forward. I avoid her and go towards the back. They exit at the next stop and I look down and the zipper of my bag is open. Fortunately nothing in that compartment for her to take, but it frazzles me a bit.
Onward to the Gare du Nord where we are going to buy tickets to our destination: Amiens. Gare du Nord is a sea of clashing currents of human flesh. Busy at all times. A bit overwhelming to most. No information booths are manned and we can’t find where to buy the tickets so we go to the machines. A tad confusing and we must look it because we are approached by a lovely young lady who tries to help. No, thank you. Move onto another. She follows and when we are about to put our credit card in she says that it doesn’t accept foreign cards and we can pay her and she’ll put hers in. I don’t think so! We safeguard our credit card and move far from her. It’s a well-known scam that has been going on for years.
We are close to city center so after checking in we walk to town. It’s about 8 pm. It’s still light outside on a still mild night and no one is out. The city seems deserted, yet it is beautiful and quaint. Our stomachs (okay, really just mine) is clamoring for food so we sit at a pizza place and the entertainment comes to us. A local theater group is walking through the plaza where we are, with the audience in tow. They stop with the police blocking the road as the actors perform.
My pizza arrives and yes, that is an egg in the middle. More than one pizza is served like that. I avoid it and eat around it. I accompany it with my favorite drink: Schwepps tonic which is not that commonly available in the States in restaurants but is here.
I decide to not remind myself that it has more calories than a Coke and enjoy every drop.
We will walk there after dinner. Through the side streets we go ’cause that is the way where many a surprise has been had and today is no different. An Australian bar to satisfy my partner’s craving for his country though this one has Latino music blaring and a soccer match showing. Is it crazy that I find this perfectly normal?
We will explore more tomorrow… or maybe we will just chill. 🙂