Thursday, May 17, 2007

I Threw My Sister off a Train

We took plenty of pictures today, at the Louvre and then at Versailles, but I don't feel like posting many... I'm tired and it's almost midnight again, and tomorrow is our last full day in Paris. So, bedtime soon.

But, the Louvre (not a lot of areas where you're allowed to take photos there, and boy are they militant about it):

And Versailles:

And proof that the sun did shine, at least once, while we were in Paris:

Gorgeous, both places. Of course.

And the train thing? One of the highlights of my life to date. We had to take a commuter train to Versailles, which are a bit different from the Metro trains - more expensive, smoother ride, two levels on each car. On the ride back, we sat on the lower level, and given Mary's tendency to sway in a stiff breeze, we need to keep her seated until the train comes to a complete stop. We're not big fans of prying her out from underneath the seat in front, you know?

So, we're not standing right there at the door the moment the train stops, but that hasn't been a problem. Except, this time, we had to maneuver some stairs - never an easy proposition for Mary, and then add to it the fact that a crazy lady (this is my professional opinion) was sitting next to the stairs and flatly refused to move her big bulky shoulder bag off the stairs, and it became quite the obstacle course, first for my mother carrying the wheelchair, then for Mary and me.

So we were rushing the best we could, and my mother and Sarah made it off the train without incident - and then the doors SLAMMED shut just as Mary was about to step off. We're in a country in which the elevators have neither visual nor pressure sensors to prevent foot-pinching and hand-crushing, so there's no reason to expect the doors of the train to be any gentler. At first, we were prepared to just go on to the next stop and then figure out a way to get back - these commuter trains run every half-hour, so just waiting for the next train wouldn't work - but then some random hero came along and pried the doors apart with his bare hands. This allowed me to pick up Mary under her arms and physically lift her out and onto the platform, then squeeze myself out the doors right behind.

We all started walking toward the exit, and I hadn't had lunch - that's another story - and was travel-weary with sore feet, so it took several minutes before I suddenly realized... "Mary," I said, "Did I just throw you off a train?"

She agreed that, yes, I did. And remarked that this was not normally the kind of situation around which there is any ambiguity.

So, that was fun. Especially since we all survived it without injury.

As for the no-lunch thing... first the waiter corrected my French when I inaccurately requested water, and then he didn't bring me my sandwich, marking the third time this week that only my meal was incorrect or flat-out missing. Clearly, being the largest one in the group leads them to believe I could stand to skip a few meals. Perhaps if I carried around a sign advertising my weight loss? Anyway, so, I had about four bites of Mary's sandwich then, and by 9:00 at night, when we finally were seated at a restaurant, I was ravenous.

But we ate, and ate well, and now I am calm and happy.


lisa said...

Ahh the French, they have such a way about them no?

I hope you didn't have to pay for your missing sandwich *hugs*

Wendy said...

I would have so kicked that bag out of the way. Or, at the very least, stepped on it.

Don't worry about the sandwiches. More money to spend on yarn.

nutnoh said...

Well, you know those French women know all the dieting secrets. That must be one of them.

(if this is the 2nd time this goes through, sorry!)

Deb Y-B said...

Your vacation site is fantastic. Please teach me how to do this. How are you so productive while on vacation?

I am glad you are fascinating the French with your knitting--I'm sure they are amazed by the civility uncharacteristic of our current American regime and the reputation it paints onto all of us. Though the unraveling of a ten inch square would startle me--I would be too lazy to knit any size square and not have it become part of a sweater or scarf.

I am glad you are all having such a great vacation! I've never been to Paris, but would love to go. I'll be back to check in some more.