May 21, 2005

Where is the freakin' Eiffel Tower?

I've been on the move for 11 days. I'm very tired. I've been told by numerous people that coming to Europe for two weeks alone is very couragous. I'm not sure what to call it. At times I'm more lonely than I've felt in years. Others, I'm hoping to get further away from anyone who is from the US. I keep looking for the non-tourist spots. I don't care about souvenir from each city. Other than the experiences I've collected. The visual power of what I've seen. I fear I will need a vacation when I get home to recompose myself. I took the train from Amsterdam to Paris this afternoon. What I hoped would be a treat, turned into sheer boredom. We stopped at every town between Amsterdam and Brussels and never really got to speed in the train. I had my tickets checked no less than three times which started to get on my nerves. Yes, I am supposed to be in this seat! Damn. The mayhem in the Paris Nord train station was incredible. I've never seen so many people toting luggage and moving in so many directions. Meeting other trains, flying towards ticket booths, hurrying to get on the train, and trying to edge into the taxi stand line. Strangely, no one in my view collides with anyone else or anyones toted luggage. After standing in line for 20 minutes to get a taxi, I got the luck of the draw and got 'one of 3 or 4 taxi drivers in Paris that speaks english', he tells me. Sweet. He gave me the lowdown on eating times, how to catch a taxi and where, how to say a few key phrases in french. "Wanna suck face" wasn't one of them unfortunately. Will have to figure that one out on my own. lol I arrived in Paris at rush hour. So a short drive turned into a stop and go nightmare in traffic. Then we turn onto the Arc de Triumph (AdT) circle and I feel like Hell just broke loose in a big way. For those of you familiar with DuPont Cirlce in DC, think of a circle 10 times the size. No traffic lanes and no traffic signals. There is no right of way and the speeds range from a dead stop to 60-70 KPH. Diving through traffic into holes that simply didn't exist my driver appears to be a magician. (Later, I walk back as the sun sets on the AdT and watch traffic. I don't think pictures will do, I may have to figure how how to take a little movie of this circle and post it.)

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Why do so many of my stories revolve around food (other than the fact that I spend a good part of each day searching for my next meal location)? It has become a game within my own mind to find something suitable. Questions like: Can I read the menu? Can I afford to eat here? Does the food I can see look appetizing? Am I dressed appropriately to eat here? Are just some of the things that go through my mind as I search for the perfect meal. Tonight, whether out of spite for being an American or just because they didn't have an english menu, I got to pick my dinner out by trying to remember little bits of french. OK, I SUCK at that. LOL My dinner turned out perfect though. I resisted the urge to run to the word hamburger on the menu just because I knew what it was. Instead, I selected Mozzorella and Tomato salad as a starter, something that turned out to be baked chicken over mashed potatoes and Creme Brule for dessert. OK, the first and last course were easy to pick out on the menu, but I honestly didn't know what I was going to eat for my main dinner. Talk about Adventure. Woo Hoo.

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I still haven't gotten a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. That is very strange because from so many points in Paris, the tower dominates the skyscape. If I had more energy, I would walk over to see it in the night. It is now dark, but I just don't have it in me to walk over there. It's only 3 inches away on the map. lol I've walked from the Tower to the AdT (which is only two blocks from my hotel) before. It's only a couple of miles (perhaps 3 at the outside). Tomorrow night. I promise. I may even try to go up in it at night. I didn't climb the Tower the last time I was in Paris, so that is a goal.

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Sunburn report. My face has peeled three times now. I don't think it's done yet. My nose is just one massive blister and sore. I'm waiting for the skin to peel off and leave a nice scab. Maybe in time for my trip home. LOL. I've been very careful to only touch it when I put on lotion or sunscreen. I live in fear that I will scratch it in my sleep and rip it open. OK, 'nuff said on that topic. What else shall we discuss? Oh, I talked to two girls while waiting for the train to Paris they are backpacking Europe for a month. They spent two days in Amsterdam and didn't see anything. "We got too stoned..." uh, yes, Good luck on your trip. lol

4 Comments:

At 10:24 AM, Blogger SamrtBlonde said...

reading what you wrote about the traffic around the Arc de Triomph brought back so many 'scary' memories. That circle is crazy. No words can do it justice! I laughed like crazy while we drove around there without a care in the world to the other 200 drivers racing around it. CRAZY FRENCHMEN!! *lol*

 
At 12:05 AM, Blogger Jen P. said...

I can totally identify with your "food" post. When we travel, that's what we think about too. We ended up just pointing at the menu randomly in Osaka because it was all in japanese....no pictures...I could tell what was ramen and what was soba and that was it. Turned out good though. Your food descriptions sound like you ate great on your trip!

 
At 2:03 AM, Blogger Chrissie said...

Ouch lol you sunburn easily??

 
At 3:59 PM, Blogger 30Something said...

LOL, Sorry but I am sitting here laughing out loud at your sunburned nose! LOL, I don't know why I am finding so much humor in your pain! hehehehe

 

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