The Wrong Box
I manage to get to my hotel, only to find that because the hotel is "concerned about the safety of the floor in your room" (and I don't mean like we are concerned about the nation security safety, I mean like we are concerned about it's ability to hold human weight) I have been transferred to another hotel. Just when I thought I was going to get a hot bath. Hot and sweaty and disgusting as I am, the hotel has called me a cab to transfer me. The good thing is the other hotel is in a better neighborhood. On the way to the hotel, the cab driver hits on me.
When I arrive at my hotel, I am given the option of a smoking room. Yes, I am asked "Smoking or not smoking." I take the smoking room, just because I can. I go up and unpack, which takes all of thirty seconds. I take a long bath. The hotel has supplied me with soap and shampoo. I picked up toothpaste and toothbrush on the way through Gare Du Nord. Now all I need is more panties and some deoderant.
But before I can do that, I sleep. I sink under the covers of my cushy hotel room with the windows open, the sounds of Paris blowing through the window and go to sleep.
A Little Ooooo-La-La
I wake up at six in need of food among other things. I decide to wander the neighborhood. I walk around Rue Des Martyrs and Rue Notre Dame de Lorette. I eventually find an ATM. I don't find deoderant, but by six thirty I decide the next cafe I see, I am going get food. I've been putting it off, I admit to myself later, because I am afraid of trying to order.
As I walk down the street, a frenchman ( they keep them there you know) says, "You're very cute" in french. Having been warned by all the guidebooks and all my friends that the french are VERY polite, I say thank you. At which point he does a u-turn and begins to follow me down the street. He asks me how things are going, and I respond by asking him if he speaks english.
Not a word of it.
And then he asks me if I want a drink. I haven't eaten since ten in the morning, I have no luggage, I don't even have another pair of panties, I'm totally jet lagged. Do I want a drink? No.
I absolutely need one.
So we go to a bistro and he orders us kir. He gives me, of all things, a marlboro red, which I think I have justly earned. We exchange short sentences. How old are you, what do you for a living, where are you from. He is a florist from Normandy. He is, despite all that I have heard about the french being short, six feet tall. He is not incredibly attractive, but he has large blue eyes and an endearing smile.
And then he proceeds to tell me his life story. He talks to me for fifteen minutes straight with great emotion. I understand about two sentences: he lives with his brother, who is on vacation-and he himself is on vacation until sept 12.
more to come...

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