Traveling to Paris, sleeping on loafers.....
Riding the train throughout Europe was quit exhausting, mainly because I would stay awake watching for signs and get off points while my then traveling partner Curt would sleep pretty much constantly. However Paris would be a different story, France was in its usual state of Upheaval as Angry frogs rioted and went on strike.
We had traveled previously with some girls from Canada who had been kicked off the train and had to pay 100 dollars each to ride to the boarder argg. But we lucked out, it would open again as the French needed Christmas tourism money like anyone else, and we would take the last train to Paris before the Rail Lines were again closed during Christmas.
. Sitting in a Euro train normally had eight seats per car and you would face each other, sometimes crammed in side by side and this particular car was no exception.
I was seated across from some woman from Portugal who was intent on teaching me Portuguese, she was in her early 30s, with jet black straight hair, tight pants with her legs open allowing me a good tracking view, but I was tired.
I dont get it, I had just sat down, never saw the woman in my life and there she was insistent on teaching me Portuguese. Mind you this was crazy boring, coupled with my usual two or three day lack of sleep the last thing I remember saying was "lady I could care less" then lights off, I simply fell asleep hard.
My mind would dream of whatever odd things a mind thinks about, in this case total blackness.
I would awaken to someone kicking me on the back, I slowly opened my eyes not had Immediately realizing I was in not a room sleeping on a pillow or even on a bed, the strange pillow & bed would both be lacking, well comfort. Something was jabbing me in the Ear, and my arms were wrapped around what felt like leather, where the hell is the fabric and goose feathers? And the bed, there was no cushion, it was only cold, hard, and grooved.
My Eyes slowly opened and as I lifted my head slowly I looked down to see pair of Loafers as my pillow, that would explain the musty smell and leather taste, they were nicely coated with a small puddle of drool. I looked up at the wide eyed owner, dressed in a nice Armani suit was scared witless, his mouth was trying to stammer for words. I heard my travel partner Curt yelling "Holy shit I have never been so Embarrassed in my life" With a brief apology and compliment on how comfy his loafers were I simply replied to Curt "why would I care I will never see any of these people again" we would gather our bags and I would again thank the Terrified man for allowing me to sleep on his loafers. In retrospect I should have at least offered him a couple of dollars for a shoe shine to rid his shoes of my Drool Stain.
The Portuguese woman was no where to be found, endurably she would assume her unwilling student to not be worthy of her linguistic teachings.
Customs would prove interesting as French people have the strangest accents. “Wuut Brins you to Parus” she would ask.
“Wut” was my sharp witted reply.
A little frustrated with her poor English she would try again “Wut brins you to Parus” well at least it was not Chinese with the rolling Rs”
“Vacation” and she would stamp and off we would go. Silly question, why the hell would they ask us why we were in one of the biggest tourist destinations of the world?
We found our hotel right in Down Town paris, we would check in and then scavenge out on the city to see the famous sights, the Eiffel tower being our goal for this fine evening.
Curt was insistent on taking a picture of the massive structure when it was merely a pin prick in the night sky, "nonsense" I would tell him "lets make this worth our while and get a close shot". Which made even more sense considering his camera was simply a cheap throw away camera without any zoom capabilities beyond the manual zoom of walking closer.
We were a few miles away from the first time we tried to take a picture, as we walked closer about every half mile or so Curt would again stop & bring his camera up to get a picture, I found this absurd and told him"why it will be little more than a dot on your film" I would continue to tell the lunk head, you would understand if you saw his head. “
His reply "But what if they turn the lights out?" Now how silly could he possibly be, turning the lights out on one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world? nonsense was not going to happen and I said as much. He would look worried as we continued on, his brows wrinkled as he focused on the light slowly taking shape and gorwing larger. We finally were simply across the canal from the iconic figure, he would stop, raise the camera hi finger posed ready to take the shot of a lifetim, a mere few hundred yards away across the river she stood in all her Magnificence "there is your shot" I said as I pointed he lifted the Camera and as his finger rested upon the button the lights on the Tower would go out. We stood there in Amazement, wondering what had happened "What the F*#@&" he exclaimed!
I replied confident "Its only a power outage give it a minute" or two, three five, or ten, shit lights still not back on. Frustrated I would ask a passerby why the lights were out, "we turn the lights off at midnight to conserve energy" he proudly stated.
Well that was that, walking back and listening to curt stammer in my ear how he never should have listened to me, and my reply, "We have a few more night, IM sure you will get your shot" but no, he would not as the next nights would be foggy and visibility poor, eco tourism sucks.