Sunday, September 16, 2012

A wheelchair in Paris

After 2 fun-filled weeks, I hopped on the Eurostar to get some respite in Paris. We had a moment of panic when the check-in man informed me that they already had 4 wheelchairs on board (I wondered if those chairs contained people) and that is a lot. Four wheelchairs is a lot???? Mate, I've just been to the Paralympics. Four is just the line for coffee...on a slow day!
After we established that I was traveling on that train (ok 'we' was probably 'me'), I sat back and let the French chic wash over me. And by 'French chic', I mean red wine.
When I arrived, it was pouring with rain. Paris was a sad, dreary, wet city. The people looked like wet poodles, and the poodles looked like.... Damn, I've run out of similes. Anyway, it was cold. I stood in the taxi line for 45 minutes, and then 10 minutes later, I was at my nice, comfortable hotel. I booked a hotel in the Invalides area, largely for the comedy value of the name. Get it, me as an invalid?? Ironical! Yeah, the French don't get it. I'm the only one that laughs each time I give directions to my home.
Speaking of les Invalides (heheh), up until today, I thought I had the only wheelchair in Paris. However, sitting in this cafe, in the last hour, 3 people have wheeled past me. They must also appreciate the free entry to the museums (not to mention the invitation to skip the long lines). Honestly, I turned up to Musee d'Orsay to see millions of people in line. I joined the queue, and there was a round of
'non Madame' from the guards. Suddenly I was ushered in the side entrance and welcomed like I owned the place. In order to prolong this feeling of superstardom, I kept popping out in order to pop back in in such a spectacular fashion.
But what Paris gives, Paris also takes away.... For a little while. Feeling very special and VIP-like, I left the museum to wheel home. On one of the roads, I had to bounce off the footpath past construction. I bounced down, wheeled for about 4 minutes, then found there was no way up. I was trapped on the road at the exit of a busy tunnel that ran under the Seine. What to do, what to do?
Well, I sat there like un Invalides for a bit... And a police car drove past at that moment. Next thing I know, the tunnel was blocked by the police car, traffic was stopped, and I was escorted across the road. Superstardom!
That's all for now, but next we speak, remind me to tell you about my first ever roller coaster ride at Eurodisney.
Cheers, L

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