What's in my head

This is the home of your average girl in her early 30s making her way in the big city...Not really. I have thoughts. Now I have somewhere to put them.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Paris Day 5 (aka scary story and the crazy weather)

Saturday, Oct. 22

Today was the day I'd been waiting for, I'd decided to go - all by myself - to Giverny to visit Claude Monet's House and Gardens. This trip involved taking the metro to the train, the train to Vernon (45 minutes away from Paris), and a bus to Giverny. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, with me, nothing is simple. I got to the train station at 10 a.m., the next train to Vernon wasn't until noon. This gave me time to wonder things like: Maybe it wasn't open this late in the year, I mean it is gardens and it is the end of October. And I don't want to spend all that time and 25 euros to go there if it's closed. (Plus, I was still sick and much worse). My solution? Wander the neighbourhood around the train station looking for a place with internet so I could find out for sure. I began my hunt for a hotel, because someone there could tell me where to find the internet.

This is when my scariest Paris moment happened. It wasn't that scary, but it was my scariest. I'm within sight of the hotel door when a man approaches me and starts talking to me, in French (duh!) and I'm not quite sure what he wants but I get the impression he's hitting on me. "Je ne comprends pas," I respond (maybe it wouldn't worked better if I'd said it in ENGLISH). This doesn't deter him. He tells me his name, asks mine (still in French) and reaches for my arm. The whole time I'd still been walking so as he reaches I open the hotel door and am safe. He keeps walking along the street. The experience was made scarier by the fact that I was in a not that touristy part of town with narrow streets and not a lot is open at 10 a.m. on a Saturday in Paris. (A girl on my tour has a much better scary story - she was propositioned at a phone booth across the street from our hotel in the ghetto 'burbs. He did offer 100 euros so at least he didn't think she was a cheap hooker...)

(Hmmm, that took a while to tell) To make a long story short: the hotel guy told me the closest internet place was 'sketchy' (he didn't say that, but it's what he meant), I went there anyway but it was closed. Decided to go to Giverny and hope for the best, bought three pain au chocolat to eat during the day (so yummy and the only reasonably priced item I purchased in Paris), waited for my train, took the train (not the picturesque journey I was hoping for, but now I've seen some of France's industrial neighbourhoods), got to Vernon, got on the bus and arrived at Monet's house and garden - the highlight of my trip. Here are some pics and a weather play by play.

beautiful and sunny

starting to cloud over

Following this it beings to lightly rain and then pour, which I take as my cue to tour the house. It continues to pour so I browse the gift shop and right after I purchase my post cards it stops. I venture back out into the garden to take more photos.

after the downpour

The warmest, sunniest it has been my whole trip.

About five photos after this the digital card was full so there are no pics of Vernon, but if there were they would show it began to rain again (surprise, surprise). Back in Paris, just after I'd exited the train station it starts to pour harder than I've seen in a really long time. I have an umbrella, but in just two minutes I am soaked. Luckily I wore dress pants that day and they're polyester, which dries almost immediately (yeah for synthetic fabrics). After seeking refuge in a kind of promenade mall it stops raining just 20 minutes later. I hate Parisian weather.

I ate at McDonalds (hadn't done that since I saw "Supersize Me" 13 months ago, but was running low on cash and sick making me want comfort food), visited a grocery store where I resisted the urge to buy coloured toliet paper and headed back to the hotel for the last time.


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