Wednesday May 12
Hostel sleeping at St. Christopher’s is quite luxurious because of the curtain surrounding the bed. If not for the thump, ching, thump, bang of the lockers opening and closing all morning by other hostelers I could sleep all day. Well… then there’s the cleaning staff. Today is the day the cleaning staff gets angry at me and Redmond for being lazy and sleeping past 10am. We didn’t go to bed until 3, but this African-French woman doesn’t know that and it’s apparent in the way she flips the mattress on the bed above me and rams the mop into the sides of the lockers that she is a little annoyed that we haven’t gotten our asses out of bed.
She pretty much wakes us up and we figure that we did as much as we could in terms of sleep, but we are both still exhausted. What to do? I had certainly had it with museums at this point and she wasn’t looking forward to going to any, so we agreed on going to the shopping district over by the Pompideau and just checking it out. A few days before on my way to the Pompideau I happened upon-this means I got lost and found- a shopping mall underneath the ground. It’s hard to explain how I did this besides I just started walking down some stairs thinking that all stairs that go down always lead to a metro. Apparently this is actually true, but the metro was about five or six flights of stairs down beneath this shopping center.
Redmond and I find an H&M and a wide variety of other Parisian stores that have exactly the same style of clothes as H&M. I am in love with all of the stores and want to buy something, but #1 have absolutely no idea what my size is in Paris and #2 everything is ridiculously overpriced because it’s in Paris. Instead we become master window shoppers and drive by hangar stalkers. It is mostly fun except for that the style of shopping is very different there. Large groups of friends hang out in the middle of stores and talk like they are coffee shops and it gets a little annoying trying to get around them.
We remember around 5pm that we are meeting Lee at 7 and need to take a nap before this happens. Shite. Okay… but we’ve also got to get ice cream before this happens too. So we grab some ice cream and head down the extra flights of stairs to the station and “omg, this thing is so f’ng huge, it’s like some kind of airport.”
We are on our way to train #2, or #4, or… who the hell knows, but we’re on our way to a train and we see signs for getting there, but it seems we never may. We got up escalators and up escalators and then onto one of those moving platform escalators, then we walk. We walk and walk and then go down some stairs. “Are we almost there? Did we take the right turn?” Then we walk more and another platform escalator. Approximately a mile and a half later (this is not an over exaggeration, I swear) we make it to the train platform. I realize that people here are certainly not thin because of their food, it’s because they have to walk everywhere, even their metros are a workout. I feel we could have almost walked to our hostel in the amount of time it took us just to get to the train.
We make it to the hostel right after 6, which means not much time for a nap, but we both need naps or we will be completely faded by about 9. I pass out almost immediately but Redmond decides she has to e-mail her mom before rest. I put my earplugs in and forget to set an alarm and at 7:20 I wake up confused and delusional. I think I am in my bed at home and am looking for the light, but it’s on because the sun is on. The sun is still bright and shy outside and will be for another 2.5 hrs. Yes, that’s right, it stays light till almost 10 in Paris.
I get downstairs and Lee and Redmond seem to be doing okay sitting in a chair. I’m so glad she got up and I am feeling really irresponsible. Oh well… he seems happy and we make him wait longer for us to go and freshen up. We are definitely girls that like to make men wait.
Time to leave and we head to Montmartre and do a tour of the same thing we did last night except for that it’s earlier and we get to do a tour of the inside of the Sacre-Couer. I am happy that I get to see it again and with a lot less people since it’s almost closing time. More photos of the city, more photos of the lights, the city is turning beautiful again.
We head to the area where we had pizza the night before in search of more good pizza and end up at a really sub par pizza place, though I’m not sure how. This is how it is in Paris, things are always hit or miss. We should have just gone to the same place as the night before, but in our attempt to try something new we find something really just okay. It’s okay though, things will be okay soon.
After the meal we head down Montmartre to the seedy red light district and walk the Boulevard. It’s okay to walk the Boulevard here because there don’t seem to be any street walkers since everyone is inside dancing at a club. The lights are gorgeous and it feels like Las Vegas, except for that every light says, “Sexy Show” “Good Time” “Cum inside.”
In between all of the clubs are fancy restaurants that well dressed couples are dining at. Then as we pass a club a woman invites us in and says, “You only live once, it’s time for a show,” and winks. We all laugh and walk on looking for a bar. I decide we should just go to the club that the pub crawl ended on a few days ago since it’s nearby and a lot of fun. Lee and Redmond just want to go inside, so
Once we are inside it is time to drink. First we decide to share a bottle of red wine in the bar area and after two glasses I am still not sure that I feel anything and so after order a gin and tonic. We move to the club area and we are still not drunk enough to dance.
Absinthe!” says Redmond. “I want to drink Absinthe!” Lee and I decide that perhaps yes this is a good idea and head to the bar to buy some. I look at my watch and it is 11. I think, “oh no… this could either end up really really great or really really badly.” We all do the round of shots and watch some Spaniard dance and laugh. After approximately ten minutes has passed we all decide it’s time for another round. We head to the bar and order another round of Absinthe, except this time the tender puts in sugar and lights them on fire. “Pretty.” We are like children taking our first look around in the world. We are stunned while in the meantime our drinks are flaming away. The tender gives us straws to drink them with, we stick them in and suck them up as quickly as we can. I think it’s quickly at least until I realize my straw and my thumb have started on fire a little. I quickly blow them out. We are good. We are all ready to dance, except for now we realize that the we should probably leave soon because the metro closes early on the weekdays.
Damn, we were all really about to dance. Luckily the hostel has a bar and a club. We get back and this is when we meet Phoenix and Adrian. Phoenix and Adrian are one of the most beautiful black couples I have ever seen. Phoenix is 5’7, svelt, dressed in fitted jeans and a snug red blouse with a ___ hat tipped to the side. Adrian is 6’3, muscular, bald, and looks like he just exited an Abercrombie ad. I find out that they are from Orange County, CA. “Oh… that explains it.”
“What? What?” says Adrian.
“The look, the attitude, the everything,” I say.
“Whatever,” he scoffs. “You guys want some drinks?” Of course we want some drinks, who doesn’t when they’re on vacation? He orders up Jaeger Bombs for us all. We all talk and dance up in the bar, the same old thing.
“Why are you here? Where are you going next?”
“Study abroad, holiday, traveling for a year. Nice, Madrid, Cinque Terre, Barcelona for the World Cup.”
“What? Hold it right there. The world cup!” Okay, I don’t much watch soccer, but I am extremely jealous that the couple is going to the World Cup.
“Omg! A couple, you thought we were together?” says Adrian. “Why I would I buy you drinks if we were together?”
“I don’t know, just thought you were being super nice.”
He nods his head. “Girl, you’ve got issues.” I don’t disagree, but I am just confused now. “Let’s go dance.”
We all head downstairs, I am officially more drunk than I’ve been all European vacation. All I want to do is dance, but the last thing my feet want to do is dance, so instead I roam and talk to random people. “Who are you? What is your name?”
Adrian buys another round of drinks. I look at the time and it’s now 1:30. “Oooh… I should stop, I don’t want to feel like crap in the morning.” Only thing is that I already know I’m going to feel like crap in the morning from everything I’ve already had to drink, so… I drink some more!
Phoenix is flying around the room and every time I talk to her I attempt to figure out why she has this soft almost European accent because it doesn’t make any sense. She is from California and currently lives in Tokyo, so where is this coming from? I don’t ask, I just wonder and steal her hat. Her hat is perfect, I would take it, but for some reason she wants it back. I think… I should buy a chapeau, it suits me better than my hair does. This begins the search for something that may never come.
At 3am another drink, a shot of gin this time. I am trying to at least not drink outside of what I’ve already had at this point, though I honestly don’t know where the last hour and a half goes.
“Redmond! Where’d the last hour and a half go?” I also don’t remember seeing Redmond for the last hour and a half and she smiles and says she doesn’t know while her body tips to the side a little and she smiles.
“Want another drink?” She says as she makes her way back over to the bar.
“No, no, no, no, no.” I mutter this just to remind myself that I cannot have another drink at 3am because it would be my ruin, but she and Lee go ahead and have another shot.
Suddenly it is 5am and the lights are coming on and we are saying our goodbyes.
“Nice to meet you!”
“No, nice to meet you.”
“Have a great rest of your trip.”
“Yes, yes! And you!” Everything is well wishes and smiles.
“Seriously? You’re actually going to bed right now?” Asks Adrian and Phoenix. Glamour couple/siblings look like they are still going to stay awake.
“I however am not going to be peer pressured into staying up beyond this time because it’s 5am and I know the sun is going to rise soon. I make it a point to go to bed in the dark.
“Goodnight.” Kiss on the cheek, kiss on the cheek. Oh, how very French we are. Redmond and I make it to our room.
“Damn, we are going to feel like shit in the morning aren’t we?” I say to her.
“Yeah.” I get my stuff to get ready for bed and head to the bathroom. Redmond says she’s going to meet me there, but never shows. I find her passed out in her bed with her clothes still on. It was a night to remember that I don’t seem to really recall.
Wednesday May 12