We are 15 days ( and counting) away from reliable internet. With the limited access and my hatred of typing posts out on my tiny french iPhone, posts have been a little behind from either of us. I have been writing them down in a journal I have, so I would remember everything I wanted to say. So, I’ll start here.
June 3rd, 2014
We arrived yesterday at around 8:30am Paris time. It has been nuts. From selling my car, buying everything we needed to pack, getting the house rent ready, and the actual packing, we have been going a million miles a minute. We were fatigued to say the least. There was also this “minor” hiccup where Geep’s work accidentally didn’t buy me a ticket. They ended up buying it the night before, (thank god we tried to check-in online early), and they had to shell out a ton of extra cash to fix their mistake. This worked out in the end and we were lucky enough to even get to sit next to each other. It is mandatory that his work flys us business class for mobilization and I am SO glad for that. I am now ruined for life. In January, I have to fly back to work on nursing school stuffs and it will be cattle class! So painful after tasting the champagne of the airplane elite. *pause for long sigh* We were given lounge access where there was ample free food and drinks. The chairs we’re comfy, it was quiet, and I got to watch a businessman stuff as many free Milano cookies as possible into his suitcase while he thought no one was looking. By the way, it was about ten packs.
We were allowed to board the plane first and settle in before any of those cargo-class citizens could start complaining under their breathe about it ( I have been where you are! I understand your annoyance!). The seats were huge, well padded, and laid almost flat. Perfect for attempting to sleep through the ten hour ride. We were given a glass of champagne to celebrate take off and a small “comfort” bag. The Air France comfort kit contained a bag for your shoes, soft socks, a toothbrush, toothpaste, eye mask, lotion, and facial wipes. And hey, we got to keep the little bag, too. The Frenchman next to me promptly dawned the socks and passed out, so it was decently quiet in my little pod minus the occasional snore( le snore?).
Geep and I decided we would enjoy our five course dinner before taking medications to force us to sleep. (Note: Geep had already taken Ativan and was already riding the chill pony in the sky). The meal was impressive for a plane. We started with a amuse bouche of cracker sticks stuffed with weird cheese and walnuts. Next, a pre-appetizer of salmon, caviar, and dill crème. Then, a lobster appetizer with mango salsa, micro greens, and a small salad with pear. For the main meal, I choose the chicken curry with jasmine rice. And for dessert, three mini cakes of various favors and a small scoop of sorbet. Between all of this, there was also two additional champagnes consumed and a few little bread loafs. Oh my lord, we were stuffed. We had no problem passing out after eating and slept comfortably the rest of the way. That is the way to fly! I, however, fail to see me shelling out $9000 for an airplane ticket anytime soon, so I felt I had to enjoy it while lasted.
When we landed at CDG, we boarded the buses that would take us to the terminal and made record time through border control. Thank you business class, thank you. It would have been glorious to have ran through everything this quickly under normal circumstances, but we didn’t have to leave the airport until 3 hours from then. We were stuck. With 9 pcs of luggage, your move-about-the-city options were….. well…. limited. It was either stay at the airport or go to the apartment and wait outside on the sidewalk. The airport had food and bathrooms. It won, hands down. We took ownership of a bench and tried to convince ourselves to stay awake.
The people in the airport were fun to watch. They say Houston is diverse,but it really has nothing on CDG. People from Asia, Africa, South America, North America, etcetera were everywhere. There were a few we remember rather well due to their strangeness. A rather large African woman in a brightly colored dress was hurrying along when a sausage fell out of her dress. Yeah, you read that right. A sausage. Then, after picking it up quickly and continuing forward, another one hit the ground. Weird. There was also a large group of Chinese tourists covered in multiple fanny packs following a guide. A guided tour of CDG, seriously? At least we had free entertainment.
Finally, 1pm rolled around and we pack-muled our baggage down to the taxi lot. We needed a large ( for Paris) vehicle to tow our junk across the city. We ended up with a non-English speaking Frenchman with a sprinter van. The van smelled terrible and he was not captain pleasant, but he did get us to the flat on time.
We were greeted by the realtor managing our flat and an official inspector. In Paris, an official inspector does the initial walk through and makes a report. They later use that report upon move out to make sure everything is fair. This way, you are not wrongly charged for anything. Once inside the building, we took the elevator up and sat down on the couch. They were all buzzing around, writing things down, talking in french, and swarming like bees. Happy to just sit on the sofa, we gladly let them do as they pleased. Soon we were left in our new home, jet lagged and hungry. The bags had somehow migrated upstairs and were scattered about the room waiting to be unpacked, but It could wait. As much as we wanted to go lay down and le snore, we had to get on the metro and go to La Dèfense to get stupid bed sheets. I would have slept on the bed bare without problem, but Quartetemps had a chipotle. Hell yes. I don’t need lobster and amuse bouche, just let me have a chicken salad from chipotle.