Fezzik In Paris

Two Americans, three cats, and too many places named "de Gaulle"

Yesterday felt like a sort of karmic retribution, albeit for some unknown transgression; having started off with forgetting my phone (and though I wound up retrieving it, I subsequently forgot its slipcase), it progressed through needlessly standing in line at the Centre de réception des étrangeres for an hour as I waited to retrieve my updated carte de sejour, and it ended with a hike to the Alliance francaise amidst pouring rain.

I found myself in the middle of the most noteworthy occurrence as I travelled from work to the CRE; aboard a line I’ve never ridden before (the M2, for the curious), we very suddenly braked and came to a complete stop in the tunnel between two stations. Weird braking on a métro line is not, in and of itself, an odd occurrence, though this was certainly the most aggressive braking I had ever experienced on a train; I’m obviously not well-versed in the technical aspects of the trains (particularly with the spread of rolling stock across the system), but I could have sworn that the (tire-equipped; the M2 is not a steel-wheeled line) were pulsing in a manner akin to that of an ABS system when it engages in an automobile.

A train sitting in the middle of a tunnel isn’t particularly unusual either, and unfortunately the ten minutes that rolled past before contacting the Purrito to request that she check the line’s status on the RATP site (one doesn’t get a data signal in the tunnels, but it’s rare not to be able to send and receive texts) weren’t particularly abnormal either.

Lights going out: not particularly abnormal. Next stop sign board going dark: hadn’t previously witnessed it, but only a few of the metro lines have them. Lights, board, and air handling system going out, and two of the doors on the tunnel-wall side popping open: now we’re in unfamiliar territory, confirmed by the brief, if audible freak-out, of a couple of people in my general vicinity.

After the lights came back on, the conductor came into the train, armed with what was apparently a manual override key, and secured the open doors. Asked what the deal was while closing the second door, she apparently provided a non-answer, given the exasperated reaction from the group posing the question. After a few more minutes of uncertainty, the train began moving again, and we proceeded to the next stop with everything apparently back to normal.

I suppose that the train was having an off-day as well.

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