Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Now since this was my first trip apart from the usual trips to Pakistan, Dubai and back to Riyadh, I definitely cannot count myself as a ‘frequent traveller’. So you can imagine how tired I must’ve been after a 7 hr flight to Paris which may I add was delayed at the Frankfurt airport by another 3 hrs. In short what I really wanted to do was get to the hotel, kick off my shoes, eat a hearty meal and get in bed. But that wasn’t going to happen.
After we reached the metro closest to our hotel, we realised that with our luggage we had to walk another 20 minutes before we could reach the hotel. And, the worse part: we still had to find the hotel. Anyways, after our long relentless walk, we checked-in to the hotel, freshened up and decided to get some food. Now ofcourse that sounds like easy task, doesn’t it? Well it didn’t turn out to be one. We headed to the reception and asked the guy if he knew of any Arabic/Lebanese restaurant close by (yeah we decided to play it safe with a Middle Eastern cuisine in a European country so what!). Fortunately he said he knew of one where the food was really good and it was within the vicinity. He gave us directions and we started walking (again!). We walked and walked and walked and realised that the restaurant was a good 10-15 mins walk from the hotel. Our wonderful luck was when we reached the restaurant it was CLOSED! I started swearing ‘coz I couldn’t take it anymore. I mean for crying out loud, doesn’t the native idiot receptionist know that the restaurants close after lunch and open only in the evening!!! Why the hell did he send us here without the warning. Argh! By now both me and husband were famished and dog-tired, well atleast I was. We decided that we couldn’t turn back and decided to keep walking until we find a small eatery. After walking another 10-15 mins, lo behold we found MCDONALDS! You would never believe that our very first meal in the romantic streets of Paris was actually at MCDONALDS!!!!!!! Without giving it anymore thought we rushed inside and ordered whatever we could. I went to the counter and ordered combos well that’s what we are used to here in Riyadh right? But at counter when the lady said fries and coke separate, I was like ‘is she kidding me’. Moreover the price we paid for the individual burger, fries and coke was equivalent to the price of 5 combos here in Riyadh, or for that matter in Dubai or Pakistan! I mean it was unbelievable! Who would’ve thought after covering 1000s of miles we’d end up eating at Mcdonalds and paying such a price! Anyways the worst wasn’t over yet. We walked back to the hotel and changed into something warm. At this point I was ready to crash into bed, UNTIL my husband announced that he wants to go and explore the Arc De Triomphe. Do I really need to spell out how I felt like?! I think not. But what really made me hit the roof was when we got to the Arc De Triomphe, and my husband made me climb the 284 stairs of Arc De Triomphe!!!! Trust me when we got to the top for the first 15 minutes I couldn’t decide whether to divorce my husband or throw him off the roof. I mean the pain in my legs was unimaginable. I felt like someone had cut off my legs. Anyways after 15 minutes I had mercy on my husband who couldn’t stop feeling guilty and apologised several times. Then we posed and took several photographs, and after about an hour (where I sat at every opportunity I got and oh how funny and unfit I looked) we came down the stairs.
Trust me I DO NOT recommend for anyone who is as inactive as me to ever attempt walking so much on the 1st day. Least said I definitely will never forget my 1st day in Paris.