I made it to Paris! My luggage, however, was not so lucky and did not make the connection in Charlotte. The 40 minute connection that I had to run for. Quelle suprise my luggage never made it on my flight, there was no way it could have being two terminals away and with that short a time window. A US Airways representative at CDG, disregarding my obvious panic, said simply, “Ah, yes, your bag is in Charlotte.” Bon, mais I am in Paris, not Charlotte. “It will be on the next flight to Paris.” Promising! I planned for this exact scenario, so all the important things are in my carry-on. Except my shampoo…hmm. “It will be delivered by noon tomorrow.” That’s not so bad, right? I can buy shampoo somewhere. I’ve missed French pharmacies anyway!
Noon came and went. “Before the end of the day.” Okay, well I’m not going to sit inside all day waiting around (although I was writing).”Between 8-9pm.” The rain had finally stopped, and I had yet to see the Eiffel Tower. Walked six miles through Saint-Germain-des-Prés and back. 9pm. No bag. “Within one hour.” 10pm. I Skype Jamal in a moment of crisis, he calls US Airways, escalates to a supervisor (“Hello sir, I see you’re calling about your daughter’s luggage?” DAUGHTER, YOU GUYS). And then! Magique! My luggage! My luggage being brought up the street, I clutched it in my hands, vowing to never let go, Jack, I’ll never let go, and I schlep it up, up, up four winding flights of uneven stairs, thus ensuring I burned off the nutella crepe I inhaled earlier. I have never been so happy to see my shampoo and pants in my life. Pants!
Donc, bien sûr my luggage was delayed. Et bien sûr it rained for most of the last two days. But if I focused on that, you wouldn’t get to hear about how I went to a boulangerie at 7am and bought a fresh, warm croissant for €1, and successfully completed the entire transaction en Français. Or how I met the incredibly sweet and funny Christine for un café gourmand and then crazily made her check my mattress for bed bugs (long story). Or how she even offered to lend me clothes if my luggage was any more delayed! Or how the sun stays out until 9pm. Or how, as I approached the Eiffel Tower for the first time I gasped like a silly American tourist. Or, perhaps most importantly, how fascinating and trippy it is to watch “Friends” dubbed in French, though at the same time excellent practice since I know all the (English) dialogue by heart.
So yes. Paris so far isn’t half bad.
PS. I miss Jamal.