After that fabtabulous ride on the Eurostar with the male model, things went a little downhill getting out of Paris.
It took about two hours to get out of the underground parking garage at the train station. First, the car was dented so I had to go back up to the rental desk and document that. Then when I got to the gate, the machine would not spit out a ticket or lift the gate for us to get out. I was pretty fired up and got into a screaming match (in French, you should have heard me) with the attendant on the speaker. This was my first fight in another language and the girls were cracked up. But this is what they do in Paris, yell at each other all the time. I was fitting in like a local. If you think Parisians are just rude to foreigners, think again. They are actually ruder to each other.
Oh and it gets worse. There is a ring road around Paris, not too easy to get to, but once on it, just like any highway back home. I just needed to get onto that road, circle the city and then on my way toward Switzerland. When I got to that road however, the section I needed to get on was closed. So I went to the next “Porte” or place to enter the road. I was at the north end of Paris and needed to get all the way across to the south end. There are no highways that cut across Paris. Just this ring road that goes around it. Paris is like a rat maze and the cars in it are like maniacal rats playing chicken. The motorcyclists add to the havoc, cutting in and out of traffic as if they have a death wish.
I’d never driven in Paris before. I had no map. Porte after Porte was closed and it felt as if I were in a balloon trying to punch my way out. The only thing I wanted more than a nav system at this point was this car:
Looks like something you’d get in a basket from a fairy godmother doesn’t it?
I did have a Google map printed from home that took us from that highway to Switzerland. Once we got out of Paris, I realized Spanky is the most amazing nav person ever. There were so many turns on the way there as we took some back roads at the French Alps part, but we never missed a turn. She is better than a nav system and way less irritating.
I’ll tell you more about some other special skills I discovered about the girls on this trip over the next few days. Right now I’ve got to go dig out a thorn that has been in my finger since the first day of the trip (I touched a rose bush).