06/24 Paris, France

24 Jun 1985, Posted by Scott An Chora in Travelogue, No Comments.

06/24 Paris, France


It was a relief to be back on a dry train.  When we reached Paris we found it almost impossible to find ourselves a friendly word from the locals.  It was like the Parisians were trained at youth to be rude to foreigners.  Their rudeness came so easily it must have been a mandatory subject in their schools.  I located a tourist office and asked in the tourist office for directions.  The employee looked straight through me as if I wasn’t there.  When she finally acknowledged that I was standing in front of her and in need assistances, she shrugged her shoulders and repeated something in French to rub in the fact that I didn’t know what she was saying.  I stood to the side and while I attempted to read the train board I overhead that same young lady having a casual conversation in English to a friend.  Rude.  I purchased an international paper and reviewed the continent’s weather forecast, seeking sun.  Scandinavia here we come.

We spent the rest of the day wandering Paris’s streets, absorbing the atmosphere and gathering up the ingredients for our train ride into Denmark.  We claimed ourselves a comfortable compartment and settled in for the long haul.  A young lady peeked in from the corridor “May I sit with you gentlemen?” She asked.  With a beer in one hand and my usual quest for a smile, I began asking her questions.  She didn’t seem to mind talking but it was evident after a period of time that she had a problem with accepting food or beverages from others, perhaps she had a bad experience or had been warned.  She was sporting a second class rail pass and had been chased out by the conductor a couple of times but always managed to find her way back to us.  Late that night an American gentleman I assumed to be in his mid-thirties quietly grabbed the corner seat of our compartment.  He didn’t say very much and kept to himself.

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    Usually behind a cup of coffee waiting for the world around me to wake up I entered today’s thoughts about yesterday’s activities into my travel journal. I’m not a writer, so I’ll apologize in advance if I jump around or seem confused. These are just the thoughts of a young man who left his possessions behind and who believes that getting lost is how one finds oneself.

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