Day 3..a kind of turning point for us..an unkind..underdog kinda day.
We were all set to see what you are seeing here..and we did..but w/ delay..
l'Arche De Triomphe..Les Champs Elysées..l'Opéra Garnier and Les Galeries Lafayette..that area..and we did..but with..du retard..
as I mentioned before..the second day..the Sunday..we had bought our metro tickets etc..
the metro rides had gone well..we got to sit on every ride....it was calm and quiet..
Monday morning we got to Metro at around 9 ish..
SO MANY PEOPLE.. standing room only and we take our spot ..standing...I can't explain the rush of people into the metro..until the doors cannot close anymore..you are literally at rush hour..way beyond comfort zone close to the next face beside you..I had Jacques..and another man facing us..
let me mention that the metro jerks..and at that moment you better hang on..to everything.
Then the rush when they get off..and head in different directions for different ..sorties..
I am not unfamiliar w/ metros..I used it continuously during my first semester at McGill University..and in following years when we went to hockey games..much easier to park and take the metro..
not 5 seconds off the metro..Jacques says:'Je me suis fait volé."
"I have been robbed.."
I knew who it was..but do you think you can see a shorter man than you in a crowd ..all rushing to work in several directions..that the newspaper you tried to push out of the way..his..is nowhere to be found?
That you are so incensed that he stole from your husband..you would run after him?
Desolately..we walked to the ticket office..and they said you must oppose ..
so we went back to our apartment and tried calling our bank..which was quite the feat.
Finally we reached someone..and told them that our Carte Bleue (Visa)..+ our debit card..and cash euros had been stolen..
If you can believe this ..2 debits had already taken place..of many euros.:(
not only that..the bank customer service man said :"and did you charge 600 euros yesterday w/ your carte bleue?"(Remember we still had our card at that time..) We said no..:( :(
So the day before..someone ..who knows how..was able to charge many euros to our account.While we still had our Visa with us.
The only purchase we made..? The metro tickets.
Thieves have very clever ways of thieving:(
My husband..like most travelers..kept money around his neck..but for that first morning he had kept the cards and money in his wallet in a deep Docker pant pocket with his hand in that pocket....one jerky movement..the metro..his other hand went up to grasp the bar..and there you have it.In a split second..someone who has been training to make pickpoteting his livelihood..exemplified..it can be mastered..Jacques NEVER felt a thing.
And that pocket is DEEP.
The point of my mentioning this..is that I don't want it to happen to you.
So.. we were in Paris.. w/ flooding..and drizzle.. and grey skies..and we had been robbed.
You don't sit in your room for the next 5 days..and feel invaded..you keep going..but with a different vision.
It was our first time experiencing such a thing.
You're not wide eyed and open to all the beauty as before..
There's a reserve that sets in..un mépris:(
Not of Paris..of people:(This can happen anywhere.
In fact ..I got to Sennelier with my dear friend Nancy..(more later)..
and the lovely man who helped us..told us it had happened to him..just up the street..and he is from here..
had we experienced the rush of the metro the day before..everything that was stolen would have been in my quadrupled zippered cross body purse,that is like a camera case.
Hard to describe.
The day before we left Paris..I related my story to a very well traveled friend...one of the most well traveled people I have ever "known"..and she said the same thing had happened to them in another country..
..believe it or not..it was like a warm hug..saying :"I get it..it happened to us.."~
..and we have friends who were broken into (their car) at the Vatican.
The Vatican!I mean if God can see you being..off track..it must be there..:)
Don't ever think it can never happen to you.
And so I put my big girl pants on ..and we continued the little itineraries..but that was a few hours shot.:(
And leaving us feeling like this.
L'Arche De Triomphe is stunning..I saw the one in NYC modeled after this one ..they are so regal in their presence..
let me tell you..that's where I knew I would have died on a vélib there.The traffic is monumental;)
That's when Di's words came back to me..Oh Mon..don't get on a bike:)
We continued on to Les Champs-Elysées..shoppers mecca.
It's a shopping street for mostly wealthy people I would say..or people who love to spend:)
I was looking at the store fronts etc..and hoping for a Monoprix;)
And I didn't buy a thing...because ..well someone else had my liquid euros..and the sting was still so fresh..I had no desire to buy.
Plus.. I don't want one designer thing.
Oh..maybe the Moulinex Toaster we had in our apt.I can't find here.
So..I didn't even buy a thing at Monoprix..
We know we are out of luck w/ the cash ..but we are hoping the fraud w/ the card will be taken care of..I say card..because the debits need addressing..as soon as we told our Visa ..they stopped that 600 euro payment.
Breathe in..breathe out.
what did we see after walking Rue Royale?
An angel and sunshine at last.
It must be something..
to be there..
I have never been to Harrod's so I cannot compare..but Galeries Lafayette..are le top of what I have ever seen.
Oh look a Cath Kidston area..nope..didn't even buy a small momento..
On the same floor as Cath Kidston..I think..there was an area for an aquarelliste..she was not at her station..I loved seeing her things..
And all of a sudden..the day was almost done..and we headed home..
oh that day we had a lunch at Minim's..the mini version of Maxim's.We were so hungry..first place we saw really..
Can't compare it to anything ..have not eaten in enough Paris restos to know..and Jacques and I are really not difficult..we eat at home all the time..so if we eat in a resto..it's because it's a must...and are grateful to have food in front of us.
I don't think they were expecting a full house as there seemed to be just one waiter and the bartender.
Huge croque-monsieur..we could not eat the whole thing..but I sure did drink my whole glass of white wine.
Do you know ..that in June..it is daylight in Paris until after 10PM?
Well it is:)
Bright! It was bright bright at 10PM.
Here..9 ish..it starts getting dark,and 9.30 PITCH black.
4 more entries in my Paris posts..and then we were home.
I am grateful to Jacques for having done research..drawn walking maps..having a wonderful sense of direction..and enjoying a day he spent with one of our dear friends.:)
By the way..I just want to talk about clothes for 2 minutes..
What does one wear in Paris?
How many blog posts have you seen from bloggers about this?
Well for one thing..I knew I would not need anything new..except walking shoes..I had been in Europe for 1 month and had loved my Croc ballerinas..but they are garden shoes now..
So I bought Keen shoes that look a bit like ballerinas..black.
You need a bit of a heel..flats like Tom's not good for the heel..we walked 5-6 hours every day..anyway..w/ my feet..I need a bit of a rubber heel..and arch support.
And still I had Band Aids.On My Feet.
I left with black cropped pants.. they end at the top of the foot..a black Cole Haan raincoat that fits in a pouch..(a great Costco buy)..adjusted fit and high high neck:)and a black shirt.
In my suitcase..I had a white cotton long sleeved tee type top ..3 black ones..another pair of crop pants..beige with black polka dots...
Footless black tights and a just below the knee skirt floral black and white.
You get the picture:)
All black ..white and beige.
Everything had to fit in a carry on..and I was not leaving my straightening iron here nor my blow dryer..if we had not been in mist and grey..I would not have had to wash my hair..but I did once..because of the humid feeling:)
travel art set..
stockingettes..or whatever they are called..and band aids...an umbrella.
I have dry hair and I wash it because I love the smell and feeling sparkley clean.
How did I feel in my clothes..? Totally blended right in..nothing said..Look at me.
Always safe with black..grey..etc..
You will see every kind of outfit there..
And there are so many tourists..in jeans and running shoes and sweatshirts.. (maybe they were not even all tourists)..that if you want to wear that..you can..it's not like you are being photographed for Vogue or want to be discovered:)
So blend in w/ basics..and black..or blend in tourist wise.
W/ the weather they were expecting..I needed the raincoat etc..not sure you would in July..
I didn't notice one particular fashion statement that stuck out..Except earphones and phones..and SELFIE sticks..
Selfie Sticks seem to be THE accessory.
The youth..I saw no tendency.
Everybody was different.
So don't panic..check the weather forecast and pack what you are most comfortable in.
Just make sure you leave your money and cards inside your clothes..so that someone would have to undress you to get to it..
plus it makes impulse shopping impossible.
You have to eat though..so do keep some in a safe place..outside your person.
PS..the day before we returned home..Max said at the dinner table w/ his family..:"Nana and grandad come home tomorrow"
Oli said:"No Max grandad is in jail".
Caroline had told the boys that some bad men stole our money..in Oli's little mind..the visual..incorporated Jacques in jail..because of the bad men.