Travel: A Mexican Girl in Paris (Part Deux)

It was early morning when I finally opened my eyes after a good 10 hours of sound sleep, yet still feeling some weariness lingering around. I wanted to sleep some more but I saw the guys were up and almost ready to walk out the door. The three amigos were planning on taking a train to Luxembourg that same day, so they didn’t have much time to enjoy Paris, let alone to sit around and wait for me. Mr. Brazil wasn’t in such a hurry since he had some time before meeting his dance crew, and luckily he didn’t mind keeping me company until then.
The first thing on my to-do list for the day was finding a place to stay that would suit both me and my budget, now that I would find myself all on my own. I had decided by this point that I would spend the whole week in Paris. It was the city I was the most excited to visit, I mean, sure I was gladly looking forward to visiting Rome, Venice, London, but Paris was special to me. I had dreamed about Paris my whole life like none other, I felt some strange connection to it, like it was calling my name; and now that I was actually there, I wanted to take my time soaking it all in.
I had gotten a list of hostels from some tourist information booth, and after finding a pay-phone, I started making calls hoping to find the right place after just a couple of calls. However, every time I dialed a number, I only got “fully booked”, “no beds available” or “sold out” as responses. I was starting to worry, the guys were leaving, I couldn’t afford our current hotel, and my options were narrowing down to zero. Mr. Brazil also started getting concerned with my situation, he didn’t want to leave me alone on the street with no place to go, so he offered to walk around with me asking at different hotels until we found a suitable place for me.
We walked for quite a while and stopped at many places without any luck. We were both getting increasingly worried and discouraged when we finally found this little place, an independently owned tiny hotel that almost felt more like a B&B, except they didn’t serve breakfast. It was owned and operated by a married couple with the funniest accents. They weren’t French, they were immigrants from I-don’t-remember-where that had been living in France for years; after working in the tourism industry for ages, they had picked up a little bit of like 7 different languages and when they spoke you couldn’t figure out which of those accents was coming thru. They were very friendly and inviting, and though it was more than I had planned to spend, it was pretty much my only choice so I took up a room.
Mr. Brazil really ended up being a God-send that day, not only did he walk with me until we found a place, but he also went back with me to our previous hotel to pick up my backpack and even carried it all the way to my new accommodations. Once he made sure I was settled safe and sound there, he wished me luck on my travels and left. I never saw him again, and unfortunately I don’t even remember his name. His kindness though will never be forgotten.
Even though I wasn’t thrilled about having to spend $45 Euros/night when I had planned to spend an average of $20 to $25 Euros/night on hostels, I was glad to have a room to myself. It was an average sized bedroom by American standards, which meant it was huge for Europe. It had wood flooring, a charming armoire and a comfortable double bed with a night stand on each side. Of course, I didn’t have a bathroom of my own, which it’s normal in Europe, most “low-cost” accommodations offered shared bathrooms; usually that means there’s a bathroom on each floor, with at least a couple of showers and toilettes, but this place had only one bathroom for the whole building, which granted wasn’t very big. Luckily this little bathroom, with only one tiny shower and one toilette and small sink, was located on my floor near my room. Incidentally, that was the best part of all, I was on the 4th floor, which was the top floor of the small building. Though I didn’t have a balcony, the room did have a window and I loved standing by it at the end of a long day of sightseeing. Even today, if I closed my eyes and let my mind wander back to those memories, I can still feel the cool summer breeze brushing against my skin as my eyes glanced over the Parisian blue rooftops of Le Marais.
After I was settled in, I went out to explore some more, but by 3pm I realized my plan to beat jet-lag wasn’t working quite as I expected. I was dead tired again, and I didn’t get very far before I had to turn around and go back to my hotel. I needed a nap desperately, but little did I know I would actually end up sleeping until the next day…that’s jet-lag for ya.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Leave a Reply