From the top of the tourist bus, I shot my last photo in Paris and said good-bye to the Beatles, Bob Marley, the Eiffel Tower, Mona Lisa and Le Chat Noir in the tourist stand souvenirs by the River Seine. A quote credited to Bob Marley says: “Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” I thought it rained in Paris continually, but it fell only enough for us to feel it this time and not get wet. Jim and I felt Paris with all our senses, plus our aching feet and backs. Still, we fell into the bed and woke in the morning hardly believing that we were in Paris!!
We arrived on the train at Montparnasse train station around mid-day on a Sunday and checked into our wonderful hotel, more about that later. Then, we walked and walked. Our excitement carried us with adrenaline surging. Dragging back uphill at the end of the day, we were reminded that we were not as young as the energetic couple who did a whirlwind tour of Paris years ago.
It was a difficult decision to plunk out the money for the hop-on, hop-off bus instead of taking a regular bus or metro, but it was totally worth it, plus we paid just a few extra euros for a wonderful boat ride. It wasn’t a Disney bus with recorded voices saying, “Keep your hands inside at all times. Stay seated with buckles fastened.” Nope. People stood on top of the bus, leaning for the best camera shot while the bus was moving, turning and lurching. Tourists boarded the bus when all seats were taken and stood on top of the bus in the aisle. No worries. Where are the chickens and sheep for a third-world bus ride? What comes next? Still it was fun, and you know I didn’t stand for the best photos! Surely not!
All went smoothly until we were slowly approaching the Arch of Triumph in an advancing parade of traffic like the French army. Patiently waiting for the movement of the platoon, I noticed the bus was inching forward toward a big tow truck. What was the bus driver doing down there? Slam!!! The tow truck driver flew out of his vehicle in a rage with his neon yellow pants flashing in a bee-line toward our bus driver. Stinging words buzzed non-stop in a loud voice, like nothing you would hear on the Disney monorail in two languages. Tourists gathered to take pictures of the accident. Of course, what else would tourists do?
A television crew was filming a young man on the street outside a sports equipment store. Leaving the scene of the accident, we rushed to join this action. I took the young man’s picture thinking he might be a sports star. When the interview was over, I asked the news lady who the young man was. She said he was just a random person, and they asked for his viewpoint. I don’t know why she didn’t interview me; I’m a random person who survived a bus crash.
We saw a handsome man signing autographs just three tables away from us in Tours at Place Plumereau, but we still don’t know who he is because I wasn’t assertive.
This time I was bold and discovered an average, ordinary person. Maybe he is wondering about my famous identity.
Get your copy of “A French Opportunity” in paperback or Kindle and read about a similar incident between a taxi driver and a truck driver that happened when I was on a solo trip to France. Just click here to read more and order.
People, famous and ordinary, are attracted to Paris, and simply mentioning Paris fills the imagination with grand expectation. I asked Jim when we were stopped by the vendor’s stand with the photos of notable visitors to Paris, “When do you think we can return to France?” He answered, “When you can arrange it, I will be ready.” Now, that’s what I call an agreeable, fabulously famous husband!
Where are the pictures of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the café life? We experienced too much for only one blog. More will follow with pictures, some of them not taken from the top of the bus. Thank you very much for coming around to see us.