IV: Unexpected Spanish Host Family (to Paris!)

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April 22nd 2010
Published: April 24th 2010
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Thursday, April 22

We woke earlier than usual to make sure we were packed and ready to go. We left our gifts and a home made card on the dining room table, expressing our thanks for their kindness. After an early lunch at El Corta Ingles with Payardo we headed to the airport. It was markedly less hectic than when we were there several days before, but the line for our flight's luggage drop off was still 30 minutes long despite the fact that the flight was more than two hours away! We said our good byes with Payardo and gave him a card we'd made for him. After almost a week of seeing him every day, I had come to appreciate his gentle nature and funny jokes (which Cyntia kindly translated).

We waited for the plane, but soon found out it was delayed. About a half hour. When our plane finally did arrive, we waited a long time to board and once we were on, we waited even longer before it seemed like we were going anywhere. The Captain told us then that the air traffic was heavy, so we were just waiting for our turn. Soon after that, we were taxiing to the runway. The Captain came on again and told us that there was a technical problem with the plane and that we were returning to the gate. All Cyntia and I could do was exchange a tired look--we were more than fed up with delays in getting home. The mechanics were called and after about 30 minutes, we were headed to the runway again. It was 6:30pm, the time when (normally) we would have just landed Paris.

After a two hour flight, we arrived at Paris Beauvais, were we bustled to the line to take the shuttle into Paris (because the airport is actually 70km outside the city). After a bus ride of about an hour, the bus dumped us in an area of town that I wasn't familiar with. We found the metro #1 in the dark, and it looked like we'd be able to get to the hostel in about 20 minutes. Of course, I should have known that nothing on this trip went according to plan, that there would be more surprises in store.

We took the #1 line to the connection with the #7 (which would take us directly to the hostel). We arrive at the station, and the train people tell us that they've just had to close the #7 line because of some accident. They tell us to take the #1 to the connection with the #5, because from there we can walk. So we get back on the #1, but as the train comes to the next stop the intercom says in French "We remind you that because of technical problems, the next stop will be the terminus for this train." By this moment, all Cyntia and I can do is laugh (perhaps with an hysterical edge) because we are convinced that we're cursed and will never make it back to Besancon.

I notice that we can take the #14 to connect with the #6 (which brings us to the stop that I intended to take us to with the #5), so we do that and then we finally reach the hostel at 11:45pm. In earlier, naive days when there weren't Indiana Jones-sized boulders rolling in front of our planned trajectories, we'd thought of visiting the Louvre that evening. However, with our plane two hours late, and a one hour metro fiasco, it was suddenly late, and we were suddenly very hungry. We checked into the hostel and found a cafe that was closing in a half hour. Cyntia ordered an Irish coffee and some pasta with tomato sauce, while I had a creme brulee and a kir. The bill? 30 EURO. Yep, that's how you know you're back in France. Because a midnight snack in France costs more than a delicious four course meal for three in Spain! Oh vey.


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