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Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Pt.6 A Morning in Paris
Pt.6 A Morning in Paris Day 3 — Friday, August 21 Recap: The French adventure begins here. The Americans go to Paris When we last left our travelers, they had just settled into their hotel with a loaf of bread and a whole bottle of cheap French wine from the grocery store.
I woke up with the bells of Paris clanging in my head. A little too much cheap wine, Monseur? Things subsided a bit, but I think my system was still trying to get used to the Parisian water. It was a subdued morning.
Soon, there would be a demand for Hot Water, and Gary had not gotten a Power adaptor, so there would be no home-cooked hot water. I went down and talked to the desk, about borrowing a power adaptor, they sent me to the little priss-head concierge. Nose upturned, he informed me that for reasons of safety, the power adapteurs were not available. I went back to the room, and read through the hotel literature to find out how much they would bugger us for hot water. I came across a passage in the hotel promotional brochure that said that "for the convenience of our guests, we provide power adaptors". I called room service “I would like a power adaptor” “We don’t have any” Now, where had I heard that voice before? That’s right — the little concierge again!
I waited a decent interval, just in case they connected me to him again, and ordered hot water from the restaurant. They said that there was no need to pick it up; they would bring it to the room. . . . Oh, no! Timidly: “Combien? How much?” “There is no charge.” I couldn’t believe it. Water was delivered promptly. Don’t tell Joyce, but I gave him a tip — 5 francs. We breakfasted on fruit, leftover bread, which was still delightfully fresh, and tea.
A paper was delivered to our room, slid under the door. It is an international version of the New York Times, in English. The hotel targets its guests by their nationality. The news from home — Clinton had bombed two international targets, allegedly terrorist bases of operations. “Wag the Dog” is more like it — starting an international incident to distract the country from the presidential pecker scandal. I was rather hoping that we wouldn’t become hostages of some international terrorist group. Getting tied up and thrown into a cell like that could spoil your whole week. Also in the news, Northwest pilots were about to go on strike by the end of the month. A perfect ending for a vacation ordeal.
While Joyce was getting ready, I explored the free TV channels. The first thing on was Bonanza, dubbed into French. It still looked like Bonanza. I suppose they show it yet in the US, too. In the late ‘60s Miss Weyeneth my German teacher said that the number one show in Germany was Bonanza, dubbed into German. Maybe that’s what they see when they see Americans, as much as we see Hogan’s Heroes when we look at Germans. Pathetic that weakly-endowed people allow television to shape their thinking.
After that was a cooking show, they were merrily shredding and sizzling, just like Martha Stewart. Once we had decided where to go that day -- a number of cooking utensil stores in the neighborhood of Montmartre St., Joyce’s choice, I planned a course through the subways, starting at the Charles Michel metro station on Yellow 10, transferring at Odeon to the purple #4, then getting off at Ettienne Marcel, which would be right where we wanted to be.
On the way out, we found out at the desk, that the Nikko would cash traveler’s checks free of charge, and with the cool reception our traveler’s checks had so far received, we cashed some there.
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