Let me just say that last night ended in a spectacular evening with new friends over wine and then Kealoha and I emerging from the subway to find the Eiffel Tower in lights behind us. I'm saying that straight up here so that you know this blog has a happy ending.
I like to take things personally, mostly because I'm extremely self-centered. So I've taken these random Paris train changes as an attack against me SPECIFICALLY. (I've never claimed to be rational.)
I think I'm having so much trouble with getting around here because I feel like there's this intricate rule book that I can't figure out, nor do they want me to. For example, Kealoha and I went back into Paris to meet friends for drinks. We were going to have a light dinner first so we left around 4:30. It's a short 20 minute train ride to the center or Paris from our hotel in Versailles. OR SO THE GUIDEBOOKS SAY. You know what? GUIDEBOOKS LIE.
First we had to walk 20 minutes to the station, which took a half hour. Then we waited in this massive line for a half hour to buy tickets. Then we waited on the train for another 20 minutes or so until it left. So maybe we wouldn't have a LEISURELY dinner, but that was okay. The train stopped at every stop and waited for about five minutes, so while the actual time to Paris was 20 minutes, it took about an hour. THEN the train stopped. We waited along with two other couples. A pubescent conductor came upstairs and said "this is the last stop. Time to get off."
"But we still have three stops til Norte Dame!" Kealoha said in disbelief.
"It is because of The Beaver. Just follow the bananas." The conductor pointed to yellow footprints on the ground. WTF? I felt like I suddenly stepped into a Eugene Ionesco play. Someone was about to fill the station with chairs and not tell me what the fuck was going on.
We followed the bananas, got on a random bus, waited and then finally the bus took off and drove for a while then dropped us off somewhere. Our twenty minute trip took two and a half hours. Then we couldn't find the place where we were meeting our friends.
We stood in this touristy area surrounded by neon lights and gigantic pictures of clams with people all around us and I just started crying. Kealoha, I have to say, took care of us. He found us a place to eat, listened to me bitch, got more directions from our friends and a half hour later, we met four wonderful people that we've chatted with online and through blogs and tweets. (To give you an idea of these people, their screen names were: Frog, The Muffin Man, and Cutest Midget--even though she's not a midget at all. She's totally my height.)
We told them our tale of woe and they nodded and Katia (who runs a cool food blog and had a podcast for 6 years) said "Ohhhh...it's because of The Beaver."
I blinked, wondering if I was to blame for this. "What KIND of Beaver, exactly?" I didn't want to point to, you know, my own, ehm, beaver...but I was really confused.
Then she explained about the tunnel under Paris and they need to repair it or it could bust wide open and they call it The Beaver construction or something because beavers build dams. I thought BEAVERS were hairy with big teeth and ate things. (I'm talking REAL beavers here, people.)
After that, it was all glossy streets and twinkling lights and wine and comments like "You do yoga, don't you, Tanya?" to which I responded: "No. I just wear yoga PANTS."
Our friends walked us to the right station and we made it back to our hotel after walking down cobbled Parisian streets and being serenaded by happy drunks.
A strange night. A beautiful night. Fucking beavers.