I see London. I see France.

Every London trip comes with  day trip to Paris. It’s like batteries were included. I have a lot of things to say about Paris and my time there. One story sticks out more than others.

I’d say it was about eleven in the morning. I used to eat lunch at eleven every day in college. It was the only half hour I could guarantee would be free in my day for lunch. Eleven is an early lunch time, unless you woke up at five thirty and have only had an apple and a coffee around six-ish. Then, eleven is this magical hour at which your stomach decides to eat itself.

Only, there are some moments in your life when you hit this hour like a sledgehammer against concrete. You spent the most of the dark hours of the morning on a train going from London to Paris, and then just before your energy took a complete nosedive, you spent another hour at a museum that was nice. Museums are nice. Parisian museums are a little chintzy on selling food, though. By the time you slug yourself to Notre Dame, you can’t even enjoy yelling, “SANCTUARY!” Well, arguably I didn’t enjoy that because no one got the reference (Hunchback of Notre Dame). In fact, I was laying down prime French Kiss quotes that entire day, which no one got. So upsetting.

Anyway, you find yourself standing outside of this beautiful cathedral in this sort of courtyard. Everything was tan and cobbled. Everything smelled like piss. Cat urine to be specific. I know probably still have this romantic notion of Paris being the city of lovers. There’s no need to hold onto that idea anymore. You can set that one down anywhere. Paris has this amazing talent of smelling like piss the moment it even seems like it might rain. But Paris is in Europe so it’s not just a general scent of piss. The smell varies by district from human to canine to feline. So, you’re breathing in the faintly foul air and everyone but two in the group has made the decision that we’re going to go to the Eiffel Tower before anyone stops to eat. Like you just jaunt by the Eiffel Tower in thirty minutes. Maybe I’m that fat kid, but all I wanted was lunch. As did Haley, who was standing next to me, watching the tourists wander around the outside and find their way into the cathedral.

“There’s a Subway over there,” Haley said angrily, outlining the injustice of the situation, because honestly. Getting a sub and eating it takes less time than it takes to buy a ticket and ride the elevator up to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I looked around, mostly because I hadn’t seen a Subway and thought maybe she was hallucinating like seeing a mirage in the desert. But, wouldn’t you know, off in the distance, barely visible between two leaf covered branches.

“You spotted that Subway from 500 feet away,” I told her with all of the awe and respect that I usually hold for Haley.

We ate after the Eiffel Tower and the shady state fair crepe place but before the Arc de Triumph and Moulin Rouge, and we ate at McDonald’s where this really angry French man works. Seriously, he is why Americans hate the French. Such a bastard.

But it’s okay. The second time I went to Paris, I had this awesome time. Haley probably still has resentment towards me because I was the navigator which was a huge reason why we never made it to the Louvre. We did however get lost in this amazing mausoleum cemetery which was actually interesting.

C’est la vie.

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