I have been thinking about my blog and my lack of posts and feel compelled to write and tell you all about my latest Parisian adventure. I was excited to take out my once constant companion that is my notebook out from it’s recent home in my bedside table and start to put pen to paper once more.
Last Thursday, I was filled with such excitement and anticipation about returning to Paris to celebrate P’s birthday and the completion of his apartment renovation. As a “Thank You” for letting me stay rent free, I offered to do the catering along with another friend who, only the night before, was catering an intimate dinner at one of the embassies in the French capital.
This excitement did not last, the reason? Über.
So why did Über cause me so much pain? I thought I’d leave myself plenty of time to get to the airport so that I could get caffeined up ready for my day of shopping and cooking. After 20 minutes of being messed around, I decided to start walking to the bus stop. The problem? I live very close to Heathrow Airport and a fare from my house is anywhere between £5-£7, drivers accept the fare and then they find out the destination and are not happy. I receive a phone call that goes something like this:
Driver: “I’m going to be x [insert random number between 10 and 20] minutes”
Me: “But the app says that you are 3 minutes away”
Driver: “Oh yes, but I need to prepare the car”
Me: “Surely you are ready if you accepted the fare?”
Driver: “Something undistinguishable”
Me: “So are you coming?”
Dropped call followed by a message “Mohammed has had to cancel the trip”.
I repeated the above cycle for 20 minutes before deciding to walk to the bus stop whilst replaying the above conversation with a number of drivers. In the end I take the bus which, with hindsight, is what I should have done in the first place. My heart is racing as I jump off the bus, up the lift and run across the concourse to hear the verbal equivalent of a port cullis descending before my very eyes; “your flight has just closed Madam”. There is no way I am getting through these iron railings, no way I will get to Orly for 10am, no way I will get to meet L so that we can do our party shopping. I brace myself and head for the rebooking desk wondering just how much this little mishap is going to cost me.
Hubby’s words are ringing in my ears after a similar incident only the week before. “It’s a race to the bottom”, “Why would you bother for £5?”. Now I know exactly what he means.
So, I call and let L know only what has happened, only for him to warn me to take the train from the airport into Paris as the Parisian Über drivers have blocked the roads in protest against a new law that is about to be passed. Just when will this nightmare end???