Airport Follies

photo, dancing paris plage, sunday Dancing in downtown Paris on Sunday.

Beached At Gare du Nord

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 23. July:–  Between the TV–weather news and my skepticism, yesterday turned out to be pretty much as predicted although the grey morning had me a bit worried. Then the clouds separated and let some blue shine through, and I packed myself off for a test–drive of Paris–Plage. A couple of other Parisians got the same idea. That was, the few that didn't leave town in one big blast of the last big departures.

Two Out of Three

It just goes to show that the weather can play good when it wants to. Now that the city is nearly deserted except for the millions of visitors, the weather can be carefree. It can even be frivolous – like trying mightily to stay above 20 degrees in July. I know, I know, we had our July times in April so there is little to aspire to here in summer. But, come on, July! Get with it. I'm on my knees. Need I whine?

Tonight's TV–weather news interrupted my dish washing and then my phone interrupted my race to my watching and listening post. It was Uncle Den–Den phoning to say his Internet phone was working. I answered on my Internet phone – that has been working for a whole two days, ever since Josef turned up the volume from zero.

photo, sign, paris plages

So I might have missed some of the weather details. Roughly, here is what we are supposed to expect – first a 60 kph breeze whizzing up the Channel and the usual waves of crumminess washing over here, add up to a day of mediocre skies, maybe even semi–wet ones. The temperature might be 23 degrees.

The Channel wind on Wednesday is supposed to gain 10 kph, and this may blow semi–clear skies our way. I expect to see some sun around here and will be out wallowing in the 24 predicted degrees. But Thursday looks dubious, possibly cloudy, with a temperature of 25 degrees forecast. My guess is that Friday will be somewhat sunny, if the next rotten wave isn't too close behind the one passing through tomorrow.

Avid weather fans can taste the following weather forecast or recipe from beyond the Atlantic, from the well–known amateur of exotic pigs, Météo Jim, with yet another philosophic prediction like the ones we used to have in the rarified times of our lives.

iHog In Deep Clover

This week saw the return of the prodigal iHog from the lush gardens of France. When asked why he had returned, he complained that the French were going to make him work. Since groundhogs and iHogs are not known for any kind of productive employment, he complained that the phrase une marmotte dans chaque marmitte, especially among the Server Lady's Guard Cats, was becoming more and more popular.

photo, popular paris plage Paris–Plage in all its glory.

The iHog also complained that a few years ago, a book entitled Bonjour Paresse was quite popular and was one of the reasons that he was attracted to France. In addition, in 1880, Paul Lafargue published a similar book Le Droit à la Paresse in which he argued that a Frenchman should work no more than 3 hours a day and devote the rest of the day to "lazing about and feasting." In addition, he moaned, the word travailler comes from a Latin word tripalium which was an instrument that was sometimes used to torture people and maybe iHogs as well.

When pressed further about his stretch iFiat 500, the iHog became extremely morose and said it wasn't about to happen and started to cry. Upon hearing of the iHog's return, Mrs. Météo Jim immediately rushed out and sprayed the garden and flowers with stinky groundhog repellant.

As for the iWeather, the weekend saw temperatures in the upper 70s – low 80s a–grad thanks to a cold front. But the front stalled over the Atlantic and turned the winds around to blow from the northeast. Today is cool – 73 a–grad – and rainy. Tomorrow will see sun, clouds and warmer weather. This trend will continue until the weekend when the 3 H's – Hazy, Hot & Humid – will grace Saturday and Sunday.

A la prochaine , Météo Jim

Café Life

To Dublin In the Morning

This is what happened on Friday. Max and I got up at 06:30 and were out the door by 7:40. When we got on the RER at Denfert at first it didn't go. They announced that there was an incident at a station near the airport, near Roissy. Then we inched forward, to Port Royal, Luxembourg, inch, inch, until Châtelet–Les Halles where they announced that it would go no further than Gare du Nord.

photo, free water, fountain, paris plageWater, some of it to drink.

By then it was too late to switch to the Air France buses at Montparnasse or Porte Mayo. At Gare du Nord, with another stranded traveller in tow, we sought a taxi but there were none and many passengers were waiting. Then we crossed over to the station's far other side for a bus, where another distressed crowd was in the street. After a long time a big PC bus picked us up and drove directly to CDG. The driver had to ask where the terminal was – there's a new one, called Roissypole, just for buses.

From there we took the shuttle train to Terminal 1. At 10:10 we arrived at what seemed to be the Aer Lingus check–in, to be told it was closed, 30 minutes before the flight time. It took until 10:40 to find an Aer Lingus office at CDG Terminal 1, and there was a line at it – including others abandoned by the RER, and passengers trying to get to Bangkok. Thirty minutes later the flight we missed was still on the ground. Then they quit pretending they were holding it for us, and rebooked Max on a later flight.

Most of this time we were standing in the RER, in the bus, in lines, running around the terminal to all the wrong places we were sent to. wouldn't send my worst enemy to Terminal 1 at CDG. It was a total zoo. The whole thing looked like a riot at the cheap holiday desk of Air Kazoo. I got back to Montparnasse about 15:30. I should have just kept going to the new Terminal 3 and taken a flight to New York.


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