The ONE Thing You Should NOT Do When Traveling ( I did it )

May 22, 2014

Day 5- Paris

We were left wanting more of Paris, to spend the night awake roaming its streets but it was not an option. The hotel was miles away. There were no metro stations nearby and a cab ride would cost about thirty euros, one way.

With nothing to do, we settled on exploring all the drinks the hotel bar could prepare which turned into a great way to get to know one another. We knew each others' names but we were still shy and didn’t know more than two things about each other. Nothing like a few cocktails to get someone to tell you their life story.

The drinks kept coming and the hunger began to grumble. This presented a bigger problem than expected. We were in an unknown town and it was passed 11 pm. All restaurants nearby were closed and we had no transportation, much less any sense of direction. If we did happen to have any, that fourth vodka and cranberry juice had obliterated it.

In our semi-inebriated and full hunger state, Mark and I agreed to commit the cardinal sin of traveling: we decided to go to McDonald’s -the only place nearby we remembered on our bus ride back.

Everybody wanted hot French fries but nobody wanted to walk the mile and a half. It was only Mark, me and another girl. We were sickened with the choice we had succumbed to because of our late night munchies. But it was the only place opened this late. It was either this or a hangover. This was about survival.

Lost, tipsy and delirious with hunger, it felt as if we walked forever through a quiet and apparently desolated neighborhood. There was no sign of activity except for the busy local pub. We could have asked any of the people there for directions but that would be too embarrassing. Lost tourists looking for McDonald’s? Never.

Eventually we found it and the staff didn’t let us in. It seemed like the restaurant area was closed but we were allowed to order from the drive-through. At least that’s what we gathered by all the hand gestures.

We felt like idiots ordering on foot, trying to comprehend the fast speaking French person through the intercom. Four years of French classes, all to travel to France and order three large fries. Not my proudest moment. Quelle honte!

However, the look of the McDonald’s lady as she handed a bag full of large sized fries to three vagabond tourists was pretty priceless. No language is needed when the French judge you.

On the walk back we shoved the salty hot pommes frites in our mouths and what we experienced was a type of masochism that couldn’t be blamed on anybody but ourselves. It can never be taken back or not enjoyed. They were divine.

And for that enjoyment I apologize to all my fellow travelers. Mea culpa. Je suis desolée.

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