When Taking a Taxi in Paris Saves Your Marriage Bigtime
TOO LATE FOR THE TRAIN TO TAKE YOU HOME
Ahhh, the evening has been crisp, cool, lively and we strolled for hours. Then we found a darling Bistro that wasn’t expensive and had been in that same location since 1902. Belle Époque? No, later. Anyway, it’s a lovely and romantic evening and we’re starving. Afterwards, we stroll a bit more and there – just in front of you is the RER entrance (way below – in the sewers of the city), almost exactly where you are standing! (How lucky can we get?) as it’s only been a short walk down the tiny street and voilà! This means that we will get to Gare du Nord where our ever-present “Enghien Train” is waiting for us – always. EXCEPT TONIGHT!! We can hear the whirring sound as I hobble up the steps as fast as I can possibly go, my husband virtually lifting me by tangling my elbow into his – and as I reach that last step, huffing like a steam engine – – – it’s GONE – and – it’s the LAST train!! The very last. You look to see if there might be any other possible way you could get close, to your home, to your BED, and you see the board turn over the times….. Yes, 4:00 in the morning!!! The train to Enghien, not till 5. It’s 11:30pm now on a Wednesday and you are so screwed.
So, you look around and see quite a few couples sitting there – untouched by this “no trains pheonoma “ and think ahhhhhh amour – it is lovely is it not? They have each other close by, tight, with lovely smells of each other and it just doesn’t matter to them. Not in the least. I love my husband, but I am at the age where my body dictates to me that the BED is the next thing you want after a full day of walking, and a lovely romantic dinner with vin – it is just time to get in your car and go home!!! But alas, we have no car, and will not have one, ever, here and – it’s trains or nothing to get you from point A to point B. Just like that. Your body dictates, “Your day is done.” I do not want to sit in the wee hours of the morning smelling my husband in the train station. I want to go home. Now. David knows this, but we ‘re on a budget here and the next budget step would be a BUS. A bus from Gare du Nord to Enghien-les-bains. We’re talking a bus that makes at least 30 stops just from one town to the next……not to mention the next 5 (FIVE) towns the driver would have to go through. Oh, !! SO what to DO? We do not take a bus, that is for sure.
We go out the front of Gare du Nord and find a taxi stand. “To Enghien?” he says. We say, “Yes, to Enghien!” “It is 40 euros” he says in almost perfect English. Oh – I just walk away wanting to just go far far far away – from the sound of that and the thought of that. David calls me back and he says “He’ll do it for 30”!
I’m thinking, “hmmm, I’ve always wanted to see what it would be like to go to from Paris’ North train station (Gare du Nord) to Enghien-les-Bains – it could be interesting”…….(not very)…..so we, out of a weak, tired, searching for sleep moment, DO IT. Oh, Marti, Marti!! DO not think about what this day has cost…..because you will not be in a good mood the rest of the night. You have learned something extremely important tonight, I say to myself. And that is, that if you go to a movie, and then have dinner, like most French people do (late) – you will have to carry schedules with you at all times so you know when you must LEAVE the restaurant to catch the metro, or RER to get your very last train back home and not spend a fortune taking a taxi!!!
That being said, the taxi driver was most interesting, spoke English, slammed the “suburbs” of Paris cause “people don’t walk there and drive everywhere” (which, for sure, hurts his business) and extolled the virtues of his wonderful Paris, although he, himself, is Lebanese. Such a talkative feller. He might have (almost) been worth the 40 EUROS it cost us to go home last night. Almost.
We got out of the taxi in the cold darkness, smack in front of the apartment, which was a luxury, in the wee hours of the morning. We had to laugh and forget the cost. This time.
“The cool crisp white sheets felt mighty fine……..she got to her bed just in time to fall fast asleep….and dream a little dream of never ever missing the Last Train to Enghien again.” TRAIN SCHEDULES GIRL!!!