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Sun, 29 Jun 2003
Germany - Finding our Paris Hotel
While finding a reserved hotel may be a small step for some trips, it turned out to be quite an adventure for Megan and I in Paris....

I took French for 2 years in highschool, so I know un peu de Francais. Shortly after I moved out of Wileystr., Megan and I went to Paris. We took an overnight train from Munich and arrived in Paris early on a Sunday morning. I had planned ahead and reserved a cheap hotel. Unfortunately, while I had the name and phone number with me, I had forgotten to bring the address with me. Since I had the phone number, I could just call and ask how to get there, right? I didn't have a French telephone card, but the train station had phones that took credit cards, so I was able to call the hotel. There was no answer, but I figured that was because it was only 7:30am or so. The French don't seem to be "morning people." I tried again around 8:10, and they picked up. I asked, "Parlez-vous Anglais?" The lady on the other end said, "Non." Grr! Trying my best, I stammered, "Je parle seulement un peu de Francais. Je voudrais.... aller.. la Hotel Ticquetonne." The lady responded in French, and I have no idea what she said. I tried a different question, "Je vais a la Metro. Quelle Metro?" This time I caught "Marcel" in the response. I asked, "Marcel?" to confirm. She said "Oui" and hung up. Well, I guess it was time to find a metro stop named "Marcel."

Megan and I went to the metro, bought day passes, and looked on the map. I found "Saint Marcel" and we took the metro there. We got there and took the stairs to the surface. The hotel wasn't in sight, so I picked a direction to walk and started looking for it. I was hoping that it would be somewhere near the stop. After walking all over, we still had not found the hotel, and we were in pretty bad moods. We were tired of lugging all our stuff around, Megan was mad at me for not knowing the address, and I was mad at her for not helping any. Megan took French for 4 years in highschool, so she's better than I am. We tried calling the hotel again, but first we had to get a phone card. After lots of walking, we found a tabac that sold Megan a telephone card. We went to a payphone and Megan took her turn at trying to speak French and get the location. The phone call seemed to be pretty frustrating for her, but she managed to get "Teon Marcel" before they hung up on her. We had no idea what that meant. Megan's guidebook had some information phone numbers that we tried to call for help, but we got nowhere. We took a hard look at the metro map, and I discovered that there were multiple stops with "marcel" in the name. There was one named "Etienne Marcel," which is pretty close to what she heard. We got back on the metro and went to that stop.

There was a map at that stop, and one of the streets was named Ticquetonne. We didn't know for sure if that was the location of the hotel, but it was a pretty good bet. We started walking in what turned out to be the wrong direction, but after we figured that out, it turned out that the hotel was on Rue de Ticquetonne right by the metro stop. Yes, finally! The receptionist spoke English, so that was one last hurdle we didn't have to jump.
Next:Vacation 2 - Leaving Paris (Mon, 30 Jun 2003)
Previous:Vacation 2 - Megan and I in Germany (Sat, 28 Jun 2003)

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