18 October 2009

Planes, Trains, and a $10 Pepsi

ACTUALLY, THE TITLE should read No Planes, Trains, and $10 Pepsi. For the first time since we have lived in France, my plans were directly affected by la grève -- this one involving the baggage handlers at Orly Airport in Paris. I was supposed to take an afternoon flight on Easy Jet Thursday afternoon, but after learning of the strike and confirming my flight was indeed canceled, I rushed to Antibes to catch the train. Kerri dropped me off at the station just in time to catch the 2:46pm train. 6 hours later I was at my hotel and 15 minutes after that I was sitting at Akash (my 'standard' Indian restaurant) ordering tikka masala.

So I got to Paris despite the strike and we actually had a fairly productive day of meetings on Friday. That evening a group of us decided to go for a quick drink at a local cafe near the Sorbonne (our meetings were at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand if you happen to know the area). Most of my colleagues ordered beer or wine, but I opted for a large Pepsi (needed some sugar). A couple friends joked that the Pepsi would be the most expensive thing on the bill. They were almost right. Take a good look at the glass on the right -- you can't see it but there is mark near the top that reads: 50cl. Well, those 50cl's cost me €7.90. The only thing that made me feel better was that the beer my colleagues ordered was a €8.50. Suckers!

Later that evening after a very good meal I checked my email to find that the strike at Orly was still on and that my flight for the next day was canceled as well. So I was stuck catching the train once again. I know that the train is a very civilized way to travel, but I'm the kind of person who only enjoys the train if I'm psychologically prepared for it. If I've planned for a 1 hour flight I'm not going to get excited about a 6 hours train ride. Luckily, I had the following two things in hand to make the trip a little easier.

Now all I have to do is find out how to get my money back from EasyJet.

1 comment :

Leesa said...

Stupid Strike!! I know what you mean!!!! I am taking easy jet to Pisa and back on Nov. 3/10! I HOPE that they are NO LONGER on strike then b/c I have already booked my hotels and I have to cancel a few days before in order not to be charged!!! I will be calling them this week, you can be sure!
Sorry about your cancelled flights and I'm glad you still made it up there and that you can get your ticket reimbursed and that they will pay for your train ticket, too... They should!!!!!!!