We had 18 good hours here so far. We’ve been here for 26 hours, and eight of those ‘good’ hours, we were sleeping (and the other ten were drinking). The 18 good ones stretched from last night before dinner, until this morning–well, it was actually almost noon–when we arrived at Notre Dame.
Dinner last night was good–we managed to order, the food wasn’t terrible (it wasn’t good, either, but it was edible with lots of mustard added), and we returned to the apartment and sat by the open windows and drank wine. It was nice. Then my husband bounded out of bed this morning to go to the boulangerie to get bread for breakfast, as he’d been fantasizing about living in this manner for months now. He brought me back a pain au chocolat, which was amazing, and even set the table for us for breakfast. He’s really enthusaistic.
We then had a nice little stroll down to Notre Dame–a 15 minute walk from our apartment. This is where the nice day ended, and our trip regained it’s awful, me crying in the street atmosphere. You see, whilst the husband dreamed about sitting in parks, drinking wine, and letting time pass, I (of course) dreamed of DOING things and SEEING things. The only thing I saw at Notre Dame was the line. If by some miracle, I some day arrive at the gates of heaven, and the line is that long, well, I’ll be spending my eternity elsewhere, thank you very much.
It was at this point that I had my second nervous breakdown. Ok, actually, it was right after this when I discovered–upon getting ready to flee the overcrowded area–that the restrooms were CLOSED. I cannot exist in a country that, when given a courtyard of maybe three hundred thousand tourists, closes its ONLY restroom. No wonder Paris smells like piss; oh yeah, that’s NOT a false stereotype.
Anyway–back to my nervous breakdown. I can’t really say it any more ways, and so this will be the last post about it (which means it may be the last post entirely, as I don’t see this getting any better), but, basically, I am so utterly distraught that I planned this and looked forward to this and spent THOUSANDS of dollars on this, and I hate it here. I think I can honestly say that. I hate it here. I have no desire to stand in a four block long line in the hot sun whilst having to pee and call that a vacation.
After running from the sweaty masses at Notre Dame (which I only took two pictures of), we decided to walk down to the Louvre, mainly because today is Tuesday and the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays. We thought it would be nice to see the gardens on a day when the crowds are gone (because there’s no way I’m going there any other time), but we misjudged the distance (I think all tourist maps are purposly distorted to make things seem closer together than they are) and by the time we reached a point where we could see the gardens, we were exhausted and starving (it was around 3:00 by this point) so we took the metro back to our apartment, where we had another expensive but incredibly mediocre meal (I thought food here was supposed to be good. Where’s that damn animated rat when you need him?)
The one bright note in all of today was that the metro was very efficient and easy to use–it maybe took us ten minutes to get from the Louvre to our apartment, and that included a transfer. Which would be great, if I ever planned to go anywhere within this godforsaken city ever again, other than directly to the train station in two weeks to get the hell home.
I am just…so…sad. I thought this was what I wanted to do with my life. I thought I wanted to see the world. But, apparently, the world sucks. It is hot, and crowded, and loud, and there’s nowhere to pee. So really, my extreme state of distress isn’t even about this trip. It is really about who I am. I thought I could do this. I thought I’d love doing this. I thought I’d be traveling all my life. Clearly I was wrong.