Wednesday, 4 November 2009

J's Visit Part 1: Discovering le Noctilien

After all the changes to my flight details for coming home from Berlin, I could have missed my plane by forgetting which flight I was, in the end, supposed to be on. Luckily I remembered to check in the morning and realised that my last day in Germany would be shorter than I expected, but that was OK. In northern Europe in November, 5 days is about the ideal length for a holiday. So I got back to Paris safe and sound, ready to prepare for the arrival of my friend J late on Thursday night.

J's plane didn't get in until nearly 11, but under normal circumstances there would have been plenty of time for her to get the RER out to Perfectville. Unfortunately, a train got derailed on the RER B from the airport and she was put on a bus. She didn't know exactly where it was going and I didn't know exactly how she could get to my house from wherever it was. I did some frantic searching on the internet and she made some frantic use of her A-level French and I decided I needed to go and meet her in central Paris so that we could figure out how to get home. Unfortunately, he frantic research also showed that I needed to get on the RER into town in precisely 8 minutes, so I grabbed some suitable clothes for standing at bus stops on a cold October night and ran as fast as I could to catch the train, discovering on the way that I am no longer fit enough for extremely fast running.

Many crazy text messages later, we managed to meet up at the Gare St Lazare in time to catch the night bus home. This was my first time taking it, so I had no idea what it would be like and was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a nice coach with comfortable seats and a conductor/bouncer as well as a driver. Knowing that we could get safely home at any time of night, we were set up for a good weekend!

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