What popped into your head when you read that?
For me, I instantly think of romance, the Eiffel Tower and the TV theme tune to ‘Allo Allo’.
Paris has been on my bucket list for quite sometime now, so marking my 25th birthday with a four day trip to the French capital seemed a match made in heaven. But I left Paris with mixed feelings.
Don’t get me wrong. I had some great moments, like photographing the Eiffel tower for some eight hours. But there were three moments which will live with me when I reminisce about my time in Paris. And a couple of them happened on the first night…
1. Lost in Translation
Okay, I’m a little at fault for this first one. I accidently booked a hotel room 100 metres away from a sex shop (no really you’ve got to believe me I didn’t know! Nothing was said on the Tripadvisor reviews!).
Walking back late on my first day and a rather pretty brunette in knee-high boots said something in French to me.
Swoon. I went weak in the knees. I garbled ‘sorry I don’t speak French’ whilst wiping the drool from my mouth. She searched for the words in English. What came out totally caught me off guard.
I give you a blowjob.
‘Did she… wait what?’ I thought to myself. Well, I was wearing my nice blazer at the time so I was looking my best, she might be a little forward than I’m used to but… and then it dawned on me – she was a lady of the night, if you catch my drift.
It was my turn to stumble for the words, but instead of my native tongue, I found French. ‘Non merci Madame!’ I blurted out and ran into the nearest shop. I had been useless at using the little French I had learned up to that point. Where the hell did that come from? I still don’t know.
2. Madness on the Metro
The second awkward moment took place just before my encounter with Paris’ finest night-life. I was riding the metro, for the first time, back to my hotel when the guy sitting across from me started muttering something in French. Shifting furiously in his seat, I tried not to make eye contact with him.
I had a cheeky look up after a while to see him with his trousers around his ankles. Wait, it gets worse.
He got up, started shouting more stuff in French. Next, he was banging the windows of the subway car, still with his trousers around his ankles. Luckily my stop was next, so I slide past him and out whilst thinking ‘I’m never using the metro again!’ But I had bought a pack of ten tickets so I had nine remaining… I did get to use the nine remaining tickets without any further episodes fortunately.
3. Toilet Troubles
Fast forward a couple of days and without incident. So it was probably time for something else bad to happen… I had a little trouble in the public toilets in Paris.
Not in a George Michael way. The toilet was outside the Centre Georges Pompidou in the Beaubourg area. Anyone who has been there will know it’s quite a busy place. Not only because the modern art museum is awesome, but you can use it’s wi-fi for free from outside the spectacular building (top tip!).
I stepped into the toilet and pressed the close door button. Standard procedure. The door slide half way then opened again. This happened about eight times. Finally thinking I got the hang of it, the door closed. Finally. I was starting to do the ‘I need the toilet’ jig.
I unbuttoned when suddenly the toilet lifted up and went into the wall and started cleaning itself! At first I was thinking ‘cool!’, I thought these only existed in Japan. But my feeling of amazement was short lived.
The door started to open! I quickly buttoned up when the loudest siren started to shriek! The person queueing outside had her head in her hands as I ran away with a red face. Although it makes me feel slightly better that I’m not the only one to have trouble in a Paris toilet.
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What do you instantly associate with Paris? Have you used a Paris public toilet successfully? Have you had any moments which took the shine off your trip to the French capital? Tell me in the comments section below!