I have been in Paris for about half a day, and I have already had one major revelation.
I did not need to bring so much stuff. I packed excess items like 20 pairs of underwear and running shoes. Fool. Who am I kidding? I’m not running on this trip. And those shoes have to account for at least 1/4 of my bag’s weight. I also have a theory involving a team of elves working under the cloak of darkness with a wheelbarrow full of tiny bricks, but so far this is only speculation.
My bag is far heavier than I expected, something that was made clear to me on several occasions: First, when I was directed to the outsized baggage section of EasyJet. Which, I might add, is a bit unfair, making the people with the heaviest bags carry them the farthest distance. The experience of flying EasyJet is often punishment enough, I don’t need to be ostracized as well.
Second, I realized how heavy my bag was when I had to walk from baggage claim to the train station, which is like walking from London to Edinburgh. I felt like I was sinking further and further into the ground with each step I took, leaving a puddle of back sweat in my wake. I almost collapsed with joy when I finally reached the trains.
Third, I got on the train and my bag took up a whole seat by itself. It wouldn’t fit in the aisle, or between my feet, and I certainly wasn’t going to stand and keep it on my back. So when a gaggle of French schoolchildren boarded, I had to feign touristic ignorance and pretend that I didn’t know what was going on, nor had I noticed my bag taking up precious seat room. I think it worked.
But then, I successfully navigated to St. Christopher’s Inn, dumped my bags, and went for a walk around the neighbouring canal. The Eiffel Tower was visible in the distance, people were lounging around the water’s edge, and live music was playing. It was like being on a movie set, and I felt like I was on the backlot tour at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Until a ten-year-old boy walked by wearing a t-shirt that said ‘World’s Greatest Lover,’ and I remembered that I was really in Paris, which is so much better.
Tomorrow, I explore. I am also going to change outfits an average of three times a day, to make sure I use everything I brought. I don’t know about those running shoes, though. I wouldn’t want to push it.