After dumping off our last projects, MK and I both hurried to our respective homes, grabbed random bits of clothing, shoved them into backpacks, and then hustled our way to the train station. I even skipped getting a coffee because it was so hectic. We did manage to make the train (but barely), and then spent the first half hour or so going through our backpacks and discovering what, exactly, we had managed to bring. So far, we were short on underwear, had one tube of toothpaste but no toothbrushes, no nice shoes, and no deodorant. Neither of us had remembered nice shoes. We had one charger cord between the two of us and five pairs of socks. We also both had an identical pair of pants, because for some odd reason we shop at the same stores (and it was a one-size-fits-all thing that actually fits all). So we spent the rest of our trip figuring out our game plan to address these difficulties.
By the time we actually reached Dublin and got on the bus to head to the airport, we were playing a game where we listed everyone Disney song we knew, including singing a few bars. The airport gave us the chance to grab some toothbrushes and what appeared to aerosolized deodorant. We figured we could share that and all would be well. We also got coffee, but were unaware that we should have smuggled it on the plane, so they made us slam it and toss it before we got on board. There weren’t than many people in the plane, so we were able to spread out and sleep in our own rows.
Now, a lot of people complain about cheap airlines like Ryan Air but if you’re someone that flies enough to know how to do it without checking a bag (or, you know, actually packs their grab bag the night before, and not on the train), and you don’t mind things like little plastic bumps between the seats interrupting your sleeping chances, it’s not bad at all. I’m not sure I’d agree to the same travel plan in twenty years, but I’m still partly made out of rubber, so I’ll deal.
It wasn’t a long flight, but we snoozed through most of it. We had a little bit of confusion about buying our bus tickets (fighting with a kiosk isn’t the best way to slip back into using a language you’re somewhat rusty with), but eventually we got our tickets and got up in the bus. Here our little in-flight nap did me more ill than good. The bus ride to Paris from Beauvais Tille Airport was about an hour and a quarter, and most everyone else fell asleep, except for me. I was wide awake, so I got to watch the countryside move by and the orange glow of the Parisian lights slowly grow larger until we were finally at Porte Maillot, from which we somehow managed to work the métro through to our hostel.
The métro can be slightly disorienting because by the time you finally find your way out, you could be two blocks away from where you thought you came out, as the entrances and exits are at the most remote corners of the station, rather than at the four corners of a street crossing as in San Francisco. The particular one we emerged at was thankfully covered by a huge plaza and a fountain, so it was easier for us to wind around and look for the hostel, which was down a side street.
We checked in, slipped into our room, and kicked off our shoes, doing our best not to wake the other two girls, who were already asleep. We promised each other we would actually pay attention to our alarms so we would get going at a reasonable hour the next morning, and then we slept.