Okay, here some of our stories to the pics… on tuesday evening I arrived at the airport Charles de Gaulle in time. No problem there. Then we went to get our trolleys which we had checked in. We looked up the belt where our luggage was supposed to arrive and waited. Three flights were delivered there and we saw the status ‚delivery in progress‘ for another flight and waited for ours. Suddenly below our flight we only saw ‚Delivery over‘ What the heck…. We waited some more but no more luggage arrived. Of course we started to get mad and were already thinking about how to manage the next morning since we couldn’t attend our meeting in jeans. When we concluded that our luggage wouldn’t arrive any more we started to walk towards the exit when we heard from someone nearby that our luggage had arrived at another belt. We walked over and under the flight from Singapore… voila – our trolleys… Of course we were mad that they hadn’t announced that but at the same time we were happy to have our trolleys.
We took a taxi and started to our hotel. On the exit from the highway we found some traffic and had to stop. Suddenly our driver asked us whether we understood any french and when we said ‚A petit peu‘ (which means a little bit) he explained something to us. What we understood was: there are people who – when cars have to stop at the highway due to high traffic come from outside, grab pags and suitcases out of the cars and then run away. Because of this our driver was on high alert and looking to the right side all the time to make sure nobody would rob our stuff. There was a fence dividing the highway from a ’normal‘ street nearby but it was torn down in several places…
Once we had arrived at the hotel we decided to walk around a little bit more since we had been sitting all day in the office and the plane. Near our office in Paris La Defense there is a big shopping mall and we entered there. To our big joy we found a supermarket which was open till 10 PM (which for european standards is highly unusual) so were able to buy some water since we went in shortly before they closed. Afterwards we found out that there are several cinemas and some restaurants in that part of the mall as well. Good to know since we always arrive late with the evening flights and I will be a lot in Paris in the months to come.
The next morning we met my swiss boss at a small bistro near the office and there something started what would become a pattern for the past days. Behind my boss another swiss colleague walked in who hadn’t seen my boss but he had seen us. I met german and swiss colleagues all over there must have been about 50 of us in Paris.
For once we finished early with work that day and met again at 6 to have a drink and then with my boss and my team collague Jan who had flown in that morning we took the commuter train to Paris. Sheesh, that was another experience. The commuter train was full and although we had to do only 3 stops this was bad. The boss of my boss is one head shorter than I am and he sort of disappeared among the crowd although he was standing close to me (was sort of kneeling down, looking around and yelling ‚Hey, are you still there?‘ ). We got off at Les Halles and walked around looking for a nice place to eat. We ended up in a small restaurant which was obviously ‚french‘ and we did like it. Was rather cheap, the wine was good, food was not excellent but edible and the next day nearly all of us had diarrhoe…
Next day was uneventfull. Except for the colleague who was in an ‚Aparthotel‘ close to our hotel and told us that instead of a bed he’d had a couch to sleep on. And since he didn’t have a hairdryer he could have ironed his hair… Worked till 5.30, took a taxi, lots of traffic, plane was late (i absolutely HATE it that there are no loos at the gate – if you need to go youhave to go through security again afterwards!) and I was finally at home at 10.30 PM….
Here are the pics with from the two days: