My train to Sevilla was to leave Paris at 8:00 p.m.  So I had the day to do some exploring and housekeeping before I left.  Down the street from my Hostel, I’d seen a laundry mat.  So I gathered up Bo and my clothes and headed there to was clothes,  Sorry no pictures – didn’t think I’d see anything interesting at the laundry mat. (Note:  If you are a photographer, or a people watcher – there is always something interesting to see)

Any way so I get there and it looks like a normal laundry mat,  Smaller than ours but washers and dryers.  I was glad to see the dryer, because I hadn’t see one since leaving the states.  The people of Europe, wash laundry at home and dry it either in the house or hanging outside.  With jeans that takes forever, and I need to wear these clothes.

Anyway,  I get there and of course all the signs are in french.  I didn’t study any of the french needed to function in the laudrymat.  So, I don’t see any place to insert the coins.  I go to what looks like a change machine to get coins for my 5 euros.  Slide it in – it comes out – turn it around, slide it in – it comes out,  flip it over – slide it in – it comes out,  OK, I don’t know where to put the coins anyway, so I go back to inspect the machine.  I feel on the top, near the bottom, inside  – WHERE do you  put the money? ? ?  

Finally an old man comes in to get his clothes, I hold out my hand with the money in it, hunch up my shoulders,  gesture, look pitiful and say in English “Where do you put the money?”   It worked – He started taking in French,  pointing , and telling me to put the clothes in the washer.  I hesitate because I just want to know where you put the money, but he keeps talking and pointing to the washer.  So I put the clothes in and he goes to the change machin, punches in the number of my washer and sticks in the 5 and it works.  The washer starts.  Soap,  I point to the detergent vending machine, he does the same thing – goes to the change machine get my soap, put it in the washer.  I say Merci, Merci (Thank You), he leaves and I sit and wait for clean clothes.  So, now I’ve done a real thing in Paris – Washed clothes so I head back the hostel to pack and check out.

In addition to seeing the Arc de Triompe and the Eiffel Tower up close – Which you have seen pictures and slideshows of for the past two post.  Today, I figured I focus on the foods I ate in Paris.  soooo  here are some shots.

I ate lunch on a cafe both days that I was there.  This second day, I sat outside like the locals and just enjoyed the view. 

I found a cafe down the one of the eight avenues from the Arc de Triompe.  As I strolled down the Champs de Elysses I came across Obligado.  After checking out the menu, I took a table outside.

I ordered  Croque Monsieur, which is basically a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.  Though different from the American version.  The cheese is on top and much thicker than our single Kraft cheese slice.

I chose a simple Coca Cola as a beverage, that came in a traditional bottle.  I sat outside and enjoyed my meal and watched the people walking by in the middle of a normal day.

As the day ended, I head back to the hostel to gather Percy and Bo, and leave for the train station to catch my train to Sevilla.  So after gathering my stuff , I asked at the desk just to make sure, “The train station is at the Gare de Nord subway exit, right?”  They say yes, I leave ready for the next stop.  Then the mishap started. 

I take the subway, get off at Gare de Nord, look for my train on the board – it is only 7:00 p.m. and I think, good, I’ve got plenty of time.  I can’t find my train on the board, so I go to information.  The attendant says, in broken English and some French, that I am at the wrong station.  He writes down on a piece of paper where I should go.  Gare de Ausliswtz, which I thank him for and hurry back to the subway.  I know this stop, it is the next one, Gare de O’ust (East).  I get on and get off at the next stop. 

Same drill, look for train, can’t find it, ask.  This guy can’t speak English, he calls someone over who can.  They say this too is the wrong station.  I show them the paper they say yes, it’s Gare de Ausliswitz.  It is now 7:15, a little panic begins.  Who knew Paris had three train stations.  I go back down into the subway, get on the train and look at the map for my  stop.  It is about 6 stops down.  Now I begin to worry if I can make it.  If I had known and just stayed on the first train I would be there. 

I finally get to the right station.  It is 7:40 p.m.  I come up out of the maze of the subway into a  train station crazy with activity.  I follow the crowd just hoping that I can see the tracks that have my train.  I ask someone, they say go down the stairs and up to the right.  By now I’m running, with Percy, to find my train.  I see a board, it has my train number to Madrid,  Track 15.  It’s right in front of me.  I run!  No, train is there.  I ask the attendant, and she points down the track as I see my train pulling away.    OMG – not again.

Long story short – the nice lady at the ticket office, got me on a 11:00 o’clock train out of Paris on the way to Sevilla.  At least I don’t have to spend another night in the train station.  So tomorrow Sevilla.

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