My plan was to arrive in Paris in the morning and get on the next train to Bruges, but plans are usually a bad idea. The moment my train arrived in Paris, the conductor made the announcement that the transportation department was on strike for the next twenty-four hours (because workers fight for their rights in other countries); therefore, no trains would be coming in or out.
I was stranded. In Paris.
After setting up a night at a Best Western online, printing out the directions and map so that I could ask for help, then trudging through the sunny streets of Paris with my comically full backpack and flipping off the bastards who refused to help me when they recognized my terrible American accent tripping over their beautiful language, and yell/crying at a man at the American Express shop who HAD to help me, I found my bed for the night and promptly ate a $7 Toblerone from the mini bar.
Impressive sentence, eh?
The Toblerone would not be enough to satiate me, and I was in Paris, after all. I left the hotel, but not before I opened my window and hung my head out to look up and down the dirty streets, JUST LIKE THEY DO IN THE MOVIES.
I do not remember the name of the cafe, and even now, when I think about it, it seems too charming to have existed. When I entered and chose my table beside one of the servers in the back who was taking a break and eating, he, along with the other servers, all of whom were male (annnnnnnnnndattractive), took notice.
I was at the end of my journey. I had three days left (three crazy days), and it was probably obvious.
When the server beside me could no longer endure my furrowed brow as I pored over the menu, he cleared his throat, and I looked up.
"You should try the special, no?"
"What is the special?"
"I am having it, it is good."
(The dialogue may seem stilted, but you need to imagine me talking to a really hot guy in Paris. He was really hot.)
He then tried to find the word for raw ground beef with the help of his colleagues. The special was raw ground beef, mashed potatoes, and something else I can't remember.
I respectfully, and charmingly, declined and settled, instead, on Tuna salad (which is not made with mayonnaise in France).
I forgot to bring my journal. The whole point was to sit in a cafe in Paris and write in my stupid diary, and I left it at the hotel. So, I asked a server if I could borrow a pen (because I forgot that too) and proceeded to write on my placemat: