“100 Euro! YOU PAY NOW!”
Woofed the obtuse bouncer. Blocking the entrance his appearance resembled an intolerant, but smartly-suited rhino. He looked like he ate people for breakfast. This was all I needed, considering mere hours ago I was being chased underneath the Eiffel tower.
Suddenly, an obese version of Beyonce teetered away in her bright stilettos and slipped out behind him.
100 Euro! The bouncer barked once more, lowering his gaze at me with venomous menace.
‘Fuckity Fuck,’ I thought. I had no money to escape!
How did I get into this situation? I shall explain….
My friend was a model, and had caught the attention of a rich photographer in Nice, who had invited her over for a photoshoot. All expenses paid, plane tickets, hotel – the works.
He was happy for her to bring a friend. Until he found it was a guy – me – your brunette hero. He went berserk.
Oddly, he let her keep the money and the flights he’d paid for. She described it as having a free holiday using a Perv’s money. With such a romantic title, our trip was doomed from the start.
I made the awful decision to drink copious amount of Southern Belle the night before. (my bar – Sound Circus – can’t afford Southern Comfort.) Slightly wiser than attempting a handstand whilst smothered in butter, but still not a wise move.
After salvaging 2 hours asleep, I shuffled Walking Dead style into the ghastly early hours of metropolitan Dorset of 5am! This is the milkman’s time. Not mine!
Suitcase in tow, I saw Bournemouth’s dirty side. Neanderthals were prowling outside WHSmith, picking up cigarette butts and muttering to themselves. These angels of the night were putting inch-long butts to their lips, desperate for a nicotine hit. They looked at me, like startled deer about to collide with a incoming Ford Transit Van. Luckily my baggage could make a potential weapon if required.
I arrived at the bus station. The nearby speakers were blurting out bagpipe music to annoy Bournemouth’s extensive homeless population. Bournemouth Council really are sweethearts aren’t they?
It was pleasant at first hearing Scotland’s finest musical ensemble, but after about 15 minutes, I wanted to stuff a bagpipe into someone’s larynx.
I met up with my friend. She snuggled into me on the epic coach journey to Gatwick. My 6″2 frame isn’t meant for travelling, so I was absolutely entangled and squashed in the coach seats.
We arrived at the airport, I heard my limbs let out a sigh of relief. As we showed our plane tickets to the attendant, she furrowed her brow. Instead of saying anything, she continued furrowing.
Ummm? I sputtered
There’s a technical difficulty with the plane you were travelling on.
What was wrong with it… the left falange? As the plane was immobilised – It meant our only option was to go to Paris. Our very short holiday had been castrated.
As we arrived at the security lounge, there was a bubbling mass of people and beeps. My pocket was bulging with my passport, tickets, phone, hope, keys and loose change. I strode through the scanner, hoping not to beep.
I had to take my belt off and raise my hands in the air, doing the motion of Y in the YMCA song. My unbelted trousers were slipping, and my surrendering hands couldn’t hold them up.
As I got scanned, a bead of sweat dripped down my forehead. Not because they would find anything, but in case my jeans crashed to my shoes and Gatwick Airport would get a glorious look at my tiger print underwear. Although I was wearing such an illustrious number, my jeans stuck to my hips and nothing was revealed.
Everything was okay beep-wise. No latex glove required.
We then tucked into some Yo! Sushi in the terminal.
Different coloured dishes were revolving around us, with each colour having it’s own individual price. I settled on cold beef, chicken, shredded cabbage and dumplings. A little girl opposite us made cute biting motions every time a bowl came past.
Whilst capturing my food, I came up with an excellent idea. Instead of bowls of cold vegetables, why not have bowls of cakes and high-calorie desserts? It would be incredible. The name would be ‘Yo! Fatti.’ I think it could really catch on – watch out Dragon’s Den.
As we boarded, our last-minute flight change meant we were sitting separately down opposite ends of the plane. I was sat next to a woman who was also in a complicated friends non-relationship with benefits.
Last nights drinks threatened to come back. She was probably concerned by my coloured face as we rumbled into take off. I felt nauseous and I gripped on tight to the chair rest.
I put on a 1990’s megamix to help me through the journey. The velvety tones of Peter Andre’s Mysterious Girl made the touch down a lot smoother, and actually, far sexier.
We landed in France – Charles De Gaulle Airport, then off to the town of Opera.
I had purchased shoes in Topman to walk in, I wish I hadn’t. They had been perfectly comfortable whilst catwalking around TopMan, but were now slowly destroying my feet. The toe referred to by my mother as ‘this little piggy went to market’ was in pain. I was able to purchase some €4 Transformer plasters. Megatron, however, couldn’t save me.
I became frustrated, confused and probably still hungover. I wanted to relax, eat frog’s legs and wear an onion necklace, but we had no idea how to get to the elusive hotel. I was tempted to offer my unloved TopMan shoes as a reward for directions.
We discovered the Paris Metro. I was not prepared for the mere 10 seconds you have to jump on before the train doors close.
I leapt on, my body almost in, then the doors closed onto me and smashed my arm. I tried to pull the doors apart but they began to close in on me again. I managed to jump back onto the platform to escape its clutches. The French passengers did not even look at me. They probably thought I was a typical English merde.
I should have read the bunny stickers that were placed everywhere in each train.
Rubbing my injured arm, I was confused and worn out. Exhausted after hours of walking, I wanted to cry. My friend was unsympathetic to our plights. I started to believe I had picked up my Mother’s curse of going on holiday with someone then realizing it was a bad idea!
After finally arriving at Hôtel de Paris Montmartre, we went out for an Indian to feed our empty stomachs. Neither of us fancied snails, horse and fromage.
I was relieved I wouldn’t have to decipher the French language – I knew what tikka, bhuna and dopiaza was. My masala was accompanied with a cheesy naan bread (French cheese is one gooey stringy monster) and aubergine pakoras.
A salesman burst into the restaurant approaching people with roses, asking if they wanted one for their special madame in their life, mobbing each table.
I felt a little awkward, should I get one for my bene-friend? I had noticed she had a love bite on the back of her neck, so I wasn’t sure what was going on between us anymore. Or possibly with someone else.
The salesman disappeared, not a single rose sold. I figured it was another weird French thing. What’s next? Mobbing patrons with Daffodils in Nandos?
The waiter provided us with a mix of coloured sweet seeds, which tasted of candy.
Puts our British cool, hard mints to shame.
We walked back to the hotel, narrowly avoiding colliding with rude French traffic. French drivers were absolute mentalists, speed limits were fictional to them. Motorbikes had free reign of the road and pavement. I’d be gallivanting down the sidewalk and suddenly there would be a huge bike vibrating into the back of me.
I messaged a friend on things to do in France and she said kiss an extremely attractive person (the women were exceedingly pretty) and buy a lot of baguettes. I think option B is the more likely as I didn’t want to get arrested.
The ladies here did have a certain Je Ne Sais Quoi.
Next was the Eiffel Tower. Despite it being massive and pointy, quite similar to something else (snigger, snigger), we managed to lose it in the catacomb of Parisian streets. It took us twenty minutes to find it again, and with me whining about my destroyed feet, it was probably not entertaining for anyone involved.
Someone was entertained – a fat man was stumbling around the Paris River with a bottle of wine, singing to himself.
I then noticed the Paris Attacks of 2015 had really left their mark.
There was several SWAT team vans full of armoured cops. Despite this, they were mostly asleep, eating or looking at Facebook. Cops with handguns were on patrol, and army folks came equipped with AK-47s.
Whenever I see such plentiful weaponry, I do wonder why the world has not invented a powerful tranquilizer dart that has the same speed as a bullet.
As we approached the Eiffel, a random guy approached us with an expression of glee and menace
He wouldn’t leave us alone until we shook his hand. I swallowed my pride and awkwardly offered a flighty fist pump. As we waddled off, he followed on after us.
I turned back and he was walking after us. We managed to merge into the crowds to escape.
It turned out the people of France are even more weird than the people of Boscombe. There were menacing looking sellers holding selfie sticks and miniature Eiffel towers, who genuinely looked like they wanted to kill people.
Other strangers swooped and demand donations to mysterious things. It got to the point I spoke in a made-up language (using words such as Noisk) to avoid anybody trying to communicate with me.
Unfortunately, as we left, Mr ALLOOOOO appeared near us and I could hear him beckoning us again with his scary greeting. We walked quickly. By the time I dared look behind me, he had disappeared once more.
I calmed myself with an authentic croque-monseuir , which curbed my hungry soul. Magnifique 🙂 My friend wanted to go to Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde’s graves at the Père Lachaise Cemetery. She claimed it would give her inner peace. Maybe she should try Yoga.
Sadly, our clocks hadn’t adjusted to French time, and we got there an hour to late. This turned out to be a blessing knowing the real time, or we’d have missed tomorrow’s flights. Big iron doors prevented us from entry, so my friend never found the inner peace she was looking for.
We decided to go to a Vegan restaurant near Republique (not my choosing, just my sissy friend’s dietary wishes :p) which was a few Metro stops away. As we arrived into the town we were blocked by a swarm of French Police…