Leaving the City of Light

I’m typing this out on the Eurostar train headed from Paris to London but having some trouble with tethering to my phone’s hotspot so it’s going into Notepad++ with a transfer to the weblog at some point tonight (I have a whole other diatribe I’d like to post on the shit mobile environment we have going on in Canada compared to here but that will be for another time). Little plug for Notepad++: if you’re a software developer and don’t have it installed on the mobile devices you’re using, you’re doing it wrong. And by ‘it’ I mean life.

Paris has always been an enigma for me. I don’t know how to categorize it in my mind. So much history in so concentrated a location with so little time to get a real handle on it. This visit has been far too short.

I’d like to come back here again and spend a week visiting some of the locations I’ve never managed to visit. One being the Palace at Versailles which holds so much history, is so close to Paris but has never been part of any itinerary I’ve put together. Perhaps it was my youth that caused me to ignore this before, or on the last trip here for our honeymoon, just a lack of funds and a wish to leave the “expensive” countries. This time we just sort of lost track of time and got stuck spending two of our days at Disney.

As I get older the requirements for a “fun” vacation have definitely changed. Now I want to get shit-faced on expensive French wine instead of the cheap shit, enjoy a fancy meal instead of eating “street meat” from a hole in the wall, stay at hotels and not hostels. It’s not much to ask and can add so much to a trip and how you enjoy it. Sleeping in a dorm room with fourteen other people isn’t always conducive to a good night’s sleep.

Some of those changes revolve around the fact that I have the means, now, that these things are not out of reach. I’ve worked hard to change my economic status in life so that I may enjoy these experiences as I get the opportunity.  We’ve just passed the boundary into middle class which, I guess, is a step in the right direction.

My first recreational trip to Europe in 95 was very different as I didn’t have the means to enjoy the trip and I was stuck in the Eastern bloc countries which were cheaper than western countries. Hostels, doner kebaps, and shitty beer were all part of the trip with no other options available. Shit, I remember losing my wallet on Mykonos with $1000 CDN in it. That was a hard fucking day. That money was ear-marked to keep me alive for a month. (Yes, Virginia, you could do (cheap) Europe on 30$ per day back in the 90’s). Now it’s easy to blow the same amount of money on hotel rooms over a few weeks.

All told, Paris is a wonderful city that I’ll be returning to sooner rather than later.