Friday, 7 November 2008

Dreaming of Paris.......

get an eyeful of that....

Home again, which is clearly disappointing. Paris was magnificent, I wouldn't want to live there, but it's magnificent all the same. I say I wouldn't want to live in Paris because if I lived in Paris then I couldn't dream of Paris and dreaming of Paris and going back to Paris is all I want to do now. I left my heart, and a new coat, on the banks of the river Seine. And whilst there is a Gap in every town there is only one France and only one Paris.

Not counting the one in Texas, obviously.

Paris is everything you hear and more. It is a city of beauty and of beautiful things. The food is extraordinary, nothing in Paris is ordinary, and the service beyond compare. A timeless city that moves with the new millennium. It is a city rich in art and music and is long steeped in actual culture, not that mockery we call culture in this town. The Parisians move quickly but always with style and chic and with no care or thought to the rules of the road, if there are any. Oh without question I fell in love with Paris and all it's ways and all it's people. As Hemingway put it,

"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."

Precisely.

It's just a pity it's such a fucking ball ache getting there. We figured that all the kids would be back in school again after the half term holidays. We never for a moment thought that our flight to Paris would be nothing more than a creche in the sky but the moment we got into the airport we realised that this was indeed the case. Now don't get me wrong I like kids, I love their little faces and their little funny ways, hell I used to be a child myself. But bugger me with a ten foot pole are they annoying when you're on a plane.

The romance of flying has long since dissipated but with the advent of cheap flights allowing poor people like me to fly it really has got worse, well that and the most paranoid security systems in the world that now mean even a jar of marmalade is considered a potential threat. I would have thought it was just to ones cholesterol levels but no it appears the crazies can pop a bomb into the most innocuous of items. Bin Laden et al have surely won. Flying is now an arduous and bothersome experience that one has to survive not enjoy. But still I crack a big beaming smile as the plane hits top gear and we race down the runway. I still wonder, like a child, how the hell it all works.

The children on the same flight as us didn't seem to be full of wonder and excitement. No, they were full of sugary drinks and packets of skittles. And eventually this lead to the inevitable come down. Oh that wasn't so pretty. The tears, the screaming, the tantrums. I wasn't in a good mood. It took Little Miss Manuel and Rod Stewart, via iPod that is, to calm me down. I wouldn't mind but we weren't even on the plane yet. When the good people at Aer Lingus called our flight they, "invited" those traveling with children to board first. This was the first mistake as it would have been easier to board the rest of us without kids first seeing as there were about 16 of us and about 2000 of them. Okay there probably wasn't that many but they moved about so quick it was hard to tell how many there were.

When we finally boarded a frightening chill went down my back as I realised that we were surrounded on all sides by children - screaming, hyper, sticky fingered children. I, mistakenly, ventured that if they didn't bother me then I wouldn't have to threaten them. Ha! The little darling to the front of me cried the whole way. He never let up for one moment. His wailing and unhappiness was brought about by having been separated from his grandmother. I, like the rest of the passengers I assume, thought that maybe just maybe he should have ben reconciled with her as she was only about three rows away. But this never happened and so he screamed. By the end of the flight I wanted to commend the little fellow for his ability to stick with the crying. I mean he really went for it and no sweets, toys, or motherly words would distract him from the task at hand - that being screaming like a mentalist for an hour and a half.

There needs to be a separate flight for those going to Eurodisney. Or failing that there needs to be a soundproofed section for all the little blessings and their parents. Back in ye olden days when I wasn't given any choice about going to mass there used to be a separate section for kids. [Insert your own obvious joke here.] I think it was called the crying chapel, I could be wrong, I really wasn't paying attention. But within this soundproofed box were all the little darlings who were likely to get in the way, with their screaming, sneezing, and asking of silly questions, of the big fella telling us how bad we all were. I can still see the faces of anguish of the parents and older siblings as they had endure the cacophony of the demented. It was like the zombie quarantine area in 28 Weeks Later, but even more horrific.

I have a new found respect for parents though. I mean the constant questions are unbearable. "What's that say?" "What's that man doing?" "Are we there yet?" "Are we there yet?" "Are we there yet?" "How many people are there in France?" "How do planes work?" "What's for dinner?" It never let up, not for a moment. Seriously send the kids to Guantanamo, they'll get all the answers you need and Bin Laden will be in the big house by the end of the week. Relentless little blighters.

Inevitably the parents snapped and some kids got beaten. You could see it coming, warnings were issued and warnings were ignored. The final straw for one mother came when her two sons, who were sitting in front of her two daughters took great delight in informing their sisters that they would be in France before them by virtue of their seating arrangements. This left the two young girls in tears and then eventually left the two boys in tears. It really didn't matter at that point because the whole plane was just a wall of noise and four more kids screaming wasn't going to make any difference. I sat back and laughed and with Rod Stewart rasping away in my ears I added, "Do you think I'm sexy?" as loud as I could get away with to the general discord.

I know how this reads, man goes to Paris and complains about the noise on the plane. It's a definite case of ones diamond shoes being too tight. But is it wrong to yearn for some romance in the air? Or at the very least a soundproof chapel! I have yet another reason to dislike that bloody Mickey Mouse and his cult like Disney camps. Lay the rat poison thick is what I say.....

More to follow.....

18 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

THE EMERALD ISLANDER said...

Greetings!

I suppose we all need our dream places, and they always look better from a distance.
My dream place for many years was Ireland, and eventually I decided to move here.
17 years later I am still here, and happy enough. In many ways I am now probably more Irish than anything else I ever was before. But the way things are here, it is no longer my dream place.
I will stay and try to do my best, as I am a Celt and feel at home. But it is now reality and no longer a dream.

I can feel with you about Paris. It is quite some time since I was there, but the amount of culture is just overwhelming. And the easy but sophisticated lifestyle did appeal to me.
Unfortunately my French is not so perfect, so I am better in Ireland.

Just discovered your weblog. Looks very interesting, and I will drop in again. Feel free to return the visit.

Native Minnow said...

Don't forget about Paris, Idaho!

I'm glad you had a good trip, even if there were too many little brats on the plane.

Medbh said...

We had a crying room in my parish, Manuel. I don't think you could hear the priest from there, so it seemed like a pointless torture for the poor mothers and minders to have to endure all the crying.
Yet another way the church shits on women.

I would have to go to my happy place while sedated to be stuck on a plane with so many screamers.
Can't wait to hear more. What about a post from Little Miss Manuel on the shopping/fashions in Paris? I can't be the only one curious about that.

carine said...

little shits x

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

There is Paris Ontario too.It is nice to get away isn't it?

daisyfae said...

We even have a New Paris, Ohio, USA. They voted solidly for McCain, by the way...

Benadryl. It should be automatically fed to anything under 12 years old on an airplane. They sleep. They drool. We sleep. We drool. Everyone's happy...

Sniffle&Cry said...

And you called me a mentalist...

creamcitygirl said...

And Paris, Wisconsin. Obviously a pretty awesome city, given the number of namesakes! Can't wait till I get the chance to go

AM in Brussels said...

And there's a Gap shop in Paris.

So you could have replaced your coat. I'm sure plenty of other people have lost other things beside the Seine too.

But it is a magnificent place.

Sharon said...

Ha ha Manuel! I'm happy to hear you enjoyed Paris but yep, the flights there are full of annoying families like mine nowadays. And just think, I had dirty looks from the other parents as my wee'un scooted about the waiting area like a dervish. I was the one laughing on the flight though as he was worn out by then and very well behaved.

BUT I'm taking them all on a flight to Orlando next week for more rodent fun. Pity me!

sheepworrier said...

Sounds like a lovely trip Manuel, apart from the rugrats obviously. Keep meaning to go myself - was it mad expensive?

Kitty Cat said...

Ahem, it's Disneyland Paris now actually, hasn't been EuroDisney since around 1995. And I flippin love it there!

Manuel said...

the emerald islander: welcome!

minnow: there's an Idaho? pfft.....hehehehe

medbh: no, not gonna happen. and if we are being honest we didn't spend much time shopping....it was more sight seeing and stopping in coffee shops......more to follow...

carine: some of them weren't so little...

steve: and as soon as you are back you have to plan the next trip...it;s the only thing that keeps me going.....

daisyfae: droooooooollll......

Manuel said...

sniffle & cry: I learnt from the master

creamcitygirl: welcome@ you should do it.....really!

am in brussels: welcome: yeah I discovered I had left my coat behind in the taxi on the way to the airport....

sharon: was thinking of you as I wrote this! all the way to orlando.....crikey!

sheepo: dud it is expensive, six euro for a bottle of water, but the wine was cheap and the espresso too. saying that a cup of tea was a fiver.....it;s worth every penny.

kitty cat: oooooohh! if you love it so much why don't you live there....hehehehe

Conan Drumm said...

Urgh, flight of the wains... parents should all be done for keeping their kids out of school. Bah... etc...

A.B. said...

Jeez, I can't even handle a screaming kid behind me in the grocery line. I do feel for the parent, but does Little Junior REALLY need to see Paris at the ripe age of 2? No, I don't think so. Welcome home!

Trekkie said...

Paris Hilton?

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