I am currently in Nice with my ex, and now friend, whom I refer to as Pants. Tomorrow we fly to Paris.
Neither of us speak French, although I've figured out how to ask where places and things are, how much things are, and some other useful things. It helps that I speak some Spanish, and over the years have been able to puzzle out the Latinate roots of the so-called Romance Languages, and associate words with the English language.
Douche is French for shower, Bain is bath, etc. Summer's Eve is therefor a shower for the lady bits, from the inside. Bain du Soleil for that St. Tropez tan. Sun bathing! Cirque du Soleil is circle of the sun!
That's how my brain works. I first remembered that Suave meant smooth because of the singer Rico Suave, and he was sorta smooth. At least I think he was supposed to be smooth, although my impression of him from the video was that he was well-oil, and thusly slippery, which is kind of smooth.
But back to the trip.
We left Chicago at around 5p, and ended up at the CDG airport in Paris at around 10a, after a nine+ hour flight during which neither of us could successfully sleep.
When we got to the airport, I became immediately obsessed with converting my dollars into Euros, and dragged Pants and our luggage around the airport to a currency exchanger, where we expensively swapped $300 for 184€ and small change. They took out a substantial fee, but with my receipt I can apparently exchange up to 184€ and small change, but won't have to pay a $5 fee. Or maybe it was 5€. All I know I'd that I won't get it back, but I also won't have to pay it again. Deal.
The we went looking for the train to the Orly airport, so we could catch our flight to Nice. It took a while, but we finally puzzled out how the ticketing machines worked, but they only took credit cards and coin money, and it refused to accept Pants's credit or debit card. I knew we had to ride the RER, but wasn't sure how that related to buying tickets.
In Chicago, you pay a flat fee to ride mass transit, and it doesn't matter where you start from, but probably does matter where you end, because they make you get off the method of conveyance at the end of the line.
So I bought 2 tickets for the RER for 3€90, which seemed reasonable to me. We had to go far, but it was just a simple straight shot. And we tried to use these tickets, only to get denied.
Eventually we stood in line and bought tickets for the trip, which crossed various zones, and ended up being almost 40€. Which I had to pay because someone didn't feel the need to exchange any of his own money when provided the opportunity. Granted, he did nicely give me some spending money for the trip, because I am poor and broken, but then ended up taking it all back for fares and meals and the like.
We eventually got to Orly, which I'd pretty much where the obligatory English translations seemed to end, and the language barrier slid into place. Thankfully, latte is already a French word, and you can point at pictures and words on a menu to get your point across regarding food selection.
At the Orly airport, you can get free 15 minutes of Wi-Fi, before you have to pay for it. Fortunately I had two different Wi-Fi devices with which to amuse myself, and of course, multiple email addresses with which to verify my existence.
The plane ended up being late, so we didn't get going on time, but people started queueing up way before the plane arrived, and then stood and glared and huffed and puffed because they had to stand in line for twice as long as they should have, although Pants and I parked our asses the second they said the flight would be late, because there are assigned seats on the plane, and our carry on bags fit neatly under the seats in front of us.
Also, I am posting this from my tablet with autocorrect, and not with a real computer and keyboard, so I apologize if spelling or grammar is wonky.