I can never determine what time it is or what the weather is like, when I first wake up in the morning.
Waking early, I popped my head out the window and it was cold and raining. Hopping back into bed with a cup of tea, I pondered how I could keep out of the weather today.
Remembering, I wanted to venture out of Paris to Chateau Fontainebleu, all I had to do was work out how to get there and check my bag was in order for the day.
The feeling of dread swept over me as I searched for my purse.
The zippered pocket, of my bag, where I keep my wallet and purse was slightly open but I couldn’t fathom how, even an expert thief could have taken my purse and when. I tore my bag and apartment apart, to no avail. I traced my steps, even considered someone entering through my open window as I slept. The last time I used it was at Pigalle. That would seem a likely place, if it was going to go missing. I had a couple of drinks at Le Petit Fer A Cheval, last night and paid for my new mate, Alain’s beer but I used my wallet not my change purse. It just didn’t add up.
I didn’t want this to ruin my day, it wasn’t the wallet, where I keep my notes and credit cards, just my change purse with a wad of metro tickets and change. Still I love the purse and I felt violated.
Heading off to Gare de Lyon, where trains leave for the likes of Marseille, Lyon and Montpellier is a big bustling place. When I tried to buy my return ticket at the machine, it only took coins or cards. Obviously I didn’t have any coins, they were in my missing change purse, so card it had to be.
When the first machine wouldn’t accept my card, something was telling me I should abandon this trip, maybe the missing purse was a bad omen, the beginning of three things.
Persisting, I moved to the next, it also wouldn’t accept my card, I found the counter selling tickets, their bank card system was down. Huh! That explains it.
Finally on the lovely train, questioning myself if I was sitting in the wrong class, I was now excited and ready for my adventure out of Paris.
Challenge almost over, now all I had to do was catch the bus to the Chateau, bus ‘A’ as I researched didn’t exist, instead it was bus #1.
When my stop arrived, the driver called out CHATEAU – the passengers looked around surprised, I jumped up, I think this was for my benefit, so I knew where to get off.
Knowing I would either be on the metro, on a train or in a museum, I didn’t bother to put layers on, sometimes in can be too warm in museums.
The moment I got off the bus, the bitterly cold, gusty wind was whipping through the city and everyone, including myself had their scarves high and tight, as we braced ourselves against the unforgiving weather.
Noticing a walled garden, I figured this must be the Chateau, it was! Complete with map and signage.
For the second time today, my heart sank again. I can never remember random days in French, so I do it in order, like some do, to remember numbers by counting. I start with Monday – Lundi – yes, the next day is Mardi – that is today, Tuesday. Closed Tuesdays. Damn, I laughed out loud, shivering in the cold.
I am 65 kilometres out of Paris, with what seemed like quite a journey and a missing purse and Fontainebleau is closed on Tuesdays!
My bones creaking from the cold, I decided I would explore the gardens anyway. Can’t put a good girl down! Wow, it was lovely despite the weather and the good thing was, not a soul about. Well I lie – later I did come across the odd tourist, who obviously, also didn’t realise that Chateau Fontainebleu is closed on Tuesdays.
I wandered the streets of the quaint city, had an omelette and a glass of rose wine, braved the weather … only just – and crammed into a bus like a little sardine, for the journey back to the train station.
Surfacing from the Metro, back in Paris, freezing as it was, I felt like I was home again. Well I was. Now only a few blocks to my bar for a drink.
A closed Chateau and a missing purse was not the worse thing that could happen.
As I stumbled, asking Hussein, the wonderful barman at Petit Fer a Cheval, had he seen … he finished my sentence. Is it rouge et petit? Yes it is red and small!
They found my purse on the floor after I left my favourite bar last night and kept it for my return.