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Thursday, February 16, 2006 

Bad Experiences in Paris

A couple of bad experiences so far in Paris.

#1 - I was at the Metro (subway) station at Charles de Gualle airport. I needed to take the train from the airport to my hotel located near La Defense. The machine that prints the tickets is all in French, so I had a difficult time getting my ticket and paying with my credit card. I requested help from the lady next to me and she gladly obliged. (A little background - I speak absolutely no French nor can I read it. However, I am not stupid and I can infer a few things given the situation.) She went through the touch screen and she pressed 3 tickets to La Defense. I then told her I needed one, but she insisted that the 3 tickets at a total of 27 Euro was right. If you haven't figured it out, she was helping me get my ticket in addition to her ticket and her companion's ticket at my expense. I couldn't read French, but I knew there was no reason for a "3" and a grand total of 27 Euro to be on the screen. I got mad and walked away.

#2 - I safely arrived at my hotel for the price of 9 Euro. After grabbing lunch and taking a nap, I went to work for a couple of hours. My co-worker called for a cab and they were to pick me up at 3:30pm. I went to the lobby and told the reception desk that a cab would be waiting. They informed me nobody was there for me, so I waited. Outside a cab was waiting, and I asked the security guard if that was for me and they said it was for somebody else. 15-20 minutes go by and I'm still waiting and the cab outside is still waiting. The security guard comes up to me and finally asks for my name, and it wasn't until then that they place the waiting cab and waiting person together. This wasn't the worst yet... So they drove me to my office, but when it comes time to pay, the cab driver charges me for the waiting time. The 5 minute cab ride was about 25 Euro. I attempted to argue with the cab driver, but it was useless since he spoke little English. Luckily work is paying for this.