This day began like any other- oh wait…no it didn't because our day began in PARIS FREAKING FRANCE. We woke up with two missions for our day:
Mission 1: purchase bus tickets
Mission 2: get the etching of a quote off Oscar Wilde's grave for Bridget.
We headed first, on foot, toward Metro station Blanche where we would find the Eurolines bus ticket sales. However, to get TO the sales we must first walk by Sexy Time, Sexodrome, Lingerie & Gadgeterie, and seventeen billion OTHER sex shops. Eventually, blinded, we made it to the Eurolines ticket sales office which was just shy of making the district.
We walk in and Jake says, "Deux Roma" which to anyone who knows France would go, "huh?" because he literally just said "Two Rome." The man says, confused, "Deux billet?" Jake looks at me and makes his confused face (something I can see vividly in my mind now because he has done this frequently) where he shrinks his head into his neck, pushes out his bottom lip- eyes open wide- and shrugs his shoulders as if to say "Okay, Kelly, your turn!" So I jump in and say, "Oui, deux billet pour Roma, s'il vous plait." He asks us for some information and I stutter out the answers. Eventually he has assumed that because we are American we have no idea what he is saying (mistake number one mon frere!) He takes our scratched debit card and asks us to right down the security code and I immediately say " cinq, neuf, cinq." "PERFECT! Very good!" he exclaims in French, he continues in French to essentially say, "Amazing! You DO know French!" to which (also in French) I explain that I only know a little bit. He assures me that I know plenty and explains that although he does not know English he DOES know three other languages. Impressive, I do say. We leave the office with me feeling proud as a panther with two bus tickets for Rome and head to our next destination.
After stopping at the market to pick up our 5 Euro lunch of baguette, chevre, and olives, Jake and I continue on to the cemetery. We wander and wonder about everything inside because it is not like any cemetery we have ever been to. Each lot represents a family with it's own like….miniature church or castle or sometimes both if the family is rich enough I suppose. Upon finally reaching the tomb of Oscar Wilde we are bewildered by the coat of lipstick encompassing it. I mean, we both knew it would be covered, but something about seeing it in person was just bizarre. We spent half an hour (after the half an hour of just standing and appreciating) searching for the quote to no avail. Depressed and feeling like a disappointment, I instead drew a small heart on the base of the tomb in some hand-me-down grass-covered lipstick for Bridget.
Once we completed our failure as friends (because it is clearly our fault that the tomb had been refurbished…but I still feel like a failure!) we began our third, secret, mission….find foie & escargot. Escargot? Apparently IMPOSSIBLE to find in Paris. In the TWO times I have been there, I have found TWO restaurants serving it. The first was in a sketchy-ass part of town and the second we were refused service. Yes, I am being truthful..we walked in, asked (in French!) for a table for two, and were told to leave. We later stopped at a small restaurant with a sign that said you could get an appetizer + entree for 12 Euro. BINGO! We see that on the menu is not only foie gras, but also rabbit. DOUBLE BINGO! We take a seat and place our order. Our waitress was absolutely wonderful, and after talking for a short period in French, we all switched to English. She was very helpful, and recommended some places in town for escargot (even though we STILL couldn't find them) and complimented us by saying we are eating "very French food!" The foie was amazing, obviously, but the rabbit? TO DIE FOR. It was half a rabbit stewed or braised or SOMETHING awesome because the meat was literally falling off the bone. It was served with a mustard sauce and carrots with a side of rice. Jake and I annihilated that dish even though we were past the point of full. We can both honestly say that it was the best meal of our lives….combined.
Full bellied and jovial as ever, we returned to the hotel. We did not care that it was only 4pm because we had been up very early and had wandered over a majority of the city. We celebrated the end of a beautiful day with a dinner of Tiramisu, Madeleines, creme brulee, jambon et fromage, and a bottle of wine all from the local market. "A night in? IN PARIS!?" You ask angrily, "Yes, because we were in Paris and can do whatever the fuck we want," I reply bluntly. T'was then time for the big sleep, for the following day would have a lot to offer.