Once I was satisfied with the 200 Eiffel Tower snapshots of the day, I headed back to the room to get ready for my first night out in Paris. I was to meet up with Aurelien, a Parisian who I met when he briefly interned at the game company I worked at in Japan.
The plan was to head to the canals, a local hangout normally teeming with activity – something like the Kamogawa in Kyoto. But apparently the temperature had dropped more than 10 degrees just a day or two before my arrival, so when we got there, scarcely a soul was in sight. Damnit.
We decided we’d catch up on the last two years over a glass of wine at a little sidewalk cafe. But again, too cold – we had to move inside almost immediately. Damnit again.
Thankfully the night turned out to be quite fun in the end, as we chatted extensively with everyone around us until 2am when the bars close and the clubs pick up. Since Aurelien had work the next morning we parted ways and I took off towards home on foot; the metro had already shut down for the night.
This turned into a total disaster…because again, for some strange reason, my GPS simply refused to work. And this time I didn’t have a map of the city.
I really don’t know what the deal is with this thing, it hasn’t worked right even once in Paris. In this case it resulted in my roaming about the sleeping city – and perhaps a bit outside of it – for more than TWO HOURS before figuring out how to get home. Virtually nobody was out on the streets to ask, and those who were – late night gas station workers, street cleaners, etc – were either unable to understand English, or didn’t understand where I was trying to go. And the GPS kept on tricking me into thinking it knew where I was…when suddenly the arrow would flip around to the opposite direction.
I went to bed after 4am with blisters on my feet and burning calves – not because 2 hours is a particularly long time to walk, but because I’d already been on my feet for more than 10 hours that day, and this time I was wearing my nightlife shoes: more fashionable than sneakers but not exactly the most comfortable in the world.
What a night.
Chalk it up to just another one of those weird experiences: lost and disoriented in Paris at 4 in the morning.