Paris Metro: How dumb am I?

Dec 6th, 2005, 05:49 PM
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Paris Metro: How dumb am I?

I arrived in Paris at Gare du Nord via the fast train from Brussels ... then don't ask me how, but I got stuck in no-man's land.

I thought I was going from the train area into the metro area, so used my one and only metro ticket. But I got stuck in between the turnstile and the door because my bag got stuck - I should have pushed the handle back into the suitcase. Anyhow, while I was struggling with that, my ticket popped up for a minute, then disappeared. So there I was .... stuck for several minutes between bars and a door, looking like a real idiot until a nice lady with a pass let me in!

But where was I? To get to the metro I still needed my ticket, and the metro was on the other side of some other turnstiles with no ticket booths anywhere! So I wandered around and followed a bunch of peolle as they went out the wheelchair entrance. THEN I was in the metro. I still had to get to my stop and then figure out a way to excape without a ticket. Eventually I did escape - same way!

I can't believe I did this....

Breadman is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 05:56 PM
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I can't believe you did that either! Actually I'm sure this happens to other people too! Well, glad you got out safely; otherwise, we wouldn't have been able to see those Paris snow pics!
francophile03 is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 06:01 PM
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Am I to read into your post that you actually had one of those lousy little drag-behind-me bags? The kind that other people are always tripping over? One thing a person learns is to lift the darned things and push them ahead of you when going through a turnstile or those God-awful steel chopper gates in the Paris metro. I can't tell you how many times I saw people dragging those rotten little gadgets only to have them left behind the closing choppers, messing up the works for other commuters. 'Nuff said.
USNR is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 06:10 PM
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You need a valid ticket to exit the RER but don't need one to exit the metro and believe me I've been through the Gare du nord complex and it's one of the most complicated areas I've ever been through in trying to go between the RER and the you're not dumb at all.
xyz123 is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 06:33 PM
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USNR...needless to say, I only did THAT once. I knew within a millisecond that I was doomed. On the way out of town I looked like an old pro...

Breadman is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 07:10 PM
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I had two times that I didn't know better. Once on the train from Gare De Lyon to Avignon, I hopped on the wrong train, that did not leave until ten minutes. As I read a magazine, a guy chatted me up and I tried to ignore him. Luckily he asked where I was going and when I told him, He became animated(not knowing much French) and it was obvious by his gestures I was on the wrong train. He helped me with my luggage and made me RUN to where my train was and I was able to make it in minutes. All that nice Frenchman asked for was a kiss on the cheek.
My next stupid thing was taking a day trip from Avignon to Orange. (the Leutard excursion didn't show up, so I hopped the next train, not caring where it would be going, all is an adventure)
I took a seat opposite a young boy of maybe 12. We got into a conversation and he asked me where my ticket was and I told him I'll pay when the guy comes around. Merde! he said. go into the W.C. you will pay alot of money because you did not buy in advance. I'll knock on the door after he passes.
And that's what that sophisticated child did for me. I'll never forget it.
cigalechanta is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 08:10 PM
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Well, did he ever return, No, he never returned, and his fate is still unlearned....he may ride forever neith the streets of Paris he's the man who never returned! (oh boy does that date me)

And everyday as he passes by his wife throws a croissant through the window to him (ok ok, I can't remember all the words)

Glad you made it out!
Ronda is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 08:28 PM
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Ronda, you beat me to it.
Nikki is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 03:06 AM
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On a Christmas visit to Paris in 1986, while en route from the airport to our lodging, we got stranded between the RER and Metro sections of the Gare du Nord. There was a ticket window that might have come to the rescue - if it had been manned. It took about 15 minutes to extricate ourselves. In the meantime, numerous desperate people asked me for help - in French. Very flattering, but to say the least I couldn't offer any.
Dave_in_Paris is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 01:04 PM
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Hi B,

It seems that you were the 32nd of 186 people that had the same problem.

ira is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 04:29 PM
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Lots of people get stuck in the metro with backpacks on.

If you search around on the walls you might spot a little intercom. If you are persistent (and it helps to speak French - a French guy did this for us) they can release the turnstyles remotely.
wliwl is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 05:09 PM
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No dumber than anyone else. The first time I encountered the Chatelet labyrinth I was chaperoning a group of about 10 7th-8th graders. I got so profoundly lost in that station with them that we were two hours late getting back to the hotel and missed dinner.
StCirq is online now  
Dec 7th, 2005, 06:27 PM
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This same thing happened to my husband and me about 12 years ago, although I got through the turnstile, and he didn't. It was the height of a.m. rush hour, and people were piled up behind him, not happy! I found some employee to come and get him out. It was the last time we took RER from CDG!
grandmere is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 07:42 PM
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Been there, done that. So humiliating.....
BabsB is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 07:51 PM
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Gosh... I'm feeling so.... normal!! Thanks!
Breadman is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 07:58 PM
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You are normal, Breadman, the rest are only bragging after several trips to know the way to do things.
tondalaya is offline  
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