I never knew that I wanted to visit Paris so much until I found a 40 EUR flight ticket. I had always heard how expensive it was to go there so I always thought “One day, one day I will go there.” but this promo turned all my dreams into reality and I immediately booked my flight. I started my trip with Amsterdam and decided to book a night bus in order not to lose any time on the road.
It was my first bus trip in Europe so I did not know what to expect. I just rushed myself to catch the Megabus bus which was departing from Zeeburg P&R coach park in Amsterdam. The seats were not assigned and the bus was already full when I arrived so I sat right next to a Spanish guy, which was the only free one left. At first we were both kind and distant but by the time we started to sleep, there were no borders anymore and we did not mind if our legs or elbows were touching. The best pillow you can get during a 7 hour bus trip is the human being sitting right next to you.
There was a toilet in the bus and it was a non-stop journey besides one stop in Brussels. We arrived to Brussels around 2.00 AM and continued our journey after a short break. We finally made it to Paris around 6.00 AM which was a bit earlier than planned. We went back to our elegant mood with the Spanish guy and I started to look for the metro.
Of course I heard all these stories about French people refusing to speak in English but luckily the first person I saw was kind enough to tell me where the metro station was. I was already more than lucky to saw someone on the street that early in the morning so I took this as a good sign.
I managed to buy the metro ticket, bought a bundle as suggested on the internet, found the correct line and imaginary high-fived myself for doing so good.
The real challenge started after I got off from the metro. I was standing on the Boulevard de Belleville, but did not If I should go to left side or right. My Couchsurfing host had agreed to meet me in the morning but I did not want to bother him that early in the morning so I just stood there for a while listening to my instinct. My instinct turned out to be having a deep sleep so I just started to walk to right side not knowing where I was going. Then I saw two very old ladies. I had no hope that they would speak in English but they were very kind to explain me the way when I showed them the address. Then I saw other people and asked them too just to double check If I was on the right way. Nobody spoke in English but everybody was really kind and helpful. And at last, I found the apartment of my host. And the better thing was he was up. Things could not have been better.
I am living in a small 2+1 apartment in İstanbul but when I entered Nico’s flat, mine seemed as big as a palace. But I did not care as I WAS IN PARIS. He made me coffee and we started to chat. He liked super heroes, computer games, Spotify, reddit, stars, science, universe, my taste of music and movies so we got along great from the start. Unfortunately 2 cups of coffee was not enough to cure my 7 hours of bus trip tiredness so I took a nap before I started to discover Paris, which later turned out to be a good decision as I walked for 7 hours during the day.
I can not really recall my exact route but I started to walk from Belleville and ended up in the garden of Louvre.
I took a nap to regain my energy and to enjoy the sunshine. Those first few hours were mostly about discovering the streets of Paris and I stopped at a coffee shop for a quick caffeine boost. Before hitting the road again, I went to restroom. When I was done, I opened the door and saw a man peeing in the urinal. I did not even realize there was one and I immediately closed the door. All of a sudden this was too much for my Turkish eyes. Then he started to laugh and said something in French but I stayed in my safe, urinal-free zone till he was gone.
Then I went back to Nico’s place as we agreed to have a picnic together. He took me to Canal Saint Martin where Parisian youth were enjoying themselves with apéros on the side.
I had a lovely time with Nico and everything got better when ducks of the canal came near us. I was thinking if I could be any luckier than this when I was feeding them but I had no idea about what was about to come. To be continued…