Once upon a time in Europe – Part 7 – Disney Village (Paris)
Disclaimer : This particular part of the travelogue is A – rated for its contet. Kids, please leave your phone number in the comments or send me an email. I shall call and inform you when you attain 18 yrs. and until then, try to stay away from this post 😀 😀 😀
The next day morning, when my bro went inside the restroom :
Bro : Vimmalllllll….you idiot !!!! I shouldn’t have listened to you ! I should’ve never taken you seriously !!!
Me (to myself first and then to him) : Now what ?
Flashback scene (from last part)…..
We entered a supermarket to get a few basic amenities for the 3 day Paris trip starting from the next day. While dropping things into our shopping bag, my brother picked up a small tube of toothpaste. He said that the one he has at home is large and for convenience sake during the travel, a small tube would be better. I asked him to keep the toothpaste back and told him that I have a small tube with me and that would be more than enough for the three of us for the whole trip.
Back to where it was…..
Me : Err…I thought !!!
Bro : You thought whaat ??? Even Dhwani wouldn’t be able to brush her teeth with ‘so much’ of toothpaste.
Me : But I seriously thought there…
Bro : Oh vimal, shut up. I shouldve bought it yesterday itself !
And that’s how my day began folks. Mental harassment because of a toothpaste ! Our train to Paris was in the morning and one by one we all got ready and reached the station. This was my first journey to another country via train, or rather through the land. It was a little weird submitting passports and undergoing immigration clearances at a railway station. Bro claimed on his way that we would be seated in the first class and I don’t know, for some joy, he seemed very excited about it. Being a regular train traveler here in India, all classes looked first class to me over there in Europe! Seriously, even after getting inside the train, I never felt any difference from the rest of the classes. The seats looked the same, there was AC (;)), and even our ‘compartment’ moved along with the rest of the train !!
We got comfortable in our seats and did chit chatting for some time. A few minutes later, I got a call; from nature that is, and went to the nearest restroom. As soon as I went inside, I got the biggest shock of my life ! The latrines vacuum, I believe, wasn’t working, there was no water in the tap and some goddamn idiot did his/her early morning rituals on the latrine and it was lying there, just like that !!! I am not kidding folks, if anyone ever ask me about the most shocking incident in my life, it would be this. For a minute, I didn’t miss my country, but then again, I havent come across such a situation here in India and so felt that our country is, at times, far better than these so called developed nations. It was horrible !!
I rushed back to my seat and explained it to bro and s-i-l (dhwani is too young to understand this). My bro couldn’t believe his ears but he didn’t take the risk of checking the truth behind it either.
Me : I am the last person to come out of that bathroom. The whole train would think I did that !
Bro : Oh yeah, Indians have a bad name otherwise too.
Me : Sigh !
I wasn’t out of the shock completely. But what to do, the call from nature became a little more urgent. And so, I proceeded to the restroom which was on the other side of the train. You wont believe this guys, it was the same horrible sight again !!! Ewwww……I am sure it was the same idiot; now don’t ask me how !! But why did that person do it in installments was my question !!! No water, the vacuums stuck and that ‘you-know-what’ lying all over the latrine! and to top it all, frequent urgent calls !! How worse can a persons life get !! I came out and rushed to my seat and explained the crisis to my bro.
Bro : Once again, you are the last person to come out of the toilet.
Me : I know !
Bro : and the rest of the passengers would curse you for dirtying all the toilets in the first class of this train.
Me : Sighhh !!!
It was bad folks, I tell you. We had another hour to reach our stop over and I had to sit uncomfortably in the so called first class with a few more missed calls from nature !
We reached Strasbourg station and our next train to Paris was in another 30 mins. I asked my bro to wait at a particular point until I came back. I ran in search of a restroom; there were so many restroom sign boards indicating ‘this way’, ‘that way’ and all those helped me only in running here and there. Finally after going up and down a few stairs and escalators, I found one. There were people standing in queue for using the restroom just like how we find here in India. Wouldn’t you feel ecstatic to stand in a queue when you are holding onto something that you had been for quite ‘some’ time. Hmmpphh ! But little did I know that there was another shock waiting for me !!
While standing in the queue, I noticed a cabin near the entrance with a woman seated inside. As I got nearer, I realized there is a counter and thought it was some sort of security check. I mean, who knows, there is trouble everywhere and this could be their way of avoiding mishaps ! Moreover, swine flu was pretty famous those days. When it was my turn at the counter, the woman smiled and politely asked me for money !! YES, YES, YES, they ask money to use the restroom and urinals even in France !!! and I thought these practices were strictly followed only in India !! But to my bad luck, I had only Swiss Francs at that time and the woman in the counted accepted only Euros. Once again, I had to return without getting an opportunity to ‘download’. No running this time; I was too tired and moreover, I couldn’t; if you know what I mean! That, my friends, was the worst day in my entire bathroom life !! Though I managed to successfully perform the ‘act’ in our next train to Paris, I would never ever forget whatever I went through to finally get it done !
It was another 2 and a half hour journey to Paris from Strasbourg. From Paris, we were supposed to board a metro to reach Marne-la-Vallee, oh that’s where – DISNEYLAND is ! Bro had our rooms booked at one of those Disneyland hotels 😀 😀 😀 We got down at Paris station and walked towards the metro. The place was filthy, people had spat here and there, cigarette buds lying all over the pavement, and there was a lot of garbage piled up in the corners. I felt as if someone held a placard in front of me which read “Welcome to India” ! So much for being in a foreign land !
Now, to understand how the metro works itself requires another human brain; lots of trains moving here and there, so many platforms, escalators, ways…….Too many confusions for one normal human brain to handle; the mastermind behind that whole metro network is definitely a sadist ! You dont believe me? Check them out yourself :
Thankfully, our walking google map (read my bro), had no issues in understanding them and made sure all of us boarded the right train.
The journey to Disneyland was another 45 mins – 1 hr. from Paris city. Visiting disneyland along with my bro was another dream of mine since childhood. Never thought I would ever make it there in my life, all thanks to my bro. When my S-i-l asked me during our journey about the places I wanted to visit in Paris, I answered Disneyland, without even batting my eyelids ! She shrugged her shoulders and said I would the only person on earth who could’ve said Disneyland of all the places and architecture that’s in Paris ! 😀 😀
By the time we reached Disneyland, it was mid afternoon. There are about 7-8 hotels inside Disneyland and there are shuttle buses from the park to each of these hotels.
After checking in, we realized that we didn’t have enough time with us to go back to the city and then get back to our rooms. So, we decided to spend the rest of the day at the nearby Disney Village. Disney Village is a commercial area in Disneyland with shops, games, restaurant and theatres and is a dream-come-true for kids to get their Disney souvenirs and toys. Ok, I am not going to bore you guys with more of my blah blah. Have a look at the pics and come back :
We returned to our hotel later in the evening. After dinner, bro and I stayed back at the lobby for a game of air hockey. It should have been a real bad day for my brother, because, for the first time in his life, he lost to me at a game. Ok, let me put this way, I had never been able to beat my brother at any game, be it video games, board games or these kinda indoor games and it was indeed a moment of pride for me 😀 😀 😀
But that was just the beginning for my brother. It was worse the following day !!!!
To be continued…..
Also read :
Once upon a time in Europe —
Next part in this series : Paris city.