We met at O'Hare at around noon, myself and mes trois amis, Summer, Priya, and Kabir (yes look at how multicultural we are) prepared to take our 4 o'clock flight from Chitown to Philly. We are so prepared. However, the airport is not. US Airways, the assholes of the air, are scrambling to get their servers back online and their computers working. (Yes, these people are flying the deathtrap in the air we will be in for the next 10+ hours). As it turns out, Philly is also having severe weather, and there are two hour delays. The skank at the front counter thinks it would be wise to separate from my companions and take the earlier flight in case this flight is delayed so much that I miss my connection from Philly to Paris. I oblige. I am an idiot. I sprint to the gate to find the plane has taken off. Luckily we are still in the US and I know how to make a fit in English better than in French and I get a ticket for the later flight again. Unbeknownst to me at the time, this is cause for an even greater headache later. The others join me (actually sitting at the wrong gate anyway... they all look the same OK!) and we head to the correct gate a minute further down the hall.
I buy an orange from the cart nearby... questionable freshness indeed.
We board the plan on time, but instead of taking off asap, the pilot wants to deice, and after taking so long to move to the runway, decides we must deice again.. oh yea.. and AGAIN. MOVE YOUR ASS. By the time we take off it is 3 or so hours late. Much turbulence later, we land in Philly. We now have -5 minutes to get to our connecting flight to Paris. Luckily I am slightly in shape and can run fast and long. I spring ahead of the pack. Unfortunately, I nor none of my companions planned for the plane to leave 5 minutes before its set time. I am having so much fun. Out of breath, a man is driving the others in a little airport jeep and I hop on. We make our way to "Special Services" (yes, that name is ominous) because the people who work there should literally be called "special."
This woman is the MOST incompetent person I have ever met in my life. Oh... My.. God... if only I had a sharp weapon. Ok we sit there for an HOUR trying to find a flight. The next flight direct is not for 24 hours.. awesome. There is a flight from Philly to London Heathrow and then to Paris. GREAT! No wait, only 2 seats, two people have to go on standby.. fine. Wait, can we get seats on the direct flight tomorrow if we miss standby....? No? Awesome. Wait why does the French man next to us have a direct flight to Paris for tomorrow morning? Oh yes we would like that flight! Its full now? great..... We'll try standby.
We get to the counter by the gate and the one sane person working for US Airways tells us there are plenty of seats to Heathrow in London. What? There is also a meal, thank GOD. We get on.
Were in London.
London is boring because people speak English (and not well). The airport is too big to function. We are sure they don't transfer our baggage... but we have a half hour to get on our flight to Paris.
Hey! We're in Paris! We wait for our bags for an hour.. no sign. We head to the bureau d'Air France (oh we switched to Air France for the last leg of the trip) because US Airways can get us from Philly to Paris, or Philly to London, but apparently not FROM London to Paris. Dumb. At Air France we fill out claims for our baggage. J'adore Air France. They apologize and give us 100 euro for the day to buy things we need for the first day. Perfect... Oh, except that I'm in the fashion capitol of the world without any CLOTHES. Thank GOD I wore my Nudie jeans and one of my pea coats on the plane. Seriously..
Our taxi man speaks French with an asian accent. AMAZING!!!!
(Later we went to a chic wine bar called "Routonde" where our asian waitress speaks with impeccable French. I already love this town... but all that will follow)