Bayeux, France — When you fly into an airport that calms to be in Paris you generally expect it to be in Paris. The “Paris” airport we flew into was, in fact an hours drive away from Paris. On top of this our plane was delayed and the bus to Paris cost €13.This put us in Paris two hours late at 12:30am, by this time the metro had closed as well as internet cafes.
This meant we were dropped off in the middle of a parking lot with no idea where we were.There were friendly people there but they all wanted to sell us a cab ride “very cheap”. After convincing the cabbies that we didn’t want a ride they recommended an all night café to us. It must have been at least a three mile walk to the area where the cabbies said the café was located. All the way there the cabbies followed us hoping we would give up.It turned out that the district the supposed café was in was the sex district.
The café was nowhere to be seen. We spent a few hours sitting on a bench in front of the Moulin Rouge. The only advantage to this place was that it was well lit and most of the bars were open all night so there were lots of police and tourist. We began to be suspicious that the cabbies had sent us to this part of town because they wanted us to get mugged.
Finally we met a drunken Italian who said he knew the way to the train station and contrary to what the cabbies had said it was open. As we walked he began to give us nicknames such as “Sumo” and “Bart Simpson”. He also proceeded to show us his five bullet wounds that he said came from his time in Bosnia. As we walked we hoped we weren’t making a massive mistake, our suspicions were only more aroused by his insistence that we come back to his house that was “very close”.
By God’s grace and Luke’s French we reached the train station at 4:00am. We were at the end of our strength. We sat on the steps of the train station and waited. Finally 5:00am arrived and the station opened.We set up camp in front of platform 22 and slept for the next two hours. When we awoke we were surrounded by the hustle and bustle of rush hour in Paris. The floors in that train station may have been the coldest I have ever felt but after surviving a night homeless in Paris it didn’t matter.