So, finally, three and a half hours after leaving the flat on what should have been a 1 hour trip, I found my mom at CDG airport. That should have been the happy ending to the story. Unfortunately, there was more to unfold.
After following the signs for “Trains to Paris this way” we arrived only to find all of the ticket kiosks out of order. Apparently there was a problem with the electric on the tracks, so no train access to Paris.
No problem, I said, we can take a bus. Who wants to take a taxi, which costs 45 euro, when you can take a bus, right?
So, we found the bus. After a nice tour of the airport surroundings, including the post, and other random industrial type buildings, we were finally on our way into central Paris. The bus was crammed–no one else could take the train either–and a bit hectic, and it took 1+ hours. Somehow the bus driver was not the quickest fare taker/give changer on the route. Finally, we arrived at the Nation metro stop, the end of the line. I helped my mom get her luggage, and we got off the bus and found a bathroom for my mom to use while I guarded the bags.
All of a sudden I realized that what was on my arm was only her bag, not my (new) camera, which I had brought with me to take her picture as she exited the arrivals–so much for that idea. As I realized this, I turned and saw the bus there, but had the bags. As I was considering how to not abandon the luggage yet still get to the bus, it drove away. I watched where it went, and tried to follow it, but alas, no luck. I did get the bus number, and asked another driver, who tried to call, but between the lack of communication generally, and my lack of language skills, he was trying to be helpful but really, do you think that camera was still on the bus once someone else got on?
Just in case you’ve got a connection, it was bus number 7383, on bus line 351 from CDG to Nation Metro stop. It was a white man, slow at making change, driving. There are pictures on it from Thailand, Cairo, Belfast and Paris, though thankfully, they had all been downloaded the night before.
The biggest issue now is, not just losing the camera, but how will I survive a week in Paris without a camera??