2002-10-02 - 10:41 p.m.

There are four lessons I have learned thus far in my trip.

Number One: Do not try to stuff six drunk adults into a 3'x3' elevator at four in the morning, especially when the elevator has a maximum capacity of 400 pounds. It is worth the experience however when one looks back on those harrowing moments after the elevator ground to a dead halt. It is especially a good memory when people in your group are in a state of panic while you calmly stand there and think logically and calmly and push the doors open only to find that the elvator had risen only six inches. This cracks me up but I would never again go through that just for that one giggle.

Number two: One should gently ease into the diet of cheese and bread or one might find oneself feeling as though one is pregnant with a ten pound wheel of cheese that is five days past its due date. However, this circumstance might help alleviate the irritation and hestitation one might have with the public "restrooms" in this city (and I am hesitant to call them anything resembling a restroom because they are most often just a mere and literal HOLE in the ground which you have to PAY to use in most cases). In the words of one of the girls travelling with us after using a pay toilet and giving birth to her wheel of cheese after a six day gestation, "That was the best fifty cents I have ever spent, no question."

Number three: Don't bother trying to learn French until you arrive here, then watch as many hours of American sitcoms dubbed in French as you can stand and wander around the supermarket reading labels for hours and hours. I guarantee you will learn more French in two days of this practice than you will learn with actual French classes.

Number Four: You will see and experience a lot more if you make the Eiffel Tower trip into just a passing glance if it as you pass it on your way to the Latin Quarter for mid afternoon drinks. Trust me, its a striking detail of Paris, but the view you get from the top is just that, a view from the top, looking over the places you could be frolicking in if you would just get out of the neverending lines.

More lessons as I learn them. Tomorrow is the first day I will venture out on my own, I'm sure I will have lots to report. This is the best trip EVER.


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