How to make a fool of yourself on the Paris Metro

A few years ago, my boyfriend and I took a trip to Paris. It was a bank holiday weekend, first time in Paris and only the second time we’d holidayed together alone. I was excited, I had even bought a stylish little weekend-size suitcase to take with me.

So we caught the Eurostar train over from Kent and arrived in Paris in less than 2 hours. Fantastic! I’ve been sat in traffic jams for longer than that, so to think we could arrive in the capital city of another country in that time was pretty pleasing. When we arrived, it took a few moments for us to get our bearings at Paris Gare du Nord and we trundled our little suitcases behind us in search of the correct metro train to our final destination.

We reached the little gates and put our tickets in but as I happily strolled through, something halted me. My suitcase had only gone and got bloody stuck between the two barrier gates! I gave it a pull but it wouldn’t budge – those things are strong! So I was stood there, like a total idiot, clutching onto the handle of my suitcase while everyone else around me avoided my gate and went on their merry way. Eventually a nice passenger had the sense to put his ticket into my gate, thus freeing my little suitcase from the vice-like grip of the gates (and also freeing me from my idiot abroad agony).

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only incident to occur on the metro that weekend, although second time round it wasn’t me who was the fool. Once again, I was putting my ticket into the barrier gate (no suitcase this time!), and as I pulled my ticket out at the other end I found that the person behind me had been far too eager to get through the gate and their ticket popped out milliseconds after mine. I shrugged my shoulders and skipped through the gate. When I turned around I noticed that said person was still at the barrier – their ticket wasn’t working (that thing they do to stop you sharing one ticket and passing it back to your travel companions). Oopsy! Patience is a virtue…

…but then taking your time isn’t exactly a surefire way to success either!


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