Well. It has been eventful.
We caught the train from Bordeaux to Paris. Bordeaux I really liked. The transport system is fantastic and if one was to miss a tram, one could skate to their destination on the dog shit lining the streets.
Our hotel was good. I mean it was 3 stars by whoever gives hotel stars out, but those people that actually do online surveys had said enough positive things about it on booking-dot-com for me to shell out the readies. It was in the centre of a construction zone, so we were guaranteed a wake-up a call we didn’t have to pay for. Yay! But the room was clean and had a kitchenette, so we made a lovely pesto pasta. That’s the highlight on that one.
We visited the wine museum while in Bordeaux. I tell ya. Do it. Just do it. If you ever find yourself in Bordeaux and you like the drink of the Gods, this place is a wonderful experience. But don’t bring your toddler. Toddlers should never be allowed in a wine museum. Just saying. The wine museum / toddler experience is a book unto itself.
However — we caught the train from Bordeaux to Paris and after a nice walk we arrived at our accomodation for the night. I was instantly impressed as we had to be buzzed in through a security door. The place was awesome. Free mini-bar in room and in lobby (not booze alas). The room also had a little balcony. As we all went out onto the balcony, the wife and toddler ohhhh-ed and ahhhh-ed at the Eiffel Tower at the end of the road, and I found myself wondering what the loading-weight of the thing was as I stared at the street 6 floors below.
We had dinner at a lovely restaurant we were happy to spend some time in, but the toddler decided it was time to declare shenanigans. So, with shenanigans declared, mayhem ensued and salt was tipped on tables, napkins were thrown to the floor – just after she caught my eye to ensure I was watching her do it. There was jumping, there were cries of “no!” as I tried to catch the gremlin thing as it leapt and side-stepped like a great running-back to vanish under a table. Then it’s head emerged above the table and I zeroed in on my quarry. But it escaped across the bench-seat in a flurry of squeals and one loud fart, to fall off the end and crash face-first into a fire hydrant to then be rescued by a pretty German girl.
The German girl set my quarry at a distinct advantage away from dad. Dad is losing his mind and his ass is hanging out of his jeans due to the chase, and all those who are sans toddler are laughing their asses off. Those laughs were the taunts of the free.
We paid the bill and dragged the screaming, bucking, blond demon thing back to the hotel (its Lair) to try and get it to sleep. Which it flatly refused to do. Flatly. Refused.
“Go to sleep.”
“Get a dog up ya!”
The wife had a great idea for the two of us to spend the evening on the balcony, watching Paris at night, drinking wine and eating cheese. You know, romantic stuff. We could stay up late and have fun — then a blinking moppy blond head arrived between us to remind us our plans were doomed.
After a peaceful nights sleep of being kicked in the back of the head, we packed and dragged our luggage to the Gare Du Nord to catch the Eurostar to London.
At immigration, the wife was leaving the queue with the toddler to go through the EU gates which were empty, but the kibosh was put on her arrogance when we were instructed families must stick together. Quite right thought I. Quite right. I laughed out loud as she had to be tethered to the idiot Aussie with the Aussie passport in the line with the other idiots. I even tapped the sign saying families had to be together. I tapped. The. Sign.
The security check into the British section of the train station went smoothly and swiftly. I was very impressed at how fast it was and would love to tell the Australian government about the efficiency I witnessed. They should send someone to check it out. Fast trains are also cool. But we’d probably need to make one that runs on coal for our ruling clown class to take any interest in advancement. Or evolution for that matter.
But I diverge. At the security check, the toddler got stage fright and stood in the middle of the metal detector. She wouldn’t move. She just stood dead-centre. The line began to build behind her as my best pleas of “come on. Come on. Come on Donkey”, were entirely ineffective. The line continued to pile up as folk started to push into one another in a mouth-gaping confusion; yet still she stood in the middle of the machine — those blue eyes blinking at me and the policeman standing beside me in the tactical war gear holding a heavy machine gun. It must have been quite a sight for a small innocent human, walking through a machine in a strange world with lots of trains and people. Seeing a heavily-armed man standing beside a fat, bald git who was saying “come on now darling.”
I assume the cop was also a dad as he knowingly smiled at me and we shared a chuckle. I thought that was nice. Laughing with a heavily armed fellow in charge of an immigration line my 10 kilo daughter stopped in its tracks.
The wife took the last of the Euros and headed to duty free to spend them (as exchanging them is daffy she said and I agreed). All I know is I got a bottle of Evian and she returned with a bottle of wine she claimed cost 11 Euro when quizzed. “How much was the wine?”
What happened to the other 50 Euro is a game I now like to play with myself. “I wonder what happened to the other 50 Euro.”
We left Paris as Spring gently pawed it’s way into the city, shaking its golden mane to chase away the grasping fingers of a Winter refusing to leave. I gazed out the window of the fast train to the sounds of “boot! Boot! Boot” as the toddler was requesting boob, which is her comfort as she constantly finds herself in different places and looking into the grinning faces of different waiters. I sighed deeply as I watched the beautiful sun on the pristine fields as a small pair of sneakers kicked my in the knee repeatedly. I found the kicking reassuring, relaxing. At last, some fine weather was to be had.
We headed into the 50.45 miles of tunnel — to emerge into — the grey rainy shit of England. The shaking golden mane of the Spring puppy that pushed Winter from Paris the morning we left, had dumped the bastard in the U.K complete with billowing nostrils and wet dog smell.
“Fuck, “I thought. “Fuck,” I said.
“Fuck” repeated a little blond monster that was staring at me with cracker crumbs on its lips and one of its socks in its hand.
There was a moment between us I tried and failed to figure out why it had taken off it’s sock.
“I’ve pooed”, it said.
There was a little more silence.
“Fuck me gently”, I said, as I looked back out the window.