This is a post about this:
Allow me to explain with a lengthy post. Yesterday, while we were under the Louvre and some tall gentlemen above were being chased away by les agents de surveillance, (security guards) nature called. Wait, let me back up.
The reason we were there in the first place was because the underground entrance of the Louvre is attached to a large mall, called Le Carrousel du Louvre. The corresponding plaza above ground, Place du Carrousel, is a huge public square that has hosted many fine examples of France’s bloody history. Riots, beheadings by guillotine, you name it. There was even a palace there called Palace Tuileries, but it met an unfortunate and fiery end in 1871. But I digress!
Normally, we try to avoid touristy places while we travel, but coming to this tourist-trap-turned-mall couldn’t be helped: there was an Apple Store here. And we needed des adapteurs. (You can guess what that one meant.) And boy oh boy did I kick myself when upon our arrival, I realized I left all of our international power adapters… somewhere. I’m not sure where. I have no less than three sets! I’ve been abroad a few times before… and this forgetting-the-adapter-trick has happened more than once. We still need a regular adapter in order to charge our cameras, but they will last for a while until they arrive. We haven’t bought them yet, because I’m hoping that we’ll stumble on some adapters that cost fewer than €50!
So we hopped on the métro and off we went. To a gorgeous, beautiful, simple Apple Store. See how iHappy they make iPeople like Dave?
Then we window shopped and walked around and around and around…. It’s only day three, and our poor cheap stroller is on the decline. It’s wheels barely turned in the stores. (It’s yet another casualty in Carrousel’s dark history!)
it was nearing 16h00 (4:00 p.m.) which can only mean one thing in France: Time to drop everything for an hour and sit down for a café et chocolat (snails with a side of carrots in cream) so we were on the hunt for a good restaurant… Gotcha there for a second! Obviously snails and carrots are main courses, not snacks. La pause (mid afternoon break) is an quasi-meal time in France. Everything stops. So we had no choice but to stop when we found this cute café:
Did you catch it? There! In front of the sleek, mounted menus full of artisanal coffees. Beneath the chic oversized lamps, under the glass case of beautiful handmade desserts.
See the “M”?
IT WAS A MCDONALD’S! Now, I am no stranger to the clandestine “MacDos” in France, but this restau was so well camouflaged that even I didn’t notice it. By the way, the France-ified versions of America’s favorite McMystery Meats come accompanied with your choice of baguettes, beer, or wine. Yes, restau is the French slang for restaurant: of course the French have slang terms for their food. My response to Dave’s shocked face as he walked back to our table was that it was so nice, we could never afford what must have been outrageous prices.
Nope. It was a MacDo. Dave quickly recovered from this near-fatal move and found us some real French grub: espressos and cocoa-powdered mousse galette. I’m reliving the experience as I type. Re-dying, I should say: I nearly keeled over when I took my first bite it was so good. Sorry to the readers out there who haven’t eaten yet! Miam maim. (Yum yum.)
Then we finished our delicious cake and headed for the Jardin de Tuileries to let Adelaide out of her stroller to do things like this:
You just watched my baby obliterate a leaf. Bravo!
This, chèrs amis, is when nature called. I had to go. Now, of all the things one should know before coming to Paris, this is at the top of the list: water is not free. There are no free public drinking water fountains. Restaurants will not give you water without slapping a bill on it. And there are NO. PUBLIC. TOILETS. This means you should always carry around about €5 in coins so that you can pay to potty. No wonder some people feel that Paris has a distinct odor- a few people must have been caught stranded without their pièces (euro coins.)
So we threw that baby back in her stroller before she could say “WAH!” and rushed off to the one place I knew for sure would have multiple, clean toilets: The Carrousel du Louvre.
But I was wrong. See, I followed the signs in the underground mall but wound up next to a store that sounded right, “POINTWC” but it didn’t look like a place to potty. In fact, it looked like a beauty spa… which is pretty much what it was.
Upon entering, the spa boutique looked like this without the cartoon people:
POINTWC boasts having the cleanest bathrooms downtown… and that was pretty much true. But they took it much, much further than clean commodes. We’re talking chic, à la mode, fit-for-a-King porcelain thrones and accessories. A luxury lavatory. And what would royalty-worthy Johns be without proper French toilet paper fit to pad Napoleon’s bum? Check out this wall of papier (toilet paper):
And there were reams and reams and reams of printed T.P…. like the one at the beginning of this post. For your information, we didn’t splurge on the deluxe T.P. I’m still having a hard time believing people actually buy the stuff. Then again, they do burn down their own palaces, so why not burn money on pretty potty paper?
It cost 1€50. Pretty reasonable for a loo on the Champs Elysée. À la prochaine,