Sweaty, frustrated, and exhausted with two heavy carry-on bags to carry up and down flights of stairs, I finally got to the Macadet station. Prior to getting there, I crawled under a fence to get through without paying for a ride. I wanted to pay but there was no one at the info window to sell me a ticket. With the help of a guy who looked like a raver with his candy bracelets and baggy pants, I managed to find my way to the train platform. At this point, I was about 1 hour and 30 minutes late and I had no wifi reception to get in touch with my host whom I had never met. I was panicking and feeling sick. I got out onto the streets and wandered around while trying to read the street signs. I had the host’s address but I didn’t know that in Paris the street signs are on the buildings! It was dark, raining, and the area looked sketchy. After walking for about 10 minutes, I gave up. I approached an older Black man and showed him my phone with the address on the screen. He told me in broken English that I was walking the wrong direction. He said “Come! This way!” and motioned for me to walk after him. He seemed good-spirited with his smile so I figured “Hell! I just need to get to the apartment as soon as possible!” We didn’t really make small talk as we walked in the rain. We got to a corner of a street and he told me that I was on the right street. And then he walked me to the door of the apartment. I was so happy and thankful for his help that I asked to give him a hug. He rejected me and then said goodbye to me. I had the code to get into the apartment building so I let myself in. However, when I got in, I was greeted with darkness and a glass door. I didn’t have a code to get into the second door and I had no idea which door would have led me to the right apartment. I banged on the door loudly, hoping that someone would hear me. I stood in the dark for a couple of minutes and still, no one, nothing. My phone was dying. I had no choice but to go back outside and ask someone to borrow their phone to call my host. Luckily, a young couple walked by and the guy was nice enough to call my host. 5 Minutes later I gave Imy a big hug and we laughed at how terrible the journey was for me to get there. I instantly felt better. I was glad that she wasn’t even pissed that she waited at the entrance of the station for over an hour and was mistaken for a prostitute. Despite the fact that she was wearing jeans and a big jacket, two men approached her to ask if she was providing any services because they were interested.
We shared a sandwich in her apartment after we carried my bags up 4 flights of stairs. I nearly didn’t make it up! After we finished eating, it was about 12:30am. She asked if I wanted to rest or go out for drinks, it was totally up to me. I told her that I NEEDED a drink after all that crap that happened. So, we got dressed and went out. We walked to a bar about 5 minutes away from her place. It was a small neighborhood bar full of young French people. She knew the bartender and the group of loud boys in the center of the bar. I was introduced to them but as soon as they found out I didn’t speak French, they just kinda went back to talking to one another in their native language. 3 drinks and one shot of tequila later, Imy and I walked back home. On the way back, Imy and I stopped by a liquor store. I don’t remember much at that point but apparently the shop boy proposed to me and told me that he could listen to my “cute accent” forever. I guess I rejected the proposal and then climbed up 4 flights of stairs to get to bed. I still don’t know how we managed to walk up those stairs. The next morning I hopped on the back of my new friend’s scooter for my first day of sight seeing in Paris.