We arrived in Paris with a real “meh” attitude (meh is the noise one makes when they are whining.) The whole story is that we really didn’t want to come to Paris at all. We found out we were uninsurable soon after I arrived in Nice, but with all the paperwork, we figured no one would ever check up on it. We continued to ride because that’s what we loved doing. But, on our last day in Corsica, we got word from the scooter shop that we weren’t technically allowed to own the scooter and that it wasn’t registered. Hmmmm.
Not that we were being legal by driving it 1000km from Nice to Paris, but at least we felt like we were making an effort to be legal. Now that it is parked outside the hotel in Paris, I can breath a little better. There were a couple nights of up most of the night worry, thinking about Mike being arrested, but they passed and as soon as we mounted the scooter in the morning, I again realized that no one gives scooters a second look no matter what they are doing that is illegal.
More worry came in Pont de Vaux when a black cat crossed my path and I told myself not to be superstitious, but less than a minute later, I heard Mike swear and the scooter crash down. When I looked over, I thought everything was alright, but then on the ground was our right mirror. Crap. We drove out, worried that we would be pulled over for not having a mirror and it was a tense ride. We pulled into a couple places to see if they had mirrors, but they didn’t. We would have to go to a bigger city to find a Piaggio specialist.
Relief came when the last place we went told us it wasn’t obligatory to have a right mirror in France, only the left. Wow, lucky! We rode on, past town after town, Gendermarie after Gendermarie, each time trying to act cool. Mike would even wave at the motorcycle cops, but to no response. Thankfully.
When we got to Paris, we found a cheap hotel near the scooter shop and parked ourselves semi-permanently. We didn’t go into the city, Mike fell asleep before 10pm and I shortly after. We were exhausted from navigating our way into Paris on all side roads (it’s A LOT harder than you would think.)
Saturday we woke up and went to the shop to talk to Gilles about the scooter issue. No easy solutions, we can’t sell the scooter without a carte grise and we can’t get a carte grise without being residents, but we fiscally own the scooter. Hmmmm. We’ll either need to transfer it to our friend’s parents or to find a buyer ASAP. So, we have her up online, with URGENT: RIP US OFF PLEASE attached to the ads. We’ll see.
But not all bad things come out of being stuck in a beautiful city that has brought us much joy. We went to Mike’s favorite falafel place that he found roaming around in 2001. Every time we come here, we hit the shop, only this time, it has gotten popular. So popular that we waited 45 minutes for a falafel. We walked up Rue Rivoli and I got a new windbreaker. Later, we went out for a real night on the town. First the Absinthe bar that Anthony Bourdain had on his show. It turns out it’s totally a metal bar with Goth paintings of naked zombies and stuff. We tried a couple different kinds of Absinthe and ordered a second glass of our favorite. Then we totally college-kid’s-first-trip-abroad-ed out and went to The Moose Bar, a Canadian bar that was showing all the NCAA tournament games. We ate a burger and a stir fry and had Pastis. Mike was likened to an old Frenchman for ordering it, which I know he loved. He chatted up some youths from Maryland and we sat and watched the Huskies go down. All in all, we got back to the hotel in better spirits about being here and plans for what to do for the next few days while we figure out how to deal with our baby girl.