Friday, June 17, 2005

See you later CDG

Greetings friends... from the Horatio Travelogue.

Well... I'm sitting on the floor in Paris/Charles De Gaulle Airport. And I will officially dub this place "the twilight zone."

Upon arriving, they allowed us to deplane on these super-modern-looking glass Skyway bridges. But, someone failed to unlock the door at the far end of the bridge, so we were stuck in a long line in this enclosed tube (insert claustrophobia here). Because they were glass (and modern-looking, which is important in Paris) we got a great view of the bedlam of little carts driving back and forth below us. Holy crazy! Imagine a traffic jam of golf carts all wanting to go different directions. So much for traffic rules (or sense). The modern-looking sassy glass bridge also gave us another great demonstration of the greenhouse effect. Hmmm... maybe building these sassy bridges with clear glass and no air conditioning wasn't such a hot idea after all.

When they finally released us, I followed the signs telling me how to get to my terminal... only to find out that they led me right out to the tarmac (see bedlam referred to above). After asking the unhappy lady in the yellow traffic vest where on this green earth i was supposed to go, she ushered me onto a bus... which then took off and joined the airport traffic bedlam (all this, in a "secure" area).

Yeah... the next fifteen minutes were more like driving in Cairo than driving in Paris... except there were no cabbage-laden donkey carts. But, finally they pulled me up to a back entrance door marked by a hastily-made sign: "2E"

Now, for those of you who don't remember Paris CDG Terminal 2E, check this out:

Yep... leave it to Paris to invest billions of dollars into a new, ultra-modern, space ship-inspired terminal (which was already over capacity the day it opened) and then have it collapse a year later. So, what is terminal 2E now? Well, it looks a lot like a bus station. They took the signs from the old terminal, repainted a storage area, added doors, put up a few coke machines (charging 2 EURO for a can of coke... vive le france), and have tried to move on. I guess they are rebuilding the terminal.

Now I am sitting next to the ONLY open plug in the entire area (and I cased the place... I'm glad I found this one). And, it seems they added a WiFi hub to keep their passengers from tearing their ears off and gnawing on the ugly furniture.

So, I'm off on an adventure. People say I should be afraid of the Middle East. Personally, I'm more afraid of the Paris airport. When stuff like this happens in the Arab world, it is quaint; when it happens in Paris, it is an embarrassment.

Those are my thoughts. Where to next? Oh yeah... The Middle East.

That is all.



erin said...

I really hated the CDG airport too. Good thing I have only been there twice. The other times I went to Paris we took the Chunnel. Not as fast as flying, but less of a hassle. There are very few airports that I hate--also on the list are Munich and Cincinnati.

Ontario Emperor said...

Excellent story. What's the name of the guy who actually lives at Charles DeGaulle Airport (the one that formed the basis for the sappy Tom Hanks movie)? Wonder if he gets out to 2-E at all?

Horatio said...

Ontario: I don't think he's still there... but he could be. How could you tell? If I remember right, that incident happened in the 80s. But, i'd have to look that up.

Duchess: I could add JFK to the list of hated airports too. If you stay in the main Delta terminal, it isn't too bad... but try to leave... and may you rest in peace.