My husband, Bryan, got back to Paris yesterday. His trip was uneventful until he arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport. In the past he has always pre-arranged for a pickup service (like hiring a limo in New York) to get him to and from the airport. It is a little more expensive than a taxi but all the international flights seem to arrive at the same time...whatever airport you are flying into...so the line to catch a taxi at CDG can be daunting. A hired car waiting for only you is a welcome site after almost 24 hours of traveling from Alaska.
For whatever reason...Bryan decided not to have the hired car...just to take a taxi.
Yesterday...in Paris...the taxis were on strike.
He sent me an email letting me know it might take him awhile to make his way back to the apartment so I went for my walk. (He didn't have a key to the apartment with him so I had been patiently waiting for him to get home.)
Sure enough...I saw a gathering of striking taxi drivers who had parked to block a road near the Invalides.
I noticed on my walk along the Seine that there was soooo little traffic. There was an occasional taxi working but I saw very few. It was definitely one of the most peaceful walks I have taken and it was the middle of the day. No incessant car horns honking.
Meanwhile...back at the airport...
There were some working taxi drivers. Strikes happen often enough that people have learned to deal with it. Passengers share taxis. Paris is divided into sections called arrondissements. We are in the 15th. Bryan's taxi took three passengers with all their huge bags to the 15th arrondissement. Notice how small this taxi is. Three grown men crammed into the back seat. Their bags in the front seat, on their laps and crammed in the rear.
The striking taxi's had blocked other streets around Paris. One of the passengers was checking the traffic situation on his smart phone and they realized a major detour to the normal route was necessary. At one point they drove near a group of striking taxi drivers and their taxi was egged by the strikers.
What was the conversation in the taxi?
My husband does speak a little French. The other two passengers, French, did speak great English. One told my husband the best way to improve his French was to get a French girlfriend.
Maybe I had better work some more on my French!
Just in case you want to know a little bit more about the taxi strike and the reasons for it, go to this link, Paris Taxi Strike Turns Violent
I also found out, while I was sewing away on the borders of my quilt on Sunday, I missed "No Pants," day on the Metro. What? I had best mark that on my calendar for next year. I have found a blog about Paris happenings to follow and that's how I found out...too late! There are pictures...take a peek.