june 15th, 2010
So our favorite reporter arrived in paris this morning.
You will be happy to know that there were some low clouds above this magnificent city
and it was mighty windy when that air france plane landed. It had one excellent effect though, that nice little hop scotch landing. Suddenly the little outlet where our reporter and her traveling neighbor had tried desperately to plug their respective lap top stopped showing a green light, which was a good sign, as it will be seen later.
That made the reporter and her neighbor really happy to be able to plug their computer till we got to the gate, and what is more
it is ' interdit ' [ forbidden ] to use " un objet electronique ' [ an electronic device ] before landing, during landing and after landing when you tag to the gate.
It's not that the outlet was not working. Air France has chosen to install a plug-in device which has a small green light [ current is flowing ] but when you first look at it, it looks like it is closed, the little holes have white showing in, like there is an inside door behind [ there is ]
So what you have to do is push masterly a french plug in, and then [ there are arrows painted on the circumference ] you have to perversely twist it [ to the right ] so suddenly the sesame white door will open and you can really push in your french adaptor plug.
So we did that [ several times at the beginning of the flight ] but then when the french plug was twisted and inside, the green light would flicker off, and if we plugged then our US plug in our special french adaptor plug and then plugged the rest of the cable to our lap top, most evidently, did you guess ? There was no green light on the sesame plug and there was no current flowing to our lap top.
But the reporter and her neighbor were very flexible and obstinate travelers, and they discreetly tried and retried.
Then in a very respectful voice, they called the flight attendant and appraised her of the problem.
She didn't seem too surprised that such a weird issue could exist. So she said she was going to go and switch off the current in our two seats, and for a few minutes we wouldn't be able to manipulate the diverse exciting positions of our seat [ back rest, feet rest, ] She was obviously distressed to have to tell us that, which made the reporter think that travelers are very possessive of their moving seats.
When she came back, after this delicate on and off electrical maneuver, the little green light was still on the plug, we did all the twisting and pushing very obediently but alas, the light went off then. There was no way that we would charge our cute lap tops.
So our lovely flight attendant was very distressed and sad, but said there was not much hope now.
I don't think she was thinking much of that boeing 777. " Give me an A 380" ,
you could hear the scream from the back of her sinking shoulders, as she receded sadly towards the galley.
So we thanked her happily, and my neighbor who really had planned to work on a complex system of slides for a presentation, till dawn hours, sighed and said that at least he would get more sleep than he thought he would. [ He didn't, because when he got tired, he started to watch movies on that really bad personal graphed air france little screen. And when you start to watch a movie when you are tired on a long flight, you end by watching a good handful of them. Usually in descending quality too. He did just that. ]
He was a very nice young man, living in San Diego, born in france, and of the very studious kind.
And that is when a miracle happened. He reclined his seat in a very emphatic way and suddenly the green light went off !
Without ANYTHING plugged in !
So we dived into our bags and got our plugs and cables, seized by the same genius idea ! And YES ! We plugged in, psuhed in, twisted and pushed more, and... the light went green !!
How could we not have thought before ! These plugs were made for reclining-lap-top-workers !!!!!
Well then there was just a little problem though. If my neighbor plugged in, my light would come green before I myself
plugged in. So there was only one solution : my neighbor would work and charge first, and I would charge second.
That is when we realized that the plugs were made for alternate-reclining-lap-top-workers !!
We were mighty proud to have solved that little problem just by ourselves.
So then we landed in Paris, and everything was normal again.
There was no carrousel indication where the luggage would be delivered. [ For the first time in 28 years, our courageous reporter had checked in her luggage as she had some vague painting equipment for her painting seminar, like tubes, brushes, liquids, portable easel and portable seat ]
And once in Paris, we crossed a line of security trucks, Brinks type, and they stopped just at our level and from the last one which was a jeep with police, a black dressed gentleman hopped out with a aka gun, and my taxi driver got in gear and left the scene, and that type of reaction leaves any reporter a little miffed. So there, when she could have at last reported something bloody.
Three blocks later, we met the Tuesday strike, with lots of people, but they were very orderly and looked a little bored.
They were marching but didn't have any cute banner so I can't tell you what they were marching about.
So it was good to see Paris with its usual serene beauty.
With lots of affection from the City of Love,