Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Metz, France: Charlatans and the Northern French Countryside

Woke up on a train from Paris en route to Luxembourg. The sun was up and the view of the countryside inspires, flipping briskly like a slideshow of frozen lakes, farm lands, grass fields, and rows of chateaus. We were headed eastward and I had the leftward seat facing north. If there was a hint of the night weather, it would be in the form of intermittent snow flakes though there were flowers still abloom.

My train arrived in Metz at 4:20 PM. I only had 30 minutes to find my "voie" (platform). I saw a little shop on the platform and decided to buy some nourishment. I was famished. When I realized this, I decided to buy sausage croissant and another chocolat et sucre croissant from the old lady at the counter. I handed her the only available bill - then she pretended I gave a much smaller one. Of course, I huffed and puffed because she can't feign ignorance in lieu of her inability to speak English or my inability to speak French. There were no other customers so she can't be too confused unless she suffered from an acute case of selective Alzheimer's. You see, I don't take easily to being taken for a ride, unless it's a train or a plane going elsewhere. Not by charlatans.

Yes, even Europe has her share of scammers who pry on the innocent.

Metz-Ville is a lovely little northern French countryside; one that many of us actually daydream about. People from Paris, Spain or Portugal change trains here en route to Belgium, Frankfurt or Luxembourg.

I found voie 6. I tried the yellow-lined first class couches (which were enclosed) but there wasn't any available space. Second class had available seats. With the help of a Dutch man, I lifted my backpack and settled on my chair - then feasted on my croissants at record time. Luxembourg beckoned.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

Photo courtesy of Nicola e Pina.

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