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Report 2025: Airplanes, Roses, Poppies, Caves, Bridges and Paradise

By Anastasia from Canada, Summer 2012

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Page 5 of 24: How We Broke a Bus

photo by me

Yummy Croque Madame at Le St-Jean in Montmartre

In the morning we walked to le Panetier bakery which has an outside sitting of only three small tables and had our breakfast of espresso and croissants. This bakery is very nice inside. Office workers, mostly men sat there with a journal, wearing extremely good quality uniforms and shirts. We then walked around to rue Montorgueil, and the St-Eustache church. Most of the stores were closed this early, but some were already open or never closed. We decided to walk to nearby Louvre Open Tour stop and took the two-day bus tour. Last time we used the batobus, and decided to change. After a first tour we went off at Opera stop and walked to le Petit Vendome, a renowned small place for excellent sandwiches. Luckily we arrived just before rush hour and were the first in the line to order a jambon beurre, and two sandwiches with jambon du pays and chevre, olive oil. The line became huge behind us. In this rich neighborhood surrounded by offices, this place fills up quickly and people even eat their sandwich with a glass of wine right outside. We decided to walk to Tuileries gardens and found a bench in the shade in a nice corner by the kidsí carousel, and had our lunch there while our son could ride it. Sandwiches were good, big and we couldnít finish them. From there we took the tour to Notre Dame.

As we approached Notre Dame the bus driver, a woman, didnít stop where she was supposed to and my husband pressed the red button. It was a wrong button to press because that one was to open in an emergency situation. As a policeman stopped our bus because the driver didnít respect the line of buses, she started yelling at us, on how stupid the tourists were. She couldnít manage to close the door, but instead of asking for help, she kept insulting tourists and didnít allow anyone to get off. I told her the tourists are not stupid, just unaccustomed to everything different and new. To that she said all buses were the same. I said may be in Paris but not in other countries. In Montreal for instance to evacuate you should open a window and there are red handles to do so. I thought she was the stupid one: driving the bus for tourists and getting paid from their money, but insulting everyone. She also was the one who didnít respect the rules and this is why the police had reprimanded her. In fact all Open Tour buses were different in Paris. Some had plenty of buttons and some didnít have any and people yelled to get the driver to stop, how civilized and clever. One family couldnít get off at more than three stops because they were to shy to yell.

Most people were just scared of her, but I wasnít impressed with her ďintellect.Ē

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