no matter where you go, there you are

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cece's Advice #3: A Lot of the Time You'll Feel Like an Idiot; Don't Let it Bother You

Cece's Advice #3: A Lot of the Time You'll Feel Like an Idiot; Don't Let it Bother You

This piece of advice is fairly self-explanatory, but I will provide an example so it makes this post much more interesting.

The first time this fact hit me was when I was trying to find the luggage storage in Paris' Gare de Lyon, a 3 level train station. So I enter from the street and walk about halfway through without seeing any luggage signs or any clue that would point me in the right direction. So I turn around to find a map and between the pictures and English translations, I'm able to read it fairly well. Or so I thought. It looks like luggage storage is on Level -1. That works for me so I head to the escalator. I get off and looking for any indications of where storage might be. There is a sign listing all the available services on that floor and lo and behold, luggage storage isn't one of them.

I assume from this that I was on Level -1 before, and now I'm on Level -2. So I head back upstairs to look at the map again. I get there and read it and see Level -1. Right as I'm about to swear that I was just there and turn around to see if I missed something, I remember that I am on -1. I started on -1 and now I'm back. I officially feel like the biggest idiot. I was 3 steps away from actually heading back downstairs even though I had just come from there. Luggage storage ends up being only 15 or so feet further through the station from where I had initally turned around so if I had also walked a little further that first time, I wouldn't have wasted time. For me on this trip, time was of the essence and any wasted minute was bad. Especially if it was during the daytime. Places are only open for so long...

Anyway, my personal debacle in finding luggage storage put a damper in the morning and I was just itching to rid myself of my bag that I became irritated and frustrated. Not enough to scream and shout at the sky, but just enough that I needed a nice walk towards the Maison de Victor Hugo to calm me down. Therefore, I recommend to any traveler out there, should you feel like an idiot because you are a foreigner...and it will happen...don't let it bother you or get you down. I, personally, am very hard on myself when I do stupid things, but try your very best not to let it get to you. It's all part of the experience so milk it for what it's worth. At least in countries where you don't speak the language you have that excuse. Here in America you have no excuses.