bit of Paris info.
We would barrel around Paris on the coach with the guests turning the bus into a mobile strobe light. I would be on the mic calling out everything I could see on either side of the chariot, “on your right is the chatelet district, and on your left you will see a gang of poodles group shitting, the owner is oblivious as you can see, distracted by her cigarette smoke, and very unlikely to pick up after her mutts, I enjoy this particular filler in a driving tour, about how people should be very careful when traipsing around Paris.
The city is streets are full of animal egesta, for all Paris’ lustre and beauty it is marred by the faecal crumbs of the million or so dogs that stroll the city daily, it can be like be like playing rugby sidestepping the poo mounds. Paris does have a very active clean squad who hose down the citiy streets and rid it of rubbish, money wise, they put a lot into keeping the streets nice.
We pull in to the Trocadero, which is one of the best places to take a snap of the giant phallus aka the Eifel - temporary structure that few people in Paris liked initially, the Mayor apparently used to take lunch under it everyday in protest of its repugnant outrageousness, when asked, why there? he replied 'it's the one place I can eat my lunch and not see this thing'. I’m always sure to balance the weight of excitement against the need to be back on the coach promptly, no one knows this more so than the driver. I tell the group we have 10minutes to grab some pics, scare tactics seem to bring out the urgency in people, so I tell them that we don't have a permit to park and so can only stay here 10 mins– I know in my mind that it will be 20minutes at least before I can even consider counting everyone up.
It’s funny how every single group is never, ever on time for this regrouping, more painful still is the irksome wait for one or two passengers who have been sucked in to a street performance or an ideal photo op failing to keep track of time and everyone else. I have on only one occasion left a couple of pax at the Trocadero, after an extra 15 minutes of waiting for them and putting our departure minus them - to a democratic coach vote.
We see the city of lights in the best way possible, Baroque buildings, classical palaces, statues and Gothic cathedrals are draped in light and reflect off the Seine, another driving tour dusted I'm thinking in my mind, at the end of the tour I stir up the guests to give a resounding show of appreciation to undies, who is calm and collect as we storm back. I'm liking this guy undies.
I like working with English drivers, never short of a banter. It makes life immensely better if you have a driver you can get on with. There is nothing worse than sharing a 10 hour drive day with someone you don’t like. Undies was gold, a 60 something Cockney, born and bred in East London, a family man who shared most of my own opinions about our passengers, should be a good tour this one I thought.
Drivers and guides have a separate mandate but a unified goal, some drivers limit their services to loading the bus, driving the bus, parking the bus, cleaning the bus, admiring the bus and talking at great length about the bus in general. Other drivers are more than happy to mix in with the passengers and be social on nights where they don’t need to drive the next day. undies was partial to a coffee and a fag, so when we parked up this night, we went to a charming local tabac to enjoy a cafe creme, chuff a cancer stick and look forward to a good tour.