Adventures in a Wheel Chair
Mt. Pilatus at 7,000 feet is accessible by a small train, a cable car, and chair lift. We used them all. The train was the scariest!
The much smaller Mt. St. Michel defeated us when my husband and son, emboldened by a couple of beers, tried together to run pushing me up the cobblestone road. The rubber rim of my right wheel went flying off about a fourth of the way up.
I settled for coffee in a sidewalk cafe at the bottom. My son and husband were gone so long, the waiters were huffily removing my cup and setting my table for the next meal. I resorted to writing a note in French saying my son and husband would be back soon to join me for dinner.
Under threat of abandonment by my French speaking son, I am not allowed to attempt to speak French in France. The French are very proud of the beauty of their language. He thinks deportation is a serious possibility, if I do my usual “language deaf” mangling of even a foreign language that I have actually studied.
I must admit, I think that’s a real possibility in Paris. They are nasty to everyone, even non-Parisian Frenchmen, who often asked my son for help with the Metro and directions. And I helped young Japanese women finally get service in a cafe in Paris by besieging the waiters with written notes. I think the waiters feared I would fill the room with notes like confetti.
If you do not know French, at least carry a written note asking, “Where are the bathrooms?” But, beware, in Paris many of them are ecumenical.