Translation for 140 languages by ALS
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowline.
Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sail.
Explore. Dream. Discover
---Mark Twain


I suffered Eurolines from Paris to Frankfurt

If you think hitch-hiking is bad and (or, in English, ain't much more steady), then you'll find the unhappy medium, Euroline, right up your alley.

Like America's Greyhound Bus, Euroline is equally shitty but with matching prices (Greyhound, on the other hand, is starting to get a bit expensive). I took the night bus (the only bus) from Paris to Frankfurt. True to form it was starting to rain again. Twas just the beginning....

First, getting on board is not as easy as it can be. Bought the ticket the previous day from the agent office which is on the same saucy street as the Moulin Rouge. There are more sex shops and neon lights on that street than you can shake a oui, oui at. Curious attractions, those sex shops; but, really, how many explicit box covers and impossible dildos can you look at before concluding: if you've seen one feather duster or ramrod, you've seen them all? Thankfully, the agent spoke English and kindly told me which subway line to take to get to the bus station. 
asking a fish a question is only useful if you already know how to speak fish
He did not, however, tell me the bus station is still in the station just on the other side so naturally I headed for the wrong exit, carried my bags up the many stairs out onto the street, and walked from one end of the block to the next in search of a location that had no %$@! street sign. I was sweaty, I was anxious, my suitcase was falling apart - merde - and I had twenty minutes to get on the bus. At that point I got the bright idea to head toward the Info sign. Normally this would have been the no-brainer first move BUT asking a Frenchman anything is like asking a fish a question: it's only useful if you already know how to speak fish. Just then I spotted the teeny-tiny arrow directing to the bus station. Exxxcellent! I was spared from needing to try to parlez vous fish. Down the other stairs I go, pass the begging Gypsy good-for-nothing punk, following more teeny-tiny arrows until I see a line of people and luggage. Thank you Jesus! But no line for me. I already had my ticket!

Went up to the bus landing, spotted my bus, and handed over my ticket. I could tell he was German so I said in spotty German, "Hier ist mein Fahrkarte!" But the driver refused it. "No, no," he said in English, "you need a boarding pass." And I answered in perfect English, "What the f---?!"  So I hurried back down the escalator, dreading the long line I'd just laughed pass and, in my huffing frustration, noticed a different window with what I hoped was French for "ticket-holders." It was.

Since it only runs once a day I was glad to be aboard. That's where my gladness stopped. The bathroom reeked even before departure. On board were an Indian AND African pairs -- who talked non-stop.  Cluck-cluck-cluck, gibberish, gibberish, gibberish! And, of course, these people talked too loudly. Why is that? After two hours the Indian girl finally shut up. Then her friend had the nerve to ask the African woman to please lower her voice. This only made Madame Zulu talk even louder declaring, "I am free! I am free! I buy ticket just like you. I can talk," and, more absurdly, "You are not my chief!" Right about then I wish Chief Backhand was there. Silence, he would bellow. SLAP! It took a while before Madame Zulu's travelling companion could persuade her to lower her voice; but she never shut up. Did I mention the bus departed at 9:30pm. So much for sleeping en route.... And the bathroom reeked.

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