There are a number of reasons why I love Paris: the cognac, cigars, chocolate, cheese, Dijon, etc. I must admit I also felt tremendous relief upon arrival at seeing the number of tall people mingling around. I got a little tired of being the uber tall, gangly, white woman walking the streets in India and standing out like a sore thumb.
The absolute best part of the Paris (CDG) Airport however: the leather beds everywhere. I saw one, prayed to it, fell down upon it’s smooth leather comfort, and slept like a baby. It was like finding heaven in the midst of 48-hours of travel hell. Airports in Canada and the US could learn a thing or two about COMFORT (it’s really not such a novel idea).
The thing that sucked the most about going through Paris (beyond figuring out the whole terminal bus thing): all the cognac, wine, perfume, Dijon… lovely liquid stuff that I could NOT buy because I was passing through the US.
When you arrive in the US, you have to go through customs regardless of whether you are stopping or just passing through. AND, if passing through, once you’ve gone through customs you have to re-check-in and go through security again; which equals NO liquids. Thus, if I’d bought the lovely bottle of cognac I fondled for a good 10-minutes, I would’ve had to kiss it good-bye upon arrival in the US. All this said, somehow a couple of bottles of Dijon ended up in my checked luggage somewhere between arrival, pick-up, customs, re-check-in, and security.
As an extra note: in Paris when you buy liquids from duty free they will put it in a special sealed “security safe” bag — with receipt and note. This is not recognized in the US.
When I eventually made it to security again, and pulled the laptop out of my bag, the guy looked at the assets sticker on the top and said: Ah, you work for xyz company. We get a lot of you passing through! That freaked me out a bit because nowhere on the assets sticker does it say xyz company.