The Paris trip has made me feel old beyond my years.
We met an elderly Italian lady who did not speak English OR French but who wanted to find the Metro. She outpaced me. At one point she turned around to see why I had fallen behind her and I said, "fatigué." Gary and I have been saying "fat - ee- gay" and "tray amu-ZANT" since College French. She must have taken College French too, because she nodded, mimed floppy-armed exhaustion, and said what sounded like "Tank." Possibly "Stanco," italian for tired.
Not only am I old, I am fat, and I had a cold. The day that pushed me to my limit was the day we went to the Catacombs.
See these steps?
These steps take you 60 yards down, and they make you dizzy. Then you walk through narrow halls. And even when I'm not dizzy, I have trouble walking down halls. I can walk in a straight line in a field, but put me in a hall and I start bouncing between walls like a pinball. So, I do the thing a lot of people do, "Walking the wall." You just keep a hand or finger on the wall at all times so you don't start careening.
So that worked well enough until one point when the walls turned into this:
I kept my hands off the bones for the most part.
But at one point I almost toppled over and I had to put my hand out to steady myself AND CHRIST THE BONES MOVED. They look cemented in, don't they? No. Just piled up. They jiggle up and down and in and out. If I'd wanted, I could have pushed my face in to them and left an impression.
Gary and I both assumed we'd emerge from the catacombs at the side of a gentle slope. It never occurred to us we'd have to climb 60 yards back up. I hate steps, especially spiral steps, especially narrow spiral steps, especially when they go up. When I'm climbing steps at work I always step aside and let others go first, because I don't want to take anyone out when I topple backward. And this stairway didn't allow for anyone to pass. The only good thing was it had a banister.
At about 30 yards I began gasping for breath. I made it the next 30 yards with two stops to try to catch my breath, attempting at one point to use my arms to pull myself up with the banister.
I did eventually make it to the the top (where there is a defibrillator) and into the air outside.
(An aside: We got the side effect list for the clinical trial drug, now called "GILENYA."
"Some people who take GILENYA have shortness of breath. Call your doctor right away if you have trouble breathing.")
I've been telling the Financial Adviser that we want to travel when we retire. But really, how will I do this when I'm old? We took a taxi out to the airport because I couldn't put my bruised feet on another cobblestone. I know Big Dot works out on the steps by her house. I need to adhere to a vigorous workout schedule just so I can relax on trips.