Europe France Paris Travel


le Pouce de César - La Défense, ParisThe over-inflated suitcases are weighed at Charles-de-Gaulle airport. The ground crew personnel shakes his head. “Trente six (36) kilos! Is too much.” I gulp at the thought of paying for excess luggage. He gives me a look laced with Gallic charm and says, “Take some thing out and put in your hand luggage.”

I rummage through the suitcase and remove weighty objects. Magazines, brochures, paper stuff. Done. Why do I collect so many memories? Cosmetic pouches. Done. Shampoo. Conditioner. No. Winter coat. Yes. I conceal the lingerie I purchased in Paris. The suitcase is reweighed. “Voila!” It gets his nod of approval.

In the departure lounge, I distribute the items into two pieces of hand luggage, the laptop bag and the small carry on case with wheels. I open one of the cosmetics bag and stifle a curse. I have accidentally picked up the one with my collection of nail polish. Including nail polish remover.

Acetone. On a flight that prohibits any liquids.

I decide to toss the acetone in the poubelle (bin) but my French manicure nail polish set is not for airport bins. I’m going to take my chance. I distribute some other items in the laptop bag and squeeze the long and thin fuchsia pouch in the wheelie case.

The invitation to board is announced. Two security personnel are conducting hand searches ahead. Mr G and I line up in an Indian file patiently awaiting our turn. My heart races as both ground crew call us over simultaneously. We approach together. I’m carrying the laptop case, Mr G is carrying the wheelie case.

I lay the laptop bag on the table and unlatch the clip. Security Man 1 picks up a small bottle of decongestant nasal drops and asks, “Prescription?” I shake my head. “I have a blocked nose.” He snickers and puts it back.

I glance to my right. His colleague, Security Man 2, is searching the wheelie case and checking every cosmetic pouch. He raises an amused eyebrow, nudges the other and lets out a loud, “Oh la la… regarde-moi ça! (What do we have ‘ere?)”. He then holds up the bottle of red nail polish to eye level, gives Mr G a curious look and says, “Verrry nice…” with a heavy French accent.

Mr G begins his protest, “No, no… it’s not mine!”

The security personnel cross their arms in synchrony, shake their heads and smile facetiously.

I intervene, trying not to laugh. “C’est à moi! We’re together…”

But they play their part well. And I feel as if I’m standing in the midst of a popular French comedy.

The passengers who have witnessed the show give Mr G curious looks and laugh. The bottles of nail polish are passed with a shrug that could only mean, We’ll let them deal with it at the other end.

As I board the plane with my belongings intact, I smile at the French attitude and wonder if their British counterparts could match their sense of humour.

* Image: Le Pouce de César – La Défense, Paris


This article is posted on - All rights reserved - Copyright © 2018.

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.