The descent into progressively deeper and deeper circles of Hell continues here at EuroDisney, where every day brings new miseries. Just when you begin to think things can’t possibly get any worse, some asshole dressed as Goofy springs from around a corner to prove otherwise.
Initially I thought the final straw came the other night. Because I left packing for this trip until the absolute last minute–nothing too unusual–I failed to include adequate numbers of a few crucial items, namely socks, underwear, shirts, and pants. But no problem, the hotel, like all hotels, must have laundry service.
And of course they do have laundry service here, provided you’re willing to spend more on laundry than you did on the clothes themselves (unless you’re buying socks made of unicorn pelts). In contrast to the more standard practice of charging for laundry by weight, this godforsaken institution of thievery charges by the item. That’s right, you have to pay for each sock you want washed, as well as every t-shirt, tie, and undergarment.
When I saw this price list–with prices so hideously inflated it almost made the interest charges on a credit card statement look reasonable–I nearly lost my mind. It was very late in the evening at this point, and I was dangerously close to having to start reusing socks and underwear. But I sure as hell wasn’t spending 6.50 euro to have a weightlifting t-shirt cleaned, and so I had to resort to washing things in the sink. Surely, I thought, this is as low as we can go.
But then there was today’s steak lunch, at the cleverly-named “The Steakhouse” restaurant, just around the corner from the park’s McDonald’s. Judging by the prices, this place had to be decent. But in the post-prandial words of Pete Roselli, as we walked out of that sad establishment, “This, I gotta say, is the worst steakhouse I’ve ever been to.” And that’s coming from a guy who’s been to Council Bluffs, Iowa. Apparently when EuroDisney’s executive chef was told to “Do what’s American” he took the idea a little too far, and the result is little more than a bad caricature of what you’d find in the States.
But all that is outside the realm of why we’re really here, which is weightlifting. The food may be overpriced and bad, the park may be an absolute hellhole of capitalism run amok, but at least the lifting can be enjoyed. Or so I thought, up until this evening, when I–along with dozens of other people with legitimate press and spectator passes–were barred from entering the venue. Apparently the meet organizer’s had oversold tickets for tonight’s 85 A session, which was extremely popular since it featured France’s own Benjamin Hannequin, and therefore the organizers had to turn away a major contingent of coaches, athletes, officials, press people, and others.
So unfortunately I–along with about a hundred or so others–was forced to stand around and watch Mr Hannequin go 3 for 3 in the snatch, ending with an exceptional 170, on a goddamn movie screen.
My friends and I stayed around just long enough to watch the snatch session, after which we decided to flee this infernal place for the actual city of Paris. We enjoyed a meal that was far better and cheaper than anything ever seen in EuroDisney, and the only downside was having to take the RER A train back to this place, where we are now roaming around trying to find a goddamn vending machine for a bottle of water. You’d think that this place would leap on the opportunity to rip people off with something as labor-free as a vending machine, but so far we’ve had no luck. Awful jackasses. The only explanation is that someone working for EuroDisney has discovered that thirsty people are easier to rob…
Enough rambling. Tomorrow is more lifting, and we can only hope there won’t be any problems getting into the 94s and the 105s. I’ve already run into Klokov once–literally, as I was sprinting to catch up with him for a picture–and he seems as enthusiastic and solid as ever. As he shouted when I thanked him for a picture, “Tomorrow!”