Friday, September 17, 2010

Took train for Paris 9:30am

June 18, 1945

Dear Folks -

Arrived yesterday June 17th in Parish. We rode (15 Red Cross workers) on a truck from Mesnieres-en-Bray to Ruoen for 11 1/2 hours. Took train there for Paris at 9:30am. Should have reached there at 11:30 but it took until 3:00pm. Train service is terribly slow.

Yesterday was a holiday here and buildings were covered with flags. Five years since Gen. Charles DeGaulle rallied Free French. Parts of the city were lit up by floodlight but we missed seeing it.

At present we are quartered at the Patio Club (for WACS and Red Cross). We near jumped out of our skins when we first say it, cause each of us have a private room consisting of a bed, wardrobe and sink. There are three rooms plus a bathroom and sitting room. This is our own little apartment! After living in one room with 90 people this is a bit of heaven, I assure you.

We eat at the Red Cross mess. A lovely restaurant taken over by the Red Cross and we have army rations, which all fixed up is real good. Here we have table service, etc. and our old "mess gear and food lines" seem like a nightmare. The best part is just going in, sitting down and eating and then leaving with no bother of paying any bills.

Paris - Hotel de France et Choisuel
239-241 Rue Saint-Honore

Last night a group of us went to see as much as Paris as possible. The streets around the Opera House were lined with people. The sultan of Morocco was here to confer with Gen. Charles DeGaulle. The Moroccan soldiers looked so odd in their full pants, bloused coats and turbans.

Our greatest delight was seeing the famous Parisian hats. They are something - piled high with anything and everything atop. Prices of same are terrific! ($35.00 $75.00 etc). We all want to bring one home but prices prevent that!

Also, it is a sight to see the hair-do of the French women. They wear their hair piled very high. Short skirts, right dresses, etc. Oh, la, la their bicycle outfits of billowing skirts is something I must try when I get home.

It is very hot here now - English weather is so very different. There is so much rain there and here it hasn't rained since we arrived.

Saw Notre Dame, Palais De Justice, Palais du Louvre last night. Palais du Louvre - old palace of French kings was a sight to behold. It is gigantic! Now hold museum and government offices. Paris is clean and Paris is gay, Paris is everything anyone says about it. I think I will enjoy my stay in Paris.

We are here to have orientation classes and to receive money for our hospital set-up, instructions, etc. Have no idea how long for but hoping we will get time in between classes to sightsee.

Must now go to meeting with Claire regarding our Revolving Fund. I do my bookkepping in francs! Hope it isn't as confusing as pence, shillings and pounds (in England). Will write again tonight.

Bon soir,

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