The Winchester

"Not all those who wander are lost" – Tolkien

Porte Molitor

with 13 comments

March 2011

Metro Chien sat patiently while Maitre-Chien chatted with Marc, disbelieving everything he was being told. “You came down the tunnels? Pas possible!” Claire Elise translated although I don’t think any of us believed that 5 minutes of scattergun French could boil down to a single sentence. Myself, Statler, Gary and Patch sat in the tunnels, backs to the wall, confused at everything that was going on.

I don’t mean that we didn’t understand that we’d been caught, just that everything that had happened in the last 15 minutes or so had happened in angry French. Coming over Dong Barrier #5, Marc had spotted somebody in the distance, walking up the tunnel towards us – “Ok, there is somebody in the tunnels, we leave!” We grabbed the bags we’d just delicately passed over the dong barrier and shoved them through the beam, mentally preparing ourselves for another run with an unknown outcome, until Patch spotted the dog. “Ok, We don’t run, he has a dog!”

Molitor came with a reputation. Marc had initially refused to accompany us because of the likelyhood of a bust, however a burst tyre had bought him out to the right area with Claire Elise and they decided to come along for the ride.

Dong Barriers, PIRs and Cameras were the mechanical security devices to overcome, train drivers, cleaners and guards the people to avoid. This is not information we found out on the trip, we’d been fully aware of it from hearing the stories of Dsankt and Sgt Marshall’s trips with Snappel, Qx and Hount.

The trip started eloquently enough. A train departed the platform as did we, creating a symphony of the metro by the counterpoint of our differing destinations and identities. The train following his routine and usual direction, bereft of risk, the quest for a prize missing. 6-strong, we bounded down the running tunnel towards dong-barrier #1, hunting for a prize amidst a plethora of very real possibilities of capture.

Dong barrier #1 was conquered, the yellow light sat on top of it refused to flash as we climbed over it and away down the tunnels. Victory? Or were the lights turned off? We didn’t stop around the find out, for the next time we stopped it was because we realised we’d triggered a PIR. The first instinct was to run, so run we did. We stopped and regrouped, hiding out in a train for 15 minutes, red faced and panting, unsure of what was going to happen. We made the collective decision to proceed, as surely we’d hit the point of no return.

Another 3 dong barriers were passed, as were PIRs and cameras we hoped nobody was watching. Dong barriers are evil. They stretch from about 6 inches off the floor to 6 foot, with a two foot gap before another 2 foot long section. You break it, the RATP know about it.  We didn’t break them.

Molitor was reached, a sudden open tiled section, resplendant, clean and reflective. An echo bounced down the tunnels with every shutter click, footstep or whispered word. We intended to be quick here, for a camera watches over the platform.

We weren’t quick enough. We were half way through the final Dong barrier, ready to turn back on ourselves to find a station we could exit at.  Maitre-Chien arrived and sat us in the tunnel. A surreal experience indeed, just being there with no thoughts as such. We didn’t have to hide, to be quiet, to keep moving. We were just present in the warm warren of concrete tunnels, waiting. Marc tested the Dongs. They were on. Maitre-Chien was friendly enough, we chatted with us, tut-tutted at our mindless actions and spoke on the phone to his colleagues. [I feel that being 5 minutes quicker would have seen us escape, or any number of variables could see us away. You live and learn from your experiences and mistakes]

When Metro-Maitre #2 arrived, he was angry. Like a n00b, he got lost in the tunnels and we’d been sat there for over half an hour when he arrived. The electricity hadn’t been switched off very quickly, he didn’t know where to find us probably out of sheer disbelief, and when we were marched to the nearest station, another 5 RATP guards stared at us in a mixture of disbelief and anger that their nights had been disturbed.

The Police turned up and berated the RATP for failing to follow protocol, and we walked out into the cold air of Paris with winners faces, amazed at our luck.

Failure? N’est pas.

Written by Winch

March 21st, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Posted in Trains

Tagged with , , , ,

13 Responses to 'Porte Molitor'

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  1. Nice write up WINch. Sounded like a pretty fun night


    21 Mar 11 at 1:55 pm

  2. Good work Winch, always a good read 🙂


    21 Mar 11 at 2:42 pm

  3. Une victoire méritée. C’est fantastique!


    21 Mar 11 at 2:53 pm

  4. Why’d you go from the southern end? Also I heard that the first guard was familiar with 😉 Fucken rugged!


    21 Mar 11 at 5:11 pm

  5. The raccord’s proximity to the end of the platform means you can run off and be at Dong #1 in a minute, away from the running tunnels.. We entered towards the end of service so felt our numbers would make tunnel running more risky.

    First guard was cool, asked if we ‘were’ Sleepycity. I said nah, we’re The Winch and he doffed his cap 😉


    21 Mar 11 at 5:21 pm

  6. haha, lol at “are you sleepycity” Good stuff guys, who givs a shite about the bust, u got out and it sounded good fun! 🙂


    21 Mar 11 at 5:36 pm

  7. Looks like good fun was had, am looking forward to the summer!

    Pipe Ninja

    22 Mar 11 at 1:31 pm

  8. It definitely was fun! Are you heading out to Paris?


    22 Mar 11 at 9:34 pm

  9. Definitely another good nite in Paris! 🙂


    23 Mar 11 at 12:41 pm

  10. Mate, what a cracking read 🙂 this has got to be one of my favorites 🙂


    11 Apr 11 at 11:36 pm

  11. Thank you Mr Midnight!


    14 Apr 11 at 8:52 am

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