I was not a fan of the subway in Paris. My French friend told me he feels it's far superior to New York. There were positives: it has vending machines and food vendors, which is pretty nice if you're hungry. They also had fairly ornate entrances, which I liked, until I remembered that I was about to embark on a trip into an MC Escher drawing.
I mostly didn't like the stairs, and that was mostly because the tendon I had hurt running a couple of years ago was very pissed off at me this trip, and with each step on the last few days in Paris I felt like the tendon was being ripped off of the bone. To get to any train it seemed like you had to go up a set of stairs, down long hallways, up some stairs, then down some stairs, until you're so turned around you feel like you've traveled to the center of the earth.
Then there was the task of getting out of the train station. When traveling on the RER, you will need your train ticket to get back out of the train station. As Americans, or maybe just as New Yorkers, we were not used to this and were constantly not paying any attention to where we threw our tickets, causing us to dig through our pockets, purses, and backpacks trying to figure out exactly which ticket we had used to get into the station in the first place. The subway system in Hong Kong is set up in a similar way, but at least there you have a reusable card, so you only have to keep track of one "ticket" that looks like a credit card—much harder to misplace. Plus it's called "the Octopus card" which makes it inherently cooler than the french Metro tickets.
But, through all of my journeys in the subway, scaling stairs and winding around hallways, I noticed that there are a lot of condom dispensers. A lot. So, what do you think the most common scenario there is? Someone's on the way to a date and thinks, "Hmmm...this might go well, let me stock up." Or, is it that a date had already gone well, and they're on the way back to one of their apartments. He or she has been going through a dry spell so they aren't properly stocked up, ah mais oui!, there are condom dispensers. Or are the french just oh so passionate that they can't even wait until they get home?
"Sophie," Thierry pants, "I just need to FUCK YOU RIGHT NOW!"
"I was hoping you'd say that," Sophie responds. "Let's just stop at the Durex dispenser and then have sex on the turnstile."
Or maybe I just have too much time on my hands and these are the kinds of things I think about.