Pieces of my world

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Paris + Jeeeemmy

Just under two weeks ago, I returned from a weekend break to Paris (for 4 days). Let's just say: it's official. I'm in love. In my mind, I'm already planning my second date with this impossibly beautiful and captivating city. Sounds cliché, but will this be a life-long obsession?

I certainly learnt a whole string of lessons in Paris:
1) That seats outside cafés and restaurants cost a lot more. I mean, a LOT more.
2) Carting a bag packed with fruit and cereal bars (just in case all we can find are escargots and cuisses de grenouille and "starve") is completely un-necessary. (In fact both Nanna and myself gorged ourselves stupid on creme brulee, croissants, profiteroles, tartes aux fraises and many other sweet treats).
3) To be careful when washing hair in a bathtub with no shower curtain- water will, mysteriously, run over the shiny tiled floor and thoroughly soak the carpet in the adjoining room.
4) When, on finding a cracked glass table top on arrival at the hotel room, it's best to report it straight away in order to avoid accusation that you did it.
5) Parisians (and especially serveurs) are not as bad as they are made out to be- if you at least attempt to communicate in French, that is. In fact, I think the French were more stand-offish in the south (Cannes/Nice).
6) I have learnt that I look younger than my years. On the Eurostar and at this restaurant in Paris we asked for wine and on both occasions the serveur only brought wine for Nanna and not for me- Nanna actually had to ask on my behalf (!)

Nanna, being a typical Brit, launched into several impromptu quests for tea, which habitually led to quite a few disasters. Never mind the fact that tea isn't exactly a French thing or Nanna can't speak a word of French (her idea of speaking a foreign language is to gesticulate wildly, speak English slower and louder and occasionally, when her tried and tested tactics fail, to resort to me, resident translator/ interpreter). Well anyway. Aside from the fact that it cost us 11E for one cup of tea and a can of Sprite in a café, close to Notre Dame/Rue de St Germain/The Latin Quarter, we stumbled across this café down a narrow road PACKED with restaurants. So this waiter, tall, dark and lusciously handsome (ok, ok, tall dark and average) greeted us. Cue our two vital questions:
1) Do you serve tea?
2) Avez vous une toilette?
This being, of course, because there are absolutely NO public toilets in Paris. Well, that's an embellishment, but there certainly aren't many. So anyway, after an excursion to the dodgy, possibly never cleaned toilet, we proceeded to have a cup of lemon tea, exorted for oh, a measly six (SIX!) E, while Jimmy (or should I say Jeeeeemmy) proceeded to engage in shameless flirting.

Anyway, here is a brief resumé of my visit:
Day 1
Went to London
Took Eurostar from Waterloo to Gare Du Nord
Went to Hotel
Explored Porte de St Cloud [where we stayed]

Day 2
Stopgap Tour of Paris
Trip to Versailles
Returned to hotel; went on Métro to Champs Elysées and Galeries Lafayette
Ate at 'Chez Michel'
Night tour of Paris

Day 3
Went to Montmatre (visited the Sacre Coeur + Place de Tertre)
Went on "Bateaux Mouches" along Seine
Took Métro (Charles de Gaulle Etoile to Royal)- the line that goes overground by the Tour Eiffel and has fab views.
Went to Latin Quarter; saw Notre Dame
Bought books d'occasion <>

Day 4
Explored local patisseries (must get our priorities right, you understand ;D )
Saw Georges Pompidou centre
Took Eurostar back to London
Train from LKC to Nanna's home.


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