Long cold day today.
Try to do something different by going to Paris city hall where there's a free exhibition related to Paris. There was an exhibition by a photographer called Doisneau who took photos of Les Halles neighbourhood, and also photos of where it used to be a huge food market in Les Halles. The photos were quite interesting in that they showed how Paris looked like from 1930-1960's.
As people say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and for me, it was worth a million, as the whole exhibition was only in French.
I walked through the exhibition quite quickly compared to others who probably appreciated the photos more then me because it's interesting to see a transformation of their familiar neighbourhood. Overall, I spent an hour and an half waiting in a queue, freezing myself (while ironically reading a chapter of a book about burning of heretics in 1500s), 15 minutes looking at photos and two minutes asking a personnel at the front desk about other paris exhibitions.
After, in order to defrost myself, I made a swift decision to head back to my neighbourhood and head straight to a Thai restaurant, ordering food for two, including good ol Tom yum soup.
Now lying on my bed, thinking I need to update my hipgeo. Today, I froze, and defrosted.
Tomorrow, I shall update the last few days spent with Mr. Latif.
Long cold day today.
This Blog consists of Day 5 to Day 8. Forgive me for skipping. Al , who came to Paris for the long weekend didn't let me out of his sight, and wouldn't let go off my hand (except when he was trying to find out the football score) that I just didn't have time to update my blog.
Day 5 (Friday)
On the day Al arrived Paris, he brought with him a small compact black lugguage which included all his essentials, and a big, bad ass black dafffel bag that I demanded he bring with him as an exchange for 3 nights in Paris. Without the daffel bag, Al probably could have looked like a sophisticated art dealer coming to Paris to do some serious dealing at the Musee d'Orsay.
On the night before his arrival, I had offered to meet him at the entrance of Hotel Vignon, where I stayed, but he politely refused. Instead, he found me in my room, where I slept quietly in a very ladylike manner.
Our friday together wasn't eventful, not because I didn't enjoy Al's company, but because in France, Friday is not a public holiday like it is in the U.K., I had to go to work, leaving Al to his own vice for the night.
Day 6 (Saturday)
We checked out from our hotel and moved to an apartment in a very cool local neighbourhood called Parmentier.
you can check out the flat I'm staying for the next 2 weeks here:
(Thanks to Evi, who introduced me to airbnb.com, I was able to use the site and convince my superior to let me rent a flat for half the cost then staying at the hotel!)
After we moved into the new flat, we had a walk around the neighbourhood and had a few bites to eat. Being that I was sleep deprived from the past week, I didn't have the energy to do anything on Saturday.
Day 7 (Sunday)
The day of Queue, the day of Versailles
Never had I wished for Amazon Kindle more then I did on Sunday. Al, who had the Kindle with him, almost finished his book by the time when we got to the front of the queue.
We queued for about 1 hour in total on Easter Sunday, so that we could walk through the Hall of Mirrors inside the Palace of Versailles.
And it was so worth it. It was so grand, and breathtaking. So many panels of mirrors, wonderfully reflecting an image of me. Can't ask for more.
According to the audio guide, about half of France's GDP was spent on Versailles, which included making mirrors (very rare at the time), transferring forest from one end to another, and god knows how many water fountains and beautiful landscapes.
Almost all the paintings on the walls and ceiling represented or had some connection to the creator of the Palace, Louis XIV, the Sun King.
Another part of Versailles, which I definitely recommend is Marie-Antoinette's Estate.
Imagine yourself about 20 -30 years ago, at the age when you loved playing with dolls.
Perhaps you had a dollhouse. You may even had Ken and Barbie dolls.
I always wanted a doll house. A castle shaped doll house. I would fantasise about being married to a handsome prince, walking around in a castle, wearing a puffy pink meringue shaped dress and diamond tiarra. I would have a servent who serves me a tea and a biscuit or two. This is a fantasy made by a commoner like us.
Marie-Antoinette, being married to Louis XVI, she wanted to escape our fantasy. She wanted to get away from being a royal.
So instead, she built a dollhouse, well..., a life size farm village, Marie Antoinette's Estate.
She had a tiny village built, and she milked the sheep, (which she pretended, but normally had the servants milk them), gardening, and whatever else she imagined farmers did.
Marie' Antoinette's Estate is definitely something I would recommend. Its a complete contrast from the luxurious Palace itself, I can understand why she liked her Estate, a place for an escape.
Day 8 (Monday)
We spent most of the day recovering from walking in Versailles the day before.
We met up with Dominique, who I work with, and he took us to a restaurant called Chez Flottes, (http://www.brasserie-flottes.fr/) a lovely french restaurant. Dominique had a beef tarter, a proper minced beef with onions and other spices. Really good.I had my share of escargos and an excellent french style fatty duck. Al had Salmon, which was a-okay.
During the meal, Al kept trying to feed me salmon, so he could get a bite of my succulent duck.
Though I found it almost challenging to be in a "sharing and caring" mode, I gave him a tiny bit of my duck, and refused his salmon.
We had a sensible Monday evening, slept before 11:00 p.m.
Although we didn't get to do all the sightseeing we had initially planned, overall, I thought we did good.
The weekend with Al was really great. Nice to have someone special to have food with, and to explore Paris with. I can't wait till he comes over next weekend.
I like this hipgeo app cause its so easy to upload, but at the same time it definitely needs some tweaking. When I tried to delete a photo, a whole blog got deleted.
I wrote a very political, and deeply philosophical blog (like I did on the last three days) but it's too bad I'm not gonna retype it.
Anyway, I found a food court this afternoon, very exciting, but it turned out to be not so exciting. Ended up at a friendly cafe across the street, had a healthy open sandwich with SALAD instead. Took a photo of the lovely sandwich, but was too fuzzy. probably because I was too hungry to hold the camera still.
Tomorrow my Sweet is coming to Paris. The weather is cold and cloudy today, but I feel like Londoners on a bright sunny day.
Today was a rough day. Not only do I still have issues accessing Paris mail inbox, I found out I made error not sending email to all that should have sent. I'm having drink now trying to calm myself. It's been rough working at a new environment but an error was something that could have been avoided. To be honest I don't feel as confident ad I felt when I first stepped into Paris office. I know it shouldn't be big deal but it made me freely aweful that I let the team down. It's a learning curve is all I can say at this point. Going to finish my drink, go to my local Chinese takeaway and have a snooze before I start my night in four hours time. Gosh I really need my sleep! No sightseeing today, unfortunately.See the trip: 26 Days in Paris
Not happening. Was hoping for a half work, two third sightseeing but I can't even keep my eyes open. Thanks to the auto spelling correct tool on the iPhone I don't even know how to ...
[above was written right before I collapsed like a zombie in my room]
Now its 15:52, woke up at 13:00, done some admin stuff, walked out, got some food, and now I'm back in the hotel. Time is running out. I'm just gonna shove some food in my mouth [spring rolls, prawn salad and mango] and gonna pass out.
p.s.I need to learn how to get the photos uploaded the easier way. This is going to be fun.
The day of travel and meeting Paris team. There were some cool people in the paris office they all seemed very nice. I'm also waiting for a reply from the pascal regarding the apartment, hopefully it all goes well.
To feel like being at home, walked to St. Ann's for a nice Japanese noodles and gyoza.
Bought a sandwich for dinner tonight. All I need to do is to make sure I get to work ok tonight. Apparently I'm starting at 8 pm. That's going to be lots of fun. It's 3:15, better sleep now!
I walked out my hotel, saw a couple holding hands walking down the street. It hit me hard how much I miss a simple thing like that.