Wednesday, December 8, 2010


One of the things I love about travel is interacting with the locals.  These are just some that stand-out:
  • My landlord Frederic and his lovely girlfriend Amelie.  He had a bottle of champagne waiting for us when Margaret and I first arrived.  There was some work being done from the terrace of my apartment - scaffolding up for my full 5 week stay as the workers had to work on the roof of the building next to mine.  Frederic was very apologetic and offered us free meals at two restaurants.  He and Amelie met us for drinks then left us to have a lovely dinner - he had picked up the tab.
  •  The men who worked on that scaffolding who greeted me with a smile and a wave through my window every morning.
  •  Frederic's assistant who told me to be sure and phone if there was a problem flying out the next day as the apartment was available if we had still needed a place to stay.
  •  Jean-Jacques (met through Frederic) who works at the restaurant downstairs.  (It was nice to have a contact close by "just in case")
  •  The woman who works at the bakery "somewhere" in my neighborhood.  Not only did she greet me with a smile, they also had the best baguette.  Unfortunately I only went there twice when I fell upon it by mistake and never really did figure out exactly where it was.  Go figure.
  •  The woman who works at the bakery right around the corner from my apartment who was although very business-like, she was also pleasant every time I went in to purchase my half-baguette.
  •  The friendly young lady who works at the Cafe Sous Rire a couple of doors down from my usual bakery.  She was very friendly and served with a smile.
  •  The 80'ish year old woman and her friend who were sitting at the next table at the cafe mentioned above.  The older of the two talked up a storm and I enjoyed eavesdropping on their conversation.  She didn't eat her whole meal in one go because she went to talk to a woman at another table (an American who she didn't even know.)
  • The bouncer at our favorite bar who both times we went told us to go ahead inside - no 10 euro cover for us! Yay!
  • The young lad who works at the Baudoyer Market every Saturday.  I'd buy my chicken from him.  He was always pleasant, smiling and joking around.
  • Francois the Paella Man at Baudoyer market who's paella is supposed to be wonderful. I never did try it as I'm not a paella fan but the beef bourgignon was pretty good.  There was a line-up every Saturday and judging by the voices - mostly tourists or perhaps expats.
  • The gentleman who at 7am on a cold dark Sunday morning helped Alex and I to get a taxi to the airport when our shuttle never showed up after we had waited an hour.
  • The man who works at the Chatelets-Les Halles metro station who patiently and with a smile gave me directions twice.
  • The young man with who Margaret and I struck up a conversation as we walked down Boulevard Sebastopol one Saturday evening.
  • The numerous Parisians who stopped me on the street to ask ME for directions.
  • The taxi driver who drove us to the airport - he never stopped talking.  He didn't speak any English.  It was one of my few long conversations in french and we did just fine understanding each other as we talked about various topics including the strike, politics and learning a second language.
  • The wonderful service we had at Les Pietons - and the sangria was ok too.  :)
  • The men who work at the Moroccan food area of Marche des Enfants Rouge - wonderful food and great service.
  • The woman I bought flowers from every Saturday while at the Baudoyer Market.
~ L

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Just Some of the Things I Miss

  • Going for walks every single day!  Always something to see!  Interesting people, beautiful buildings/churches.
  • Sitting outside at a cafe for a cup of expensive tea.  Worth every centime!  (I  certainly didn't go to a cafe just for tea every day at the very inflated prices, but when I did treat myself I'd spend at least an hour or more relaxing.  Waiters don't bother you. The table is yours until you get up to leave.)
  • The ringing of the bells from Saint-Merri Church. I'd hear them every hour when I was in my apartment as the church was right around the corner.  I kick myself
    now for never going into that church to visit.  I read recently that it contains the oldest church bell in Paris dated from 1331.
  • Grabbing a crepe from a street vendor - although the choices are numerous including with a layer of Nutella, I preffered mine sprinkled with sugar or with a thick layer of creme de maron (chestnuts).
  • H&M - We don't have any where I live.
  • Promod - Cute clothes at great prices
  • Pylones - They have the cutest gadgets ever!
  • Cafe Oz (Chatelet) - Go there on a Saturday night when everyone dances on the tables until closing at 6am.
  • Discovering new (to me) french singers.  Joyce Jonathan and Zaz are two that stand out.  I bought Zaz's CD while in Paris and have listened to it a lot since I got home!
  • France24 and NRJ - (France24 is a French news station but in the English language.  NRJ is an all music video tv station.)  Hey, when that's all you have to watch you become attached.  I'm actually putting together my own CD of various songs that were played on NRJ.
  • 100%mag - a daily French tv show with short stories - therefore easy to follow.  I watched this every day!
  • This is not something I miss exactly, but I followed very closely the rescue of the 33 miners in Chile.  A story with a fairy tale ending.  An ending that could have gone so badly but ended wonderfully!
  • My Saturday morning routine.  After breakfast I'd walk to Baudoyer Market.  I'd buy a (cooked) chicken and a bunch of flowers.  Then back to the apartment to take the still warm chicken off the bone and make my chicken-rice soup.  I'd eat my soup either for lunch or dinner depending what plans I had that day.
~ L

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Down to miscellaneous

And you thought your neighbours were close?

Saint-Merri Church

Nice job!

Seen in an art store.  Just lovely!  (Artist - Josepha)

Caesar's Head statue next to St-Eustache Church

Wrought iron everywhere

What jet-lag looks like