Tuesday 14th – Part 1

17 Oct

In Paris. Bit of a day off from sightseeing.

Headed out around 10ish for the shop E had pointed out to me. I was impressed by the sign out the front, which advertised “Cadeaux – Livres – Enfants”. While I did not want to buy any children, I was quite keen to get some livres for mine as cadeaux, so it sounded as good a place as any to start. I also schlepped the OMGHUGE plastic bag with all my OMGHUNGARIANSOUVENIRS and even most of the things I had brought from the UK. I was On A Mission.

What a gorgeous shop!! They were just opening as I got there (so I didn’t feel at ALL guilty for taking so long to get ready). I bought – well, let’s just say I bought some books, and leave it at that. Including some children’s books that might be about the right level for me, and that the kids will enjoy seeing when I am done with them. And some bilingual French-English colouring books (one of Paris, one of dragons and fairies) – I noticed after I had chosen them that they were by someone called Dominique Ehrhard. I wonder whether it is the game designer by a different name.

I was quite proud of myself, because I managed to do all my book shopping in French, including asking for recommendations. Sadly, they had no OMGASTERIX. Ah well, more reason to return.

Next, I headed for the post office. The nice lady there sold me a box that was postage paid for up to 7 kilograms. I have no idea how much I packed but I have a sneaking suspicion that it may be more than 7 kg. Ah well, she accepted it. I managed (with some squeezing and a little bit of cursing) to fit everything in the box – even more to be proud of. I am not sure my Palinka glass is going to survive the trip, though.

Back to E’s, had an apple (didn’t feel like any more – OMG I have been eating SO MUCH this trip), checked some train connections for my trip up North on Thursday, retrieved my laundry from the kitchen, closed up my bags and called the taxi. Farewelled E and I hope I thanked him for the lovely week – if not, I’ll see him next week again anyway.

My taxi ride to the train station was truly bizarre. Super talkative driver who spoke a little English and lots of French and, like all the funnest taxi drivers, had some very decided ideas about politics – in this case, mostly about the Global Financial Crisis but also about Nicolas Sarkozy and even Jacques Chirac. He kept switching between pidgin English and baby French to check that I knew what he was saying – I did, too. Maybe the secret to confidence in a language is to talk to taxi drivers as much as possible?

Gare de l’Est uses the same Meerkat-like system as the English stations: stand and wait until the train is nearly there, then announce what platform it will be at. The signs assured us that the trains would be called at least 20 minutes before departure, but my 15:24 train was only called at 15:18. Ouch.

Found my (first class) carriage and settled myself – lots of luggage room and lovely comfy chairs. Free meal (for international first class passengers, omg that is a nice way to describe myself) of herring salad (ugh), ham and marinated veggie sandwich (yum), rice pudding (hmmm), water and red wine. Can’t complain about that. Even better, it comes in an OMGPINKBOX. Really.

Interestingly, my sandwich was on “pita” which is quite a bit thicker than it is at home – more like the thickness of a pizza base. I’d say it’s halfway between pita and a foccaccia.

I just realised I forgot to take any photos of my favourite sign in Paris! (Jon will be happy – he has been yelling at me over google talk for taking too many photos of signs). It’s an ad for a slimming drink. Now where in Australia the signs would say “Want to lose a little weight?” or something tactful like that, these ones go for the throat: “Eat too much?”

And now, we are at one and a half hours. Time to settle back with my wine (Syrah vin de Pays de l’Aude) and enjoy the beautiful French countryside.

or possibly write about the naughty Hungarian phrase book. Either works 🙂

Or even study the hall plans for OMGESSEN! They were posted some time this morning, I think, so I downloaded them to my PC for serious study. OMG I will be there in a week!!!

1 Comment

Posted by on October 17, 2008 in travel


One response to “Tuesday 14th – Part 1

  1. Fraser

    October 17, 2008 at 9:30 am

    What’s the matter with photos of signs? One of my favourite photos from the South of England was a “Traffic conditions ahead have changed”. It was taken at night with a flash and it looks really good! I took it because I thought – What do I care, I have never been here before so I don’t know what the conditions used to be and I probably will never be here again 🙂 I took the photo though!


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