Thursday, October 18, 2007

Taking it slow in Paris.

The French metro workers are on strike today, and as much as I would like to join them with my bad French, I can't get to where they are without using the trains. That means its time for an update.

The rest of Saturday: Annecy with family. Very different from traveling alone. Especially when there are hovering adults with wandering children to look after. Children being me. Man, my younger cousins are so obedient it makes me look bad, which means its time to be a bad influence. Went back home, packed up my things, and took the last train of the night to Paris.

Getting off the train, I walked to the end of the platform, and greeted my uncle, who took me right upstairs to Le Train Bleu (, before heading home. Right away though, I got a sense of his personality from the way he walked around a place as decadent as Le Train Bleu: it was like he owned the place.

Sunday: Tour through Paris by car with my uncle, highlighted by illegal parking and driving, open air markets all over town and walking through Montmartre during the Fete des Vendanges. We saw pretty much everything else in a blur, but I was able to have an espresso at his bar/restaurant and meet a few of his friends. Got home for dinner with my aunt before taking off to tour through Paris at night, but he received a business call as we were leaving the house. He dropped me off at the Bastille with a map and a good luck. From there, I used my incredible skills of getting lost around town. Definitely and by far my favorite thing to do.

Monday: First day in Paris on my own. Free tour where I received a history refresher course of Paris and met a few more peoples. Went to my uncle's office near Tuileries, did some more wandering, and met my uncle and aunt back at their home. I packed up my things and moved to stay with my other family outside Paris in Antony. Dinner of couscous, catching up with my cousin, whiskey on the rocks, and remembering my uncle.

Tuesday: Tour through Paris with my aunt. Trip to Versailles was postponed due to weather and Louvre was closed so we went into the Petit Palace, walked down the Champs-Elysees, saw ugly people shop at the Louis Vuitton store, visited the Arc de Triomphe, and climbed the obligatory Eiffel Tower.

Wednesday: Second day in Paris by myself. Pompidou Center, inside and to the top of Notre Dame, a lot more wandering, cafes, the Louvre bookstore after passing on the Louvre, and then back home again.

Today: Sticking it out in Antony. So far, it's been grocery shopping and the mall. Suburbs are suburbs, I guess. Not much planned for the rest of the day either, but this downtime will do me some good to sort through all the sensory overload from the past few weeks. At least that's how I'm fooling myself into not complaining too much. I take it back; I got to walk through town with a baguette. Another highlight of my trip.

Ah well, I've still got two and a half weeks left. Hmm... More time than that even if I extend again? Who knows...

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