From Moulin Rouge to its eclectic bazaar, Paris still exudes in characterful places (4)
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(cont'd...) Paris, France is unbelievably a city magnet to tourists. There was never a public attraction we went absent of someone without a camera in his hands. Here, the atmosphere was friendly and relax. As a matter of fact, this is one of the cities I have never felt uncomfortable going anywhere since such ease was prominent from all the faces we've met in public places. Before the trip, I had put French people in an unfair impression. I was totally wrong. There may be some who are overly nationalistic, but as far as the people I've come to meet, they had helped me reverse that thinking of what they really are, generally.
From Sacre Coure Basilica, we did at least one transfer from city train and bus until we got to Moulin Rouge, considered as the oldest cabaret in the world. I believe it is still within the Montmartre district, where the exciting city night life always takes place. It is right along a busy street and a sidewalk just filled with passersby. This is why, the centre island became our vantage point for taking shots at this historical cabaret. I don't think I got decent shots of the place, but adequate shots, nevertheless. The Moulin Rouge, in its modest sense, is not grand in size at all; however, this 'little' fiery red windmill building was a witness to France transition in its embrace to Industrial Revolution and the thrilling collapse of social barrier in French society.
After Moulin Rouge, there was this place that we went to - I was not exactly sure which part of the city, just one strip full of wholesaler businesses. Most of the store owners seemed to be from either Chinese or of Middle Eastern origins, but they had admirably good conversation in French language. We wanted souvenirs in wholesale prices and I was not mistaken about the place. All the items we bought were fraction of the price we would pay from any upscale store and tourist hubs in Paris.
There were few Asian restaurants tucked along these establishments. And being Asian myself, the aroma of oriental foods being cooked emanating from these restaurants was simply too hard to resist; the fusion of assorted herbs of pepper, onion, and sesame, etc. found its way from my excited olfactory down to my murmuring stomach. The restaurant was small and modest, so with only few customers, the place seemed crowded; (but) that was a small trade-off for the menus that were exactly to my taste, though. Our lunch break made me re-energised. There's this pleasant irony to it; in the heart of Paris, where fine European foods could be found everywhere, here we were enjoying Chinese specialties found in the more unlikely place.
Soon, we took another train trip and headed to Notre Dame Cathedral. TO BE CONTINUED...