Pa-heeee!!! Day 1

Paris Travel Blog

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I thought I should not have a new blog just for this Paris trip because it was only a very short trip. So, I just changed this blog into domestic AND international trips. I was in Paris for, technically, 4 days and 3 nights. Except for Versailles and La Musee D'orsay, I feel like I have seen more than I have bargained for.
Getting out of the very SLOW airport where I had to stay in a long line for everything, I got on the RER-B line to go into Paris. To be honest, the whole ride into Paris was quite unexciting. I thought I would be fidgeting in the thought of being in Paris. Perhaps I was too tired, but I felt rather calm on my way, a bit disappointed by my own emotions.
Getting out of the RER station - L'Michel Ange Auteuil to my friend Vincent's stop, I saw Paris for the first time, and I gasped. And I finally realized for myself, "I am in Paris!" The excitement of the moment was immense, for I had been dreaming about going to Paris for years, and finally, I was there. While looking for my friend to pick me up, I greedily looked around, trying to absorb my entire surroundings - the beautiful buildings, the little cars on the road, the people, the dogs, the flowers, the air, the sky, everything. That moment was one of the high points of my trip, that it finally hit me that I had arrived in a city I have been longing to visit.
Vincent arrived and showed me a bakery where I bought a baguette sandwich. After settling in his apt, chewing down the (hard) sandwich, I decided I could pay a half-day visit at the Louvre (I arrived in the afternoon).
I still don't know what those are called, but I have been reading about them everywhere!

I was worried that I would not have enough to really enjoy the Louvre, but it turned out I even had time to take a nap after the tour. Of course, all the art in the Louvre was amazing, yet, spoiled by the art scene in New York, it did not take my breath away. Maybe I am too used to magificent art that when I see another,  I would automatically think that "it is just like home". I did see the Mona Lisa, but did not take the time to really enjoy it because of all the tourists squirming around it. Speaking of which, I think that aside from my arrogance, I did not find the Louvre so breath-taking because of the many tourists and visitors there. One cannot really enjoy art where there is a crowd constantly fuzzing around one. Yet still, I was truly taken by the palace itself.
The traffic circle around L'arc de Triomphe my mom had been making fun of.
I suppose I am much more attracted to the architecture than its exhibitions. It was a beautiful palace, and everything looked so grand, so grandeur. I kept thinking to myself, it must be nice to be a noble and live in a castle such as this. Now I wish I am an heiress to a castle or somthing. Thinking about Louvre, I must mention that random guy who tried to ask me out. Normally, if he was any younger, I would be very flattered and may even take his offer. However, he was old enough, if not older, to be my father. Well, in the beginning, when he suggested touring together, I just thought, why not since I was roaming around the Louvre by myself as well. Like Alex said, I suppose a strange man and a woman cannot just be friends. Shortly after we walked around, he invited me to go to the Versailles with him, and dinner that evening. I refused him politely. Eventually we walked away without saying another word. I think that this would be the best way to part anyways.
Coming out of the museum, I realized I still had some time left befor I had to meet up with Vincent again. I was exhausted by that point, and had already taken a ton of pics of the building, I sat down by the fountain, and took a nap under the French sun. I absolutely needed that nap. Woke up feeling refreshed, it was time to go to the L'arc de Triomphe before meeting up with V for dinner. I decided to walk around for a bit more and really navigate through Paris streets. Maybe I was still within the vincinity of an extremely famous tourist spot, everything still looked very composed and beautiful; or maybe, Paris is really that beautiful everywhere.
I was extremely exhausted and my feet ached even before I got to the L'arc, and so I decided I will cut short my walking tour and perhaps take the bus to the L'arc. I found a bus stop, and tried to read the oh-so-complicated Paris bus map. Apparently I looked lost and concentrated enough that this man on his bike came over and asked me out for coffee. Well, it was like more, his opening lines were which language I speak and asked me about the bus lines (which obviously I had no clue). Then, the climax was asking me to join him for coffee some time before I leave Paris, and maybe we could speak french together or something. He asked if he could give me his number and I gladly said, yes, give me your number. I knew I wouldn't call, but it was still fun to collect numbers I suppose. Before he biked away, he left me his name, number and email. Haha.
I decided I would give up on the bus, and took the RER to L'arc. It began to pour when I was about to exit the station. I waited for a while inside the station, but could not stand the humidity and heat and crowd. I walked outside in the rain, snapped a few pictures of the L'arc, and right afterwards, I was on my quest to find a currency exchange shop. Walking on L'avenue des Champs Elysees, there were a few exchange shops but none offered a rate I was willing to trade. I walked away with a few hundred dollars in my pocket but probably only 10 or 20 Euros.
I proceeded to meet up with Vincent for dinner. We met at the L'ecole Militaire, which was right by the Eiffel tower. We strolled towards the tower, walked to the bottom of it, looked around, and left. I did not really want to go up or spend more time. I heard the view was magnificent, but 1) I did not want to spend money on the expensive ticket 2) I have had my fair share of aerial view of cities. I sill dont feel like i missed out on anything.
He chose a SW French restaurant whose specialty was ducks. Although it must be a very cozy and special restaurant, I must say I was tooooo tired to really enjoy any food. I made the mistake of drinking wine at the dinner. By the end of the dinner, I literally almost fell asleep at the table. Of course it did not help when the restaurant had no AC and warm weather makes me drosy. The dinner was rather miserable, not because the food was terrible. No, on the other hand, the food was quite interesting since I had never had SW French cuisine before. My exhaustion, jet-lag and lack of energy, and aching feet caused me great misery that evening. All I wanted was a bed.
After dinner, Vincent thought we could take a bus home. We found a bus stop, but he had to study the map as well. Two drunk/high men came over, and started talking to us in French. Of course I did not understand, but the whole time I was thinking to myself, please dont mug me please dont mug me, I actually have cash on me for once. I had the feeling that Vincent was rather sketched out too, and fortunately we found an opportunity to walk away from them. He translated the conversation after we walked away, and apparently those two men were not being very conherent. And i did not get mugged. Good times.
I was rather late when we got back to his appartment, we hung out for a little bit, and I fell asleep on his sofa, woke up again, and went straight to bed for a long night's sleep.
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I still dont know what those are …
I still don't know what those are…
The traffic circle around Larc de…
The traffic circle around L'arc d…
photo by: Sweetski