Pa-heeee!!! Day 1
Paris Travel Blog› entry 5 of 13 › view all entries
June 25th, 2009 – by: musicidot
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.
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 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.
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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