The other Paris
Paris Travel Blog› entry 17 of 25 › view all entries
This morning Marie took me to the northern part of Paris around Gare du Nord (the northern railway station). The area is a hotchpotch of people from Africa, Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent living in more rundown conditions than the Paris we know and love (no, not the blonde one ... the other Paris that we know and love).
The markets were incredible and far cheaper than in other areas. I attributed the hustle and bustle to the fact that it will Eid-al-Fitr (feast marking the end of Ramadhan), but I've been told it is daily.
Marie wanted to show me Little India so we could go to the Ganesh Temple. Approaching the Temple, I guessed from the script that they are probably Tamil but definitely south Indian.
The highlight was lunch at a Sri Lankan restaurant ... beautiful meat and vegetarian curries served with iddiappam (or putumayam) which is very like Chinese beehoon (rice vermicelli). All that washed down with a mango lassi cost EUR10 per person ... plus another Euro for a mango kulfi on a stick from the cornershop after.
Walking back to our part of town, I was surprised to see a large camp of homeless people in a relatively nice part of town not from from Republic. They had canvas roofing stretched from the front of a Union building all the way to the roadside (taking up the entire sidewalk). In their setup were beds and sofas. It looked pretty permanent and has been there for months. Sad but true.
Later in the afternoon there appeared to be riots in Paris ... well, nearly. There are techno-music beer-fueled drunken street parties dotted accross the city. Cops all around, flashing lights and siren. Away from the crowds, people are pissing in the streets ... it may be a bit too early for the chundering. It will be just like New Zealand.
PS. These photos are from my phone-camera and aren't very good ... my real camera went to London with Kim.