Locomotoring

Seven continents, seven seas, seven billion people and seven thousand good eats …

Paris, First impressions

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Looking out from apartment window

Looking out from apartment window

A stark divide between Paris inner and outer. As if the gardner has only tended the heart of his garden – planted rows upon rows of beautiful flowers and done meticulous weeding. If the outskirts had the beauty of the wild, that would be fine too but en route to the city from airport, it seemed like just another sub-urban sprawl with rows upon rows of cookie cutter apartments.

We are renting an apartment in St. Germain. The elevator could barely fit two people but at least we had one. Since we are prepared to look picture perfect ourselves during these two weeks in Paris, we had 150 lbs between the two of us. Lugging up three large suitcases six flights of stairs would not have been fun.

An apricot and a tart link

An apricot and a tart link

The apartment is bright, cute and airy but has a bit of soullessness about it, a sense of abandonment. It feels as if the owners have taken their most favorite things out of the apartment and had filled it with bits of decorative art for the sake of visitors. Tidy but rundown and dusty. View from the top floor is of the posh neighborhood around. As I sit writing, street noise is making the jet lag induced headache worse – the cars whooshing by, the emergency vehicle sounds like an a super loud ice-cream truck and the subway trains rumbling a few blocks away make the house vibrate.

Grape sized plums

Grape sized plums

Sunday is perhaps not the best day to arrive in Paris particularly if you are staying at an apartment. Most stores and supermarkets are close. We decided to step out for a brief walk with a hope of finding some basic supplies. Didn’t find a store but found a farmer’s market instead. A quintessential Parisian experience within the first hour of arrival. Experience with a few phrases and dozen words in French was sufficient to grab a few tarts (apple and apricot), a loaf of bread, butter, garlic, onion and thyme, and a dozen eggs. Also picked up a box of grape sized plums. Food is expensive in Paris. Perhaps that explains why most Parisians are skinny.

Slept for a few hours after a late brunch of thyme omelette and toasted buttered bread. Need to sleep some more.

Water is brackish. Reminds me of Calcutta. Kettle is coated with a layer of mineral deposit. So is the loo. There is a large map of India in the loo and a Lonely Planet guide to Rajasthan on the bookshelf.

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Written by Som

September 6, 2010 at 10:46 pm

Posted in Europe, France

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