I don’t know why anyone complains about this whole working thing. I have worked for about a week and gotten paid for two days during my absence – one being a day in Paris and the other being a bank holiday in the UK. My new job is fab. I have now signed a contract and that contract says I’m not really supposed to discuss the things that happen at work, so unfortunately, this blog may get very dull. I will let you know that I have an official title now – Project Manager. And I have been thrust into that position at break-neck speed. I have been meeting with architects, the owner of the company and learning about the business. I now have a task list a mile long that I am actually eager to jump back into tomorrow. For today, I will enjoy the last couple hours of my bank holiday and fill you in on our weekend in Paris. However, Tamara – you would be proud – parts of my French came back to me from our days in Nice. Unfortunately, it was just as bad as when I was living in Nice, but it was something.
Firstly, I am so glad we are in London as our new(ish), permanent home. Sometimes, it takes a trip elsewhere to help you realize what you already have. London is clean, full of activities every day of the week, the parks are amazing, the homeless are better taken care of and generally, people speak English and are polite. I’m not complaining – being a 2 hour train ride from Paris is fantastic, and I’m glad we went. I just couldn’t picture living in Paris.
The first day was sunshine – the perfect weather to be outside exploring. Unfortunately, days 2 and 3 didn’t cooperate quite so readily. You can’t control the weather though, so as the British say, “Get on with it.” We tried to balance touristy things with just being in Paris and enjoying. Usually, my best memories are of the times you just spend wandering the streets and taking a long lunch. The food in Paris was rather disappointing. This, I know, is a bold statement. Our neighbourhood had little in the way of restaurants and we had to go hunting for a patisserie. We gave up and had Pain Quotidien, which is a chain and a Starbucks coffee (which cost 8 euro!). And it wasn’t like we were on the outskirts of town. This is a (supposedly) 5-star hotel within short walking distance of the Eiffel Tower. We did our part – we sampled pain-au-chocolat after pain-au-chocolat and all were disappointing. It was also a chore to find food that cost less than 40 euro per person. Phil and I are sort of foodie types, but we’re cheap foodies. We like finding a great food cart or a small, little place that is tucked away down a quiet street. And we don’t eat huge portions, so more than 1 course is usually way more than enough and in Paris it is expected that you order a starter, main and dessert at the very least. God – I sound like an ungrateful you-know-what. These are definitely 1st World problems. On a positive note, we got to know some other people in the hotel when the fire alarm went off at 6:30am. I didn’t know what was happening. I thought someone had accidentally set the alarm clock, but then Phil informed me that it could actually be an emergency and that we should get up and out. So we did. And then I thought, “We really should have grabbed our passports.” Apparently, I’m not quite the morning person that I think I am.
For the rest of our trip, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.