Monday, July 8, 2013

Paris - week 1

So far, Paris is amazing.  There are so many places to explore but all of the streets look the same so I just wander and find amazing places that I will never find again.

But lets start at the beginning, shall we?
My apartment is tiny, but sufficient. I used the hotplate the other day to cook delicious spaghetti with olives and artichokes.  Imagine grocery shopping by picture alone since you can't read the words. So far so good, however I was super nervous that I was buying cream rather than milk, but my grocery shopping trip was successful.

I did manage to buy a human sized towel, as well.  So I took a photo of the size so you can see the difference between acceptable and French standard.  While drying dishes, i realized that the original towels I was provided are the exact size of a large dishtowel.  If they hadn't been hanging in my shower when I arrived, I would have thought I had grabbed the wrong towel for my shower.  So be it, my shower towel will now be my dish drying towel.  I'm still not sure if the black towel was meant to be a floor mat or not, but it is now.

Top to bottom: normal towel, black floor mat towel?, dish towel?
 While walking through the Trocadero, the Egyptians were peacefully protesting.  Lots of flags, lots of chanting and the hottest Parisian SWAT team ever.  I actually went back later that night to see if they were still there, but they had dissembled. The SWAT outfits here are pretty funny.  They look like black Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Beatles maybe.  They wear, what looks like shin guards strapped to their arms and legs with several velcro straps. Several had giant guns and several others had batons that were well worn....hmmm.

Egyptian Protesters at Palais de Challiot near Trocadero
 Friday night, I decided to go out on the town, solo, to meet some friends.  A concierge at a hotel somewhere between my house and the Arc de Triumph recommended, Speakeasy.  It was amazing!  There was a James Brown wannabe playing soulful cover songs that were delicious!  The bar owner and bartenders shot cannons of confetti hearts every 15 minutes or so and the dance floor filled up rapidly and for the duration of the night.  The bar owners handed out glowing necklaces and seizure enducing strobe rings to everyone in the bar and everyone danced and partied the night away.  It was an amazing night.  The crowd was 30-40s and super fun.  It was a really cool venue. I thought I was walking into a dim lighted speakeasy, but it turned into a dance party within an hour of being there.

I bellied up to the bar near the door and ordered a mojito - which seems to be a favorite of Parisians, it is on every restaurant menu.  Within 10 minutes, I was engaged in conversation by a friend of the owner.  He asked if i wanted a cigar and to go down to the smoking room... "non, merci".  About 15 minutes later I was approached by 2 other gentlemen.  For the 15 minutes between my cigar buddy leaving and them approaching me, I noticed their 2 girlfriends (and them) staring and giggling.  I'm pretty sure they were making fun of my jeans.  ITS A SPEAKEASY!  I had no idea people would be in dresses and sportcoats. I was wearing a ruffled black sleeveless top and heels at least.  Whatevs, drink your bottle of champaign and stop staring. Then they men came over. I winked at the girls as we were talking.  They offered me a glass and I obliged.  We became friends, the girls became jealous and left. Shocking, I know.  We all danced and drank until 3:30 in the AM and they dropped me off at a hotel near my apartment.

 Oi!  Hung over.  What a wasted Saturday. I woke up at 3am with the worst hangover ever.  2 Advils, a bowl of cereal and a cheese and butter sandwich later and I was ready to work.  Off to the park to write.
Saturday's office space
 Around 7PM I decided I should do some research.  I learned there was a book published in 2006 with similar content to mine, so I need to read it and make sure my format and stories are not too similar.  40 pages in, I am bored.  Her content is a bit arrogant, mine will be better, but I'll finish it nonetheless.

My "research lab"


Amazing sunset in the park.  

A hard days "work" deserves a delicious reward

Paris Observations #2:
I love that men don't try to "grind" you here at dance clubs
On average, wine is 2 euros ($2.65) cheaper than water.  Its better to drink wine
French butter is far superior to American butter.  I love butter on my sandwiches now!

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