Monday, September 5, 2011

The Little Things

Champagne senses bubbling, I look upward to
the 3rd floor of the Eiffel Tower. 
Bonjour friends and Paris lovers,

It’s been a long time since my last blog and for good reason. I have travelled many thousands of miles in the past few weeks and have only just settled back in my Parisian home with tons of work to do!

 Like anyone with deadlines to meet, my return to Paris featured visits from friends from around the world. With guests in town, of course it was incumbent upon me to take them to the local tourist attractions… only to discover that there was more and more to learn about then than I had known before my repeat visit. The new discoveries and observations were well worth the price of admission; I can assure you my friends. Now, have a look at the latest observations and start planning YOUR trip to Paris so I can show you around.

Food: I’ve never been a huge fan of pastries since the calorie/pleasure ratio has never been high enough for me to indulge very often. You will have to trust me on this point; there is a difference between French and North American pastries. The North American variety that I’m so accustomed to assault your taste buds with a salty/sweet (Americans use salted butter in baking) explosion that is overwhelming to the taste buds at every corner, leaving little room left for what is described as the main flavour you expected to enjoy. In French pastries, the flavour comes first.

Drink: At the top of the Eiffel Tower, there is a champagne bar. I did not know this until I noticed it on the website. It’s on the top level of the third floor. I’ve walked right past it. It’s only a bar with no seating; they serve champagne in a plastic conical flute, some of which glow in the dark at night. I cannot think of a cooler place to drink champagne.

My champagne sense was correct! 

Language: I’ve had a few visitors since I've been back, all of whom were convinced that I have learned to speak French fluently. I’m coming to understand that perhaps the French one needs to order food and champagne is enough to appease the desires of my friends in particular. This does not displease me.

Travel: Last month, I discovered that for a little over 200 Euros (per person), one could get to Prague (or many other nearby cities) for 4 days including hotel. I mention Prague because that is where I went. I’ll post another blog entry about that once I’m settled.

More Language: I had my first French conversation the other day. A flustered woman asked me where the nearest bathroom could be found, while I was doing my laundry. She asked in French and rather than hearing it all as a blur… I understood every word. I even replied in French as best as I could, augmenting with a little Frenglish at the end to clear up a misunderstanding.

Even More Language: I’ve noticed that I can hear accents in my French speaking friends. I was surprised to take note that a good friend of mine and French citizen had an accent that didn’t seem to quite be… what I would expect. She confirmed my observation and explained that French was her second language after learning Spanish as a child.

Vampires: Like the rest of Paris, vampires take the month of August away from the city. Many go to Prague.

The minipalais restaraunt at the Grand Palais.
Simply divine.
Architecture: You won’t find a more beautiful convention center in the world than the Grand Palais, at the end of the Champs Elysee. Walking past it the other day, I noticed people on the balcony on the leftmost wing of the building. Assuming it to be a private party, I decided to try my hand at crashing it… walked up the stairs and discovered that they have opened a bar and restaurant there called Minipalais. I had rose Veuve Cliquot on the balcony overlooking the Petit Palais and surrounded by 12 meter-high pillars and relief sculpture. Absolutely breathtaking.

People: August 22 seems to be the magical date that the end of the vacation season here and Parisian start to return just as the throngs of tourists seem to thin.

More Food: I had the unusual luck and good fortune to pick up a little bag of macarons at the publicdrugstore on Champs Elysee. Unlike a regular macaron with a kind of gooey middle theirs were creamy in the middle and kind of squirted their juices into your mouth upon biting into them. My first, labelled rose petal released its flavour which quickly infused into my whole body… and possibly my very soul. I might describe it more accurately as an orgasm for the tongue.

Oh Climaxol!  Where were you when I was
just a girl?
Sex: Climaxol. A drug promising better orgasms for women has been splattered in poster form all over Charles de Gaulle airport. I’m quite certain that I can compete with this drug.

Sports: I’ve decided to take up fencing and begin lessons on the 12th of September, just ahead of my next birthday. I went to a fencing outfitter, expecting to fork over about a thousand Euros for a full set of fencing gear and much to my astonishment, they would only sell me a glove. 15 Euros! Apparently they have a strong belief that I’ll be back for more gear as my lessons progress and are in no rush to take all of my money now.

That’s all for now folks! Please keep looking in. There are many more observations to come.

Bisous et a bientot!


  1. Good to see you back! You made it to the top of the Eiffel Tower?? We couldn't even get close. Maybe you got there cuz it was August LOL Can't wait to get back so you can show me around. Keep posting.

  2. No i said that my accent came from southern France which is the most delightful accent in France. Yes i did learn spanish as a child living so close from the spanish border, i coudn't avoid it.. but sorry french is definetely my native language..
    Keep learning french.. its coming honey, its coming :-)

  3. SO glad you're back...yes my cousin's wife (they live in Regensburg Germany) goes to Prague alot so i can't wait to see them on a visit next year and take a bus over there for a 1-2 day trip