When I first set foot upon the metro, I fell in love with Paris despite the opinions heard from several people. The sun was out, the crowds abated, and I was happy to be somewhere I’ve never been. The simplicity of getting around felt like going back to grade 1 and schooling any test they’d given you. (“A-P-P-L-E!”)
We met up with friends on the patio of a cafe in the middle of December and ordered the most expensive coffee after that douzy I purchased in Rome. In Calgary, that is nigh impossible in the winter unless a chinook (warm wind from the west) blows in and merchants can put out chairs for a total of 3 hours. Afterward, we went back to the apartment we were all staying in – a cluttered bohemian flat dressed in books and knick knacks wearing dust, definitely worthy of the word ‘quaint.’
Our first schlep out was straight to the Jewish quarter for falafel… every single falafel shop boasting the “Best Falafel/Shawarma House! Kosher! We Promise!” and the lineups to prove it. Narrow streets with uneven stones guided us to expensive secondhand shops next to designer boutiques and patisseries tempting us with cleverly displayed sweets and pastries you wouldn’t dare ruin by eating.
You can only schlep for so long, however, until you need a refresher. Little round tables graced every corner, reminding me of Spain and their conglomerous shops selling everything: coffee, beer, wine, snacks, lunch. No actual pubs. But as long as they met our needs we were fine to dine.
Since Belgium is nestled next to France and is more Frenchish than Germany, Paris carried several of Belgium’s main export brews. Of course, they carried their own wine because they’re France and they’ll do what they want. The likes of Leffe, Affilgum, and Duvel were available and everywhere, making it a notch better than Spain for beer variety (unless you go to specific German pubs around Spain, then you’re saved).
Good quality French wine is definitely less expensive in its own country, particularly bordeaux, and shame on me I didn’t bring any back since looking at the prices of the most exquisite bottles at Willow Park Wine and Spirit back home was gobstopping. So, I uh, didn’t buy any.
What I didn’t also buy was a metro ticket to Bastille, that fun area of Paris with a slough (slew? slue? Seriously, there’s a hundred ways to spell that word) of bars and cafes and restaurants, begging us to come inside and party. I couldn’t possibly remember the order, but over the course of the evening we ate at some restaurant, went to La Mecanique, Le Motel, and probably somewhere else. Definitely one of my favourite evenings. The next night was grand too, as our friends played a gig at Le Motel, much to the delight of the patrons.
Two days is far too short to stay in Paris… I didn’t even see the Eiffel Tower believe it or not, but the people I was with and the things I did lieu of it were just as exciting. A payback visit will be necessary. Oh wait, that’ll be possible since booking a flight back to London beginning of May!
I apologise for the shamefully few updates I provide you with, all 2 of my readers. Really it’s an exercise for me so I can actually reflect back on my life and say “I drank that in this place.”