Tuesday, 22 April 2008

running mad.

This week has been slightly mad. I've settled into my new place, Nhan has been visiting and I've been training for my new job as an English teacher.

Nhan arrived on Saturday afternoon, and I met her at the station. We also met one of her rellies who took us back to his place for congee. I've never had congee before! It was quite nice and comforting. By the end of the day we didn't have much time left, so we went to the 6th for a hot lemon drink at Mamie Gateaux since Nhan wasn't feeling well, and some bargain basement French pseudoephadrine.

Sunday was my birthday and I decided to go hunting for some icecream to start the day right. I got lost though, of course, and ended up doing a giant loop of my neighbourhood before finally finding my destination about 2 hours later. I had gelati at Pozetto (fiordilatte and hazlenut) which was good, but nothing I hadn't had before and a capuccino which was heavenly because it actually tasted good. Coffee here is generally bad and expensive. Since I still had a little time up my sleeve, I kept going and visited the Montmartre cemetary. I didn't see much of it but the tombs were beautiful and ornate - even the new ones, so I shall have to go back sometime, and it's defintely inspired me to go and see Pere Lachaise.

I met Nhan at the Arc de Triomph an I opened my presents there on a bench! How surreal! I took Nhan back to my place to show her around and then we headed for the second icecream of the day, coming across Notre Dame on the way. We got to the Ile and lined up at Berthillon for icecream. When we finally got to the front of the queue, I had salted caramel and mandarin, and Nhan had strawberry and vanilla. And wow. No really, WOW.
Y'all know that I do like my icecream, and this was significantly better than any other icecream I've ever had in my life. It all tasted so...real. Line or no line, I will be going back there again soon, for sure. Repeatedly

We had dinner at Chez Omar, which was fine but nothing special (meat and chips, nasty yellow 'rose', and a surly waiter) and then finished the evening off with a trip to the Eiffel Tower. I hadn't been there yet, and I still haven't climbed it, but it was certainly very beautiful all lit up at night, and it even glittered for me.

Woot. I met Nhan for a late lunch and we went and bought a picnic from Monoprix and ate it at my place. Nhan surprised me with a lovely little raspberry tart with a candle for me to blow out (and a funny story about attempting to buy one candle and matched with little French). We did a little window shopping and then went to see the building where Napoleon is buried (Hotel des Infermieres?...too tired to look it up). Very fancy indeed. We went then to have a beer and pretend to be intellectuals at Les Deux Magots, but like REAL intellectuals decided it was too expensive and went and chilled out in the Jardin Luxembourg instead.

Today Nhan and I met early to have a croissant breakfast, but in true French style our chosen boulangerie was closed. We found another though, and Nhan had a most delicious almond croissant that I would definitely recommend. I headed off for more teacher training and we met up again in the afternoon to sample the fancy Pierre Herme macarons. They're definitely artier, more interesting and more beautiful than the Laduree ones (I loved the Jasmin one which was powdered with silver dust and was delicious) but I think in the end I like the latter better as they're just a little simpler and perhaps more elegant. We ate them on the street before heading to Chinatown for pho (and more pantry staples for me).

Well, this has been a more succinct post than normal, but I am tired and must sleep. I think tomorrow we're going to the Louvre.

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