Sunday, 30 January 2011

From Paris with love...

Hôtel de Ville, Paris

Cathedral Notre Dame, Paris

Me by the Arch de Triomphe, Paris
Didn't really think through the pink hat, yellow tights outfit!

Me outside the Sacre Coeur, Paris
There's that colourful ensemble again!

Some things I Iearnt about Paris this weekend:
  • It’s smaller than London but there are a lot more people!
  • Its metro system is much more confusing to navigate than London tubes but is much faster and much more reliable and isn’t that far underground so your mobile works in most stations!
  • The absolutely massive stores of Louis Vouton , Channel etc. on the Champs-Elysées are very alluring, much more so than the shops on the Kings Road.
  • Everything is very far away from each other but thankfully the taxis are a lot cheaper than in London.
  • It’s really quite a scary place, but man it’s beautiful and exciting!
Some things I learnt about myself this weekend
  • For everything I will miss about Russian as a subject (I have dropped it from my degree title) I will not miss the ‘office politics’ of the department.
  • Some of my classmates think my voice is annoying when I go on a rant about something in lectures (and who can blame them? I bet it is annoying!) But apparently I get away with it coz I seemingly know what I’m talking about (questionable.)
  • Apparently my attitude to university life (that I am reasonably hard working, and really quite capable but I am not willing to kill myself over my degree coz I quite like having a life too!) hasn’t gone unnoticed by my classmates.
  • My ex was fit (obviously I was already well aware of this fact but it was quite nice, in a flattering sort of way, to hear that other people thought this too.)
  • Some people at university discuss my figure/shape in the positive way on a regular basis (well that’s very nice, shame I haven’t been swimming training in a very long while so now I’m super unfit!)
So it was Friday early evening and I was very tired from a long day at school but I hopped on a TGV at Dijon Ville than would zoom me to Paris Gare de Lyon to be met by Sam, Lauryn and Vicky, all friends from university. We then took the metro to our hotel it the rougher end of Montmartre – the sort of hotel you could imagine seedy men hiring as the location of sex with a prostitute. But it following my Dad’s rule of thumb on judging hotels (is the shower hot and powerful and is the bed reasonably comfortable?) It passed! The general plan was to have a little pre-drink catch up then grab the metro to an Irish bar near Notre Dame for some drinks and food. What actually happened is that it got quite drunk in our hotel room (got the “please be quiet knock” from the man on reception) and tossed about banter about our Irish families (I was the only one who could not add to this banter). Then quite drunk we walked down the red light district to take a photo of the Moulin Rouge, obviously and then got a kebab and went to bed.
Then at the respectful hour of 11am me and Sam set off to see Paris’s sights (Vicky and Lauryn had gone to Disneyland for the day.) We started at the Sacre Coeur where we met a friend of mine – Ed. Then we went on to the Arch de Triomphe/Champs-Elysées, Hôtel de Ville and finally Notre Dame, with regular stops for food and coffee of course, we are in France after all!
Later me and Sam met Lauryn and Vicky in MacDo and like the QM massive we are went to meet our friend Kyle for his birthday celebrations. However the bar was busy and it was impossible to get served so we went to a quieter bar and had a proper catch up. Lauryn and Vicky then went back to the hotel coz Disney had tired them out but me, Kyle and Sam were in for the long haul! All of our party (including my friend Ed) went on to a club except for me, Kyle, Sam, a Fab and a Ally decided to be more hardcore and get the metro to Montparnasse to a club called Mix for their gay night, however, unfortunately, gay meant men only so we hailed some taxis to Folie’s Pigalle (not far from the Moulin Rouge). I should have guessed what might happen next as Sam has told us the night before that this was the very club she lost Kyle on another night out!
The night started well, Kyle generously paid for us to have our own table and a bottle of vodka and while I sat there being confused as to who was a girl, who was a boy and who was a tranny and whether this club’s main market was gay or straight (and admiring quite a lot of fake boobs) we enjoyed yet more banter and good chat.
But then, Ally, Kyle’s American friend, passed out in her seat coz she was stupidly drunk so quite obviously this was our que to go home! But as we got outside Kyle realised that Fab was still inside with his ticket for the coat check. So Kyle went back in while me and Sam propped Ally up on a street corner giving the police a “everything’s fine” smile every time they circled past and one time when they wound down the window we actually had to tell them in words “tout va bien”. Except tout didn’t va bien coz Kyle was nowhere to be seen and we were cold and fed up of waiting for him. The very nice doorman let me back in to look but I didn’t find him. Then he let me in again and I found him and explained that he really needed to hurry the fuck up coz Ally was in no fit state and we needed help getting her home. So I waited outside, and when he still didn’t come out, I was let in a third time, this time Kyle came as far as the coat check queue but then never actually came outside so I went back a fourth time to be told by the doorman that it wasn’t worth his job to let me back in a fourth time but that my friend had gone back in the club. Fantastic! Me and Sam now had to get a girl we didn’t even know to a bed.
Ally did not know which bus to get home or where her bus stop was so she decided to get a taxi. At first I rang after her screaming “no, you can’t go home by yourself, you’re in no fit state” but then I realised that no taxi was actually gunna take a girl that drunk and besides she couldn’t even remember where she lived! So for a few moments I mildly enjoyed watching her try and get a taxi. So while I was on the other side of the road propping her up and telling every pervy man that walked past and tried to offer us a lift home, each trying to convince me that they were very “respecteux”, yea right! At first I tried telling them “on est bien, elle est bien, tout va bien, on juste attend nos amis, on est bien, vraiment!” Except everything wasn’t fine, there I was in a dodgy part of Paris looking after a drunk girl I didn’t even know so the colder and more tired I got I reverted to telling these me to “fuck off”. Which usually led to them giving me a rant about the rude British, normally I would defend my country but as long as they fucked off I didn’t care what they said.
Meanwhile Sam is on the other side of the road and gets told by a woman to move coz she’s stealing her clients. Turns out this woman is a prostitute and I was very grateful to Sam who in the middle of having a slanging match in French with a whore shouted over to me “are you alright?” seeing the group of men that were surrounding us. Yes I was fine, either “tout va bien” or “fuck off” was getting rid of these men no problem, but was Sam ok, I would have been well scarred it a French whore was shouting at me!
So as it was evidentially clear that Kyle was never gunna materialise it was time to take Ally to a bed. So we zigzagged down (Ally was in no fit state to walk properly) Avenue Pigalle towards our hotel, all the while wondering how we were gunna sneak Ally in to our room without having to pay for an extra guest. When we arrived, at around 4am the man on reception we clearly too blind with tiredness to notice that we had an extra guest when he buzzed us in. So we stumbled up the 2 flights of stairs, Ally fell asleep immediately on the bed and Sam very kindly offered to sleep on the floor, so I made her a make-shift bed of my coat, towels and a spare blanket and then I too collapsed in to bed.
We were woken at 11am by Lauryn and Vicky coming to say their goodbyes. And then, as we had to check out by 12, we too gathered our things, checked out and walked to the metro, we said goodbye to Ally as she went to take line 2 home and we took line 4 to Gare de Nord and then the RER D to Gare de Lyon, grabbed some lunch, giggled about the nights events (which out of the cold are pretty funny) and then I look my train back to Dijon and Sam took a RER back to Corbeil and we parted with promises to see each other soon!

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