Friday, May 04, 2007

Nighttime Wine at the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame

The last day has been nuts again!!!!!!! Man SO cooooooooooooooool. Ok so yesterday morning I was chillin' around the hostel for a while. Then my new French friend Gabriel who is actually from Paris said I could come to his area of town and do some very "non-touristic" stuff, haha. So I was obviously in for that. We went past a HUGE Shul in Montmartre which is actually the biggest Synagogue in ALL of Europe!! I really wanted to take a photo there but they are very serious about security there so it was not possible to take a photo. Needless to say, it was freakin' huge and freakin' cool. Then we took the Subway to the St. Germain area where Gabriel lives with his godfather. His grandfather owns the flat but he shares it with his godfather, and when his godfather is there, they have to share a bed and it's too cramped, so he comes to live in the Youth Hostel!! Amazing. So I got to see some cool typical Paris apartments and it rocked and then we went to the Jardins du Luxembourgh, this AMMMAAZING garden park near the St. Germain area. So that TOTALLY ROCKED. We sat there eating some bread, cream cheese, smoked salmon, blood orange Tropicana, peaches and other food and it was great. We met his friend Tom who was a very insane dude from Chicago, totally weird guy and just hilarious. The first thing he said to me was "Hey man, so are you a criminal?" I was like... "What?!??!!" Then he launched into a huge hilarious story about how he wanted to organize a bank heist in France and he was looking for good recruits. Haha this was hilarious and we played off each other's stories for about an hour while Gabriel played chess on the park table with a random guy who was there. Tom was just nuts and hilarious, the kind of person where you never know if he is kidding or if he is being serious, so that was great. I convinced him that to pull off the heist he was going to need to buy everyone some suits so they looked fancy and got more respect, and then it would be less likely that they would be questioned or people would find them suspicious, haha. :) So that was just crazy.

We were in the park for an hour and then headed out to the Pantheon, where Voltaire, Rousseau, Zola and Victor Hugo are buried. There are lots of other famous French people buried there too. It was an interesting building and also we hiked up the building and saw an amazing view of the city so that ROCKED!!

After this we walked back to the Metro but found some people on the way who were supporting Segolene, the female candidate for the French Presidency. The elections are on Sunday and people here are INSANE about Politics!!!!!!! It's SO nuts to see how passionate the French people are about politics, they really care about their country and really care about who they elect to run it. Very interesting. In the morning I saw a guy putting up a Sarkozy poster, he is the other candiate, and I asked him for one. He asked us why we wanted it and Gabriel said that I am Canadian and I wanted it as a souvenier. As we were getting it two guys about my age walked by plugging there noses saying that "Sarkozy stinks" or something like that!! Gabriel then argued with them and told them I was a Canadian and just wanted it as a souvenier and they still walked off in a huff. Amazing!! In the afternoon we met the Segolene supporters and they argued back and forth with Gabriel about his constitutional right and how he should vote for Segolene and not Sarkozy and we were there on the street for about 45 minutes!! I am SO surprised at how different the view of politics is here. Crazyness!!

In the evening I met Andrew Lam, my buddy from high school who has now arrived in Paris!! Also my friend Scott and his girlfriend Jean and his friend Dave called me and I went downtown to meet them with Ans. We drank wine and ate bread and cheese outside of Notre-Dame and it was SO French and SO cool. Then we got Crepes!! I got a Nutella and Banana crepe and Ans got a Grand Marnier crepe and they both ROCKED. The crepe dude made fun of Dave because he asked "Ou est le salle de bains?" haha which means "Where is the bathroom?" The guy said they had no bathroom, and this is funny because Dave should have asked "Ou est les toilettes?" or "Where are the toilettes!" A "Bathroom" here is a place where you do your nails, get into a jacuzzi or a sauna, it sounds like a Spa!! Haha so the guy said, "Haha... Salle De Bains!!! Jaacuuuuzi, haha" and made fun of Dave for like 5 minutes when he was off in the "bathroom." haha that was just hilarious.

Ok cool then we went to bed. This morning we got breakfast and headed to get Ans a Cell Phone. Also I had to go back to the Cell Phone place because the guy there called my phone and left a message saying the money had not gone though and he was very sorry but could I please come back and use a different card. He was very worries because if I didn't come back he would have had to pay the 64 Euros for my phone from his own money which would suck so much so I am glad I got his message while I was still in Paris. Anyway, we went to get Ans's phone and the dude shows up and he has no key for the store!! This is really funny because he is standing around for a minute and then looks and me and Ans and said, "So, we get a Cafe?" (A coffee!) haha!! So instead of stading around or something, he asked me and Ans to get a coffee with him!! Hilarious... and SO French. We did that for 20 min and then his coworker showed up with the key and he could open the store and Ans got a phone, haha.

Then Ans went on a walking tour of Paris and I met up with Nathalie, Tim's super awesome friend from Dalhousie. She was really nice and she is an Au Pair here and we chatted a bunch about how much Paris (and France in general) rocks and walked around Montmartre and then got a freakin' awesome Egg and Cheese Crepe. That brings me to now, when I am on the internet somewhere along the way back to the Hostel. Tonight I think we are going up le Tour Eiffel at night when the flashing lights are going. SO COOL.

MAN that is a lot of stuff that happened in the past 24 hours. On with the photos!!!!

Eiffel Tower at night sparkling

Eiffel Tower at night

My friends Cody and Alex from Calgary and London, England

Me eating a "Royal" at McDonalds!! "Hey, you know what you call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in France?" "Uh..." "A Royal with Cheese!!!" See Pulp Fiction and you'll remember this famous quote!!

This was funny, we were on the Metro yesterday and there is a train line called "Villejuif", this literally means "Jewish Town" so aparantely there is a historical Jewish area there too!!

Gabriel's super Paris style apartment

Parisian roofs

Haha, this is Nathalie's last name, and she has a wine named after her!! Actually aparantely this is a very famous family in France who may or may not be related to her!! Cool stuff. Haha if there was a "Jutan" wine in Paris I'd be rockin' it every day (except maybe not if it was 22 Euros per bottle like this one!!)

Gabriel in the Jardins de Luxenbourg

Lunch time


Gabriel and some dude playing chess

Me in the gardens

Outside of the Pantheon

Pantheon and an amazing colour of sky

Inside the Pantheon

View of the city

Another view of the city

Gabriel and I on top of the Pantheon

Sweeeeeeeeeet Ratatouille poster!!!!!!!

Dave and I on Scott's Hotel balcony

A tour boat on the River Seine

Dave, Jean, Scott, Me and Ans rockin' some wine, cheese and break outside of Notre-Dame!!

Notre-Dame at night

Haha this is my nickname for my friend Yung!!

The crepe guy making fun of Dave, "Haha, le salle de bains?!!!!"

Rockin' some crepes

Chillin' in a bus shelter

And and I at breakfast

A tiny coffee

Ans having a coffee with the guy who works at the phone store!!!!!!

Ans buying his phone

Me, Nathalie, and a lamppost in Montmartre

Nathalie and the legendary crepe

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