Thursday, August 7, 2008

No Je'taime Paris, No Je'taime!

After our Glion summer program ended, me and four brave companions, Jessica, Hagop, Sheila and Sepehr bullet-trained it to Paris, France.  

We did not have the best time getting there.  The morning we left, we were still suffering from hangovers and heartbreak (from the program ending).  

And all of us had packed too much. Each person lugged about two sizable wheeled suitcases around up Switzerland hills and through Parisian streets and lifting them onto trains and lifting them off metros and lifting them in general put everyone in an even worse mood than before.  

And the bullet-train was not as fast as a bullet (false advertisement!)  

And we were tired. 
And we were hungry. 
And Paris smelled. 
And we couldn't find our hotel.  

We had nary even stepped foot outside Paris when two of my compadres collapsed into tears and giggles right in the middle of the central train station.
When we got to the hotel, we found out that the worst wasn't over yet.  
Our hotel room is what you would call "shabby chic" without the "chic" and an extra emphasis on the "shabby."  It was rated one star and as you can tell from our genuine facial reactions to our living situation, we were trying to figure out how they got the one star.

We made the best out of our situation though.  Here I am sanitizing the knobs and switches to our room with hand wipes.
We even found it in ourselves to celebrate in our room.  Here we are clinking plastic bottles and cups of sparkling wine and missing one of our members, Jessica, who ran away from our awful hotel (just kidding, Jessica went back to Zurich to get her brother. She reunited with us in Munich later on).
And the outside of Paris was not all bad.  There were amazing monuments to check out...

Lovely parks to relax in...
Quaint flea markets to browse through...
And the world famous Champs Elysee to people watch. 
We strolled through the street a couple of times, stopping at the gorgeous and untoppable sweets shop, La Duree (Dorothy, I can't believe you never told me about this place!) and Haagen Dazs for some treats.  The macaroons from La Duree were to die for and the ice cream at Haagen Dazs were jaw dropping (and surprisingly different from what we get in the U.S. Must be the milk). 
By nightfall, we trekked back to Champs for some dancing at the fabulous gay club (though we didn't know it was one at the time), "Queen."  I personally had a really good time.  The music was divine, the guys were HOT HOT HOT but no pressure because they didn't swing my way and the dance floor was packed.  My guy friends, who got butt grazed a couple of times, might not feel the same way.  
We arrived in Paris in tears but left with smiles.  I'm still not completely as smitten with this city as many others may be but it definitely was a sight to see.

*Photos courtesy of Sepehr and especially of his "Sepehr shots."  

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