Thursday, October 20, 2011

Une interlude parisienne

Monday night I snuck away to Paris for a quick overnight trip. Ostentatiously it was to retrieve the luggage I left there after last semester (coats, boots, books, etc.). Unofficially, of course, it was to indulge in some pseudo-Erasmus nostalgia and eat as much French food as humanly possible in less than 24 hours.

Paris la jolie. Ne change jamais!

From the moment I got off at Gare du Nord and stepped into the smelly rush hour metro, it all felt as if I never left. The people, the sights, the smells, the air...all was so dear and familiar to me. Elbowing commuters and rudeness and all.

But then again, I imagine that 800 year-old Gothic
cathedrals tend to not change very much over time...

The good parts of the trip: I got my luggage, saw my old neighbour C (who generously kept my luggage while I was gone), caught up with my friend C whom I hadn't seen in two years and was on exchange there (she also let me crash at her place for the night, yay!), had a proper (French) meal, had some real pains au chocolat, was wholly  nostalgic and duly appreciative of my wonderful time there.

The not-so-good parts: Parisians don`t help you with your luggage, even if you`re a small Asian girl trying to drag 25kg through the cursed escalator-less metro, and the trip back was a complete disaster (train was held back at the entrance of the Chunnel, had to brave London rush hour road and tube traffic, got lost trying to find my bus station near Baker Street, computer and cellphone ran out of battery).

I've missed meals like this! Steak tartare, charcuterie, fresh
 Parisian baguette and a 2 Euro glass of  Cote du Rhône. <3 

Anyway, it was overall a necessary and fruitful trip. My group of friends here and I are thinking of maybe organizing something in the springtime. (St-Hilda Hooligans take over Paris? Bring it on!) Also, the trip made me realize how easily I got un-used to traveling all the time. I guess last semester (6 months, 14 cities and 20-something train and plane rides) really was exceptional.

Another familiar sight: London St-Pancras Station.

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