Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Last impressions of Paris

Here in the Eurostar departure lounge .. a chance for some final Parisian thoughts.

The cars in Paris - they're parked incredibly close, packed together with maybe three inches between them at the side of the road. How do they ever get out? How did they ever get in?

Warm air vents on the pavement, outside apartment blocks. Many are claimed by fifty-something homeless men, carefully guarding a bottle of cheap wine. How do you keep doing that, when the freezing rain is gently settling on the streets?

We ate out every evening and the food was occasionally fantastic, mostly ok but sometimes the meat was tough and fatty,  the salads had lost their crispness. The French are coasting and the brits have finally caught up.

Update: on the train now and it's first class on the return trip - wide seats and space for the legs. Let's get going and we'll use the last of our Euros in the refreshments carriage!

Later ... an innocent abroad. I was dispatched to the buffet car where I waited 20 minutes in a queue composed of French people who wanted complicated things and lots of them. Eventually I returned with a large tea, a hot chocolate and a muffin.

In my absence the magic of first class had exerted itself. My tray table was adorned with salmon and guacamole, spiced rice and a glistening apple confection. The complimentary first class meal was rounded off with wine. Confronted by incredibly competent and self-effacing waiters, I hid the muffin.