Sunday, 31 May 2009

A Walkabout in Paris


Paris is not a place to walk around in a pair of tattered old shoes with no brandname. But around Paris I did, acutely aware that the heels which started giving problems in Amsterdam were going to make a hasty departure in Paris. But the heels clung on to dear life throughout my trip. In fact, it survived the vineyards of Bouzy and made it with aplomb at poco-poco in Paris.

Inching along Champs-Élysées, a five minute walk from our cosy little hotel, in search of a decent bite, brandnames upon brandnames jumped up at me. It is not a place to be if you can’t pronounce, never mind afford the LVs, the Chanels or Christian Dior , Christian Lacroix, Yves Saint Laurent, and Van Cleef & Arpels, to name but a few.

It was an unusually warm afternoon in Paris and in fact the whole of Europe was bathed in sunshine, so out came my sunglasses; a five-dollar fake something from a marketplace in Siem Reap. Through the tinted glasses, I could see that almost everyone was carrying an LV, the way people carry the Primark carrier bags here. I was again acutely aware of the bag with no name, clinging faithfully on my shoulder.

The Parisians, I must say, have style. They are chic from top to bottom.

We made our way to Notre Dame near the Latin Quarter and the famous Shakespeare’s Bookshop. It has always been my favourite eating place but we dilly-dallied, taking in the promise of sales from the shop windows, mentally working out Euros in pound sterling until the sun disappeared from the horizon and rendered the Arc de Triomphe even more majestic at night.

Notre Dame is magically transformed at dusk; the lighting does wonders to the Parisian sky, reflected in the Seine as cruise boats ply the tourists to take in the sights of the French capital. Lovers at street corners, on benches and along the bridge swayed and cuddled to the beat of African drums from the sidewalk.

From the 388 eateries offering kebabs to sushis and seafood galore, we found a halal Moroccan with couscous and chicken tagine. The place was indeed a tourist attraction, and if there was anything to learn about tourist attractions, this is the place to see and learn. There is no use opening up big restaurants where there’s no character and no soul.

That night, almost midnight, we decided to walk back until our legs could no longer carry us. But before we gave in to hailing a taxi, we took in Paris by night, stopping to admire the bridges and the Baroque architecture. Cutting across the park, with its numerous statues, we were mesmerised by Eiffel Tower in the distance, which started shimmering against the summer sky. It was quite a sight that halted the treks of most walkers; whipping out their cameras to capture the moment. Alas, for amateur photographer like me, Eiffel Tower emerged a big white blob. Apparently the Eiffel Tower light show lasts for ten minutes every hour and we caught it just before midnight.

Here's one I got online:

The Eiffel Tower Light Show

Suffice to say, this trip took me to several places I had never been before such as the magnificient Chateau de Versailles or The Palace of Versailles to see its beautiful gardens. There were miles and miles of queues from every direction. And then there was Jardin du Luxembourg, a garden populated with statues and a large lake for sailing model boats. Apparently these model boats are not remotely controlled and are modelled on the original boats that sailed with the power of the wind.

Crouching Tiger Actress + Famous Shoe Designer = Malaysis's Got Talents

As if to put a perfect end to a very interesting trip, the bonus on the last day was a meeting with Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon actress, Michelle Yeoh. The jet setting actress had just returned from the Cannes Festival, before setting off again to Hong Kong, or was it China and then back to Malaysia for a documentary. And not a bag under those famous eyes.


A Charlie's Angels Remake? In front of Versaille
Note to self: Time I get meself a new pair of shoes and perhaps a more effective eye gel.






Kak Teh's other adventures in Paris:
To Paris with a Mission

50 comments:

The trekker, agnes said...

Hi Kak Teh,
you wanna know the best, cheap & effective way to straighten those wrinkles ?
iron the lines with telur putih...he..he.. and the egg yolk, buat la cup cake !
michelle bought eggs by the crates kalo tak salah...

Kak Teh said...

agnes, wow! egg yolk, huh? I think my wrinkles are beyond repair. Will need crates of eggs. Thanks for the tip.

NanaDJ said...

Kak Teh,
Sounds like you had a lot of fun in Paris. Envy you!
Old shoes are always more comfortable than new ones...

Pi Bani said...

Laahai... tak sah kalau tak buat pose Charlie's Angel dia. Tapi Charlie's Angel kena banyak jalan lagi, so jangan lupa gi cari kasut baru. Kalau boleh cari macam "Get Smart" punya kasut - siap boleh jadi telephone apa bagai... ;)

And oh, please visit my blog if you have time. I think you can already guess what's in store for you.

SkyJuice said...

You made me want to revisit Paris, Kak Teh. Cool pose, by the way. ;-)

Zendra said...

Poco-poco? in Paris? Pray tell me what it is. Nobody can mention poco-poco without me pricking up my ears, Kak Teh.

You're the sexiest angel there too.

And sunglasses are God's gift to womankind! Love 'em!

blogresipi said...

One thing I missed a lot from Paris, the huge grilled PRAWNS & CRABS! hehehe... how much I wished to be there again...
p/s: Nice entry :)

Life for Beginners said...

Kak Teh, they say wrinkles are a way to see how much wisdom a person has. But you have more than just wisdom, my dear, you have lots of heart and that worth more than rubies and pearls. :)

On a more frivolous note: So jeles lah... You met Michelle Yeoh! She's so graceful and elegant...

tireless mom said...

Hi Kak Teh

Suddenly Paris seems to be the buzz word around. Coincidently, I was rummaging my old photos gallavanting in Paris. There is one pic, at the long queue outside LV with many Japanese. I never get to go in there. Eksyen ambik gambar je.

I am sure you can find a decent handbag balik London nanti.

ubisetela said...

Bestnya k.Teh! Versailles tops my garden-to-visit list... Bila lahhhh I nak sampai sana!

*Angel belah kanan tu paling hot!

Designer said...

Greetings Kak Teh,
I completely agree with your comment, "There is no use opening up big restaurants where there's no character and no soul."
As a restaurant designer myself, I detest these heartless, souless boxed monstrosities.
And as it takes it's hint from the Parisians themselves, great design is always chic, from top to bottom.
All the best,
Michael

Kak Teh said...

NanaDJ, well, apart from the work, it was okay. When we went for the walk about - it was supposed to be a free and easy day.Otherwise, it was work and i have had to catch up on sleep since coming back to London.
Old shoes? aaah, just like old partners, eh? they are the best.

Pi Bani, kasut get smart tu bagus juga sebab tak payah bawa handphone lagi. Tapi yang problemnya bila ada phonecall kena buka kasut. lecehlaa! as for the tagggggg aarggggggg! Oh tidakkkkkk!!!

Kak Teh said...

SkyJuice, it was really hot when we were there, even hotter than London. Five days was too long to be in Paris, and at the end of it, I just wanted my own bed, even if it means sharing with the cats.

Zendra, I am one with two left feet and had never done the poco-poco before until that last night in Paris. The good doctor had all of us on our feet. Jimmy Choo couldnt escape either and we did the poco-poco. In fact, I think I did quite well. I was quite worried about crashing into other people as my left and right is quite a problem.

Kak Teh said...

Blogresipi, I wish I had those crabs and prawns - am sure those are better but was so hungry that we stopped at the nearest restaurant. I remember some best seefood grills in Brussels but fo course they cost an arm and a leg.

Kenny, yes, Datuk Michelle Yeoh is one elegant lady and she carries herself very well. Kenny jeles!!!

Kak Teh said...

TM, yes, there is forever a long queue outside LV. We managed to get in during the last trip and the store was full of Japanese and koreans and Chinese. They seemed to be able to afford them. Kak teh tengok saja.

Ubi, if you ever had a chance to visit, join the queue to see the stately rooms. I missed that because we ddnt have time, but I think it will be worth it. The garden was okay - nothing spectacular but I think we missed the flowers.

Kak Teh said...

Designer, thank you for the visit. I think restaurants that are too big and clinical cannot do much to attract customers. The ones in Notre Dame are just great...the atmosphere was such unique and each shop has its own character. It is such a huge attraction.

masterwordsmith said...

Ooooo your post reminds me of my visits to Paris..my first one was with my girlfriend and the second one with my hubby...of course, Paris with a loved one is ze best cos next to S. Francisco, Paris is the most romantic place on earth!! (at least to me!)

Did you manage to check out the shows at Montmatre and the museums inclusing Louvre, and the other museums?

Have fun and eat lots of crepe suzette on my behalf! Yummy!

Bon jour, mon ami.

Kak Teh said...

Paula, the times I did Paris with my husband, there were always for work. But of course we found time to enjoy ourselves too, especially one visit in February and it was on Valentines' Day! We did Louvre during one other visit and this time it is all about gardens and parks. and I even visited a vineyard.

Oh yes, I did have crepe with chocolate and banana and peanuts!! Yummy!

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Salam Kak Teh,

"Dark Circles", that's my middle name..haiya, been trying to get rid of them too.

I glad u've had fun in Paris, got bonus some more for meeting up with Michelle Yeoh, Ipoh mali macam i tu..:)

mamasita said...

We have never been to Paris..what a beautiful and romantic place..
On behalf of those who dream to swirl into Paris one day, InsyaAllah friends..we'll be there one of these days!Hope is not lost! hehe
Thank you KT for whipping up the intense fervour inside!

Kitchen Guardian said...

Salam Kak Teh,

Bestnye pi Paris...when i was in UK tak terpikir nak pi Paris....now, tunggulah anak anak dah besarq sikit, I pi hoineymoon wt hubby nanti!!

Kak Elle said...

wah KT jln2 kat Paris I miss that dulu pergi tak cukup rasa nya ...kena simpan $$ nak shopping kat sana...hehe

Kak Teh said...

Ida, if airlines charge excess baggage for bags under the eyes, they'd make a fortune out of me! Oh, you also Ipoh mali? ddnt know that. The Ipoh mali lass is really nice - so classy lah that Michelle Yeoh.

Mamasita, I am sure that one of these days you will be in our part of the world and then, Paris is not too far away.

Kak Teh said...

KG, certainly - leave the children and come for a second honeymoon. That's a great idea. Paris is really for the romantics and lovers. Everywhere you look, you see people in each other's embrace!

Kak Elle, kalau shopping memang tak cukup kalau dua tiga hari saja..u must allow more time than that. Do come again.

drbubbles said...

Charlie Angels di Paris?Pantang ada peluang!Hehehe...

I agree with you..lenguh kaki dok berjalan di Paris ni.

MHB said...

I agree, I agree!! The angel on the right is da hottest!!

Alamak Kak Teh, if Paris is for the romantics and lovers, macamana ngan I ni?? Tak pe, tak pe... no lover around but still a romantic at heart kira ok la kan?? ;-)

isabelle said...

xkan dia pakai egg white kot?
dia byk duit... mesti la pi cucuk2. hehehe.

mekyam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mekyam said...

wah kak teh, alangkah seronoknya! :D

j'ai beaucoup d'envie sungguh that i want to break into frogspeak... travail ou non, si on est à paris au printemps, on s'en donner à coeur joie, non?. what a town!

and i agree with you that being comfortably shod is also keeping up with the natives. they're fast walkers, parisiens kan? ;D

as for les jardins françaises, i like. but have to admit i'm more partial to the calculated chaos of the english gardens. for taman2 yg mengikut kata, give me the japanese ones anytime. :D

heard that pak zawi just passed thru en route chez toi! sounds like semua org berjalan spring nih except moi. [sigh!]

Pak Zawi said...

Kak Teh,
Alina of Tourism Malaysia took us up Eiffel Tower in the morning and later we had lunch at an Indian Restaurant operated by an Indian guy from batu Cave. We had beriyani ayam there.
We did pass by LV, then stopped at Hard Rock Cafe Paris. Unfortunately it was a Sunday and most shops were closed so many of us were disappointed as we couldn't buy any parfum.
Later at night we went back to Eiffel Tower to catch the light show. The first one was at 10.00 PM and managed to catch it on video.
Unfortunately we didn't have much time to do Paris the way you did.
See you in London soon!

Kama said...

Kak Teh, last week I found a karaoke CD of songs from that famous Hindi movie "An Evening In Paris". La ni tengah dok practise (dengan penuh semangatnya) "Dekho, dekho, dekho....an ev'ning in pareeeeeesss!!

madam gold said...

Salam K Teh,seronoknya dengar kak Teh berpoco-poco in Paris..rasa nak join sekali.
I remember eating Vietnamese food in Paris..dah mengidam sgt nak makan nasi,so we just try out the Viet's restaurant.Imagine..the rice tu macam empeng beras ,then rendam dalam soup..that s the first and the last i d try Viet's food.
I always like my old shoes k teh.Kekadang dah beli yang baru,masih pakai yg lama..

MrsNordin said...

Kak Teh ni suka buat pose Charlie's Angels, kan? And it's getting better each time!! Hee.. hee...

edelweiss said...

Salam Kak Teh...

Amboiiii memang mcm citer charlie's angel...tapi u yang mana satu??? Jackie Smith or Cheryl Ladd or Farah F?

i rasa cheryl lad sesuaiii :)

Kak Teh , i have never been to Paris tau...i cuma sampai ke Calais jer..tuh pun on my way to Holland...Insyallah panjang umoq murah rezeki sampai... :)

I memang teringin nak ke Versailles Palace....

Andrea Wh@tever said...

Woohooo! Poco-poco in Paris! And I love that Charlie's Angels pose. Hee hee! Must remind self to do same when I visit Paris next -- if anything, to see that priceless jaw-drop look on my husband's face as I strike the pose just before he clicks on the camera. *laughs*

I always love Paris. Not so much for the shopping (Milan is so much better and cheaper) but for the serious fun of dressing up to the nines and the FOOD. Ohlala..

D said...

Aah... how come that chique Angel has nobrand shoes, bags and shades but still look so gorgeous?! ;)

Haiya, must go back to Paris for old times' sake!

So, are you back in London now?

[danial][ma] said...

hej! Kak Teh...you must have a great time in paris besides the shoes...;-) must be very hot in Paris...and the parisians are friendly too even though they are not so like to spaek english...

Lyana Mauseth said...

hi kak teh,

dulu i skit pun tak teringin nak pi paris...ni baca post u ni tetiba je teringin lak...how are u kak teh? lama la i tak menjengah sini...hidup kelam kabut mcm ni lah *sigh*

ajourneythrulife said...

“…Inching along Champs-Élysées… brandnames upon brandnames jumped up at me. It is not a place to be if you can’t pronounce, never mind afford the LVs, the Chanels or Christian Dior , Christian Lacroix, Yves Saint Laurent, and Van Cleef & Arpels, to name but a few…”

Ma’am that’s exactly how I felt when strolling along the Champs-Élysées. And for some people they can shop at the spanking new LV boutique just like me while buying ikan at pasar malam… life is sooo unfair sometimes. :(

Naz said...

Salam Kak Teh,
You pi mana ni? Lamanya tak dengar berita. Windu lah! :D
I dah tengok gambar C.Angels tu. Haha! memang sah kita adik beradik. Kaki meghapu!
Take care ok AND don't work too hard :)

DrSam said...

wah....another charlie's Angel's secret mission in Paris. Memang ada gaya, caya lah Kak Teh ;)

Pak Zawi said...

Kak Teh,
Need your email address to send your pictures. Pls send a blank email to mohdzawi@gamil.com.

Kak Teh said...

Dr Bubbles, you must have enjoyed Paris too - and i think when you were there it was still as hot. Sayangnya tak lama.

MHB, Paris is that kind of place - tengok sana sini semuanya macam belangkas. Tak tau nak pandang ke mana, hehe!

Kak Teh said...

isabelle, its too late for me to try egg yolk - hehe, sayang pulak kalau boleh buat omellette! I dont think dia cucuk sebab nampak dia natural saja.

Mekyam, oui, oui! The jardins are so beautiful although we were there at the tail end. Some gardens were replanting. Yes, Pak Zawi was here and gone. We had a brief meeting with his wife. They both looked knackered!

Kak Teh said...

Pak Zawi, haha, now i understand your message.

Kama, the evening in Paris is about 9 o'clock - jenuh tunggu. This must be one of the few times that I had been to Paris when it was hot, Usually, it was freezing cold.

Kak Teh said...

Madam Gold , on the last evening, i really wanted rice too, and we went back to Notre Dame and found a wonderful Indian restaurant - halal! and nasi pilau dia sedap betul!

Mrs N, Charlie's Angels' pose saja yang kak teh tau. Nak buat Crouching Tiger and HIdden Dragon pose nanti patah tulang belakang pulak - hehe!

Kak Teh said...

Edelweiss, kak teh pun dulu mula pijak bumi perancis memalui Calais - prgi waktu nak krismas, banyaklah orang pergi membeli belah arak - ramai yang mabuk - not a very good experience.

Andrea, if my husband was around when i did that pose, am sure he'd turn away and pretend not to know...

Kak Teh said...

D, yaaaa, am back in London and paying for my sins. Am really suffering from hayfever and am really miserable.

Danial, I think the French are getting better, They used to be so snobbish, esp if you dont speak French and speak English only. They are now more tolerant.

Kak Teh said...

Lyana, kak teh pun lama tak menjenguk ke mana-mana. Rasanya malas sungguh. Have not been feeling a hundred percent lately. Nanti lah kak teh buat rounding besar-besaran bila ada mood nanti.

NJ,I too braved myself and went into the spanking new building during my last trip there. Tak berani nak sentuh - but to tell you the truth some of the designs are so gory - over the top. I wouldnt pay anything for such a design. I prefer the more subtle ones.

Kak Teh said...

Naz, memang keturunan merapu nak lari ke mana? hehe, too late to change.

Dr Sam, aha, that's the next exciting episode of Charlie's Angels ..in Versailles!

Pak Zawi - thanks!