We're back from Paris and i've been swamped with housework and orders (read here if you're interested!). it was a 4 (5 including stops!) hour ride from the calm, small town of Sittard to the ever buzzing busy city of Paris!
This was our 3rd time together in Paris since we moved here. first time was in spring, being 5 months pregnant, we went to Rolland Garros, the second time was with my parents last year in winter and now, in Autumn. every season has it's charm. but one thing's for sure, Paris is still as busy as ever!
But he did it again! YES Hardy did it again! if you're not a parisien, two things you need when you drive in Paris- a lot of guts and tonnes of confidence. it was absolutely MAD! roads are fairly small compared to the roads we have here in Holland and to top it off, almost everyone's beating the lights, and they have BIG huge roundabouts and then, somehow you'd have to stop in the middle of the roundabout, and zebra crossings every 100mtrs not to mention those bravehearts cyclists on their bikes to watch out for! GOSH! thank god we stopped at the services just before we got into Paris! i'd sure pee in my pants if my bladder was full!
In the middle of a traffic jam with cars honking at each other, in the middle of a roundabout, one car decided to call for the police who was standing probably 30mtrs away, and asked for directions! and when the lights turned green, everyone was at a halt, anxious impatient drivers then started to honk and gosh, pure madness! one thing about driving in holland, people dont honk! but hey, this is Paris we're talking about!
Anyway... if you do plan to drive in Paris, get a 4th or 5th hand car (not second! even! no! well depends how badly damage it already is!). i noticed almost every car has at least a scratch! and here we are driving our big fat estate car! and dont let me even start on parking! this is how they park...
Do i need to elaborate more?! oh, i take it back, you will need 3 things if you want to drive in Paris, not 2 - guts, confidence and a 4th/5th hand car! hehe.
Now, to a more calming story and more calming pictures...
I brought Aidan to this park near our hotel. we spent a good 2 hours there. such colourful people from all around. a lady who sat next to me offered me to share her lunch, i even made friends with an american guy with his son. both sighed in relief cause we dont speak a word of french apart from bonjour and au revoir! i had a brilliant time with Aidan meeting the people that makes Paris Paris!
Since we already did the whole Eifel Tower, Notre Damm and Champs-Elysees bit last winter, we decided to give it a miss this time. my main visit to Paris this time is to meet this one person whom i've been talking a lot to for the past half a year. you know sometimes, you can just tell a person just based on how they talk (or perhaps i should say type!). we shared our stories and i somehow feel very close to her since we started chatting.
I was right. we hit it off right away. she's friendly, warm, funny and humble and just pure genuine. i can relate to almost everything she's going through right now - the big change! she is one tough one, a very nice person to talk to and a wonderful company to be with, a wonderful cook and a loving person, she's great with Aidan. both Lin and her french husband Mokhtar was just like us 3 years ago.
They invited us to their lovely home and Lin cooked us the best sambal tumis udang in Europe! and yes, let us not forget about the formage! we had a lovely time, even Aidan enjoyed himself finishing up almost half a plate of tempe we brought for them!
The next day, Lin brought us to Jardin du Luxembourg. we love parks and gardens and what a way to spend a day enjoying the sun at the most beautiful garden i've ever been to! the weather was really REALLY nice throughout the duration we were there. 21c, too good to be true for October! the garden is breathtakingly beautiful. it is so french with lots of statues and monuments, almost like an open air museum.
We had a lovely time, and i'm glad i finally get to meet Lin. she'll always be special to me, just like a younger sister. and after our days in Paris, i can say this, i had a wonderful family dinner eating Japanese with my boys, i had a wonderful mother and son day at the park with Aidan, and i had a wonderful meeting with Lin. and i wouldnt wanna swap that with any other stuff in Paris, not even the best crepes in the whole entire city of Paris!
Thank you Lin & Mokhtar. thanks for the wonderful meal, the chocolate cake, the cheese, gifts for Aidan and a start to a lovely friendship!