Thursday, April 1, 2010

Day 1: Paris (29 Mar 2010)

The flight HK - SH - Paris on China Eastern was far better than I expected. And the pleasant surprise on the flight from HK to SH:

Yeah! Chocolate Haagen Daz ice-cream! Wow, I thought I was on CX. Haha! Although I have to mention that the German guy sitting next to me was a bit ma fan (you know, with a Chinese girlfriend and thought he's a king that type of caucasian.). Anyway, after landing, I went through the customs, which I didn't expect it because I thought connecting flight doesn't need to, and thus I didn't bring my back-to-china card (回鄉咭), so there was a female police who escorted me to the gate to my flight, I felt so important. Haha!

There was free wi-fi at the Pudong Airport, so I immediately took out my iPhone to get online on MSN, and it also made the hour long wait shorter. The airport:

And then the 13-hour journey began...

It wasn't too bad the flight, the plane is big and quite new, I chose the exit seat, this bigger seat which most people desire turns out to be unsuitable for me, legs are too short! :P So I couldn't rest my legs on the seat in front which made it difficult to have a nice sleep (cos I usually curl up like a ball), so it's a no for me next time. The food is the same as the previous flight, fish noodle and chicken rice. Although it's not the best seat for me, I did manage to get some sleep after all.

It felt quite fast for the 13-hour journey, and the wait at the carousel was not too long also. I took my big suitcase to find the RER to my friend's place - Cite Universitaire, good that I could use the trolley for half way, and then I pushed it to the RER platform, the ticket was 8.5 euro, which is ok cos it goes straight from airport to the station. There was a guy who kept shouting Paris to people who want to get on the train, I looked at him and he wasn't wearing a uniform, so he's not a staff of the train, and a couple minutes later, he was handing out a card to the passenger, it said "I am a refugee, need to take care of 1 brother, a mother...1 to 2 euro or ticket restaurant is good for me...etc." And then I immediately think "Get a job then!". After like a few seconds, he collected the cards back, I don't think anyone has given him anything. Well, such a waste as a human being.

The train looks like as I remember it: windows with scratches, seats a bit dirty. But still on time. It took about 40 mins from airport drectly to Cite Universitaire, when I got off, I didn't see my friend, so I pushed my suitcase to get out of the station, still don't see her, so I went to the phone booth to try to make a call, the pay phones here don't allow coins, just local bank cards or credit card, but after two failed attempts of my two cards, I didn't know what to do. I stood there and waited for a bit, and then I tried again, still failed, finally I saw the number for calling the operator, I gave the guy my card number and card details, and finally I got through to her. After about 15 mins she arrived, she told me she set the alarm, but it's because the day before the day time saving starts and she forgot to change the time on the phone. Haha. Anyway, we then took the tramway for 1 station to go to her place. Her place is on the 4th floor, which means we have to carry the suitcase up. The move was actually not as bad as I expected.

We rested and chatted for a couple hours, and then I got changed and went out, took a bus to a place called St.Michel, where Notre Dame located. Had a nice relaxing lunch, walked around, took some pictures:

We went to this famous book store: Shakespeare, it was in the film of Before Sunrise or After Sunset, it sells English books, and it's very nice inside:

Everything is very old inside, the bookselves, table, chairs. Very nice vintage feel.
And then we walked around the area, went to Notre Dame, but didn't go inside this time:

And we also walked inside a park where we saw this cute baby:

This wrapped up my first day. It's nice to be back in Paris! :)

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