I'm trying to right my wrongs, but funny these same wrongs helped my write this blog

Paris Appraisal

In the interests of boredom (on my part, not yours) I’m going to do this Paris Wrap-up in bulletpoints, because I’m into the whole brevity thing (who doesn’t love a Big Lebowski quote at the top of a blog post? Losers, that’s who)
  • Food is fantastic. Its quick, honest and flavoursome. If I’m totally honest, it is a bit too rich, but that’s hardly a crime. I have a new appreciation for crème brulee, fois gras and escargot. Petit dejuener la Francaise (French Breakfast) is a great way to start the day – small coffee, orange juice, 2 fried eggs and a croissant – c’est bon.
  • Everyone said it would be expensive – this was not my experience. Sure, if you’re stupid enough to eat at the brasseries in the touristy areas, you will pay more, but it’s really not necessary. The charcuteries and markets offer cheap feeds – you can’t go wrong with a slice of quiche Lorraine or lasagne for 3 Euros. And alcohol is available in the supermarkets – I grew quite fond of 1664 beer, which was 6 for a 6 pack. I did however indulge in champers when Tina was in town –Taittinger for 30 Euro-holler!

Au Revoir, Paris!

Wednesday 14th of July
So today is Bastille Day. And its pissing down. As we got on it a bit the night before, we decide to forgo the military march (held at Arc de Triomphe) and chill at home for a while. In the afternoon we venture out, stopping at quintessentially Parisian stores along the way. Homewares are so funky and accessible, if I were to live here I would be able to create a living space that was both creative and practical. (une moment – after re-reading the second half of that sentence, I need to kick my own ass. Talk amongst yourselves...)

Coupe du Monde Mon Ami

Sunday 11th of July, 2010
As the previous evening was spent getting loose with an old school chum, we slept for most of the day (hey, its holidays – perfect opportunity to catch up on a few zzz's). After we woke from our slumber, we headed down to Cafe Oz to watch the Coupe Du Monde final, Spain vs Netherlands. The place is heaving, and as a Dutchie supporter, I am outnumbered. Against all odds, Tina catches up with an old chum, and I busy myself with checking out things external to the game.
As the result is confirmed as being ESP 1, NED 0, the crowd erupts. Viva Espana I suppose. On the way home, I drown my sorrows in a Nutella crepe, prepared by the above lovable chap.

Miss Eiffel et Miss Ritz

Friday July 9, 2010
Today my lady friend and I decide to wander around, through the Tuileries, and then over the Seine to the Rive Gauche. Up til now I have stayed on the right bank of the river, so it is refreshing to discover this half of the city. We hug the river bank, and wander past universities, a few museums and then – hello there Eiffel Tower!

Cemetaries, Churches and Sex - oh my!

Wed 7th of July, 2010
Today I decide to head to the cemetery. Not just any cemetery, but Père
 Lachaise, final resting place of the world’s actors, writers and celebrities. I get off the Metro at Philippe Auguste (ligne numero deux), and find myself in the 20th arrondissement. First impressions – I like it here. Perhaps it is because it is quiet (Paris is a big, noisy, hustling and bustling city). Perhaps because it is peaceful, or maybe because the graves and crypts are so lovingly constructed - architectural creativity has not been curbed, despite the melancholy subject matter. First stop – Jim Morrison. 

Parcs and Recreation

Monday 5th July, 2010
So umm. Yeah, the language school thing didn’t really work out. I turned up, but apparently my enrolment got messed up, so I cancelled it. Not a problem, as this means I have more time to wander the streets of Paris (Jesus, that makes me sound like a prostitute). Anyhoo, its Monday morning and I find myself in the 16th. After strolling around absently and munching on a croissant (not a euphemism), I happen upon the Arc de Triomphe. Good Lord it’s huge! The fact that traffic is swirling past this iconic monument is surreal.  
After this, I stroll along to the Champs de Elysee. It is beautiful, but very touristy. The designer houses are located here – remember Zoe Saldana’s Givenchy gown she wore to this years Oscars? This is obviously from the same collection. 

Bonjour Paris!

Saturday July 3, 2010
Okay, now for leg 2 of this holiday. Board the plane and get settled for the 6.5 hour flight. Across the aisle are a French family – they look like they have come straight from the pages of a Bonpoint catalogue. How adorable. Scratch that – the mother wants to sit next to her kids, so I have been asked to swap with her. Now I’m sitting in that shitty seat, right at the front of the aisles. Hit it Rick –
Fast forward to getting off the plane and waiting to get picked up by my shuttle. Charles de Gaulle is kind of gross, but it is one of the busiest airports in the world, so whatevs. Even though it is 9:30pm, it is still light out. Strange. My driver is Indian...I am in Paris and getting a shuttle from the airport and my driver is Indian – there’s a joke in there somewhere...

Happy Birthday to me?!

Last few days in Doobs. Wednesday and Thursday I take it easy like Sunday morning, just pop out to the shopping centres. I purchase a cool souvenir - a pendant of my name in Arabic, bling bling! On Thursday night I meet up with the McKinsey crew at a sponsored event. They all seem lovely, despite the fact the poor souls have to endure Tina on a daily basis (ha!). Perhaps that could be the reason for the copious drinking.  
Friday we head off to the Atlantis, for brunch and another pool party. This brunch is too legit to quit - for DHS325 (approx AUD$100) its unlimited food and drink. The website states there are 228 dishes - this is true. And there is no 'filler' - its all good in the hood. There are stations for noodles, dessert, salad, roasts, seafood - everything. There are even stations for cheese and bread. I spy a cheery chap standing in front of a 'tropical' drink station and decide then and there to only drink my alcohol if it is packaged in fruit. 

Oman - Oh Man!

Up at sparrow’s fart, as the driver is scheduled to pick me up between 8 and 8:30. We pick up a family who are also partaking in the day’s festivities. The drive is 2.5 hours, and is a perfect opportunity to take in the scenery of outer Dubai. I didn’t expect the landscape to be so rocky – I expected much more desert, sandy dunes etc. 

Trippin' turns to Shoppin'

Sunday 28th of June, 2010
Today whilst the adults go and earn their crust, I am alone to have a day of play. I decide to check out the Mall of the Emirates, and see what this Ski Dubai thing is all about. Malls in Dubai are no joke – there are stores for all occasions – nursery ware, food courts, cinemas, designer and cut price clothing, everything. I buy a few things and (after a few wrong turns and lost manoeuvers) make my way to Ski Dubai. 

Dirty Deira

Today is Miss Tina’s birthday. We kick off the day with a stroll down the Marina Walk. As we pass the buildings and multiple Starbucks, it is evident that this is very much ‘Ex-pat town’ and the nicer side of Dubai. Have breakfast at a French-style cafe named Paul (practice for next week I guess). Make our way back to a lovely little place called ‘Boutique 1’, a favourite of the birthday girl – designer clothes and homewares, trés chic. Head home ‘sweaty ballsy’ – its not so much the temperature of Dubai, its the humidity can make things difficult. Still, mustn’t grumble. Head home to see if A is up and ready for our trip to Deira.

Middle East Me!

After a 16 hour flight (starting at 2:30am), I am finally here, in the land of oil. I won't bore you with details of my journey (2x 7.5 hour flights, with a stopover in Singapore) the food served on the plane (not bad, especially liked the teriyaki chicken slider burger) or the numerous grievances complete strangers have inflicted on me (can you go to jail for murdering somebody because they keep putting their seat back?).

First impressions of Dubai (or the Airport I should say) is this place is clean and modern. I love how the Middle East has such an identifiable culture - sand, pyramids, Arabian moons etc. Perhaps the locals feel otherwise, the way I feel when I see Australian stores draped in the Southern Cross and kangaroo and koala motifs. I also find the national dress of the men (the dishdash) quite enchanting. As the airport is largely a stopover site, the space is caverous and a melting pot of the world's travellers. As I chat with 2 bubbly Americans, we comment on the striking beauty of an Ethiopian woman in elegant dress. 

Trippin'- getting ready...

So, I guess I better pull my finger out and do this blog. I am not sure what to say, but I think if I just keep typing whilst my brain is sort of on track and engaged on the subject, hopefully something nearly coherent will be created.
Today is Tuesday 22 June. The time is 11:10pm. Any normal person, who has to work in the morning, get a 9 year old to school and is trying to fend off the start of a cough would be in bed. If that is the equation, well then I guess I am not normal. You see I have a trip to go on in 2 days – a week in Dubai with my best friend Tina J, followed by 2 weeks in Paris.