Sunday August 14th, 2011


Ah Paris! Its Haussmanian buildings, its canals, its Eiffel Tower and its pigeons. The first ones are fine, but the pigeons??? You’d better not feed them, they’re gonna digest this food at some point, and it might be on your head :p

Canal Saint Martin

Pigeons

It was a nice relaxing week end in Paris. We didn’t do much; just saw some friends and family and did a bit of wondering in the city.

I like Paris because if the weather is nice you can go almost anywhere by foot, and it’s interesting to do it because you always discover new stuff and new places.

On Saturday night we went to the Champs élysées. If you’re looking for tourists this is the place to go to. Right now all of Paris is almost empty; all Parisians go away on holiday during summer. So you mainly see tourists in the subways and on the streets; especially in the touristic spots like the Champs élysées or the Eiffel Tower.

Since we missed the Saturday market of Roubaix, and we’re starting to be in need of vegetables, I went with my sister to the market next to her house. She’s been living in this house for nearly 4 years now, so she now has her favorite market spots she goes to, and the salesmen all know her and know her preferences and salute her as she passes by them. You have to know one thing: the French live for their summer vacations; this is all they think about during the whole year: where am I gonna go this summer. All their savings are spent on this. So all the conversations my sister was having with everybody was about this subject! “so did you go on vacation yet? Where did you go to?” ( or “where are you going to” if they still didn’t go anywhere). Even some shops and restaurants are closed for a few weeks for vacation!! The place is filled with tourists, and instead of making more money these guys are travelling somewhere around the world! Crazy!

In Lebanon people have a totally different mentality. Their savings are kept somewhere safe for when needed, or they are spent on the spot. But very few people go out of the country every year. Maybe because a lot of them have mountain houses where they can spend a few days during the summer in. It’s like a vacation but it costs much less. The first time I travelled I was 23 and I did it with my own money that I had put away after 2 years of work. The farther place my parents took me to was my grandma’s village house. They had 4 children, of course they were not gonna afford putting everybody in a plane and go somewhere exotic or just different! Plus I decided to travel  because most of my college friends were now living in Paris so I had a place to crash in and save money. If it wasn’t because of this I wouldn’t have thought about it. Plus the good thing with the Schengen visa is that you can just jump from one European country to another without too much hustle; just take your bag and get on the plane or the train. In only a few hours you’ll be in a totally different country talking a different language and getting used to different traditions!!

Funniest thing that happened this week end: we were walking, I think in the 13th arrondissement when I saw this poster:

Hassan Nasrallah moved to Paris

Do you know who Hassan Nasrallah is? He is one of the political figures in Lebanon right now!! In fact right now he’s the most influencial one of them all. What is his picture doing in Paris, and what does this poster mean? I have no idea! All I know is that it’s a funny coincidence.

Tomorrow it’s a holiday here in France. I took the opportunity and I’m also taking a day off from work(since I’m still working for a Lebanese company I have to stick by the Lebanese holidays). We’re going to the new apartment to clean it and start preparing it for our big move. I’ll try to get you some pictures for you to see it empty before we mess it with our furniture :p

See you tomorrow!

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