Borgers with No Borders.

our lives, our loves — through our earthly adventures.

Archive for the tag “Paris”

Home is where …

Home is where the heart  ensaymada is.

After spending two months of our summer vacation in Manila — which we consider to be our REAL home — we were faced with “la rentrée” blues.  Not that we were complaining to be back in Paris — but just reveling at the wonderful time we had at home with family, starting with all the food indulgences we embarked on and … well, ending with that.

I must have been terribly homesick because two weeks after we returned, I found myself writing on my Facebook status:  “I would do anything to have an ensaymada and a gallon of Chef Tony’s Popcorn right now.”  And what do you know?  Glorious FB does its magic… and soon enough, I had over twenty comments and tons of “Likes.”  It was comforting to know that other people who were not in Manila could identify with this sudden urge to eat ensaymada.  It was more than an urge.  It was an impatient craving, and one that would not wane.

Enter my dear high school classmate, JF, who lives on the other side of the world:  in America, where, I believe, you can find anything your heart desires.  She whets my appetite even more and tells me about a friend of hers who lives in California, who makes the best-ever tasting ensaymadas in the whole wide world.  Two days later, I find myself writing this much-acclaimed ensaymada maker, asking her if she would please send me some via DHL.  The cost was not an issue, knowing that it would cost me more to see a psychiatrist to manage this urge than to actually satisfy it myself.

So I met my Ensaymada Goddess who so lovingly humored me by actually finding a way to ship it to me!  Then, suddenly, the heavens opened — and I swear — I saw those God-like-sun-streaks pass from the clouds straight into my window … just as I realized that my hubby was actually going to NYC… and would be back in four very short days!!!  (Times like these remind me that there REALLY must be a God!)

Before I could spell ensaymada, I made a paypal account payment, emailed Chari (the Ensaymada Goddess) a hundred times to give the hotel address, arrival date, departure date, and all other information that would guarantee that the precious shipment would make it to NYC in time to make it to Paris.  Chari got everything perfectly done … including getting an insurance, yes… an insurance! … to make sure it landed in the right hands at the right time.

Of course, during all this frenzy, my hubby had no clue about what was soon to arrive in his hotel room.

Very sheepishly, I sent him an email saying:  “No need to bring me something from NYC (like he does in all his trips).  Just bring home the box that will be delivered to your room on Monday.”

Monday comes along… and I get this text:

HUBBY:  Received your “pasalubong” (present from a trip) but it is quite a decent box and I don’t know how to fit this in my suitcase.  Remember, I’m taking a motorbike transfer from the Airport when I arrive.

Gulp.  My ensaymadas were treading in dangerous waters.

MY REPLY:  Darling, just throw the box and put them all in a plastic bag, then squeeze them all into your suitcase.  I don’t mind if they get squashed.  Pretty Puuullleeeezzzz?

No answer.  Couldn’t sleep a wink.

Wednesday morning, hubby comes home from the airport and hands me a big shopping bag with a huge box inside.  He said, “This is a present for you from the Filipino guy at the airport who has become my friend.”  Apparently, through his travels, he met this very kind Pinoy at the airport who has become a friend… and as he was leaving, he had mentioned to the guy that he was bringing home ensaymadas for me.  The Pinoy goes, “Your wife loves (understatement) ensaymadas?  Wait here!  I’ll be back.”  And in an hour, he was back at the waiting lounge with this big box of something for me.

I shook the box a bit, smelled it … and ransacked it only to find… not Chari’s ensaymadas… but someone else’s ensayamadas!!!  Just MORE ensaymadas than I had ever hoped for!  Pinoy Kind Man apparently had a sister who owned a bake shop in NYC, not far away from the airport.

Now if that is not serendipitous… I don’t know what is.

I think I must have jumped and skipped at this point.

Stunned (but still with a sharp mind), I stared at my hubby and said, “… But where is the box that I asked you to bring home for me?”

And he revealed … these two ever-so-lovely boxes, daintily wrapped in goldish ribbons, slightly squished but not losing an ounce of its familiar grandeur.

In a flash, I was in the kitchen, zapping Chari’s ensaymadas for 15 seconds, watching the butter, the cheese, and the sugar slowly melting into a sumptuous oozing blanket of plain and unadulterated goodness.

One bite.  And suddenly, … I felt like I was home again.

Order yours now, cause I ain’t sharing.

Chari’s E-Mail:  charis.kitchen@yahoo.com
Mobile:  (U.S.) 626 7555014
She is also has a Facebook account (Chari’s Kitchen) which you can find here

Bagatelle Beckons

The task of a leader is to get his people from where they are… to where they have not been.  ~ Henry Kissinger

 

Two Sundays ago, my boys and I went to see the first flowers of Spring at the beautiful gardens of Château de Bagatelle in the Bois de Boulogne.  In the 1700s, this amazing garden was a “glorified playground” — a maison de plaisance — for the powers-that-be.  It was built at record-speed on a wager, taking only 63 days, 800 workers, and 3 million livres.

And there I was, standing in awe at the huge land where this grand château rested, watching the peacocks that roamed freely.

Then I whispered to my husband:  “If I lived in a house like this while in Paris — I may never wish to leave.”

Days like these make me believe that indeed, Paris is stupendous in very many ways.

Come on, Mom... Take the picture already!!!!

Je reviens!

Literally, “I’m back!”

Mostly because I came across this fantastic, super duper Dior commercial that just must be shared. In case you haven’t seen it yet.

After spending a productive, fun, relaxing two-months back home , I .. well, dragged my feet back to Paris. Goodbye sun, goodbye glorious beaches, goodbye to my dear sisters and brothers. Three days after we arrived, I went back to my usual task of playing tourist guide to some very special people who visited for 10 days. And it is only now that I am slowly sinking back into our regular routines.

Kids are back in school, I am back on my computer, itching to cook as soon as I shed off some pounds I’ve put on over the summer. I am back indeed.

Today, I watched “Mange, prie, aime”  (in version original, of course). Loved it, but not as much as the book. Enjoyed it thoroughly if only to watch Julia Roberts play the character of Liz.  And the ad of Dior just before the movie was just what made me think of going back to minding my blog. For some strange reason, watching it made me giggle, happy to be back in Paris again.

Perhaps it might just make you want to come to Paris too?

Not Quite the City of Love

This is the second time in the past six months that I’ve cursed quietly about what a blasted city of no-love this City of Love is.  Paris.  It’s not always the City of Love — because it does have its very dark side:  Petty Crimes.  In the past six months, my 16-year-old daughter has been mugged two times.  Doesn’t that just blow you away?

The first time, she was with 2 other boy friends in a Bus Stop, sitting, and waiting to catch the bus — in one of the most posh arrondissements at that.  Five teenage boys (about 15-17 years old) surrounded them and demanded for their money, cellphones, and watches — with a long sharp knife and a huge-spray-of- something as their weapons.  That’s at 5:45PM, Winter Time (as in bright skies!), along huge and busy Avenue du President Wilson.  For a measly EU30 snatched from the three of them, these punks have tarnished the beautiful picture of charming Paris.  My daughter and her friends managed to make it to the Police to report the incident — but only after my daughter had gotten over an anxiety attack, utter shock, and painful panic.

The Police were very impressive though — and the kids spent a good 4-5 hours at the station, making their statements and describing the assailants.  They were even shown videos of the Metro (where the muggers ran to after the incident) and books and books of photos.  But at the end of the day — how does one sift through millions of young boys in when they almost all look identical in their hoodies, sneakers, and shoulder bags?

Again, last night, on her way home from a cinema at about 11PM, along with 4 other girl friends, they were once again molested IN the metro by 4 other young boys.  Stroking their hair, dirty-talking, grabbing private parts.  The thing that bothers me even more is:  How can everyone else around simply watch what is going on, and not make a move to help (especially if they are locals)?

A friend of mine saw an old lady thumped, then her hand bag pulled away from her — again in the metro.  She was (or at least looked) French.  People were passing by … and didn’t do one thing.  They just let it all happen, and walked away — like they didn’t see a thing.  Indifference?  Fear?

What is it about all these petty crimes in Paris?  Are there not enough policemen around — especially fielded in Metro Stations and Bus Stops where most of these sort of crimes happen?  If these young boys are not apprehended for these cheap-thrills of theirs … what’s to stop them from moving onto bigger and bloodier tricks as they get older?

And tell me:  What can a mother tell her 16-year old daughter?

She loves Paris because she has learned independence here.  She is able to move around easily — but when there is this constant fear of being attacked … then where’s the fun in that?  I realize that the same things could happen in London or New York, or any other big city for that matter — but.  If you’re making Paris your home for a few years… there’s always that wishful-thinking side of you that makes you crave for just slightly safer environments.  Especially for a city that claims to be one of the world’s most visited.

If you are on the same boat, here are some pointers that I hammer into my daughter’s head, hoping she will not be a magnet for any more of this B*llsh*t.

1.  Dress decently.  A 16-year old need not dress like a grandma — but if you are flaunting your legs (no matter how tightly-clad they are in leggings or tights), or your chest — you are looking for trouble.

2.  Be extremely sensitive to what is going on around you.  Teenagers have a tendency to be totally oblivious to the world around them.  They put on their ipod earplugs/sound-cancellation ear muffs… and goodbye world.  THAT, to me, is scary.  They are transported to another world with their music, and all hell could break lose two feet away from them and they would still be nodding their head to the beat.  Scary, right?

3.  Don’t be loud.  And if you are, go easy on the English.  I read that most of these petty crimes are targeted towards tourists.  So, if you’re looking a bit lost, or if you are being boisterous in a foreign language — these are obvious signals that you are NOT French… and you become an instant target.  (Which is why I never look at metro maps in public.  I write out my route on a piece of paper, which is less obvious than a glaring Metro map.)

4.  Look confident, look strong, and look people in the eye.  If you look like an innocent pussy cat who walks slow on a busy street — believe me, you will stick out like a sore thumb.  Blend with the crowd, look local, heck — walk like a man!

And my last and forever advise to my daughter is — to always remember to pray.  At bedtime, before she walks outside the door, when she feels scared, when she sees a suspicious looking person … whenever!  God always listens to prayers — especially when they are made by children — and I know that He will listen.

Since the first time she got mugged, my constant prayer has always been to keep my children safe from harm.  And from all the evils that surface in this supposed City of Love.

Where to Rest My Weary Head?

The much dreamed-about trip to Paris often happens in this sequence.

Let’s go to Paris.  Sure!  Who wouldn’t like to go to Paris?

Do we have the budget?  Uhmmm….  Husband checks his finances, wife promises to give up on a few pairs of shoes for the next three months or so.  The budget is reached, the decision is half there.

Then comes the most crucial question — which affects just about everything in the equation.  Especially the budget.  And especially me.  😉  Where will we stay?  Where COULD we stay?  Errr… Do you have friends there?  Hey, wait. Doesn’t the wife of your sister’s brother-in-law have a friend whose husband’s friend lives there?

Paris is the #4 city in the world with the highest room rates.  Moscow is on the top of the list, followed by Abu Dhabi, then New York City.  Understandable — why anyone would try to scrounge around for the most distant relative he has, tucked away in some corner of Paris.  Even if he hasn’t talked to that relative since their great grandmother passed away 13 years ago.  My point though is this.

Paris equals small living space.  No, miniscule!  All you have to do is look at a typical Parisian café photograph — and you will find that people are practically sipping on their express arm-to-arm with strangers on the next table.  So even if you have relatives, friends, distant cousins, or ex-classmates who are living here, chances are — they wouldn’t have much room in their place to start a Bed-and-Breakfast business.  Otherwise, they would have done it a long time ago — and you would have known it!

Accommodations is therefore a very valid, HUGE consideration in planning your trip to Paris.  And just to make the discussion more lively, here are a few points to ponder on as you make your choice:

What TYPE of accommodation are you looking for? Are you a typical hotel porn client who’ll take nothing less than palace accommodations, room service, and welcome champagne bottles and fruit baskets?  Or, do you want to live like a typical Parisian to experience the genuine la vie en Paris?  Maybe walk the streets in the morning to pick up your own baguette for breakfast?

How much of your time do you think you will be spending IN your hotel room? Next logical question:  Are you claustrophobic?  Are you on your honeymoon, with Paris as a mere backdrop?  Or, have you been married for 15 years and are simply visiting Paris to explore its deepest corners?  Shopping from sunrise to sundown — and you just need any bunk bed to take you into the next morning?

How MANY people are in your party? Traveling on your own would narrow down your choices in some way (for women), and perhaps widen the choices for men.  🙂  If you are traveling with a bunch of friends, or a whole family of 8, you should probably not even THINK of a hotel.  Think “short-term apartments,” bien sûr.

There are tons, gazillions, multitudes of hotel options in Paris.  That’s the good news.  It’s sifting through everything on  the internet that gets everyone confused in the end.  That’s the bad news.  But let me tell you, sifting through all that is half the fun.  As long as you are aware of the very basic photographic equipment called  the wide-angled lens.

Know this, know your arrondissements, know the answers to the questions above — and you’ll be totally equipped to dive into the big wide world web to find exactly what you are looking for.

Here are a few of my favorite sites which should give you good starting points:

FIRST, 3  disclaimers:

(1)  Out of respect for my husband’s business, I will not get into any of the Parisian palaces, nor the 5-star category hotels, because then … I would be utterly subjective.  I only know one Palace in Paris that will be worth your stay — but we will all have to wait until it opens!  Cross my fingers.  😉

(2)  I have not personally stayed in any of these hotels myself — but have merely chanced upon these sites, in much the same way that you may have.  I am just offering you a starting point to view your choices — knowing that some of them may not actually be very easy to find on the net.  It’s simply making the “sifting process” a little less bloody for you.  Do your due diligence by reading reviews and checking out the direct hotel link.

(3)  Prices stated below may change from the date of posting.  (As you know, hotel prices go up and down, depending on the season — as is the case in all other cities.)  For reference purposes, the rates below are based on Single Occupancy, Spring Prices.

Interesting Hotels for those with No-Budget Budgets:

Secrets of Paris Blog with an interesting line up of hotels.

Agoda. Tons of hotel choices from luxury to budget.

Paris Net. Narrow down your choices using the Option Window and begin your search.  Affordable options for Aparthotels, short-term.

Moderately Priced Hotels.

Prince Albert Louvre. 1st arrondissement.  EU69 up.

Ideal Hotel. 14th arrondissement. EU75 up.

Hotel Premium Montmarte.  18th arrondissement.  EU60 up.

L’Ermitage.  18th arrondissement.  EU82 up. Montmarte.

Hotel Atlantis.  6th arr.  (Saint-German-des-Prés).  EU105 up.

Hotel Langlois.  9th arr.  EU110 up.

Hotel Royal Magda. 17th arr.  EU100 up.

Hotel Duo.  4th arr.  EU140 up.  In Bastille, Marais, Chatelet area.

Hotel Pas de Calais.  6th arr.  EU145 up. In Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

Hotel Lorette Opera.   9th arr.  EU159 up.

Short-Stay Apartment Listings: (Great for groups of 4 and above)

Capricorn.

Holiday Rentals.

Way to Stay.

Bed-and-Breakfasts: (For a real taste of Parisian living!)

Alcove & Agapes

Chambres d’hôtes

France Lodge Locations

Et voila!  🙂  Hope this gets you excited, thrilled, and eager to venture on your own to find that perfect place to rest your soon-to-be weary head.

Pre-Paris Checklist

It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity, and not be prepared.

– Whitney M. Young, Jr.

1.  The basic of all basics:  Know thy weather.

Paris is ruled by its seasons.  They eat according to the season, dress according to the season.  So don’t get caught wearing open-toed sandals in March or Ugg winter boots in August — or you will be in for a big surprise.  Then again, that would be a very legitimate reason to go shopping now, wouldn’t it?

2.  Read up.  Google Paris.  Do your due diligence.

The best visitors I’ve pleasantly taken around are those who know what they want.  The worst are the ones who arrive and say:  “OK, show me what you’ve got.”  Paris is H.U.G.E. — in terms of what it can offer.  Whether for dining afficionados, museum-thirsty culturalists, shopaholics, or whatever.  So, read up on what Paris has to offer and prepare a list of what you want to do, see, eat, drink, or buy.  Believe me, it will help you maximize every minute you have while here.  And that, you won’t want to waste!

3.  Learn to say these three (3) indispensable words.  A must.

You will not make shop-owners, waiters, clerks, or any French person happy unless you learn to say these words when the situation calls for it.  And believe me, every situation will call for it.

“Bonjour”“Bon” is good, “Jour” is day.  Good Day!  Hello!  Good Morning!  You are expected to say this every time you enter a shop, a boulangerie, a doctor’s waiting room, a restaurant.  Anywhere you find people.  The only time you are exempt from saying this is when you enter a department store (like Bon Marché or Lafayette) — where the area is just too big for you to be heard.  But if you enter, and there happens to be a security guard standing by the door — you will still have to give him that respect.

“Bonsoir” – Used the same way as “bonjour” — but for 6PM onwards.  🙂  Same rules apply.

“Merci/Au revoir” –  “Thank you/Good bye.”  Every time you leave a shop, café, restaurant  — whether you have purchased something or not, these words should come automatically as you are receiving your change, or as you are leaving.  Always.

When I was new to Paris, no one told me about this rule — and I always wondered why the vendors didn’t really seem happy that I was around to view their merchandise.  Maybe, if I entered the shop with the habitual “bonjour” — it would have changed a little.  Peut-être.

4.  Don’t go to Paris without packing a good great pair of  walking shoes.  Or two.

Before living in Paris, my shoe size was 38.5.  Since then, my feet have grown half a size bigger.  At my age, I thought my feet were supposed to have stopped growing.  Ya think?  Maybe they got wider — from all the walking?  🙂  Whatever it is, don’t leave home without your best pair of walking shoes.   And mind you, they don’t have to be those white sports shoes — which the French only wear when they actually DO sports.  Just good ‘ol walking shoes that will allow you to comfortably last the day.

Because it is only by walking the streets of Paris that you can truly appreciate its beauty.

5.  Get familiar.  With the “arrondissements.”

The whole of Paris is delicately planned to follow the shape of an “escargot.”  Its “districts,” commonly referred to as “arrondissements,” starts at ONE — at the epi-center of it all (Louvre, Les Halles, Palais Royale), all the way to TWENTY — which would be the end of the spiraling snail pattern.  “So what?” one might ask.  Well, my friend, just don’t tell me that I didn’t warn you as you scratch your head wondering why the coffee on the 16th was double the price of what you paid on the 4th.

Each arrondissement has its own relevance and charm, almost each one known for something distinct.  Or tasty.  🙂  The price of meat, vegetables, fruits … and certainly hotel rooms… will depend on which neighborhood you are in.  Likewise, walking the streets at 1:00AM on the 9th, for example, will offer you a totally different experience from running the streets at 1:00AM on the 19th.

For first-time visitors to Paris, I always think it is best to steer yourselves closer to the following arrondissements:  1st, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 15th, 16th.  Why stress yourself, right?

6.  When you have accomplished #1, get yourself booked!

Most of the best restaurants in Paris have a seriously crazy long wait list.  For some, it could take you up to three months to get a seat.  But believe me.  Most of the time, it is well worth the wait.  A growing number of restaurants do take reservations online, so it is worth a check.  And a plan.

Book your private walking tours, cooking classes, special dining evenings way before your visit.  Nothing like maximizing your precious time.

My New Obsession

With weather that is constantly freezing (at least for my Asian skin!), see-sawing between -2 to 6 degrees, with snow and rain every now and then, I have found a new love:  Boots!  In any shape, size and color.  They keep my little toes warm, dry, and pretty!  Well OK… sometimes, they are just never warm enough… but they certainly provide me with some sort of shield against the cold.  I just love, love, love them… and wish we could wear them all year long!

With the winter sales on (yes, it is only in Paris where there are GOVERNMENT-MANDATED sales!)… this obsession is just further fueled, much to my hubby’s dismay.

Five boots since we set foot in Paris in September.  That’s almost 1.25 pairs per month.  🙂  Since a week ago, DH has declared a ban on purchasing yet another pair to add to my growing collection.  I have been good for two weeks now … although lately, there has been so much rain that I couldn’t help but think of … rain boots!  (And since the ban did not include “surfing” to salivate on them… my sister and I almost spent a whole morning commenting on the sumptuous choices available.  This newly discovered genre of boots:  Yummm!)

It’s almost a science when you go boot-picking.  I realized it is never a good thing to purchase this online (or so I keep trying to convince myself) because you have to actually FIT them to make sure they do not touch the back of your knees!  Also, since I do not have small calves, the circumference at the top of the boot becomes a critical factor!  So they may fit your feet… but you may have to go half a size more to get them to comfortably fit your calves, plus your jeans!  Then, there’s the allowance for the kind of socks you will wear with them:   How thick will your socks be?  Do you plan on wearing them with those cute warm fleece socks… like these beautiful ones from Hunter?

Yeah.  And those are just the socks.  Accessories, as they call it.

And Rain Boots?  Today… they no longer have to look boring.  Gucci, Givenchy, Jimmy Choo…. they all have their own version of rain boots that is sure to brighten up your rainy day!  My favorite ones for now are the classic Hunter’s (from good ol’ Scotland!).  But that’s just me.  Always on the safe and reasonable side.  These are my Hunters NOT!  Not yet.

3164329781_ab9b2baee5_m

Here are a few others that will definitely make a fashion statement!  Ed Hardy’s Rain Boots, Roxy’s Black and White’s.

shoes_iaec1117665

Roxy

Then, there’s Burberry’s take on ’em rain boots — a simple, understated fashion jewel … or Sperry’s rugged paisley boots (my sis’ choice).

burberry_stud_rainboots_2008sperr49675_144067_jb

I can’t get enough out of fantasizing on these rain boots.  And somehow, this time, I know I won’t even need to drive a tractor nor own a cow to justify wearing them!

No wonder I love the rain!!!

Kicking in the X’mas Spirit at Champs Elysees

While DH was gone for the weekend, we decided to go on an adventure to visit the much-talked about Xmas lights at the world’s most beautiful avenue:  the Champs Elysees.  We alighted from the underground metro, jaws dropped, eyes wide open, big smiles on each of our faces!  There were flickering lights all around us, bluish in tone; the smell of saucisson and hot apple cider filled the air, and the people — lots of them just buzzing about!  Instant Christmas spirit in the air!  And did I mention, shops and shops on both sides of the road selling specialties from various provinces of France!  Wonderful wonderful feeling!

champs elysses nov

The highlight of our visit was the big snowflake of a ferris wheel.  It was the most high-tech one I have ever seen in my entire life!  Each “cabin” could fit 6 people comfortably.  Upholstered seats, a switch to turn on a lamp, speakers to listen to a man (in French of course) pointing out the historical sites around you.  Thank God the cabins were fully enclosed — otherwise at -2 degrees, we would have been ice sculptures by the time we reached the top!  Here’s how it looked from a distance.

Ferris Wheel 1

But the best shots to see are the close-up ones — so you can see what I mean by “high-tech!”  Three men-in-black escorted the passengers into the cabins.  And strangely enough, one cabin was even marked as “VIP” with its windows heavily tinted.  Maybe that was the cabin that had the bar I was looking for … or maybe even some hot chocolate for the ride!

ferris wheel 3

The downside of the evening?  Freezing toes.  I thought I would be the first person to suffer from frost bites in Paris!  I found myself wishing I had just bought the same Ugg boots as my two kids — whose toes were all warm and toasty.  Now I am convinced that I just need one of ’em — no matter how bulky or unflattering they look on a 40+Vat- aged-woman.  The sheep fur on the inside, I read, helps to regulate your body temperature (you’re supposed to wear them without socks!).  When I read this, I thought, “yeah — right” but after that evening on Champs Elysees — I was convinced, it just has to make it on my next To-Buy List!

By the time we went home, numb-toes and all, we had:  survived 2 Toboggan rides, purchased fluffy warm slippers for my nanny and my son, won a toy from a “fishing game,” and sampled some warm apple cider.

Just enough to make the Christmas spirit kick in.

ferris wheel 4

Oh, I should add that we spent the evening with Fenna, my DD’s good friend from our KK days, who came to visit for the weekend.  My DD was just so touched by her visit — a sweet sweet reminder of their simple, lovely days.

fenna

Back to Earth on the 63rd Day.

2003 Snow in Paris by Paul Flaggman

2003 Snow in Paris by Paul Flaggman

This is cause for celebration.  This is enough reason to go back to my much-neglected blog.  All because last Sunday, the 23rd of November, my daughter and I saw snowflakes falling from the sky.  For the very first time in our entire life.  Whoooopeeee!!!

We alighted from the underground Metro, just after Sunday mass, and grumbled under our breath because it was raining.  Again.  And it was cold, unusually cold.  Then, we both suddenly realized that the rain didn’t feel like rain because it seemed heavier … and no longer transparent.  It was white, more solid than wet.  It was … SNOWING!  Little specks of white dots falling from the sky!  Falling, not straight down like rain does … but falling like they were flying down, swinging in all sorts of directions, like little parachutes finding their own little spots to land.  It felt magical, fairy tale-ish, and just plain unreal.

My daughter and I looked at each other and screamed, “It’s snowing!” — and instinctively, we pulled out our phones to take pictures of our first Snow Experience.

And that is why I am back.

To tell you about our first snow experience along Avenue Kleber.  And to also tell you… that our “nanny-turned-cook” has finally arrived last Friday.  Which is why I have been reunited with my computer, which is why I have my life back, which is why I am happily blogging again.  Enough of this “Domestic Goddess” Wanabee dream.  Housework simply spoils the brain.  🙂  Hahahaha.

So much reason to celebrate.  I hope I will not be gone for such a long time again.  Ever.

img_0626

Preparing the Nest!

It is Day 34 since we walked into the French Embassy in KL to apply for our visas.  DD and I both hold Philippine passports, and we have just been initiated into the classic Waiting Game.  No visa in sight.  No hint of a Time Table.  And no more airline seats to Paris until we have a definite date.  Meanwhile, Hubby is adjusting to his new office in the 16th arrondissement — bewildered by the fact that he goes into a Hotel where there are (still) no complaining guests, no crowd having breakfast, and no staff!  The usual Pre-Opening Stage.  It is the Calm before the Storm.

But, he is getting organized as always.  He has secured a service apartment at the Trocadero somewhere, our pit stop before we find our Happy Home.  He is working on setting up our bank accounts, has determined walking time to the kids’ schools, surveyed the area for quick-stop grocery shopping.

Within his first 7 days in office, he likewise managed to choose and purchase his company car, a VW Touareg — which looks like a sizable monster to me, too big to fit the narrow streets of Paris that I imagine.   If this is a sign of out-of-town trips that are to come … by all means, let him have it!  That’s the “HIS.”

And for moi … DH was fearful that I would not manage to squeeze into little corners and alleys… so he’s decided on getting me my own Bump Car.  No objections to that one.  It’s a license to … BUMP!   So, as it turns out, the “HERS” is given a choice between a Citroen C2


Or… a Peugeot 1007.

Cute wins.  The electric sliding door for those oh-so-tight parking challenges, the on-board computer, windscreen wipers that sense the rain and adjust their speed, a rear parking aid (vely vely important!!!), and even a child-check mirror to make sure everyone is fine and dandy behind me. And… the clincher? A satellite navigation with colour screen … in English! Whoopeeee!!!  🙂

So let’s see if DH can get the ball rolling on getting me on my Freedom Bump Car!  🙂

Post Navigation