with Teena Hughes

Day 5 : around the 18th arrondissement

June 10, 2008 No Comments

The word ‘arrondissement’ means ‘district’, and there are 20 districts in Paris, numbered by their postal codes of 75001 to 75020. I’m currently staying in the 18th (no need to say the word ‘arrondissement’ when talking about your district), and today I wandered around the streets near the apartment, strolled through the all-day markets selling everything from shoes to pate. It was quite warm today, so around lunchtime I looked for a cafe where I could sit outside but in the shade, and it didn’t take long to find one.

I ordered the ‘Formule’ – set menu – for 9.00 euro, a starter and a main course. I went with the salad and the thin slice of steak called ‘onglet’, with a yummy sauce.

above: the salad entree – corn, beans, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, shredded carrot (called carotte rapees)

All meals are served with a small basket of sliced baguette, and you simply break these up and place them on the table; don’t look for side plates or bread and butter plates, they don’t exist :-) I had a local Cotes du Rhone (glass of red wine for 3 euros) and watched the world go by for a while, which was lovely.

I got a call on my new cellphone (woohoo!) – Fred wanted me to meet him at Chateau D’Eau metro in 15-20 minutes, so off I went. Once down in the metro I couldn’t find a map near the ticket office, so asked a local which metro line I needed and they pointed me to Line 4. That’s easy, go one stop, change trains, and then a few more stops.

When I got off the metro in Chateau D’eau, there were tons of people, and as I came up into the street Fred and two fellow hairdressers were waiting for me. What fun! The women were buying wigs for an upcoming hair and fashion show, and Frederic thought it’d tickle my fancy … he was right :-)

Above: Frederic in the wig shop

After a delightful hour, we parted ways and Fred and I moseyed down a side street to find a cafe/bar for an afternoon coffee and cold drink, and a catch-up – this was the first time I’d seen him since Lyon last June, and I heard all the news about moving back to live in Paris.

One thing I DIDN’T think I’d be experiencing this trip (or any other) was a Turkish toilet! I wanted to go to the loo, so paid my 20 centimes to get in the cafe’s version of a loo, only to be shocked to find the squat-down-don’t-get your-clothes-wet Turkish toilet. Oy! Oh no! For any female this is an experience to be avoided at all costs, trust me. Didn’t have the camera with me so no evidence, I’m afraid :-)

Later in the afternoon I did a spot of sewing (I know that sounds weird), then headed off to meet Gabrielle. I hadn’t been to Lamarck metro before and when I came out into the light I was suitably impressed, perched as it is on the hill below Sacre Coeur with a commanding view out over Paris. Beautiful flower shops, perfumeries, cafes, restaurants – very shi-shi and up-market.

So what better way to start the evening than with a Pina Colada and a cheeky waiter? As we people-watched and chatted, the delightful Barbara joined us. An American who’s lived in Paris forever, married to a Frenchman, Barbara was full of great stories and the night was a lot of fun.

Above: Gabrielle and Barbara

After dinner I headed home, and can’t quite believe the sun is up till after 10pm – daylight for at least 2 hours more per day than Sydney – I love it!!

When I got home I received an email invitation to a ‘Vernissage’ (Opening Night) of an Exhibition at the Paris American Academy, which was such a lovely surprise – it’s on Thursday night. Aaaahhh another great day has been had, and I’m a happy little possum :-)

a night in paris, paris, restaurants, teena hughes, turkish toilet

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