Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hello From Paris

Just a quick hello and no pictures. The internet here at the hotel is a pretty hefty 5£ per 15 minutes. That is a bit over 50 cents a minute, as near as I can determine. Ah well, a coffee costs 4£ at many of the cute little sidewalk cafes, so that makes Starbucks a bargain. Paris is, indeed, an expensive city.

There was a "minor" transportation strike yesterday, but I didn't really notice. There was another at the Versailles though that delayed the opening of the palace until 11:00 AM, an hour and a half after the scheduled opening. Of course nobody seemed to know about this in advance so the lines were building up pretty impressively. The delayed opening also seemed to apply to the toilettes. This would never have benn allowed to happen before the revolution. There is something to be said for a monarchy.

The Mysterious Chinese Woman and her equally Mysterious Sister decided they would wait it out. Bar Man abhors all lines, especially long lines made longer because of a strike that can't possibly accomplish anything other than making a lot of tourists upset. But then, maybe that is the point.

The food here is delicious, and we haven't even gone to any fancy restaurants, just little bistros. We did have one lousy meal in a nest of touristy Greek restaurants. I ordered suckling pig and got what would be the leftovers of the same dish at a better place. The Mysterious Chinese Woman ordered a fillet of pork chop that sounded good. Sadly, she ended up with the same platter of leftovers that I got. Yet, she was assured that she did indeed get what she ordered. Even the Retsina, a Greek wine, I ordered tasted watered down. Maybe they figure most people don't know what it is supposed to taste like, but I do. There is a Greek Orthodox church on the block where I live that serves it at their annual week-long festival.

Beware if you find yourself in a narrow street lined with mostly Greek restaurants displaying fantastic looking fish and cuts of meat. On the other hand, gyro stands looked good and we did get delicious gelato at a nearby stand.

The subway system in Paris is pretty slick, although we have managed to get "confused" a couple of times. Still, we pretty much get where we want to go.

My time is running out so au revoire for now and I will post more and will have pictures when I get back.