Tuesday, 1 February 2011


It's bitingly cold in Paris at the moment - to the extent that I seriously have to much a deliberate effort to make myself leave the office to buy lunch or even go home! Suffice to say, I haven't packed the appropriate clothes for this kind of weather...

There are some amazing restaurants here but they are absurdly overbooked. Largely helped by restaurant owners manipulating demand by only opening from Tuesday to Saturday and only for dinner. Many websites will not give tight opening windows but actually state a time you can call to make reservations and even then you have to be sufficiently understandable in French to a waitress who also has to serve the people who have managed to get into the restaurant! Where do all these people come from? It's not tourist season and I'm pretty sure it's not fashion week...

Another quaint French crazy is their Metro system. The signs are beautiful and point you to another era when Paris was full of music and feather boas but they have also kept an archaic ticketing system. Weekly tickets last for the week beginning Monday so if you are coming for a week starting on Wednesday you pay the full weekly price for a ticket that is valid only until Sunday. Similar thing for monthly tickets which only run from the 1st of each month and are the same price no matter how many days there are left in the month. This is ridiculous in itself, but even more amusing are the queues of French people on the first day of the month queuing to buy their new monthly Metro ticket when you can pre-buy it up to 10 days before the start of the month. Were they taken by surprise by the sudden arrival of month end or is there a silent protest against this crazy and inefficient system which we foreigners are not privvy to?

Anyway, I had a pretty smug smile this morning going to work with my pre-paid ticket...


  1. Paris huh?! How did that happen??? I'm going to have to catch up on quite a bit of reading 'cause I imagine you've written about it earlier... me and my travelling caused such a disconnect with the blogosphere that I'm completely lost!

    Sounds like I just missed you when I was there in January, such is life! A la prochaine!

    Enjoy Paris! And try out the crazy Sunday morning roller-blading! ;o)

  2. and then there are my memory problems... which I am confronted with when I read on through your blog and realise I have caught up with some of your posts already and mentioned the Paris thing...

    where can I get a new brain???

    c'est la vie! :p