Posts Tagged ‘Paris’

Capture

23 July 2017

Hong Kong

Hong Kong and Kowloon Skyline

Well that was money worth spending.

By the time most of you get this, we will be in the air, winging our way home…. Hopefully. Sunday morning, we had a note stuffed under our door which advised us of the potential scale 8 tropical cyclone passing right over us.  By breakfast time, the local government had issued a warning and posted that the cyclone was indeed hitting level 8. It advised that all shops would be closed (V is most upset) and that all public transport would be shut down (that is how we would get to the shopping so V was now distraught!).  A whole day in our room or get soaked wandering the streets like some homeless person looking for Housing Corp housing (oh, that’s another story).

So it gave us time to reflect on the last 5 weeks.  Hong Kong is a tale of two areas and some more.  There are Dings and Dangs, Wings and Wangs  and of course Pings and Pongs everywhere.  Anyone with a name with more than 4 letters is foreign …we almost pass as locals if it wasn’t for our civilised non-Mao Tse Tung look alike hair doo’s and our odd shaped eyes. This is both a vibrant modern city and a dirty, smelly and backward facing one too.  I’m just not into millions of hobbits with almond eyes in my personal space.  The woman and girls have no sense of respect and are only interested in holding up everyone as they worship the mobile phone like some deity. At dinner last night we watched three early 20’s woman eat their dinner with 1 hand and phone in the other so they could take photos of each mouthful they and the other two took.  Knives should be deleted as necessary items of cutlery as forks will lift the food to your mouth and you either stuff everything into your mouth or you nibble like some rat to get it into your stomach.  We were astonished at the supercar per population ratio. McLarens, Lambos and Ferraris everywhere. But the transport system is to die for.  They tunnel and bridge everything that can’t be driven easily….brilliant.

The Dutch and their fucking bicycles!  How they ride them as stoned as most seem to be is a skill to be harnessed but they are a danger to everyone else.  Trained by the Japanese, these Kamikaze pilots ensure they have your undivided attention as their attention span has been artificially mellowed. Walking home from the Red Light district one evening, a tram stopped beside us and as the doors opened, a fug of dope smoke fell out and crop dusted our fellow pedestrians in a 15 metre radius.  Those on the train be they smokers or not were just sitting there with a silly smirk on their faces….probably thinking of snacks.  We loved Amsterdam and everything was a pleasant surprise, even the cannabis Trumpets/Cornetto’s in the ice cream freezer in the various shops.

France is fantastic, even those that live in Paris were lovely and tolerant folk.  A bit dirty but nothing that a little Cif (French Jif) and a waterblaster couldn’t fix.  If only Britain could purge themselves of some of the twats that call themselves British, it too would be a paradise.  Those reliant on handouts (including government supplied cars) need a reality shot as they (mostly) are a blot on the landscape.  The Eastern Europeans scare the bejesus out of me.  They look like fattened Russian spies and they wear too much cologne and gold jewellry to be trusted.

We have loved our time, loved all those that have helped us and interacted with us especially our new emergency taxi driver Simon.

See you soon….we hope

V (Ping) and Me (Pong)

 

 

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Capture

 6 July 2017

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Eurostar French countryside

Sitting in the middle of the English Channel, somewhere along its 50km length and at 70 meters below the surface in places never fails to impress me.  Having been on the Eurostar some half a dozen times has still not diminished my amazement at the feat of engineering achieved by two countries that still despise each other.

We spent a whole day riding the trains and underground, popping up to get our bearings periodically like a couple of Meerkats.  We were on a mission and the holy shrine was the triangle that Oxford, Regent and Bond streets form, and all the shops they attract.  My phone nearly overheated, screaming at me to slow down, I had done that day’s and most of tomorrow’s steps….by lunch time.  I spent the day following V, but looking for seats in woman’s frock shops as she stroked and ohhh’d and ahhhh’d at all of it.  I met some lovely people and often offered sartorial advice to anyone standing in front of a mirror looking undecided.  It was the least I could do.  V has stopped counting how many new tops she has adopted….it is easier that way apparently.  I have 3 or 4 new ones myself.  I think I’m all but done now. I spent a glorious half an hour with an old chap sitting in his wife’s wheelchair in M&S.  His wife has a miracle each time she enters a clothing shop and is able to hobble around the racks with a youthful spring in her step he told me.  He then finds a corner, sits in the wheelchair and offers advice.  It was a joy to listen to an 80 year old expert in shopping

We have finished our English leg of this odyssey and now are embarking on 4 days in Paris doing Parisian things but without the terrorist twist hopefully. Then on Sunday we head south a few hours to our holiday house that we booked in the middle of French woop woopland.

In preparation, we went visiting Sarah last night and had a repast of cheeses, pates, baguette, charcuterie and wine.  We all passed with flying colours and feel suitably ready for the next phase of our sojourn. Practice makes perfect. Driving out to Sevenoaks, required a very English country journey past towns called Badger Mount and Pratts Bottom. I found them childishly amusing.

We are in carriage 1, First Class I might add on this 10:42 to Paris.  Unfortunately, carriage 1 is the last carriage going when going this way so required a 200 meter walk along the platform to reach our seats.  What’s the bet it will be the opposite on the return….going the other way but still at the back. They are a lovely sort of person in First Class…V is very much at home. 5 minutes after leaving we were delivered a breakfast including a croissant and coffee served by our own French crew.  I felt a Bonjour was in order even if we were still in England.  No sign of the refugees trying to jump the channel illegally.  Funny that burning the camp and building higher fences seems to have shifted the problem from Calais. We didn’t see any evidence of them a couple of weeks ago either when we made our mercy dash to Champagne. Problem dealt with I’m thinking.

We are staying in the Latin Quarter of Paris; the 5th arrondissment for those that know the place well.  Very close to the Notre Dame and also the largest Mosque in town. We are not looking for action, but it might be closer than we booked!

We decided on a K&V walkabout, heading for Notre Dame.  In 40o heat, this was silly as it involved many wrong turns and ‘track-backs’.  We stumbled on a rugby shop selling Chiefs gear for €59, the giant Pantheon and numerous gift shops selling the same as the shop either side of it but they all had to be visited and investigated… just in case.  We also managed to book a couple of tours so our few days are now fairly chocka full of all things art and culture, leaving the gastronomy tours for another time like next week.  We fished our walk with a nice dinner at the Bistro around the corner where rude waiters and diners alike made for an educative if not enjoyable evening repast.  It is nearly 11pm, only just gone dark and currently 26oC.

Au revoir et bonjournee

V and Me (Jean Pierre)