Thursday, September 29, 2016

A day in Paris

In my job, I seldom go outstation, but last Wednesday, my boss from Paris asked me to join him for a meeting with customer there. He was a very nice manager, the day before the meeting, he showed me through skype the direction from the metro station to the building where the meeting was held.

So I woke up at 5:30am that morning to catch the train at 6:30am. Hubby was kind to send me to the train station. I slept the whole way to Paris, people around me were either working on their laptop, or reading. We arrived around 8:50am. 

From Montparnasse station, I had around one hour of metro and walk. As soon as I got out of the metro station, I saw the building my boss showed me, so everything went rather smooth. The meeting was carried on for around two and a half hours, then I was good to go. Since my return train was at 3:49pm, I could either go to the train station to change my ticket, or I could wander around Paris. I decided to go to the Malaysian restaurant. I arrived at 2pm, swallowed a plate of Nasi Lemak within 20 minutes, then off I went again as it took some time to go to the train station.
Nasi Lemak set lunch at 14.80€ in the Langkawi restaurant. The taste was quite authentic.

I waited around 40 minutes in the train station, then read through the whole two and a half hours. I got home at around 7pm, exhausted. Overall, I had 6 hours of transport for a meeting of less than 3 hours. I do not envy my coworkers who have to do this regularly.

Some observations during this day:
1. When I was in Singapore several years ago, 90% of the metro passengers were on their cellphone. In Paris, I was surprised to see that only 50% were on their phone, 40% were on book or their metro newspaper.

2. In almost every metro I took, there was a beggar standing in the middle of the train, saying good morning, then trying to sell us stuff or getting money from us. They didn't seem to have accent so they were French. They were also beggars on the walkway between transiting entrance / exit.

3. At 9:30am, the trains were still full.

4. People do not offer their seat often to the elderly or people in need. At one station, there was a woman around 40 years old entering train. She saw that all the seats were taken, so she asked if she could have a seat. A young girl stood up and left her seat, the woman sat down then read her book. She didn't seem pregnant or in need of a seat, but she got it.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Grandma's story : Her first love Pepito

She was seven, he was eight.
They held hands to go to school.
He lived just next door.
His name was Pepito.
He was a Spanish refuge.
He was her first love.

When grandma told us about her puppy love, she had that smile on her face.
She was reminiscing the good times, when he would pick her up, they held hands on the way going to school.
But behind the romance, the reality was cruel.
He escaped Spain with his mother, they squatted in a French family who was kind to receive them.
The father was probably somewhere in the war zone, fighting.
What kind of life were people having before 1950.
There were so many wars, so many people dying, so many families living in miserable conditions.
The little Pepito, went away with his mother one day, without even say goodbye to grandma.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Summer picnic

Since eating out is relatively expensive in France, people usually bring their own food and have picnics somewhere when they are outdoor. We have many natural parks and lakes around, and they are equipped with picnic tables and chairs.

During the summer holidays, the girls were so excited when I announced to them that we were going to the park and doing picnic.

Simple lunch : ham with French baguette, some cucumber and some dessert.

A huge place to run around.

Playground to spend their energy.

Slide is her favorite.

Time for a snack.

Don't need to travel far, they just need some times out with us.