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From Mache to France (part V) Paris

7:36 PM Ellie 0 Comments Category :

In my life I have seen many things with French name on it, to name a few, French Kiss (hehehe), An Evening in Paris (hindi film) and in Kelantan we do have Kedai Gambar Paris with Eiffel Tower photo..hehehe….so to be in Paris, French will never be in my wildest dream….Never!!!! I thought it was a dream…but when the immigration officer who talked to me in French, I hardly have no idea what, stamped my passport, I realized that I have walked on my dream.

We arrived in Charles De Gaulle Airport around 10 am, upon arrival we were supposed to be ushered by our chauffeur who we had booked earlier to take us to our hotel in Basilique...but we were in vain for about half an hour, without a valid telephone number to refer to, just a receipt of confirmation and shunted back and forth between terminals to look for him. At that time, we were hopeless what to do; we could see that our entire plan dashed. We really did not have the idea how to get to Basilique let alone to reach Eiffel Tower. We had to make sure we reached Notre Dame, Arc De Triomphe, The Lourve, etc today…no matter what…

While we were figuring it out what to do, we bumped into another fellow Malaysians at the airport; we decided to take a train to the city centre by following them. It was one of a kind experience to get on the sub way in Paris which is absolute barmy. Why barmy??? too many stations, too many routes and all in French...absolutely different to our LRT or Komuter in Malaysia...Inside the train we were entertained by an amateur singers begging for 1 Euro or 2…ermm…that is the way poor people begging for money…Such a scenario was quit startled when I think of Paris, a romantic, beautiful and rich city, still its people would do anything just to survive…After 20 minute, we stopped at Cha`telet Les Halles station that was really confusing (hardly no signboard let alone in English) we saw fewer foreigners like us, lost, cold (lost my gloves…ssesejjukk…)and confused…hehehe…figured out where to go….

Amidst of confusion and fatigue, we still had a chance to buy halal sandwich at Kous-Kous (Rice in French)..hehehe…FYI, it is not hard to find halal food stall in Paris, we are blessed to have Moroccan, Lebanese, Albanian and Algiers everywhere around France to serve halal food. In our quest to get Les Cars Rouges (Sight seeing bus) we asked one Pak cik with bicycle who claimed himself understood English for one and two, to accompany us to find a way to Notre Dame. It was quite a bitter experience when communication barrier exist, the fact that I only understand a few words in French and French people hardly understand and speak English really frustrated…sigh…Eventually we took sightseeing bus which cost us 24 Euro...ermm, Le Billet s'ache`te `a bord du bus, Il est valable 2 jours (the ticket is valid for 2 days)We can hop in and hop out along the way and I could see several places along our way......

Paris is indeed a beautiful, luxury and romance city, though weird graffiti on the walls and subways which dominated by middle class people suggest otherwise. On the bus (double decker and topless bus), we felt the chilling growing inside and my hands trembling (of course without gloves), that nevertheless overshadowed with the joy  when I finally saw with my own eyes the Eiffel Tower for the first time. The tower is not only huge but unique...i bet the view will be breathtaking from the top..ermmm.... The cold did not help much..we just snapped a photo or two under the tower, we hurriedly got onto the bus again…then, the clock...ya...in the winter the day was rather short so the clock showed that it was nearly 4 in the afternoon, Paris was one hour ahead of UK time and the Asar time nearly over so we rushed to perform our prayer at Cha`telet Les Halles station.

Then, we got heavy task ahead of us, to reach Bassilique St Dennis the location for our Formule 1 Hotel. To get there the only possible way is by subways….there were too many routes and stops which puzzled us…based on the RATP railway map and asked officers at the station, we had to change the train thrice...fuh...from Cha`telet Les Halles we needed to take a route M2 at Barbes Rochechouart, then at Place de Clichy we proceed to route 13 which eventually led us to Basilique de Saint-Dennis, outskirt place near to Stade de France. One of the unique thang about the train is, we need to lock and open the door ourselves unlike Malaysia…(kalau d mesia berdiri kat pintu sure takut kena kepit, kat sana selamba jer depa bukak, tutup tombol pintu train tuh…hehehehe)

look at this map..route of the subways in Paris... confusing yet cater all places....

We arrived at the station around 8 pm, people were hardly to be seen outside of their house probably now due to the winter season. Again we felt exhausted, confused, hunger, chill, scared as it was become dark …hollow, quiet, creepy...and matter worst we couldn't find the hotel.The clock showed almost 9 pm, every single soul on the road we asked the direction depended only on sign language, yaa..because we only have limited French vocabulary again led us futile. At that time our thought only for Allah, deep down in our heart we recited prayer to help us to find the place that we searched in vain for an hour….Majority of them are black people…at one time I nearly broke my nerves…and finally we encountered a boy introduced himself as David. He was on the way home from shop…luckily David could speak English…he was really a gift from Allah when he agreed to walk with us to the place. After nearly half and hour walked, I guessed 9.40 pm, we eventually arrived at Formula 1 Hotel…what a relief…thanks to David, when will we see u again and repay your kindness…as a token of appreciation I gave him a wrist band with Malaysian flag to him.

That was one of the sour note in otherwise a pleasant journey. Later that night we just want to sleep…it was too cold…and tomorrow will be another day...hoping that our ride will be smooth when we will spend a day at Disneyland Paris

Next2 entry I will write about our foudroyant journey to Disneyland Paris..as for now just enjoy fewer photos here......