Friday, December 31, 2010

Bonjour! Cava? Merci Au revoir

Those are about the only French I truly know, plus a couple of other non-words (not really useful words).

2nd day into Paris and I'm almost done with the city! Weather is alright, not as great as it was in NY when I was there (b4 the snow came tumbling down), but good enuff, at least it's not snowing, raining, or snowing & raining, and windy etc etc...

1st impression of Paris - It's not very clean. Or organzied. Haha! It's called the City of Lights, but when I was out on Wed night up the Eiffel Tower, the surroundings did not actually seemed very bright..I wonder why????

Yes, it's not very clean, the streets seemed grey n dusty...Isit the winter?? I don't know. Compared to NY, i think NY seems cleaner.

How do I find Paris? Hmm alot of pple told me I'll LOVE Paris, like when they told me you'll LOVE NY. Well, I agree with the latter, I really do like (or love) NY. It's a great city really! But Paris, hmmmmmm.... somehow feel that it doesnt rank up there with NY. Parisian lovers dont hit me on that, it's only my personal opinion. The city doesnt seem all too friendly as well. General impression of the French - They smoke ALOT! They don't seem all that friendly (unless u speak French). That's like a deterrent, altho there are LOTS of tourists, they just seem unfriendly towards non-French speaking pple. Of cos there are nice French! When I was lugging my 2 big bags manouvering the Metro up and down the stairs (yes another thing i wana complain! Bloody stairs! Why can't they have elevators or escalators?? Stairs man!), pple came up to help me carry my bag, which is very comforting to me. Cos i was really struggling with the bloody stairs!!!!!

Then when i was walking up the cobbled streets (bloody streets), a lady came forward to help me carry my smaller luaggage, which was so nice!! Lady mind you, I felt so touched! Those were the bright sparks in the French community. Other than that, they were..let's just that. Nothing more nothing less, not much of a smile. After coming from NY, it's sorta a minus point where pple in NY seemed so friendly and nice! I mean u just strike a conversation standing in line queuing @ the cashier or bus station!! Here, it's the language man. U sorta feel very out of place. I don't feel that way when i'm in Bangkok or Vietnam where language is also a problem, but here it's really quite extreme.

Anyway, i'm not saying Paris is not nice, i'm just saying personally it's not THAT great as what some pple put it. Well maybe if I came with someone else, it might be different! Hahaha... But i still prefer NY. NY is a place I don't mind going back to... Things r not cheap there, but compared to Paris, NY is heaven!! Shopping heaven!!! Haha!! Paris is bloody expensive! Just a plain baguette with ham and cheese is like Euro 7. I can make that for SGD2 lor. Luckily there's supermarket. U'll realli go broke ...

On another note, good thing happend to me today. I bumped into (or rather this lady approached me) a Shanghainese auntie, asking me to help her buy LV bags. WooHoo! Gave me a chance to walk into LV with an agenda and enjoy being served! Haha! So nice walking into the branded store and looking at the bags, not batting an eye on the price (cos i'm not paying for it!!) Anyway cos there's quota per pax, she wanted to buy more so she asked me to help her buy. Money on hand (cash) i walked into LV with a purpose! Got down to business after browsing through the expensive bags and got the ones she wanted and walked out with LV bag in hand! The great news?? She didnt take the tax refund! So in a way it's like a commission for me to help her buy! Woohoo! Just like that, doing nth, enjoying myself in a branded store, I earned abt Euro 130 in less than 30mins!! Haha That means free accomo in Paris + some cash left for food!! Fantastic!! Anyone wants to use me?? I will agree provided I claim the tax refund! Haha

Anyway these pple r crazy (esp the Chinese from China) they buy like nobody's biz man! And the bags are not cheap (ok by my standard not cheap) but I think it's like ALOT cheaper than in China or even Singapore. 1 medium size bag is like Euro 600-700! Siao i wouldn't spend my $$ like that! I don't mind taking a free bag but def will NOT buy it. Anyway don't buy a bag that cost that much for me, just give me the $$. Haha I am a firm believer of the philosophy 'SHOW ME THE MONEY' as popularized by Jerry Maguire.

1 more day in Paris and I'm Home Sweet Home. Been very tiring 6 weeks of travelling, not easy.. Esp dealing with the bloody flight delays and train delays, those r even more tiring.. TIme to go back home, rest, massage & go swim! I miss swimming in the pool, with the sun shining on my back. I need warmth & sun! I miss the heat back home!! And I need a good massage on my shoulders. They are killing me, very painful. And my little toe is swollen for 1mth already...Ya I'm walking hours ard with a swollen toe...What can I do, just endure and move on...So need to get that looked at when i get back...

And I will be back writing abt my adventures when I get back home with all my stuff sorted..Till then....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Crazy!! Massive Train breakdown out of NY towards Airport direction resulted in thousands stranded for hours!!!!!!

There I was sitting in the train at 2.55pm, thinking how wonderful it is to go back to the hotel, slack and lie in bed, watching videos and enjoying when suddenly, the train stopped in between stops. The reason - a train was disabled. So we were stuck in the train halfway in the middle of nowhere for 30mins. Then, they said power failure at the stations, cannot go forward. So just like that, I was stuck in the train with many others for 1hour only to reverse back into NY penn station where we boarded the train. Then chaos erupted at the station where thousands of people were clueless of what was happening as trains after trains were delayed and delayed. Time came and past and before we knew it, it was 530pm and no train was moving.

By instruction, many pple, including myself moved to another form of tpt - PATH to get to Newark, only to find out that it doesnt work. Cos PATH DID NOT get to Newark!! Even tho we were specifically told that it would! Talk about communication!! Now, I miss Singapore's efficiency. At least we have like 1 operator that speaks to each other, and you kinda would not be misled by the operators if a breakdown occurs! Here, it's more 'GOOD LUCK TO YOU!!' cos no one really cares! It's just all computer screens showing 'Delayed', 'Cancelled'. Go figure what to do! Go ask ard how to get ard to your destination. Hours were spent trying to figure a way to get to another place.

Lucky for me, I met a group of people trying to get to Newark and I followed them through PATH to somewhere in New Jersey. There we waited and waited for like 1hr, by then it was like 7pm and no trains were moving to Newark, even tho pple were saying yes there are! It's just very frustrating when things like that happened. Cabs are not so easy to get, not like in Singapore. So we waited... Luckily there was a family staying @ Ramada near the train station we were stranded at and I followed them to the hotel, and got on the free shuttle to the airport to catch my shuttle bus back to hotel. Still, I had to wait till 9pm b4 the shuttle arrived due to the bad road conditions (snow covered roads). Then by the time i reached the airport, it was 10pm. Waiting and waiting for 40mins b4 the shuttle came, and now at 11.44pm, i'm lying in bed (it's freezing cold even tho i set the temp @ 30degrees celsius), writing this.

This was how I spent the whole day! Well actually it started out pretty well, sky was clear, sun was bright trains were running smooth, I was in NYC shopping @ H&M, happily walking through snow covered roads...

The wind was also damn strong that it blew me off my track!!! I had to resist being blown off track!!!

but that was short lived, cos what came after was 8hrs of nightmare!! Now I'm back... Actually I'm glad that I stay near airport. Imagine I was one of those trying to get to the airport on the trains, I would have missed my plane & be helpless!!! Now i'm near airport, I dont have to worry too much abt not getting to the airport, just be sure to catch the shuttle! Hopefully tomorrow will be good for flying. I've been stranded in NY for 2 days...Paris Paris, will I ever get there??

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Last day in US, going to Paris tomorrow. Excited and nervous and tired... Hate the cold in Paris, but excited to see the city. Tired of the constant moving ard with TWO big luaggages and also from my extensive 1 day tour to Niagara Falls which consisted of 2 overnighter. It's Xmas here, quiet. Time to get alone time b4 moving to staying in hostel in Paris (no alone time).

It's been almost 6 weeks away from home.....

More updates soon when I get back home in 2011.....

Merry Xmas!!