We took an early train to Paris and arrived shortly after an hour on the Thaly’s train. Perhaps it’s such a short distance, that’s why there wasn’t much baggage space available on the train, so that I left my luggage standing near the doorway. That kept me worrying about whether the train was going to make any calls at stations along the line, and maybe when the train doors open, my luggage may drop out. Well, it arrived safely at Paris-Nord, just as we did.
As our room wasn’t ready yet, we decided to go out so that I could go “run an errand”. Stopped by a cafe along the long way to grab a bite and I had a coffee with a very rich raspberry cheesecake. I realise that the Europeans and English seem to be quite fond of using spoons, or maybe even not use cutlery at all. When we order cakes and stuff here and around the region, they will invariably give you a fork to eat it with. Over there, they’ll serve the cake with a spoon, or for pastries like muffins and the likes, they don’t heat up the muffin, and you’re expected to eat that with your hands. Thing is, these muffins are much oilier than the ones we have here, and as we all know, public restrooms are not easily available for you to wash your grimy hands thereafter, so it’s good to carry around a handy pack of wet-wipes for those fingers after food.
We got a room on the 4th floor, and it was a really nice and spacious room! What’s more, they gave us a chocolate in the shape of the Arc d’Triomphe, and 4 complimentary bottles of Evian. The room was nice, but the weather wasn’t exactly kind to us. Seems like for the past 2 times and this current short visit to Paris, the weather here is always pretty extreme. I would really hope for a time when I can enjoy this city in a cooler state of weather and not have to feel so exhausted because the heat kills everything for me. For your information, the day was sweltering, and at night, it poured, and as luck would have it, we were caught in it, without so much of a decent shelter to hide at.
But oh well, before the rain, I managed to make a guilty splurge at Rue de Cambon, where the shop was just bustling with activity inside with lots of shoppers! I think it’s overseas when you don’t have as much qualms about stepping into a luxury boutique, because you don’t really give too much thought to what the snooty sales assistants might think of you if you just walk out without buying anything. Or maybe, when we are there already with the intention to buy, they are generally quite professional and friendly, and afterall, I am probably not going to see them again! Plus, sales people in Singapore really need to be trained in the area of customer service, yes, they should be put in a facility and be trained like dogs because they need to be.
So anyway, we spent quite a fair bit of time waiting for the sun to set beneath the horizon so that I could see the gradual lighting-up of the tower, and then we had to wait even more till about 10pm before the sparkles came on! As much as I complain incessantly about the terrible heat that I had to bear each time I go to Paris and how it made me hate the place, I am always in awe when I sit beneath the Eiffel Tower and especially when the lights come on. The entire magnificence and glory of the massive structure makes me feel so small and insignificant amongst the crowd of tourists and locals, and therefore makes me want to go back each time I get the chance to be there.
Of course, the rain that fell on our way back made me forget about whatever it was I was feeling when I was sitting admiring the tower.
It was a short one-night stay at Paris, and that wrapped up our tour of the United Kingdom and a part of Europe that took us to various cities from London, to Edinburgh, Glasgow, back to London, Brussels and finally Paris. It felt good to be able to get onto the flight back home, yet it is always with reluctance that we have to bid our vacation goodbye.