Friday, September 6, 2013

Birthday With A Bang

My first day back in Paris was coincidentally and fortuitously my birthday... Cheesy or magically decadent? Well, in the land of fromage those are basically synonymous... Sadly and hysterically, moments after exiting the Paris metro at Gare du Nord, I was mistaken for a naive tourist... Carting two huge suitcases, another over the shoulder bag, a laptop case, and a pocket book probably gave that impression, but much to the chagrin of the man who tried to help me find a cab. After assuring me that he knew where there was no line and that it was his taxi we were walking toward and that it would only be 20 euros, he then tried to make me pay HIM the 20 euros and then the cab driver an extra metered fare... Who did he think he was dealing with?! Needless to say, I promptly informed him I would do no such thing and tried to remove my bags from the car. He then offered 10 euros and when I said "Je ne suis pas stupide"gave up and left me to take the taxi tax free.

After driving past the Paris Opera House, the Eiffel Tower, and seeing my new sweet apartment, I was exhausted but completely ecstatic to be back in this stunning city. I primped and prepared for my birthday plans with a French friend I met the last time I was here through a language exchange website. He treated me to a lovely meal of native French fare and wine at an adorable little French bistro near Republique. The most interesting part was that to order a bottle of wine, you go to an adjoining wine shop, choose what you like, and they put it on your restaurant tab. Post-dinner we ventured to another bar where we had way too many Spritzes and made new friends with some other ex-pats from India. Though more hungover than I have been since last wandering the City of Light, it was a nearly perfect welcome back Parisian-style...

Below are some pics of my first taxi ride, my new apartment, neighborhood, and my birthday meal...

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