Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

My travel to Europe and Asia has mostly been on personal time. In my day job, the territory only extends the U.S. However, Antonio and I happened to be working with a client with offices in Paris, so we had reasons to make a business trip to Paris. Since I had been riding trains and subways in New York City a lot, we met up at Charles de Gaulle airport and took the RER train connecting to the metro. Here’s the transfer point at Châtelet – Les Halles.

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My mode of travel is the same 24″ suitcase, no matter where I go. It stays packed, as I’m on the road so much. Since we were travelling on expense account, taking the subway was really a dumb move. I discovered that the Paris metro stations are a maze of connections — not unlike Tokyo — but, unlike Tokyo, the platforms aren’t connected by elevators or escalators! I had to hoist my luggage up and down quite a few sets of stairs, while Antonio waited for me.

We exited the metro at the Quatre-Septembre station near our hotel. On a Sunday morning, the streets were quiet.

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The rooms at our hotel on Rue de Richelieu weren’t ready, so we checked our bags and went touring. I had brought the guidebooks from the library, but let Antonio do the navigation. My eyes aren’t as young as his.

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On Sunday mornings, one venue that is open is the Bastille Market. We hopped on the metro to Place de la Bastille.

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The Bastille Market is located in a strip down the middle of the boulevard.

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The leeks, cabbages and potatoes are a cue that this visit was in December.

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Selling fabrics are common year-round, but selling furs probably isn’t.

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There’s a good selection of citrus, which must have been imported.

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Crabs were in season, and live.

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The way to buy eggs would seem to be three dozen at a time.

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Sunday dinner is no effort, if you pick up a rotisserie chicken.

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The lagoustine was nicely arranged.

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I remember the days when I used to eat soft French cheeses.

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I seriously considered buying some grey sea salt and bringing it home in my suitcase. On tasting it, thought, it tasted like … salt … just salt.

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The way to get a bucket of mussels with to fill using a shovel.

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I don’t do well with European mushrooms, so there’s lots of types I’ve never tasted.

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In addition to the food, there’s bangles and fabrics available.

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For young kids, there are toys and games for sale.

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To complete the relaxing Sunday, there are newspapers and magazines.

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As we left the market proper, we noticed dogs running around the boulevard by the playground. No kids, just dogs.

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If I could have figured out how to check out a bicycle, it would have been nice to ride instead of walk.

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Getting out in the daylight was a great way to fight jet lag. From the Bastille, we started our afternoon walk west.

December 9th, 2007

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