Friday, 22 May 2015

Un passage à Paris

Walking around Paris, here behind l'île de la Cité and Notre Dame Cathedral.
I am still updating my blog with my travels at the end of last year after moving from Singapore, next in line after Brussels and Lille I spent a week in Paris. After I arrived, I realised it had been years since I had spent a full week in Paris, at least 5 or 6 years, maybe longer. Since I'd moved to Asia I had passed through, but only for a night or two.

I really had the feeling of being back home, as much as with being in London, or possibly slightly more. I grew up not too far from Paris, in the far suburbs, and lived there for about 8 years afterwards. I started by catching up with old friends with whom I played table top and live action role-playing games back in the day, we had organised for me to prepare a session of one my favourite games, 7th Sea and I had spent time writing a scenario to get ready. We also had drinks at one of their hangouts, a medieval themed & tabletop gamer bar in central Paris, Les Caves Alliées. An excellent address for any RPG geek visiting Paris, right next to the Odeon & St Germain des Prés, it was good fun to catch up with friends I hadn't seen in a very long time.

And that's a lot of what I did during the week, similar to what I did in London and Amsterdam in the previous weeks: catching up with friends and walking around the city while thinking about whether I'd like to come back and live there. Of course, I also tried a few French craft beers and excellent wines from independent winemakers with a good friend who has a wine cellar shop.

A Parisian institution, Bouillon Chartier - highly recommended
 Other highlights that week included lunch with my good friend Elo at one of the oldest and most traditional eateries in the French capital: Bouillon Chartier. I hadn't been in a long while and it was as great as it used to be, not necessarily exceptional cuisine but all the traditional French bistrot fare at a affordable prices in a beautiful setting.

Actors' salute, Mnouchkine's production of Shakespeare's MacBeth at the Theatre du Soleil. 

I don't know much about stage theatre and so hadn't heard of Ariane Mnouchkine who is very famous in France and was debuting a new production of MacBeth. The friends I was staying with happened to have an extra ticket and I thoroughly enjoyed it; it was an amazing stage production, extremely well played, and really impressive overall.

The week flew by and by the time I left I felt pretty good about the idea of potentially moving back to Paris, though I also realised the weather had been exceptionally good, as a couple of friends pointed out and suggested I go back at another time and check it out again, more on in a following post.

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