Published: May 29th 2009May 29th 2009
A relaxed journey from Paris back to London after a frantic clean up of the apartment to ensure there was no excuse not to return my deposit.
We were all a little under the weather after a fine night of wining, wining, wining, wining and dining at the restaurant up the street, that we first encountered the day we arrived. I suspect our view of it as a great little restaurant is accurate as it was packed to the rafters every night with local French.
James had a seafood risotto and surprised the waiter when he ordered it with frits, it was delicious, S & T both had a delicious duck and mash which was rather like a fantastic potato topped pie, and I had carpaccio of duck which was very thin sliced duck with an orange vinagrette. Not the best thing I have ever eaten, but an interesting experience nevertheless.
We finished the meal with lovely desserts, tartes, mousse, marscapone and raspberries and the chefs gourmand which was a small taste of everything on the menu.
Would I go back to Paris, yes. But not to sightsee, just to wander and to eat and drink. I
was impressed by the courtesy of Parisians, they don't push and shove, they want to discuss and debate, they are surrounded by history and the arts, the workman had opera playing, there was opera in the metro and classical music buskers abound. The lack of advertising made for such wonderful sights.
There were no obese people.
I was appalled at the huge numbers of people sleeping rough and the large numbers of alcoholics and beggars. Yesterday we sat in a park for lunch and there would have been more than 100 middle eastern men sitting idly and large numbers sleeping in their sleeping bags.
At night the streets in our area were packed with African men sitting drinking spirits.
The streets reeked of piss.
If, as I suspect, many of these people are illegal, then I think Paris is a timebomb. There were simply too many people living lives on the margin of extreme poverty. Too many outsiders.
There are more photos below