Food. / Good Times / Photography / Tourism / Travel

The Busy Bee

Well, I’ve fallen off the map again, as generally seems to happen when I begin to wrap up an experience. Mini-adventures and bits of work and endless task lists keep appearing for me to take care of, and I’ve been bopping about a fair bit recently as a result and not had time to dedicate here.

River-level shot of Notre Dame during a recent walk I took during some of my breather time.

River-level shot of Notre Dame during a recent walk I took during some of my breather time.

More or less what I’ve been up to is organizing my almost-last classes of the year and some trips. We have another 2 week break starting Saturday, and after the first week I will be venturing to Chamonix for a quick four day venture that I predict is going to have me drooling over the Alps for years to come. I’ll come back for the last bit of break, then teach for two more days, and then my contract ends April 30th. I will immediately hop a bus (literally the night of my last day of classes) to go up to England and then a small bit of Scotland and then more of England for two weeks to visit all of this years’ new friends in their homes, if they happen to be back and not doing more work abroad as some of them must. I’m thrilled about both of these ventures. I will then return for just shy of two weeks, wrap up/pack up, and leave France.

Plans for “what-Becky-will-do” upon returning home are still up in the air. I won’t be mad about taking a week or two for myself, but I have been on the hunt for the next job for ages now. Found one that involved a bit of travel to Morocco that I was really hoping for, but alas,  didn’t even secure an interview. Ah well, other opportunities await!

Cat Café=Probably the best idea ever.

Cat Café=Probably the best idea ever. (Pardon the blur, low lighting and on my way out)

And now onto the Paris-y things, just a few bits and pieces of what I’ve seen recently! Last week a friend and I ventured to Le Café des Chats, or Paris’ very own cat cafe which we I have been dying to visit for AGES. Essentially you go in and have a beverage or meal in a wonderfully cozy cafe that is populated by about 10-15 furry little cats who will show varying degrees of interest in your presence. Obviously I am a cat person, and thus this seemed like the ideal place for me to be. The cats do indeed come up to you (if they want) and may or may not interact, but (despite some of the *other* customers’ behavior, ahem…) you’re not supposed to forcibly pick them up or anything, so unfortunately when we sat a bit out of the way we were unable to obtain furry companions and had to observe from afar. We had a delicious chocolate chip and nutella-stuffed muffin, though, and some wonderful tea…however, I will note that for 1 teabag (as in, not even a house-made blend) I paid a WHOPPING 5 Euros, little bit ridiculous, although I recognize the money goes to maintaining the cats, so probably shouldn’t complain too much. In any case, a fun experience!

The cat café is just full of masculine little details such as these.

The cat café is just full of masculine little details such as these.

On Saturday I had a full day for a very different reason-one of my friends here needed some photos of himself prancing around Paris for a work blog back home, and asked me to take the pictures. Which obviously was like handing me a very large shiny present, so we turned it into a whole big thing and a couple of us ran around just about all corners of central Paris taking pictures of him looking anywhere from swanky to goofy and all shades in between. Some of them are turning out really well as I slowly go through them with photoshop (I’ve also spent most of today learning new tricks and techniques and am REALLY excited and possibly going a little overboard photoshopping everything I have now) and perhaps I’ll load one or two in the future!

View of one of the line 6 track from Métro station Bir Hakeim. Very cool, actually.

View of one of the line 6 track from Métro station Bir Hakeim. Very cool, actually.

The shoot was also fun because we got to poke around some areas of Paris I’m not in very much, such as the walkway from Inception where Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page pull a giant mirror out from between two pillars (located under metro line 6, close to Bir Hakeim station) which actually looks REALLY cool in person, and also a little bridge that crosses the canal in front of Bastille that I discovered that very morning during an hour long jog through Paris–none of us could believe we had never known it existed before, but it had a BEAUTIFUL view of boats lining the canal along with a grassy and flowery bank lined with people having picnics or lying out in the sun. It was an exhausting but thoroughly enjoyable day!

Looking up a sunny, boat-lined canal towards Bastille. One of my new favorite places in Paris, of course discovered right at the end.

Looking up a sunny, boat-lined canal towards Bastille. One of my new favorite places in Paris, of course discovered right at the end.

Just for a bit of atmosphere as well, here are a few photos from our lunch on Saturday–we paused in a restaurant called Cèpe & Figue (59-61 Rue St-André-des-Arts, 75006) not too far from St. Michel-Notre Dame that, while clearly catering to tourists, maintains a really cozy, classy feel and has delicious food. It’s got a very warm environment and my goat cheese salad was just killer (although to be fair the goat cheese pretty much just stayed on the bread and went to my mouth, it didn’t have a whole lot to do with the salad itself.) The service was kind of ridiculously slow, but one of us had been there before and assured the rest that it wasn’t normally like that.

Bit of an atmospheric shot of the wine selection in our restaurant.

Bit of an atmospheric shot of the wine selection in our restaurant.

Toasted goat cheese. Always a winner.

Toasted goat cheese. Always a winner.

I’ve spent the beginning of this week in a bit of a buzz as I had a quick visit from a friend of mine from IU who is studying abroad in London this year as she passed through Paris on her way to other friends in Italy. (No pictures uploaded yet, sorry!) Sunday we did a bit of sightseeing, and I did my best to accompany her around in the evenings since I work all day Mon/Tues. We did the Eiffel Tower Monday evening, and Tuesday went to see a play called La Bonne Étoile de Bagdad in which one of my co-teachers was performing, and it was EXCELLENT. I was thrilled to understand about 85% of what was said, and the play itself was hilarious and brilliantly performed by the actors in a teeny tiny theater. We topped off her visit this morning with a sunrise visit to the Sacre Coeur, which, while beautiful, was absolutely freezing as we’ve a surprise cold front blowing through this week. Still! Good times were had by all, and my friend brought me this amazing Twining’s tea called “Lady Grey” which is Earl Grey tea with a slight hint of Orange, and I am basically gulping it down because it is so amazing. So…I’m happy.

And that’s all for now, folks. I’ll try to update again before too long!

-B

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