Posts Tagged ‘cheap’

How Embarrassment

Friday, April 29th, 2011

My folks have been in town since Monday and it has been wonderful having them around. Free food, lots of hugs, and some presents. What more could a daughter want? Seriously, I have always had a good relationship with my family and it is a joy being able to show them where I live and all of my favourite places of Paris. That said, I clearly need to keep a better record of where my ‘favourite places’ are because when I try to return to them they can be hard to find! My parents have already been to Paris a few times and have ticked off most of the main tourist attractions so we have been walking the back streets and visiting areas not usually highlighted on the map. We often end up walking past a major must-see and ducking our way through the crowd and finding the closest side street to escape to. I am so glad to be living in a less popular area of Paris – I don’t know if I could handle the tourist crush and the never ending camera flashes all-day-every-day.

Anyway, I want to go to bed but I thought I would write a quick entry about our evening last night. My third or fourth cousin (She’s my mum’s cousin’s daughter so I don’t really know what the relation is. I call everyone my third cousin – I have many of these distant relatives that don’t have an easy title) lives in Paris and I met her for the first time last night when she invited my parents, Tom and me over for dinner. It was a lovely evening with great food and lots of easy conversation. It always amazes me how family members, no matter how distant, can still find a strong bond or connection. I’ve felt this with various distant relatives of mine and I love it. Family ties are very long.

The reason for the title of this entry is based on the fact that my cousin lives with her boyfriend who is an American who has lived in France for most of his life and has gained a lot of knowledge of French food and wine. He cooked an amazing meal of pintard (guinea fowl) with asparagus and was quite the host. He also provided us with some delicious wines which he produced from his wine fridge, chilled to the optimum temperature and explained what we were drinking and why we should be eating a certain food with it. Of course, being guests and wanting to provide something to the meal, I bought a bottle of wine to go with our dinner. I soon realised the mistake I had made choosing a bottle of wine from my local supermarket when we were drinking some quality wines that don’t cost 3 Euros like mine had. It was the equivalent of bringing cask wine to a dinner party in Australia. Our hosts were very polite and even served the bottle as a second drink with dinner. But how the Australians laughed when we realised what we had done. Further thought and perhaps a few more Euros will need to be spent for the next dinner gathering.

Last Minute Lyon

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

We had been looking at organising a weekend away with Rom and Coup and with everyone’s up-coming travel plans we only had two weekends available. Last night on SNCF (French train company) website, they released some last minute cheap tickets where if you travelled in groups then the cost of the ticket reduced. We are a group! So tomorrow lunchtime we’re getting on a train to Lyon and spending the weekend exploring the city. I have been to Lyon once but I was alone, depressed and wanted to go home the entire time so I am looking forward to seeing it in a much more positive light.

We return to Paris on Sunday evening and then first thing Monday morning Tom and I are catching separate trains to Koblenz in Germany to attend Tom’s grandfather’s funeral. He sadly passed away recently and as we’re not far away we are going to join the family for the ceremony. So it is travel travel travel for us. This is more like it – I haven’t felt this nervous about catching so many trains since I was last living in France so clearly we’re finally doing the right thing and are being frivolous and crazy young people living in Europe. HOORAY!