I started out by going to pick him up at the airport and discovered that it was 16 pounds (I cant get the pound sign on anything but word!) for the train to Gatwick... one way! we wont be flying in to that airport again!
So I get to the airport and find out theres two terminals, uhhh okay didnt know that and I dont know Kyles flight number either, uhhh crap! Just as Im thinking about heading over to the info desk an exasperated voice comes over the intercom and states that anyone looking for the Vancouver arrival, the passengers are just clearing customs now. After this about 16 people walk away from the info desk, im sure it was a fun day for that worker (the arrival signs had not been updated).
After collecting Kyle we tried to find a way to Luton where we were flying out for Paris, why were we flying you ask and not taking the chunnel (channel tunnel) well because about a week before we were due to take it, a fire broke out and shut it down, by the day Kyle arrived, they were back up to 6 trains a day out of 26 and the average wait time was 7 hours... funfun
anyway we flew easy jet which was ironically very easy, on the way there at least. Poor Kyle had been on 2 plans and 2 trains by this stage and by the time we found the hotel it was 3 plans and 4 trains. Arriving in Paris we found a train to take us to the hotel the nearest station is something like Pigalle... no joking and no we had no idea how to pronounce it either
hopping off the train we had to had to switch to the metro and as we walked off we were greeted by 40 police officers with freaking tommy guns and were standing around looking puzzled. Thats JUST what you want to see, an armed, puzzled poilce officer.... because if I want confusion in anyone in society a deadly policeman is just the ticket!
but people it gets even better! we had been off the train no longer than 10 seconds when an ear piercing terrified scream rings out, and screams and screams and SCREAMS!!!! The police now look even more confused and then take off running up the stairs. Now people Im not the fittest person in the world by any means but I could have made it up those stairs in half the time it took them. They looked more like the French ballet than the French armed forces! Kyle has found a elevator for us now and as we hop in with a French couple the male looks at us and smiles while he says in a thick French accent... VELCOM TOE PARIS!!! and then chuckles at us as Kyle and I share a holy crap what have we gotten into look!
We find the metro entrance and I in my own danity gracious way dont realise that the HUGE alarm ringing is a sign that the metro train doors are about to shut so I make a rather epic fail of an entrance to the metro as I step on and the doors shut ON ME and everyone inside looks very alarmed and bemused. We discovered that night that the Pairs Metro is not for the faint of heart, its fast its dirty and very loud... insert your own crude joke here.
The hotel room was small and had a very strange shower but it had a view of the Effiel tower which was awesome, pictures to come! When Kyle finally gets around to emailing me with them... hint hint hint
We spend the next day going to the Effiel tower... pics to come and went back to the hotel to get ready for the Moulin Rouge!!!! We both had the same dinner, savichee of salmon, fricasee of lobster, beef something - it was like a steak but imagine the most beautiful delishious succulent steak you have ever had, then improve one hundred fold and you have some kind of idea how good the beef was, calling it a steak just isnt right. This was not some over cooked grainey black steak from the bbq this was steak if heaven was a steak.
Dessert was a choclate cake and did I mention our booking came with a bottle of Champagne, yum.
I hope you are all insanely jealous, if I wasnt me I would be... it made up for being 25 but then lobster and champagne will make up for almost anything in my book!
There was one dark mark on the evening, some self rightous bastard was at our table and he turned out to be from NZ, he proceeded to lecture me and the rest of the table because Im from Auckland for a good five minutes. Apprently this made me A the anti christ and B not a real kiwi anyway.... the rest of the table were suitably horrified and even his wife was giving him the "I want to stab you in the eye with a fork" look. Karma bit him in the arse though because the audience participation came around and the guy came over, asked him where he was from, took one look at him and walked clear to the other side of the stage... the guy looked gutted and GOOD IM GLAD you fat toger. Way to show up our country in a good light. I didnt say anything back to him during his tirade I just sipped on my Champagne and acted with dignity ... like an Aucklander would.
The actual show was pretty amazing, I would definately recommend it to anyone its well worth the money. I guess having worked in the industry took a little of the shine off for me, I kept looking at a dancer and thinking point your toes, you didnt put your feet together, finish off your steps! But I loved it, I was very nostelgic, I cant imagine how fun that would be to do for a job... forget standing at a cash register or sitting at a desk, dressing up in cool costumes and dancing now thats cool! The show even had a massive tank full of snakes and a girl swam with them it was pretty incrediable not something I could do . Can you just imagine the job notice in the paper... want to wear a skimpy costume and dive into a cold tank of water full of reptiles everynight, apply now at notgonnahappen.com
My favourite show of the night was the last number, huge pink feather boa costumes losts of glittler... it did take a few minutes getting used to the dancers being topless (not in a sleazy way) as the costumes were .... lets just say they had strategic beading in place. The male dancers were how can I put this gently.... terrible, shocking, chippendale wannabes? Compared to the skill of the girls they had no place being on the stage (the one execption being an amazing guy who did incredible strength moves) next to the girls who for the most part were fantastic. They all had that greasey Peter Andre look and were really big to be dancing on stange. They werent fat but Ive known professional male dancers in my time who would put them to shame. But the last pink number was amazing. Everything about the show was very very cool espeically the dining room we were in that was fantastic it was set up almost like a luxury circus, all harliquin colours and mirror mosaics an beautiful fabrics everywhere. Even the plates were gold rimmed it was a once in a life time experiance!
The next day Kyle and I got tickets on a hop on hop off bus and went and saw the usual sites. We stopped at NotreDame and looked around ...pics to come we also saw hundreds upon hundreds of historical sites, the best ones for me were the arc d triumph (Im sure I've spelt that wrong) and the effiel tower and NotreDame that was beautiful. We could have gotten off at the Lourve but Im not really prepared to spend precious hours in Paris standing in an Art Gallery to get 10 seconds in front of a painting. I will eventually get back to Paris and will devote and entire day thre but on a two day trip, and it being beautiful day I couldnt face going inside!
The bus trips are awesome, you can buy a one or two day pass and they have headphones that have a running commentry or french music playing and each tour is 2 hours, there are 4 bus tours for one price and 2 boat tours included, pretty fantastic when we go back to Paris we will definetly be doing those again!
Its true what they say, you cant get bad food in Paris, we ate at road side carts, cafes, the Moulin Rouge and had breakfast at the hotel one day and every single thing we ate in Paris was wonderful and tasty and mmmm good! I dont count the $70 NZD meal we had at the Paris airport of course... two coffees, two sandwhiches and two small bags of chips because airport food is no really food at all.
Kyle fell in love with crepes, you can get them pretty cheaply usually about 2-3 Euros and hundreds of different combos the most popular is banana and Nutella but you can also get lemon juice and sugar YUMMMMMMMMMMMMM
The flight back was a little drama, I take full responsibility for the muck up and im not going to go into massive detail just picture me running (yes running) through the Charles De Guille airport terminal trying to find where Kyle is 3 minutes before boarding closes and then both of us tearing back across the terminal only to then have to wait 10 minutes because some moron held up boarding. Kyle was trying to find me water and some drongo didnt have a concept of serving someone from start to finish... Kyle being too polite to tell him where to shove his stupid water bottles seethed silently until I rang up and told them man to give the Credit card back PRONTO, I got the blank wide eyed star back from mister idiot bar man who only moved when I said NOW in an "your going to be wearing your CENSORED for a hat if you dont move" tone, Im good at those when Im in a panic and we took off for the gate.
We didnt have a lot of time in London as I had to go to an appointment with the tax department the next day and Kyle had to leave at noon the next day. We did however to go Piccadilly Circus for a wonderful Italian dinner and sat at the statue in the middle of the square and people watched. I didnt react to the food too well and so unfortunately the next morning I wasnt feeling my best so Kyle had to see himself back to the airport (Im still sorry about that) as I didnt want to be giving a reconstruction of yesterdays meals for all of the tube passengers to see. Next time he comes over we can do much more fun things.
I had a wonderful birthday, and a fantastic time (how many times have I said fantastic/cool/amazing?) it was one of the best trips of my life!
Over the weekend I will try and bring you up to date with whats happened since Paris.
BIG SHOUT OUT to Lana and Jarrod, Lanas contractions were 2 minutes apart last time I heard from Mum, congrats on being new parents guys... soon hopefully for Lanas sake! I sorry I couldnt be there... well not like in the room that would be gross but more in the in NZ sence...
make sure the belly button is an INNIE!!!!