Thursday, July 9, 2015

Paris Diary part 22

Day 27
16°, partly cloudy day, clear night.

Lily & I went to Parc des Buttes-Chaumont in the morning and got caught in a sudden rain shower. We had umbrellas with us since it looked like it was going to rain, but it started too suddenly for us to stay dry. Since we were already wet, we took a swim in the lake. That might not be entirely legal, and the lake water was much colder than the rain water, but how many times do you get to say you went swimming in a Paris lake in the rain? We knew that our time in Paris was going to end soon and we wanted to experience as much as we could.

We spent a month going to all the popular tourist sights, but we also explored neighborhoods that most tourists never see and ate at restaurants that are not in any of the travel guides. But we knew that we still barely saw the city. A month is better than a week, but still not long enough for a city like Paris.

We went to le Marais for lunch because someone told us about a great falafel place, L'As du Fallafel. The owners are Israeli, so we assumed they were going to do everything the Israeli way, but we had no idea what that was. The best falafel I had ever had at that point was at an Arab place in Bangkok. One could argue that Bangkok is no more Arab than Paris is Israeli, but that was the best we could do. Lily & I have never been to the Middle East.

Lily & I agreed that the Israeli hummus was outstanding. I make my own hummus at home, but this was a million times better. Probably because of the spices that I can't get in Hong Kong. Or because they know what they're doing.

For dinner, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe, which is not exactly authentic Paris. But it was the most authentic American meal we had on this trip. Paris has more than a few restaurants that claim to have authentic American food, but everything I ate was a European interpretation of American. The Hard Rock Cafe in Paris was just like any other Hard Rock.

I got a t-shirt while we were there because that's what you do. I have shirts from almost 20 different Hard Rock Cafes. I never meant to collect them. Most of the time I just happen to stumble onto the restaurant. I didn't even know they had a Hard Rock in Tokyo, Bali or Bangkok until I went there. There was even one in Nice, but I never went there. It's close enough to Antibes, but I didn't want to go out of my way for a t-shirt.

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