Thursday, January 25, 2007

Paris Prat

I was in Paris yesterday. All expenses paid business trip. Sort of...

Naturally, the weather took a turn for the worse, and delayed the arrival of my train. There was a great swathe of snow-covered fields and woods across the central third of the Montpellier-Paris route. This meant the driver had to reduce speed to around 280kph which added 40minutes to our journey.

It sounds like one of those maths problems, doesn't it? If a train takes 3.5hrs at 350kph to travel 750km, how long will it take if it travels at 280kph for a third of the journey?

Moving swiftly on... it meant I couldn't enjoy my RDV for lunch, but had to make a mad dash to the next one. There, I was fed to the lions, came out feeling traumatised, and made my feeble, hungry way back to Gare de Lyon. NG, who was doing the granny bit for the boys persuaded me that eating in Le Train Bleu would do me the world of good, but that grabbing a sarnie and freezing to death on the platform eating it wouldn't, so I turned a resolutely blind eye to the menu prices and went up the steps.

Richard of Orléans would, I'm sure, appreciate the advice of NG as he has also enjoyed waiting for his train in these superbly Belle Epoch surroundings. I only had half an hour before my train, so would need to eat quickly. I ordered a 'Nordique', which comprised three halves of flat pita-like bread covered with taramasalata, cucumber slices and three peeled prawns each. Accompanied by a lettuce salad, it cost 17Eur. To enjoy it properly, I added a glass of white wine, bottle of water and bread roll, and the whole meal came to 28Eur. Which I spent in a 20-minute turbo-charged nosh.

Having thus spoiled myself just a little, I felt much better and could get on the train feeling like a real person rather than the insignificant shit my boss had left me as.

The train was delayed again by the weather, but I had a pleasantly full stomach, and two books to read so let it trundle along unperturbed. On the way up, the restaurant car had run out of food as it had not been able to pick up stocks due to being so late, and people were getting a bit edgy. When I got to the bar for a coffee, I knew that lunch was off, so managed to get one of the last croissants. On arriving back, I got a first G&T from NG on hearing about my day, and another at home.

There are days like that.

Morale à zéro.


  1. Ah, the Gare de Lyon, and the unexpected hide-outs of French gastronomy.

    Maybe the Transalpino generation which grew up in the era of cheap student train travel in Europe didn't share the excitement, choice or convenience of EasyJet, but we certainly saw a lot more of the country on the way.

    I guess that my supply of student marmite sandwiches must typically have run out south of Calais, because I can still remember the deliriously delicious steak-frites I enjoyed in the grandeur of the Gare de Lyon en route to geological field mapping in the Dolomites.

    It was better even than the breakfast panini at Milano Centrale the next morning.

    Or anything you could ever buy at London's Victoria station. Sadly.

  2. So glad you tried it ED, at a girl. Nothing works better than a bit of glamour after a big slap on the nose, and being treated the wrong way by prats without hearts or guts....of course we all know that they are chit...not we, but on the spot we feel like it!

    I immediately go and have an outlandish glamour treat after breathtakeing dissappointment or wounds to my prickly sense of honor.

    I even push things to going to spend a penny only in super "palaces" whilst shopping....I swish by the reception desks with a certain assurance, enjoy their lovely perfumed and welcoming commodities, and feel much better than going to the somewhat latin version of loos in even nice café's!!

    Now I have the best address book of loos in smart hotels all over France! I could write a guide about it.

    Getting confidence back after an under the belt punch is much easier with a surprise treat, outing, change of "duty" program etc.

    I suggest we quickly crach our blue cards in town!!!! As we can't afford it - it's so exciting!

    A super friend of mine who went bankrupt and did some heavy spending in front of me said "deja que je suis fauché en plus il faut que je me prive........"


  3. ou lucky thing. It's a while since I've been. I always take the foie gras and a glass of sauternes.

    I was freezing cold and so I spoilt my supervisor and myself to a blanquette de veau and tarte tatin at the local golf course. Not quite the glamour I'm afraid but it was good all the same.

  4. NG, you have very eccentric friends.

    Let's stop spending before the blue card starts smoking, shall we???

  5. Hells Bells - I go to the Golf Club in Orleans very often - do you realise I might just have been eating right by Richard d'Orleans whilst innocently enjoying family outing to golf.......I live dangerously! Mindyou my family are so posh and froggie he might not have approached us!



Comments are bienvenue.