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mardi 30 mars 2010

Les Belles Asiatiques

Paris being the most visited City on earth, on rare occasions people from different parts of the world may coincide with your visit to this city of Light and Love.. I have seen my friends from Portland, Oregon and Melbourne, Australia here. But this reunion was certainly an unique one..

L had flown down from Norway to spend the weekend with her friends from Japan. I got an email from L, who is Vietnamese by origin, but had lived in Tokyo and Moscow before putting down her roots in Oslo. I had encountered her because of her interest in Cuba!

I had arrived the day before from Miami, and at the appointed time met them in front of Opera Bastille and had a very typical parisian lunch at Cafe de l'Industrie near by. The visitors from Japan did not speak any English, one of them had some rudimentary English, so L was burdened with translations throughout the long lunch. The visitors were so traditionally Japanese and innocent of western culture and customs, that it was truly charming. They had fully planned their trip before they arrived in Paris, eating and going only to places recommeneded in their guidebooks. They had maps of Paris and each of the bakeries, restaurants and tourist spots were marked clearly; Laduree and Luis Vuitton and Chatelet Shopping were clearly marked, Moulin Rouge, Sacre Coeur, Tour Eiffel were to be done early in the week.

The thoroughness of their preparation was impressive and I was told that it is nothing unusual. Paris is the most expensive city in the world with Tokyo coming in at no 6, but to them Paris is cheaper because Luis Vuitton and other brands that the Japanese like to have are half price here. No wonder that there is always a line to go into Luis Vuitton on Champs Elysees; they wanted to try the ¨cheap¨ croissants and pain au chocolats and had noted down the bakeries to go to from their guide books.

What is their impression of paris?

We did not expect it to be so modern, we thought all buildings would be from 17th or 18th centuries! and we thought that Paris would be dirty! it is clean and modern!

They had planned each meal, so while we are having lunch, they were thinking of dinner!

i must admire their adventurous nature in food, they wanted to try everything.. Escargots, Carpaccio, Steak Tartare, Au Gratin and they had healthy appetites!

I said goodbye to L, the typical french fashion, planting kisses on both cheeks; The japanese were horrified, one wanted to try! when i kissed her on her cheeks, she was giggling and saying that her heart was racing and that it was the first time she has done this way of saying good bye!

very cute indeed

such is a pleasant lunchtime in Paris and thank you dear friend L from Oslo!

PS their sunglasses are from vendors in front of Sacre Coeur!