During my stay at Paris for last 3 and half years, most of my lunch at work was at shared corporate cafeteria between three companies. I appreciated the price, quality of that food always particularly the desserts and varieties of yogurts available there. May be I understand, why French cuisine is considered to be world’s most refined cuisine. Unfortunately, I am not a food critic that I can pen down those exotic tastes to get water in your mouth. But as I think about them I roll my tongue ;)
In general, breakfast in France is a small affair consisting of croissants & bread rolls with some butter and jam to spread which is usually accompanied by milky coffee or hot chocolate or café noir. Since there is no set time for breakfast in France it makes them bit hungry by noon :) . Le déjeuner (lunch) was once a two hour mid-day meal but has recently seen a trend toward the one hour lunch break.
It is common at corporate world to be given lunch vouchers as part of their employee benefits. These can be used in most restaurants, supermarkets and traiteurs; however people having lunch in this way typically do not eat all three dishes of a traditional lunch due to price and time considerations. A sandwich followed by a dessert is quite commonly seen and can be found ready-made at bakeries and supermarkets, cafes, bistros or restaurants. Even many restaurants, offer a lower priced prix fixe menu at lunch which is not available in the evening.
I have been a silent participator for most of the times as I use to feel shy to communicate with my linguistic skill of French. These three pictures are the only I have from all those lunch time I had with my colleagues. These were taken at very end of our stay with Pamela’s new phone camera. I always felt that I was going to miss those lunch hours if I move out of Paris; now I write about them before they become distant memory.
At my current location in Bombay we do not have any in-house cafeteria at our office (a small office compared to Paris). There are plenty of restaurants around to choose from or I can order for lunch at my desk. With the last one you can work as you take a bite. I am sure any health freak will tell that it is not good for soul and body. Food is supposed to be taken properly so that you chew and eat in peace while a meal in France is not simply a moment dedicated to the nourishment of the body; it is indeed a time for social and even spiritual replenishment.
In Modern India, where average work hours are getting longer and people are slogging more at work. This may be very disturbing social and physiological changes and might have adverse effect as the dynamic working population grow older.
P.S. This is an old post which we just got from our PC along with the shipment.
To start with gift Pamela got from François is very special. I am sure she can write a new post about the same. I am just going to give you brief detail on the same.
It is stitching project (cross-stitch) with 290 x 359 stitches using 70 color threads. François not only gave the design print-out along with instructions but also got the black piece of cloth which is not that easily available in the market.
If cross-stitch is not your cup of tea and you prefer coffee like me. Check her project to be started . It is going to be a very long and difficult project to finish. Hopefully, Pamela takes enough time as well as break in-between otherwise it will cost her eyes ;).Not only this, she even got bedside lamp of effiel tower & salwar-kurta from two of her close friends.
book on photography of Paris. I am sure it must have got lots of curious look from others while getting packed. On the flight there was a nice one page article about POST-IT how it was invented in 3M and how it waited for long time before marketed and sold to customers. I really can not think my office days without it like millions others across the globe.
Thanks a lot guys if you are reading it !! Well there will be more post on those last hours ..... keep reading.
But this post is not about why we left Paris and why moved to India. It is all about how we spent our last one week in Paris. Before leaving, we wanted to take pictures of those which makes Paris so desired destination for tourists. No doubt it is one of the most visited place in the world be it for Eiffel Tower or Champs Elysees.
As our time for departure was coming close we tried to visit few of the well known Brasseries or Bistros to hidden street corners to passages away from busy tourist area. We did our best, but weather was not very happy with our move and unexpectedly August was very grey with clouds and rain all those thirty-one days. It is a month when almost every thing stands still in Paris or France from bakery to fashion-store to office- “tout le monde”. As every one heads towards sea “au bord de la mer” for getting “bronzee” sun bathing. If you come back from vacation with out noticeable change in color your vacation is not well spent.
Not only, we took lots of pictures and uploaded to our gallery but we reorganized them. It was very long and meticulous process with thousands of pictures to sort and write their details as much as possible. In a way it was great to know more about Paris. All credit goes to Pamela for the same. With less than 16 hours to go before the movers were to arrive I rushed to La Defense to take pictures,
YES!! It was crazy but its worth for people like me (amateur photographer) as it allowed me to capture those tall buildings with blue sky after washed by rain.
Although, I am not sure if any one going to visit Paris is going to read this post and check our pictures or not. But, somehow I got a feeling of “been there – did this…did that…” and I am very content from heart for the same
As we spent our last two days in cleaning after the movers left before handing over our apartment keys to our landlord. In this process with lots of small things to be done on other hand at last moment like closing the bank account, getting official papers from office etc. we got so tired and exhausted that we could not effort any long to run and take pictures of “Parisians in roller blade”.
This post is getting bit longer than I thought so I will split the last few days and hours in another one. Keep reading ….
New in gallery - bibs from running . Well you must be wondering what is that ? For a person like me from whom the activity of sport was taken away by various pressures at young age it means a lot. The good side of it is that I am the very few fortunate one to run at this age at various places but rest remains as silent voice in vast population of India.
- These three are adaptation from plays by Tennessee Williams
- A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
- Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
- These two are so funny and witty you will roll on floor :D
- Bringing Up Baby (1938)
- Arsenic and Old Lace(1944)
- Dracula (1931)
- The Rains Came (1939) - A movie set in British India
- An American in Paris 1951
- Sunset Boulevard (1950) - A Hollywood Story
- All About Eve (1950) - A Broadway Story
- What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
- Dead Again (1991)
- Howards End 1992
- The Piano (1993)
- Phone Booth (2002)
- British animation productions
- A Grand Day Out with Wallace and Gromit (1989)
- Wallace & Gromit in The Wrong Trousers (1993)
- Wallace & Gromit in A Close Shave (1995)
- Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
Having salad has got few plus points like less time consuming to prepare, don’t heat up a hot kitchen, very healthy especially in this hot Paris summer…..which means salad season. Besides watermelon or strawberry smoothie, salad is the perfect summer food. They're light, crisp and refreshing-- especially when paired with a dressing and they're versatile with one’s imagination can invent.
So we had this lettuce leaves with deseeded olives, cherry tomatoes & cheese which was enrobed with a salad dressing of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and few drops of lemon juice. At end drizzle it with salt and whisk together in a large shallow bowl. One can serve in small portions as an accompaniment to roast chicken, or grilled or poached fish. This dressing is actually to highlight not to overpower the salad ingredients. Too much salad dressing will weigh down the salad ingredients and mask their flavors. So...
Finally, world cup football came to an end where France lost to Italy. For me France lost but at same time Italy neither win as they just waited for the final penalty shoot out to happen. I do not like the way Italian play football in general. They make it dull and boring. Italian and their relation to non Italian footballer are well known. And this time the whole nation is waiting for the verdict of match fixing in Italian league. Well there must be google of blogs and news on the same but I could not stop making my post. This post is not about what happened in the last 10 minutes of the final match.
FIFA at least should change the rules and make it like tennis when there will be at least 2 goals difference for penalty shoot out; as just one goal difference makes it similar to toss a coin to find the winner.
Well being in Paris it makes it special when France is playing the final. France is a team which had great difficulties in qualifying for the world cup with a draw against Israel but at the end they entered group ‘G’ as top and found Switzerland again in the same group like the qualifier. In the first 2 matches of the world cup they did not played any thing great that one can expect them to be in Final. But in the knock out stage they really played well and they deserve their well earned place in the final.
A big credit goes to Zidane, and once again he reached the status of a God in France. But the way it ended will remain controversial for years to come. May be like that of 1986 Quarter Final between Argentina and England. Where every one talks about the first goal of Maradona which was a clear hand ball and he should have seen a red-card for that but no one talks about the very next goal where he beat 6 English player before scoring one of the beautiful goal of all time to my memory.
Yes, it was a good match but the face of French man on Monday after the final was so pathetic that looked like they lost every thing to a natural disaster or something. In France, I am sure this incident is going to be in the media for a long time unless they win world cup soon and forget all about.
Anyway, we went to there embassy in-person for submitting all documents which went on very smoothly; women in-charge said it will take 15 days to get our visa. On asking whether we should buy ticket for Morocco? hmm... its OK to get it and sends us to her higher authority to get it confirmed. Now this Monsieur says gently... after 10 days you should get it without any problem so its OK to buy ticket. Being excited we started to plan our trip and get more information. But Santanu being skeptical never showed any interest in buying the ticket and always postponed the same. But at same time he was so excited that just day before his CISM test he made a phone call to find out VISA status. Well it was negative, he went to consulate in-person on Monday 12th June and found the same negative answer and was told to come by on Thursday 15th June to take visa for a journey that was supposed to start on Saturday 17th. Well, Thursday didn’t bring any luck either which made Santanu furious.
Its well said "man proposes and god disposes". The whole euphoria vanished like a whiff of smoke as neither on 10th nor on 15th day of submission we got VISA. Since this holidays were forced one which means if Santanu doesn’t uses it he doesn’t gain anything.
I am not sure if you happened to experience a very low probability situation or event in life which you can compare with winnnig a lottery or getting struck by thunder. Statistically the second one has more chance. To explain the same I take to you to recent past...
I had that bizarre experience in the month on December while returning from work took a bus. There was one gentleman very well groomed of dark complexion And I met the same person next day (Saturday) in a different bus while going out. I could not believe myself as that person did get down well ahead of me. And I do not recollect that person from my earlier experience of three years when I used the same bus. I do not deny finding the same faces in my bus. But that is while going towards the same direction at almost same time.
Now coming back today; I found yesterday around 10:30 PM (Paris Time) some one posted in a web groups of having some mock test for the exam I was taking today with Prometric. So I sent a desperate email to him asking for eleventh hour help if he can share the same. And to my utter surprise he sent it and I passed the exam while taking it at home.
When I started my test at the computer to my utter surprise all the questions and their respective options were excatly the true copy of what I received in the morning. It was deja vu & I passed with 100% score.
Well it was a big luck or mercy of God. Its a mere chance of finding that web forum in 11th hour and that person really replies with help. He could have been on vacation or could have crashed his hard drive or my question set could be a real hard one :( but it just happened :D
This is just another reason I do not like too much stress on certification on resume as it sometimes might give you a wrong picture about the person strength and skill sets when you evaluate his/her resume. Now a days all big companies are making big bucks on certifications and all the head-hunters are asking for the same.
I need to elaborate more on the word envy and why I chose. As in first version of this post I did not do that. If you have grown up with green devil with a tail and a broken TV advertisement I am sure you know what I am talking about.
Well it has been a long time I bloged. I am back to Paris; Pamela will join me in a month time. The title of the post could not be better as I am missing the sun after returning from India. I like rain after very hot summer or sunny days with cool breeze. I really can not take those dark cloudy days which makes me feel gloomy. As looking out of my window can't even make out is it 11 AM or 3 PM. But if you still do not know what I am talking about ask hobbits ;)
My vacation at India was great. I will try to post about few incidents later. And hope not to forget them before my little brain gets clogged with daily activities but at least I should write about changing face of India where guys are getting pedicure in a so called normal hair dressing saloon. That should be followed by experience of flying with Air Deccan low cost no frill airlines, trip to Sikkim and Dooars (Forests of North Bengal). There are more but I think I should keep them a secret for while ....The end should be flying from Doha to Paris.
Well, I just got back my PC yesterday hope it works for next 2 years without any trouble as I really do not have the momentum to keep the big fight.Anywayz, I am happy that I am going to meet some friends soon this weekend. One to be mentioned is I am going to meet with Shubhankar after 11 years. Will keep posted...