We reached Paris very early in the morning after a whole night flight from Yangon via Hanoi in which I didn't manage but to doze off for no more than two hours. I was lucky to have made into the Monmartre area, where I had booked my hotel, with a trip companion, who happened to live just around the corner from where I was staying, otherwise I feel I might have fallen asleep on the tube.
The moment I got into my room, not much later than seven in the morning memories of an eventful stay two years back woke me up. I had decided to come back to the hotel where its staff welcomed me then after having been robbed of all I had without even noticing until I made it to the hotel reception.
The hotel I got accommodated in had been refurbished since then but the staff were equally welcoming. Despite having had breakfast onboard I was gently offered some upon arrival. I would be seing Noëlle, who had come by train from Nantes to meet me and although we had arranged to meet around midday, so that I could rest for a while, I felt like ringing her and meeting her straight away, as I simply didn't feel like sleeping.
I re-organised my luggage, placing some of the latest things I had bought in the bag, which shouldn't weigh more than twenty kilos and leaving some space in my rucksack for any odd books or Cds I might buy in Paris.
Noëlle was also acommodated nearby so by the time she collected me from the hotel we went to the small garden at the far end of Rue des Abbesses to look at the glazed love board, where I found it difficult to locate the "love you" in the Portuguese Language, or better said Brazilian Portuguese (Once it was inverted).
From there we walked down towards Saint Lazare train station, having had lunch on the way, and further onto the Opera area via the Printemps, whose 500 anniversary was on. Because of the recent attacks we avoided gatherings or areas where there were too many people as a precautionary measure, so we continued towards the Royal Garden.
An outdoor exhibition was on and despite being too "modern" for our personal way of thinking ... I nevertheless felt there were a few interesting aspects I decided to photograph, not to mention the stone engraved words that went along with some of them.
On the way back to the Hotel we finally ventured into Printemps, which was overcrowded both on the outside and the inside. Getting in took a while as safety regulations were in force and they were a lot "tougher" than at the aiport.
The outside window decorations were breathtaking and so were the ones inside. The feeling of Christmas was on ... but it hadn't yet settled in my mind ... the warmth of Myanmar ... the Asian solidarity feeling ... and recent memories were still engraved in for me to be able to make space for Europe and the "cold" atmosphere ...
We were soon (sooner than expected) back at the Montmartre area where we parted vowing to see each other again soon, so as to fly to Cape Verde together.