Wednesday, October 03, 2007
In Paris - Day One, Part One: French Cafe and Arc de Triomphe
Arrived in Paris on 20 September 2007, was exhausted but excited. The same goes for all people in my group that day. After checked into Mercure Paris Cusset Opera, all of us had shower and had to be ready in the lobby in one hour to walk around. We tried to minimise time needed to get more time to explore Paris.
My hotel room was small and the bathtub is smaller than a normal bathtub that I always seen around Indonesia or Sydney. The hair dryer is attached into wall and there is no amenities available in the room. I had to ask the Reception for a sewing kit and an iron. After our group assembled and went out, here what I was seen in Paris:

Everywhere I looked, I saw dirty wall on any building. The wall are usually old, blacked or yellowish. Seem there is a rule that prevent Parisian to renovate their apartment walls?

Our first stop is this cafe: Cafe Maitre Kanter

In Paris, a cafe can serve alcohol such as beers and wines. In Sydney, a cafe only served coffee and tea or other beverages with no alcohol. There is a strict rule in Sydney that limit shops to sell alcoholic beverages. A shop with license to sell alcoholic beverages had to sell only to 18th year old and above and there are some rules to display messages and limit on how many alcoholic beverages that people should consume on the venue to avoid intoxication and other drunk crime problems.
In Parisian cafes, however, I saw only one poster about a rule to sell alcohol to a minor.

In this cafe I ordered just an orange juice and as a result, for the next few days, my group always ordered an orange juice for me. It's good though. I know that I cannot drink alcohol and I'm not going to try it in this holiday. I'm going to keep aware of everything and enjoying it.

Our next stop is Arc de Triomphe (Indonesia-nya: Tugu kemenangan Napoleon Bonaparte). It's so tall and high. I was excited, this Arc is very tall than my imagination and I didn't feel exhausted at all eventhough it's early morning, around 2 am in Sydney. Didn't even feel any jet lag effect.
After taking some pictures (I put some of my pictures in Flickr), we walked toward the Arc and watched French soldiers doing their usual duty, passing by the Arc.

On the wall, there are name of French generals scribed, Napoleon's name is in one of the wall and luckily one of my photo catched it, but it's too small to be displayed in this blog.

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