Thursday, February 3, 2011

La vie quotidienne à Paris...

Let's start off with me and my confused face about the strange upside-down dispensers.
Ok, so wow. What a couple of days. This keyboard is French, so if there's any errant Qs where there should be an A, that's why. I'm not gunna lie, it's already pissing me off. You have to use shift to use a full stop for shit's sake and it took me (no joke) fifteen minutes to figure out how to type the @ symbol! On the bright side, plenty of punctuqtion marks seem to take precedence over other things, like you have to use shift to type any numbers, but all the punctuation marks are ready to go, one touch! Even ampersand! Score one for the grammar nerds! In your FACE mathematicians!!! If only Qwerty and this lovable mutant could have clicky clacky babies, they would be perfect, but I'm pretty sure keyboard cloning is still illegal.
Anyhoo, back to where I left off - after my last entry we went to pick up our laundry, it cost ten US dollars for an efficient Asian lady to do it, so we were cheering. They have folding down to an art (must be all the origami practice) and we were pleased with the result.
From there we went shopping. I found a purple Adidas shirt for twelve dollars, cheerin'. Then I found some shoes I wanted to try.
I said to the girl 'can I see those blue AD-i-das shoes?'
'excuse me?'
'the AD-i-das right there?' *points*
'Ohh, the a-DI-das.'
Actually, on that note - I have never had such trouble with people understanding me! Half the time Americans would just look at me, open mouthed, although we speak THE SAME EFFING LANGUAGE!!! I'm having better luck in Paris!
Hey I just discovered that with this keyboard when you have caps lock on, it acts with all keys as if you are holding shift too. Getting me one of these.
Ok, so from there we went to an NHL game, NY Rangers vs Pittsburgh Penguins. I bought a Rangers hat before the game and had it embroidered with the date as a memento. Haven't taken it off. *true love*
Madison Square Garden is everything I hoped and more. Like I thought, even the nosebleeds were *a-ma-zing*, we could see the whole rink! While visiting with Bren, we volunteered at a church that supplies hot meals to people that either live in poverty or are homeless. A guy there told me that one of my two fqve hockey players from there that I used to watch is also in the NHL (I'm talking about Cory Perry and Brandon Prust), and guess what team? The Rangers! I was so excited to see him play! While we were waiting for the game to start, Kitty says
'y'reckon we'll see a fight?'
'Most likely. Probably Brandon, he was a mad brawler when I used to watch him in the Knights, I saw him down a guy with one punch...'
Lo and behold, who not only scored the first goal, but also started the first fight? Brandon lol and Kat went wild for the violence! She started getting all mean about it when the refs ever stopped a fight! It was an awesome night, they lost, but in a shootout, so I was still stoked.
The next morning we were very lucky to get a flight out of NY, the weather is retarded. As I was getting over to the taxi, I almost went ass over tit on the sidewalk, it was slick as snot, on account of the freeezing rain. A close shave, and surprising actually, since twice the day before I had fallen up stairs. Special, that's me.
So off to London we went. I was ridiculously tired and spent the whole day napping like a Nana on chronic. Finally inside our hotel room, which was seriously smaller than anything I have ever been in my entire life, we ordered a pizza and watched some guy on the telly dressed as a red devil throw a shit on someone.
Up early this morning for the Eurostar journey to Paris, I wasn't bothered that we were only slightly behind schedule, because I never unpacked my suitcase from last night so it was tetrised nicely. That feeling only lasted until I went through the scanner at the train station and they pulled me aside. I asked the gargantuan Carribean gent what they were looking for, as I could locate it easily and retrieve it for them. More the strong, silent type, he instead opted to pull every single thing out, at the pace of the aforementioned hash Nana, sans speaking. It turned out to be my metal bottle of pure Canadian maple syrup, which (naturally) was at the very bottom.
Consequently, we had to run like Pcp Nanas to the carriage, but we made it, so no harm, no foul.
Once we arrived in Paris, the fun began. Although I can read French decently, speak it enough to get a message across, my listening comprehension is less developed. This becomes a problem when (because the amount of French I can speak I can pull off with a pretty decent accent) people hear me and then assume I can understand when they assail me with beautiful, beautiful French at pcp Nana speed when I require justsmokedanapplebong Nana speed. At these times, I come across about as well as an idiot savant that has spent twenty minutes feverishly scanning a French phonebook. The cool thing is, that very few people speak anything but a very little English, so I'm forced to speak French. Bon.
So, at Gare Du Nord, where we arrived by Eurostar, we had to figure out how to get to our hotel. The taxi line was huge. As we exited the building, there was a bunch of guys with motorbike helmets. One said 'YO! Taxi bike?' And then told us it would be forty euros each for the ride, which, if we didn't have luggage we would have walked. So, we opted for subway, at a saving of €38.30 each. They thought they saw me coming, but I had the last laugh... For about half an hour until we had to take two trains with stupid amounts of luggage. I honestly have no idea how a person confined to a wheelchair would do it. So there we were, painfully obvious as dumbass tourists, cracking out an horrendous hullaballoo clacking up and down stairs, but we made it, and finally emerged into the sunshine like a couple of trapped miners. Kat was pretty pissed by this time, and I don't blame her. I realised we were on the right street, but didn't know whether to go left or right. I told Kat to wait outside a bank while I went in and asked. Not only was the chick horribly rude, the bitch sent us the wrong way!!! When I came out of the bank, I said to Kat 'what's that liquid emanating from my suitcase?' Turns out the plethora of steps up which we trudged had caused the GIANT CAN OF LABATT BLUE I was taking home to burst. Now as I sit here (and anytime I'm in the vicinity of the suitcase) I can smell the sweet scent of the best beer in the world and I lament my loss.
Well, that's about it for now. Kat and I are getting pretty damn good at using the subway in pretty much any country, if I do say so myself, and we went to see the Moulin Rouge. We actually killed two birds, as I had used the google machine earlier and sourced a gluten free resteraunt near there! A short walk though cobblestone streets and we were there. The food was amazing. From there we went to starbucks right across the road from that big red windmill and sat outside, sipping cafè lattes, ooh lala.

Well, just thought I'd pop a quick one in, so these aren't so long,
talk soon!
P.S. I have a new international Derby wife! Mirambo from the Tames Fatales! She is super bad ass, it was derby love at first sight when she punched me in the jaw :D

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Do I tip the Laundry lady? I'm going insane.

Ok, so I freely admit there may be spelling and/or grammar mistakes in this post, as I am being charged through the nose to use this computer.
Ok, so where did I leave off? We were still in Canada. Man, I love that place. The Thursday before we left, we had drinks in Joe Kool's. Some of the London Rollergirls came! They are so ace. We got drunk. On the way home we decided we should probably go tobogganning with only the crazy carpet that I had put in Bren's car earlier. I'm not going to write about that though, when I get home I'm going to make a video montage of our exploits and that shall be in there. let it suffice to say for now that I had snow well into the depths of my butt crack, and I thought I might soil myself with laughter.
Friday we were going to play pond hockey, but we got tattooed instead. I got a robot owl, called Robo Hootler. He's an evil dictator. He is photo one, going from the top down. Sorry, I know that's lazy, but since I bought Robo Hootler I am more watchful of cash expenditure. Sorry Robo Hoolter, please don't have me liquidated on account of my insolence. Our tattoo artist Mykie - a-mazing! Great artist, Wicked dude and just an all round chiller. The shop is so cool - it's called Perfect Image and it's in London Ontario on Richmond st. If you live there, go, and ask for him. It's pronounced 'Mikey' too. The chick that works the desk Tabby is cool as, and so are the other artists - you won't be disappointed. We felt like royal assholes cos we didn't tip him, so used are we to just paying the price. We left money with Bren to take in!
Friday night was the fireworks! BEST thirty bucks I ever spent. Lessons to learn include: don't get the packets of little rocket-on-stick things next time, they take way too long to light one at a time, get more of the box ones - there are like 20 shots in those, for $8-great deal, get more matches, a box for everyone so that we can all light at once and don't drop lighters in the snow, they don't like it. My fave bit was Bren ducking for cover when she stayed beside one for too long, and also when we stuck one in the ground too hard and it started to go off, then finally broke free, then flew into the ground again, then off again. Turns out I really could have blown something off! Sweet!
We had to leave the next morning, it was very sad to say goodbye to Bren and the crew, Kitty and I felt wretched all day. The drive was hell, if such a place exists. I actually was afraid. At one point we passed a car, overturned and facing the wrong way, a hell of a crash. Cops, ambos etc were there. The other drivers were insane also. I was in the right hand lane, TWO others free, and people would tailgate me, like they wanted ME to move so they could overtake! And I don't mean I was going 20MPH, I was only going between 5 and 10 under, depending on the visibility - the rental had the worst traction also, and I'd been skidding around all week. I got so furious, ranting and swearing up a flurry of c-bombs. I never want to do that again, BALLS to that.
Ok, so we arrived back in NYC and were so knackered that we just showered, ordered room service and watched a movie. The next day we got up and looked for the subway. Turns out that we are right near China Town, and on our block are a squillion souvenir shops selling the exact same things. The people are so weird - they just walk right up to you and mutter shit in your face - 'Louis, Rolex, Chanel' etc. At first, I was like 'pardon?' then within about 5 mins I was ignoring them completely. I'm so sick of looking like a tourist. Still, I keep thinking they're actually asking me a question, and today I stopped when a chick mumbled at me and I said 'I can't understand you.' She goes 'oh. You want handbag?' Uh, see this thing hanging around my body that holds my wallet and phone? No, I don't want a knock off Burberry, twat. I pushed her in the snow and eye gouged her.
So, back on track. We were looking for the subway. Found it, and emerged right outside the Museum of Natural History. We went to eat, and I pointed it out to Kat on the map. She goes 'hm. I thought it would be bigger.' o_O I was like 'ummm, it's four blocks across.' So we went in. The chick at the counter said 'the suggested price is $28.'
I said 'ok.'
She goes 'what do you wanna pay?'
o_O ...'umm, $28? Isn't that the price?'
'It's the suggested price.'
o_O ...are we bartering for entrance price? We gave her $30 and went inside.
This place is MAMMOTH. The displays are exquisite, but it's a bit weird that most are real animals - I don't like the idea of them getting killed just to display - some were babies. Maybe someone can shed some light on that for me, maybe they dies of natural causes, yeah probably.
When we got to the human origins exhibit, they had a pic of a tiny hairy couple from somewhere along our timeline of evolution. Kat is going to kill me but I gotta recount this - she looks at them and says 'are they real?'
o_O 'they're real mannequins...' cute lol
Those are pic no. 2.
From the Museum we went for an epic walk in Central Park. On the map, I thought it looked reasonable sized. Noooooope. Giant. We saw Central Park in the day, sunset and night. It's beautiful. I got to skate there. It's so expensive that it's a joke, but I had to do it. Kat watched and took footage and froze, in that order.
From there we went to dinner and had the best sushi of my life. Then the Comedy Club. Ok, so we bought these tickets in Times Square, remember I said I was a sucker, and they are great salesmen? The cheeky fuckers get you when they sell em to you - sure, they always go cheaper than 'they're supposed to, cos you're their favourite Aussies', but they then tell you that it's a two drink minimum. Fair call, you think to yourself, and our guy even said 'you don't have to buy alcohol if you don't want, soda is ok too.' So we think 'cool, shouldn't be too expensive.' Wrong. What he left out is that drinks are $10 each, and you either get two, or still have to pay the $20. For me, not so bad. For Kitty who just wanted a coke - that's a pricey fuckin' coke. I want some actual coke in it for that. Buuut, having said all that, the entertainment was well worth it! The comedians were all super talented, and so diverse in style! We wet our pants laughing and got 3 hours of entertainment for basically $25 each, so all is forgiven. Also, get this: Jerry Seinfeld: funny, successful, had his own show. His only downfall? JEANS AND SNEAKERS!!!!! BUT - in the Comedy club (called Comic Strip Live) HEAPS of them wore that exact combo!! Is this a comedian uniform? Is it a secret to success, or a humble nod to Jerry? The funiest ones wore the combo. Odd.
Ok, so the next day was Liberty day!!! For us anyway. the weather was ace, and would you believe that the tour was only $13 each?? Crazy cheap. We got through the gates and wanted coffee. Bought coffee. Turned the corner and had to throw it out cos you can't take it through the crazy ass security. I'm sure the upstanding gentleman who sold me a coffee just before a point where I couldn't take it meant to tell me that before he took my money. benefit of the doubt. Anyway, the security. Insane. I had to even remove my watch. Even having to strip off twice, nothing could ruin Liberty Island for me, she is so beautiful and I was really touched to think of all these immigrants arriving by boat and seeing her, a beacon of hope inviting them to leave their various persecutions behind for a fresh start. I love her. Big feet too.
From there we went to Ellis island, whish is where all immigrants came through for a long time. It's huge and amazing. It again made me think of all the people that spent time here, hoping to get allowed to stay. As we were about to leave, we were lined up waiting for the return ferry. We had just missed one, so we were first in line. Then this Asian dude came up and hopped the fence so that there was no longer any safety barrier in between him and the water. He was just strolling around, kicking snow and stuff. Then a cop came. He motioned the kid to come to the gate, grabbed him by his jacket and dragged him through. Then the following dialogue took place (please, in your inner monologue, use a wicked heavy NY accent):
Cop: 'How old are you?'
'How old are you?'
'Ah, sixteen.'
'Do you have any mental disabilities?'
'Do. You. Have. Any. Mental. Disabilities?'
'Uh, no.'
'Where is your chaperone?'
'Where is your'
'Oh. Uh...' *chaperone comes over*
'What's your name?'
'What. is. your. name?'
*something mumbled*
*something mumbled, sounded to me like Scott*
'Sprite? Your name's Sprite?'
'Ok, listen, uh, Sprite, here's the deal - you go in there and what can happen? YOu can fall in the water. You fall in the water, what can happen? You can die, ok? I could give you a fine for this. I'm gonna give you a warning instead, but don't go in there again, ok?'
'Uh, ok.'
It was awesome!! I thought I was in the Sopranos!!! To top off our day, in the Ferry on the way home there were guards with AK-47s!! They take their shit SERIOUS!!
When we got home, we checked our email to see if our travel agent had replied about having to change our Cairo stuff - byline - FUCKING POLITICS RUINS MY LIFE YET AGAIN!!!!
Anyhoo, I said to kat 'Wow. So many people have posted on my facebook about us going to Egypt. I'm gunna post a status that says we aren't, so they won't be panicking. You must have lots on yours too.'
Kat looks and says 'nope, nobody posted. Guess they don't give a shit about me.'
Hahahahaha I said 'Oh, they would just post to mine meaning both of us' lol
Ok, that's it for now, but I have to say: I love this city. I could easily live here for a year. So, if you read this and you live in NY, offer me a job please. I would never drive though. Cabbies here are certified insane. The other day, one was going 50 miles through the city. Also, there are sirens all the time, just all the time.
Alright, cool. So far this post has cost me $15.94. I haven't even done pics yet.
Til London!
Photos from top are:
Robo Hootler,
Hairy couple,
Sunset in Central Park,
Lady Liberty and Moi,
When good Meese go bad at the Museum.