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May 12, 2004

The car with the green shag carpet

What an amazing day we had in Paris today. It started out with our new, New Zealand friend Konrad stopping by the loft around 9am to pick up his case of chef's knives. I know what you're thinking, why the hell did we have someone's case of knives? Well yesterday when we split the cab ride with Konrad, he was dropped off first and accidentally left his case in the cab. We discovered this when getting all of our luggage out of the cab and quickly grabbed the case knowing that I gave Konrad my email address. The cab driver said he would be more than happy to take the case back over to where Konrad was staying but we read that as, "I'll drive straight over to the pawn shop and see what these are worth". Once we got our internet connection working at the loft, we found that Konrad had already emailed me and was worried about his case. He was happy to hear we had it with us and invited him over to come hang out with us for the day.

First line of business, Crepes. We walked around the local streets, in and out of pastry shops and café's until we landed in a nice little place that had a good selection of crepes. After eating our wonderful French breakfast we decided to walk over to the Arc de Triomphe which was about a mile away. On our way we found a great open air market that seemed to go on forever. Everything your stomach was asking for was available. Seafood, vegetables, fruit, bread, cheese, pastries, chocolate, clothes, trinkets and toys, you name it, it was there. The great thing about it was that it was very Parisian and not setup for tourists. A wonderful little slice of Paris.

After leaving the market we walked around the streets passing wonderful churches, café's and Parisian stores. Finally we came to the Arc and made our way through the underground tunnel since it would be nearly impossible to walk across the Place Charles de Gaulle circle which surrounds the Arc due to the number of insane drivers. The circle is so dangerous that most car insurance companies have a clause in their policies that say that the insurance is void while you are in the circle.

The tunnel leading to the Arc had several venders praying off the tourists including one that swindled us. He walked up and started talking all nice and asked me to put out my finger so he could show us something. He then pulled out some string and used my finger to create the worst string bracelet I have ever seen (read this as a bunch of string twirled together and tied) and promptly tied it on Sharon's wrist. He followed this by doing it again and putting a bracelet on me. Finally he looked and said, 5 Euros (1 US dollar = 1.25 Euro). Both Sharon and I quickly removed the bracelets and said, "No way!", we didn't ask for these. The street hustler quickly began to get irritated and suddenly forgot most of his English. This caused our friend Konrad who was browsing some art from another vendor to come on over and give his support. We finally decided to bring it to an end and pay the vendor a couple Euros to leave us alone. This was followed by Konrad giving the vendor a little lecture about being a hustler who prays off tourists and then we were off on our way again. Sharon and I did stop to take a look at some great oil paintings and ended up purchasing one of the paintings for only $40 US dollars (the vendor wanted 60 Euros). Not bad for an original oil painting.

The Tunnel

Konrad checking out the sketches from the Artist, we purchased one the paintings like the one on the far right.

Finally, the Arc de Triomphe

Following our trip to the Arc, we made our way to the Champs Elysees to check out the scene. We didn't spend too much time there because we were all so hungry and were not going to pay the inflated cost of food just to eat there. We did however manage to go into the Peugeot dealer and find a car that was covered in Green Shag Carpet.

We also discovered these futuristic vehicles called, La Street Cleaner.

Finally we finished our little tour of Paris by picking up some sandwiches from a bakery and eating them in the park next to the Eiffel Tower. We said our goodbyes to the Konrad and went back to the loft for a nap.

All in all, a wonderful day with weather that couldn't be beat. We can't wait to wake up tomorrow and have another adventure.

See more pictures from taday at my online gallery.

Until tomorrow, au revoir.


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Don't buy too much, remember you have to get it back here. Those street cleaner things are all over Market St. in SF, have been for years. It's funny to see the workers riding them rocking out to music on their headphones swearving around people.

i'm hungry!

Um, "Everything your stomach was asking for was available", including "clothes, trinkets and toys". French people sure eat funny. ;)

The pictures look great! Blogs kick butt for vacations!

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