November 12, 2013 § 5 Comments
Every year since 2004, the month of November holds month-long event involving the growing of mustaches as Movember to raise awareness of Men’s health issues.
Personally, I am not a fan of men with mustaches, simply because the men (boys would be more right) of my generation do not know how to keep one. Generally they try low maintenance beards or worse experiment with a goatee (and I can’t understand why?). The only man I adore with a mustache is my father which leads to what happened during this summer at home.
Papa has been always had a well-trimmed mustache and it suits his personality very well. I had never seen him without his mustache in my twenty-five years of existence. He is now in his late fifties and becoming a little lazy to die his hair (he is still young not to want white hair or until I get married). So what did he do? He shaved off his mustache! My mum had already told me about it but I couldn’t believe it. So, when I reached home the first thing I did was cry for Papa’s non-existent mustache. I told him to get it back or I won’t talk to him. I didn’t for almost two days and pestered him continuously for a whole month until I got used to his face sans mustache. He didn’t give in and I can’t even until now think of him without his mustache (I never will).
This weekend I went to a bar called Le Petit Joseph Dijon just across the metro Simplon of line 4 in the eighteenth district for a Swing concert. This place is celebrating Movember and Thomas from the bar had a real man’s mustache. I somehow managed to take his picture (it is real weird when you want to take a person’s photo without letting them know) but there are many more and much better on their Facebook page.
The band was a real delight for ears. They call themselves Swinguez Moustaches (and so more on mustache). Swing, Latin, Russian, Klezmer make the perfect recipe to make you tap and dance. I managed a few photos from the spot I occupied for the evening. The place got a little crowded as the band was awesome. I am definitely going to find more gigs of this band and visit the bar for their special cocktail Le Petit Joseph.
Here’s a video, I found on their YouTube channel, of a song they played during the evening. Great music!
A fun evening on Saturday charged me so much that I finally went to see Orsay Museum on Sunday morning.
When I came out of the museum there was already a queue of at least one kilometer, I felt proud of braving the early morning cold and thus avoiding such long queues. As always I used my preferred mode of transport, the bus. The sun shone brightly. I took a few photos to save the clear blue sky view even though I missed my bus and had to wait for twenty more minutes. It was worth the warm rare sun Parisians get.
I am writing this post at the visa office waiting for twenty-six people before I get my renewed residence card. Even though I braved cold and drizzle this morning I have to spend more than an hour and I am using this time for summarizing my weekend.
November 6, 2013 § 4 Comments
Loving Paris gets tough when we get stuck with daily life chores and forget to cherish every moment we are living in this amazing city. This blog is my tool to go out and explore and then write about it. Ever since I arrived in Paris I made crazy plans to learn more about this city. But most of it is still on the to-do list. And I thought of my list when I found this YouTube Channel called Paris By Métro.
Michaël Hoellerer decided to rediscover Paris with a year-long video series, following all the metro stops around town. There are more than three hundred stations on the fourteen lines of Parisian metro. Each video talks about one metro station. I loved the idea and the work.
I have travelled on all the metro lines just for the fun of it. I then thought of taking all the buses but there are three hundred and forty-seven of them. So I dropped the idea. Paris By Metro has charged me up to work on another plan I have had for more than a year. I will write more on it when I actually execute it.
I recently found a gem of an app for my smartphone. I use duoLingo, an app to learn Spanish and practice French. It is an amazing app, no advertisements, simple and effective. One can learn Spanish, English, French, German, Portuguese and Italian. Learning Spanish is easier for me since I know French and almost ninety percent of my friends in Paris speak Spanish. I would recommend this app to anyone who has some beginner’s knowledge of a language. I would have loved it more if I could learn Spanish from French and not English as the languages are in the same family but I think the app developers are working on something like that. Until then I can easily manage phrases like yo hablo español (I speak Spanish).
November 5, 2013 § 3 Comments
Paris and extended weekends are not the best mix for an unemployed person who can not afford to travel. With most of my friends travelling or visiting their families I didn’t have a lot of things to do. I decided to stay inside my cosy blanket and stay warm. But Paris never lets you do that!
While reading online about Paris I found an interesting acoustic music festival happening on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Without wasting a minute I messaged a friend who agreed to go with me. This festival called Melodica was born in Australia in 2007 with the idea to promote and foster a community of local musicians. Since then it has been to various cities worldwide like Melbourne, Hamburg, Reykjavík, Berlin, New York and more.
This year they came for the first time to Paris and I was there. The venue was La Bellevilloise, a hundred and thirty-six year old factory turned into a café and concert place in 2005. Located in the twentieth district, it’s a big hall with a decor fit for concerts, tables and chairs spread in front of the stage and different dining areas.
The musicians who played were amazing; I heard a lot of interesting songs with equally interesting stories behind them.
It was a friend’s birthday on Sunday and there was a surprise planned for the evening. Among my friends I am lucky to have an amateur chef who makes delicious French desserts and keeps treating his friends with sumptuous meals from time to time. This friend made not one but two cakes called Baba au Rhum and this time I took a photo before attacking the cake.
No my friend is not 16, the local supermarket did not have the number two as candle. But 16 in hexadecimal is equal to 22. Of course it was an engineer’s birthday and he could do a little maths before blowing off the candles and savouring his cake.
Since my employment search began I have gone through a life I never could have imagined. But these things are happening to make me strong and teach me important valuable lessons. I can’t stay content with Paris for long without working for what I have worked very hard as a student. Each night I sleep thinking that tomorrow will be a better day, that day hasn’t come yet but I hope it does soon.
“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
October 30, 2013 § 1 Comment
As Parisians get ready to say goodbye to good weather last week, I tried to take in all the things good weather can offer. The result has been that I haven’t been able to go out and brave the cold wave.
Missoco and I started the weekend early on Thursday evening with some yoghurt cocktails at Le Paradis du fruit(The Paradise of Fruit) at Boulevard des Italiens. My YoYo fruit with Mango was as good as the great fruit of Mango (oh my Mango love! I even made a mango grape jam, recipe soon). The restaurant had contemporary design with a lot of pink to give the paradise feel. I had made up my mind to revisit but one waiter’s rude behaviour put me off. He didn’t like that we stayed for over an hour only for drinks, and gave us change in form of five cent coins. Of course he lost his tip and a future client. Too bad for the restaurant!
The original plan was to dine at my favourite Indian restaurant in Paris, Saravanaa Bhavan. This restaurant is the most authentic when it comes to Indian food. They have a simple service and I don’t mind that fact because I go there to eat delicious food which is spicy and not loaded with cheese unlike so many other places in Paris. Missoco and I ate well and then walked a good thirty minutes to find Gare de l’Est, which happens a lot because I tend to get lost around this station. No one complained as the weather was good to walk around.
It started raining on Friday, so I stay put at home to cook some Risotto with Red Wine. I was preparing myself for the weekend I had planned two weeks in advance. Saturday evening I went to free yoga class at Wanderlust Club. The class had an advanced level for lazy me who hasn’t been exercising enough . There is one more free class this Saturday, 2nd November for those who aren’t travelling during the extended weekend.
Before I could recover from all the stretching I did during yoga, I had trial dance classes for Barre au Sol and Body Ballet at a chic dance studio called Elephante Paname. I extended every possible muscle during the two hours and as a result I have been sore since then. After the two intense days of workout I felt very peaceful. Therefore, there will be more dancing and yoga.
If you haven’t realized until yet that there are no photos on this post, I will mark it out for you. I didn’t take a single photo this time; I just wasn’t in a mood. Sometimes it’s best to keep good memories alive in brain than storing them on disk (fine enough reason for my laziness).
That was all, my pretty and last autumn weekend.
October 29, 2013 § 2 Comments
I had an unfinished red wine bottle in my refrigerator which I opened almost a week ago. Knowing that it won’t taste very well after so long, I decided to use it for cooking. Luckily, a friend mailed a recipe from the Veggie Thursday blog and as I had almost all other ingredients, I said Perfetto.
Risotto is an Italian rice based dish. This recipe uses onion and red wine to vary the classic way of making this toothsome dish.
Cooking Risotto with Red Wine for Two People
What do we need?
- 100 gms Arborio Rice
- 1-2 Onions
- 1-2 Tomatoes
- 100 gms boiled Chickpeas
- 1 Carrot
- 5-10 buds Cauliflower
- 100 gms Mushrooms
- 50 ml Red Wine
- Olive Oil
- 1-2 cups Water
- 2 tbps Vegetable Stock
Let’s cook it up
- Soak rice in water for 15-30 minutes.
- Cut onions in thin ring slices. Heat oil in a pan and sauté onion rings till they change color.
- Add the soaked rice and mix well. Wait until the rice is half-cooked.
- Add slices of carrot, cauliflower buds, tomato dices and red wine.
- Let the rice cook until the red wine evaporates.
- Add chickpeas, slices of mushroom, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Just before removing the rice from flame, add the vegetable stock. Cook it for 2-3 minutes.
Let the rice rest for a few minutes to cool before serving it with some bread.