20 August 2015

Prancing Around in Paris

Yes, I finally went to Paris. It happened back in April, during Easter Weekend. My partner and I went to the airport Friday evening, boarded a plane to Paris from Berlin, and spent 4 nights there, returning back to Berlin on Monday evening. Given my travel choices, Paris wasn't high on my list. Heck, I always thought that sooner or later there will be a conference in Paris, and therefore I would have to go there anyway. That's my attitude to big famous and tourist-heavy cities like Paris and London, and sure, I still think that. However, I guess after visiting 41 countries, it's about time. After all, until then, I only counted France as a country I have visited since I have spent a day in Strasbourg. That's definitely not enough, so one day, when we realized that there was actually a long weekend in April, we checked where could we go, and it seems that the cheapest option was Paris. So off we went!

April 3 was our first sight-seeing day. When we arrived the day before, it was already late (our flight was delayed for an hour), and so all we did after finding our hotel was find a place to eat. Yelp was very helpful. On April 3, we walked all over town, but we also checked two major sights in the city: the Cimetière du Montparnasse as well as the Tour Eiffel. In between we walked, strolled, ate, drank, and so forth.

On the following day, April 4, we went to La Defense to see skyscrapers. Of course, we also had a good breakfast. After that, we strolled down back to the center of town via the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. We stopped for some macarons on the way, and checked out the Arc de Triomphe. We had lunch in an unassuming bistro, where I had wonderful oeufs cocotte. Afterwards, we walked around that area, checking out the Petit Palais, until finally ending at Place de la Concorde and L'église de la Madeleine. We then had dinner at a West African restaurant, where I had ndole.

April 5 was a bad day. I woke up with a stomachache. I thought I had indigestion, but it felt different. I did my best to get out of bed, took a shower, and then we went for breakfast. The original plan was to go to the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise (only in Paris would one go to several cemeteries within the span of a week). We walked there (our hotel was close by) but I was in pain. I almost was clutching my stomach, when I realized that this is not indigestion, but actually food poisoning. We got back to the hotel, I took a little nap, and sure enough, I went to the bathroom and expelled my dinner orally. I vomited all the ndole I could. After some more rest, we thought it is a good idea to go back to the cemetery and try to see it again, so we did that. While there, I vomited again, and again, in the midst of Oscar Wilde, Honore de Balzac, and Georges Bizet. Looking back, I honestly don't know which dish caused it, either the ndole or the eggs. I didn't suspect the other dishes I ate, since these were the only dishes that my partner didn't try and he didn't get sick.

April 6 was our last day. We checked out, left our luggage in the hotel, and went sightseeing some more. We headed up to Sacré-Cœur Basilica. This church had weird-looking domes. After that, we strolled around and walked in some other part of the city. I wasn't vomiting anymore this time, but I had to go find toilets every now and then, since it's now the other direction. I remember going to the bathroom a total of 9 times that day, even at the airport, when we flew back home that night.

Overall, it was a short and weird trip. Of all places, I would get food poisoning in Paris, the city known for its amazing cuisine. Well, it was amazing indeed, it ruined half of my trip. Funny, but I didn't get food poisoning in the other places I have been to, which were seemingly more dangerous food-wise, like Ecuador, Guatemala, or Myanmar. It happened in Paris instead.

Anyway, I am sure we will be back. There are just so many things to do in Paris, aside from getting food poisoning, of course.


  1. France is known for its cuisine but honestly, I think I had some of the worst food ever as a traveler in Paris. I KNOW there are great places but I don't know them so it's a matter of luck and I think restaurants that you may consider "average" in other places are simply awful in Paris. I usually grab a sandwich from a bakery, that's how little I think of Paris in terms of food.

    1. Zhu,

      Good to know! I have this feeling that good French cuisine are better found in the little villages in the countryside more than in the metropolis anyway. We did our best, but obviously there were things that I wish I haven't eaten. :)