Well I will now get on to the rest of the weekend, unfortunately I don’t have any pictures to post up, so that will have to wait for later. Some of them are really quite good. I keep thinking that I need to post up pictures from other parts of our trip as a lot of them are really worth seeing.
Alors, the Sunday was really quite interesting. We had decided (encore) to try and go to the Musee d’Orsay, which will be our outing this afternoon hopefully. We also were réessayer (trying again) to find falafel, having failed to find some on the Saturday night at our local middle eastern type kabbab shops.
Now falafel is interesting as I didn’t actually know it’s real origin. In Adelaide, practically every Lebanese takeout that makes yiros, also makes falafel. I always assumed that falafel was either of middle eastern or Arabic origin. Maybe Turkish or whatever. I have now discovered that it originated in Syria.
I don’t really know the various affinities within the middle east and Arab regions so I don’t know how it propagated around, but I would have assumed that Turkish people may have been in to it. Not the Turkish people who live round us at the moment it seems. Looking in one of the Paris guide books in the apartment we rented, I found a reference to a falafel house that Bob Marley apparently claimed was the best in Paris, which is probably pretty high acclaim on the international falafel eating scene. It was called L’As du Falafel and was down in Marias in the 4th arrondisment. That was near Place de Bastille.
So we decided to walk down to Bastille and go have lunch at L’As du Falafel. The walk was as uneventful as a walk through Paris can be. We stopped at a park en route (to make up for not stopping at one the day before) and made our way to Bastille. As we got to close to Bastille we heard a rather loud noise, it sounded like people and horns and drums. It seems we walked right into some kind of street march.
There were tens of thousands at least lining the place and the main roads coming into and out of the place. There were fire breathers and performers and what seemed like at least 10 or more bands on the backs of trucks slowly making their way through the city with the crowd marching along side.
We ended up following some kind of Mexican/South American/Spanish kinda band that were really good. The had a “Stop Bush” sign up on their truck. There seemed to be other activist kinda posters around, so I guess that this was some kind of social awareness march or something. It was a really good atmosphere in the crowd, very social and amiable.
So we followed the crowd up to near where the falafel shop was and then cut off to the side. We found a small museum of the history of Paris which was free, but we didn’t go in, we just had a sit down in their courtyard and had a look at the gardens and an Angel statue. We then headed off to the falafel shop.
It was absolutely packed. There were actually three or four of them all next to each other and they all seemed rather good, but we came for this one, so we lined up for the outside takeaway. It was rather well organised. They had a couple of people who took your order in the line. Then you paid that guy and he gave you a ticket for your order so when you got to the counter (which was very noisy) you just gave the guy your ticket and he got you your food.
The falafel was really good. Definitely worth tracking down if you are in Paris and you like falafel. We sat down in the street to eat them, since the whole march atmosphere was just so inspiring, kinda like the old fringe in Adelaide. Sitting around, I noticed that there were a lot of Jewish shops and bakeries in the area. I found this interesting at first, but reading the wikipedia reference I now see that falafel is a hugely popular food in Israel, so that now all makes sense.
After finishing, we had given up on going to Orsee, so we just wandered around Marias for a bit. My Mum has suggested that we go see a little church in Marias, but unfortunately I didn’t remember where that was or even that we were in Marias at the time so we didn’t get round to that. There were a lot of nice little shops everywhere and we had fun looking around. We found filled meringues the size of footballs and a shop that sold Italian Gelatti and shaped the cones like tulips or roses (not sure which it reminded me more of). Then we made our way back home and, after another quick stop at a playground, got rained on. Grandement.
The rest of the week has been looking for work and doing shopping. I have had my hair cut here (un peu) and there was a good street market out yesterday which disappeared today. But my time is running out and I’m off to find a fresh copy of FUSAC and the American Church in Paris (which is meant to have a good tableau d’affichage for work and accommodation ads). A bientot tout le monde.