My Reelity

Is this the reel life or is this just fantasy?

Archive for October, 2011

Sojourn : Paris to Holland

Posted by Ruok On October - 16 - 2011

Paris, or rather Parisans, on the whole reminds me of Tokyolites. They are really not that frenly, and even if they are, you get the sense they are just patronizing you.

The Dutch, in retrospect are far more hospitable by far. I get it that most Cityzens are irritated and annoyed that their lovely city is being invaded by legions of tourists. Why this is already happening back home in SG, so I do feel a certain sense of empathy towards these feelings. At least these people have other parts of the country to retreat to; we on the other hand, have to retreat to other countries. And our problem are not tourists, but more on the huge influx of immigrants.

I think we still show great hospitality to tourists. But it’s beginning harder to differentiate between tourists and immigrants. Who’s to say we won’t grow more indignant in the future if these feelings don’t abate?

Parlez-Vous Anglais

Posted by Ruok On October - 16 - 2011

This became a very key phrase for me in my stay in Paris. Pronounced “parlay vu anglay”, it means “do you speak English” and somehow this little bit of french after a courteous “Bonjour” served me well.

I tried speaking in English straight away once and the reception was seriously much colder. But the thing that annoys me is that some of them would answer you in the negative even though they do know English. I half suspect they just wanna see how you react; cuz even in these cases, I would proceed to speak in English and they still understood what I wanted. Sheeesh.


The French loaf seem to be the cheapest thing here. Every lunch/meal, they will always serve you a basket of French loaf slices. WITHOUT FAIL. Even if the main course has loads of carbo, they will still serve the French loaf and will even top up the basket! I’m beginning to think perhaps the French loaf has no carbo at all.


The other thing that will strike you about French is how naise their TAP water taste. I daresay it’s the best water I’ve ever tasted in a city. Ooh la la! The best part? It’s free; even in pubs and restaurants. Just need to ask for it. All the Parisans do!


The queue for the Eiffel Tower is RIDICULOUS. I went there in the evening I first arrived and the queue already looked more than one hour. I subsequently went early morning the next day and the queue is TWICE as long. WTF?!!?

In the end I took the stairs, which only had a 20min queue. It was quite exhausting to climb to the first level BUT you get to skip the queue as you can then get supplementary tickets to the second level and in turn the summit. I did that and promptly laughed at the fools below me. 😛

But the views are really worth the effort. Just not worth queuing for 2 hours.


The metros of Paris would seem very confusing and intimating to most travellers, but if you are Tokyo trained like me, then you will be unfazed. The thing that annoys me though is the petty crime rate. It’s so bad you have to be on your toes all the time.

I had my first brush the very day I set foot in Paris. I was approached by a Latina girl in her teens to sign some petition for the deaf. I initially declined but she keeps saying she only needs a signature. So I agreed, and while signing the form, she kept thanking me and planting kisses with her hand to my cheek. I then came across a column where I see some numbers being written and I ask her what’s that for.

She say it’s for donations and ask me to contribute. I declined as I told her that’s not part of the deal but she kept insisting. All of a sudden, a man dressed casually came to us and brandished an arm band that says “Police”. He told me what she was doing was illegal and appended her. As I didn’t give her any money I was allowed to leave.

I would later find out this was one of the ways they will try to scam/pickpocket you. And the policemen are in plainclothes on a regular basis. I would later see a pair of them in action in Galeries Lafayette trying to catch a suspect.

This lack of security, compared to the safe streets of Japan where I last travelled, is a real bummer.


I didn’t get to see the lovely models at A&F. Why? Because the queue looked to be more than an hour! Madness. These Parisans are crazy.

Sojourn : Holland to Paris

Posted by Ruok On October - 12 - 2011

Onto the second leg of my journey and am on my way to Paris. Internet access in Amsterdam is extremely expensive, which is why the updates have been few and far between.

The Dutch cost of living is pretty close to back home. A meal at MacD’s cost around five euros, and a decent steak around 19 euros. If you don’t count the exchange rate, it’s pretty close to pri es back home.

The thing that is really expensive is the public transport costs and toilet entrance fees. $2.60 euros for a tram ticket and 50 freaking euro cents for the toilet.

It’s good bladder training though. 😛

Has been raining for the past week and I’m hoping for more sunny weather in Paris. The sights on the train trip thus far is so much more less interesting than my train journeys in Japan.

But the weather seems to be clearing up :)

Sojourn : Holland to Holland

Posted by Ruok On October - 5 - 2011

So begins my Holland to Holland adventure, one in which I don’t get horlan in the end. And it’s starting really well because the flight was relatively empty which means … I have the whole freaking row to myself!! Woohoo!

Sure beats last year’s trip to Tokyo when I got a fat male angmoh next to me. And the icing on the cake must surely be the whiskies I had during the flight. I don’t know what grade Johnny Walker Red label is, but I think it’s definitely better than the black.

Typing this at a cafe/pub near where I’m staying where I got chatted up by an old gent by the name of Micky The wifi’s acting up, so gonna continue this another time.

Am typing this in a I half suspect he’s the owner of the joint.