September 29, 2008

Perfect Paris - Last Day

I woke up with a sinking feeling. My last day in Paris. How could the last three days have slipped by so quickly?
I had to leave in a mere 10 hours!

Glancing around the bed I realized that it was going to take some very creative packing to get all of the chocolate, bagels, cheese, shoes and clothing I had acquired in the last few days to fit into my bags. (The friends I was staying with are moving to Thailand in a month, so I was the beneficiary of a stack of slightly worn clothes and shoes that were looking for a new home.)

le petit, looking very fashionable for his day out

My friends are Asian food connoisseurs and know some great little places to eat and shop. The plan for the day was to head to the 19th where we would have giant bowls of Pho for lunch, then do some Asian food shopping at Paris Store, followed by a stroll down the Canal St. Martin.

The Pho was such a treat! I love this Vietnamese noodle and beef soup, spiced up with Sriracha sauce and plenty of basil and bean sprouts, and was happily slurping away until a feathery chunk of tripe floated to the top. Berk!
Tripe is not my favorite thing. Its texture totally turns my stomach. My roommate in college would torture me by eating giant bowls of menudo in front of me. *shudder*
But I digress....

Luckily there wasn't much Pho left in my bowl when the tripe rose up from the murky depths, so I was done eating anyway.
I was.

Paris Store is an Asian supermarché that is similar to Tang Frères, only the prices are much better. (So I'm told) The fresh egg noodles and Asian sauces were incredibly affordable and when I saw big bunches of cilantro for 26 centimes, I wanted to move into the neighborhood. We pay between 4 to 10 times that for cilantro!

A highly recommended activity on a sunny day in Paris:
a leisurely stroll along the Canal St. Martin.

This was my first time in this part of Paris and I am smitten. It is so scenic and serene, with romantic, iron footbridges, little parks along the banks and perfect spots for a picnic.
I'm coming back here next time.

After a long Metro ride back to the apartment I schlepped back to the Gare de Lyon with my overstuffed bags and said au revoir to Paris.

Au Revoir. Literal translation - until the next time we see one other

Paris, you will see me again soon.

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Trying Traditional said...

authentic pho....I'm jealous.

The trip sounds wonderful. My girls are begging me to go to Paris and someday I will take them (with or without daddy!)

Anonymous said...

Where did you ever find the bagels????

Riana Lagarde said...

you make me miss Paris so much! I used to live in the 19th. Wonderful Pho all the time... *sigh*

Ken Broadhurst said...

There's a Paris Store on the avenue d'Ivry in the 13th, just across the street from the big Tang Frères store. I've been to both but don't remember noticing the difference in prices. The Tang Frères supermarket is a lot bigger and more crowded.

Loulou said...

trying traditional
Pho is such a delicious dish!
I hope you get to Paris soon.

I sent you an email about the bagels this morning. Hope you got it!

I used to eat Pho a lot in Seattle and New Orleans. It was especially good when it was cold outside.

Our friends said that the Paris Store in the 19th was cheaper than the one in the 13th. Someday you'll have to go to both and let me know. :)

spacedlaw said...

When I was a student in Paris, I would go shopping in Tang or Paris Store, because everything was so much cheaper there. I remember the smell!

I loved the walk along the St Martin too - they are usually uncrowded.

Ach. Bagels. Whereas I could buy them without difficulties in Rue des Rosiers, in Rome, even in the ghetto, they are not to be found...

Loulou said...

I wish we had a shop like those around here.
No bagels in Rome? How strange...