dimanche, juillet 24, 2005


About a month ago, I spent 4 days at Barcelona with mom. It was hot there and we enjoyed ourselves. We bought this 2 days pass for the open top tourist bus that offers 3 routes. One up north, one down south and one along the beach. With this 2 days pass, we boarded and alighted as and when we like. So it was really cool.

Las Ramblas is the main street that leads from the center to the port and along the street, there is an old market which sells lots of fresh food. There are tropical fruits which I can't find in France and fresh seafood and meat and dried sausages. It was always crowded with tourists but I have to say the prices are reasonable.

Sagrada Familia, a cathedrale that started to be built in 1882, is still under construction. It is the only cathedrale in this world that is under construction. Does this mean that there are no other cathedrale being built at this moment? I have no idea. It may just mean that this is one of the last cathedrale that is not completed from the 19th century. This temple is really amazing and is the main attraction for sight-seeing tourist in Barcelona. In the cathedrale's museum, explanations of the design really made me understand how the architecture use nature to its best. You really have to see it to understand it.

Of course, during the 4 days, we had visited many other places like Park Güell, the Barcelona FC stadium, the old city, Poble Espanyol, Miramar Park ....

As for food wise, we tried the different tapas, tortilla(different variety of omelette), paella but the most impressive food is the bread. We had breakfast each morning in a cafe which serves sandwich with sliced chorizo. The interesting part was that the bread were spreaded with a tomato paste that tasted fresh and unique. We asked if we could buy this tomato jam but after some language difficulty, we understood that this tomato paste can be easily made.

First, cut a big juicy tomato in halves. Take one of them and rub it on the bread. After that, cut a garlic into halves and rub it on the bread as well. Sprinkle some salt and olive oil and that's it. It is so easy.

When we were having lunch at Poble Espanyol, we noticed that on each table, there were 2 tomatoes and some garlics. Of course, we had fun making our own tomato bread to go with our main meals.

All good things must come to an end so after a short 4 days, we packed up and headed back to Paris. In fact, I think mom enjoyed Barcelona more than Paris. The weather was warmer, the people were friendlier, things are cheaper and the food tasted less foreign for her. :)

lundi, juillet 11, 2005

Boite de nuit

I just passed a great Friday and half a Saturday with my company at the Château de Bertichères.
This was where we passed our company weekend for this year. I even did horse riding for the first time and am now recovering from my body ache. Yeah, I was stressed at a certain time when the horse stopped and started to feed on the grass with its head bent down and me trying to keep myself from falling.

Well, today's subject is not on the château itself but on the boite de nuit.
Boite = Box
Nuit = Night
So boite de nuit means night club. Most of our quarterly company meetings finished off in a 'boite de nuit'. So far, I had been to three such events.

1. I guess the first one was rather interesting. It was a restaurant-spectacle-dance hall all under a big top. Yeah, the venue was a top like those of a circus and there, the theme was Spanish. While dining, there was light circus performances. After dinner, the ring was turned into a dance floor and we had fun dancing away.

2. For the second time, we went to ManRay along the streets of Champ Elysee. It was highly recommended by my colleague. This is the club where all jet setters go. So we had dinner fusion style. After dinner, as usual, tables were carried aside and it became a dance floor. I remembered that on that night, there was a promotion on a wine and there was free wine tasting. Added to that, there were 2 pillars in the middle of the dance floor. Soon, there were 2 young ladies standing on each of the pillar and striping to the music. This was happening while everyone was dancing. They striped to their strings and danced with the poles on the pillars. Of course, my colleagues told me this was not normal but I did not appreciate it at all. We were here for dancing and not to watch strip tease.

3. Well, and for last weekend, we visited Le Pharoan. There are 5 halls in this night club. A wine bar, a hall for 30 years and more, a hall for house music, a hall for 70-80s music and a hall for Zouk music. This place was not too bad as there were a variety of music for one to choose from. But I was again shocked when I saw a strip teaser performing lap dance on the men who had bought a bottle of liquor for 100 euros. There you had, 18 year olds girls and boys dancing away on the dance floor and right beside them, a strip teaser working on a man beside the dance floor. Of course, a lot of men's attention was on her and she was just doing her job.

For me, it is really weird to see all these. Especially each time out with my colleagues. I guess for the French, these things are part of life. To pretend that they never exist is being puritan. But for me, to be in such places just makes me feel uneasy. As I told my colleagues, the next time, let me choose the 'boite de nuit'.