This week was pretty fun. After Tuesday night, Shawon and I made a pact to not sit in the hotel at night anymore. Monday was cold and we were tired from the weekend, so we weren't really in the mood to go out. However, luckily the weather is looking to be clearing up for us, so that’s making it possible and more appealing. Otherwise, it just wasn’t fun to go out.
Tuesday, July 17
Quite the evening. We went into Paris at about 730 to the Eiffel Tower. We had decided we wanted to take a boat tour and really see everything down the River Seine. We indulged in some crepes while sitting on a wall along the Seine, and then we caught the 8:20pm boat. The tour was beautiful and we got to see things from a whole new perspective. Notre Dame Cathedral looked beautiful in the light of the sunset. We also saw hundreds of people sitting along the river picnicking and socializing. There were certain parts where they were playing music and people were dancing tango, salsa, swing, etc. It looked so much fun and we decided that would be our next adventure.
Wednesday, July 18
During the day I had a site visit for work. We went to restaurant Sogeres, which is an acquisition of Sodexo. The company was Sodexo France’s biggest food service competitor, so it was huge that we got the account. The place was amazing. Very modern, and the food was delicious. The company, Sogeres, maintained the building which hosted 3 other businesses, and they were in charge of food services and providing the employee with lunch. In France it’s the law that the employer must provide a place for the employee to eat and pay for a portion of their meal. A typical lunch is around 5 euro for an employee because of the discount, and that can include a salad, entrée, and dessert.
Driving to the place was an experience in its own. I didn’t drive, a coworker did. Many people drive Vespas and motorcycles here, and they weave in and out of traffic freely without a care in the world. It made me very nervous because we rarely have people who do that in good old NEPA. It was nice to be back in a car for the first time in 18 days. I’m pretty sure that’s the longest I’ve ever gone without being in one in my entire life. Trains and metro are the main source of transportation here, so many people don’t even own cars. All in all, the work day was educational and interesting. It was nice to see another place that Sodexo is in charge of.
By night Shawon and I went into Paris to go hang out along the Seine like the people we had seen the night before. We came up at this really cool area of the city and there were many street performers and bistros. We got a hotdog on the way, but we said we’d go back for dinner and sit down one night. When we arrived at the Seine, there were rollerbladers doing crazy stunts in the street off of a ramp, and there were also other types of performers (musicians, comedians, etc.). Paris is a very interesting place, and there is ALWAYS something going on. We walked along the Seine and found a place to sit where there were a bunch of random people performing together just jamming out and letting the music take them. There were people eating, drinking, laughing, talking, watching, and dancing everywhere. It was so eventful. It made us really wish we had things like that back home. We would never be bored. Where we were was a really big college area, and it made us wonder what it’d be like if Keystone were like that. Maybe we’ll start to do that. Buy a bunch of random percussion instruments and go out on the green ;) [heavy sarcasm]. Although it would be fun! We left at about 11:30 and made it back around 12:30 because we took our time getting back. The night never ends here!