'Heavy' was the first word that came to mind when I laid my eyes on the Eiffel Tower. Not the most creative of adjectives, I know, but then I don't have the vocabulary of my illustrious namesake,Vikram. So 'Heavy' was what my brain could come up with. Big, metallic and heavy. And now, I'm the proud owner of 2 replicas bought of my Bangladeshi brother. I was too much of a cheapskate to spend my own euros, mind you. It was gift from our hosts who quickly figured out that this Indian wasn't about to contribute to the French economy. On the topic of our hosts, Eurelie & Eric, would do wonders with all the gaps in the tower. The man's a creative genius and their home was obviously his playground. It was the best use of space I've ever seen. There was storage in every corner of the house from under the floor boards to under the kitchen shelfs. There were hidden drawers in the coffee table. All of it, he had designed and made himself. My biggest worry was not to lose Miro in one of his many storage units. It was like a boathouse. A jacket with numerous pockets. A toy fire engine with many hidden compartments which they also had by the way and I had fun playing with it. From feeding us duck to fresh chocolate croissants and homemade tiramisu, from serving us only their best French wines, from escorting us around Paris and educating us on their city's history, it was truly a cultural eye opener. Their was only one small niggling issue. They could have had a quiet word with their 6 year old daughter to let me win in the game of Dobble. She's really too smart for her age, too smart for my age even. My joyful high fives and applause somewhat lacked conviction. I was distraught and traumatized, the truth be told. Not only am I unemployed, I can't even beat a 6 year old in a game of Dobble! What's worse...Heidi won. On top of that, the little girl rejected my chicken curry as well. Thankfully, the adults seem to enjoy it....'seem' being the operative word.
While it was amazing to see the talented french painters and one particular incredibly talented football juggler in action the next day, it did nothing for my self esteem. With every stroke of their brush, with every deft touch of his feet, they killed something inside me. I felt like a worthless little idiot who proudly made a blowup balloon dinosaur only to find out the rest of class had recreated a full size T-rex out of popsicle sticks. (cricket) Watching Kolhi's dismissal on a full toss made me feel a little better about myself.
Paris isn't kids friendly at all. All their fashionable little cafes are 'cute' but not suitable for families. Lugging the mountain buggy around was especially tough since their underground transportation system has way too many stairs. Thankfully there was always a friendly hand or two to help carry the pram.
Our trip did end on a sour note. I'll admit Tino is a talkative and inquisitive little boy. He may or may not take a breath while talking. Depends of the topic of conversation. About 2 hours into our return journey, a prick....hang on!....A F@&KING prick shouted at the top of his voice 'NOW SHUT UP ALREADY'. Now Tino works on a slightly different frequency but he wasn't screaming or shouting, merely talking. No one tells my boy to shut up but me! I was fuming but refrained from picking a fight. I told the A$$H*L@ he was welcome to call the conductor. He did...what an idiot! We did ask Tino to talk quietly thereafter which he must have thought was strange but kindly obliged. The mother sitting next to us informed us that there's zero tolerance for noise on these trains and generally speaking, it's the same in Geneva even if you're in your own flat. It's obvious to be me now that the tolerance for gobby morons who deserve to get their heads bashed is quite high. I think this city needs a superhero vigilante to sort out these kind of scumbags. My cricket friends would agree that perhaps it's a job for Captain Cook and his bearded sidekick Sir Monty!