23rd October 2010, Saturday
Since shopping malls are closed on Sundays in Paris, the guide decided to take us on a one-day shopping spree today. I didn’t really like the idea but what to do, when there are so many brand conscious sakais in the group. A couple – let’s called her China woman and Mr VAT were all excited and kept asking questions. “LV Got discount ah? Gucci got discount?” From the way they asked questions, it’s obvious that they have never step out from the country. Which branded boutique would give discount?? Unless they are on end season sale? Maybe she assumed buying a genuine Louis Vuitton in Paris is the same like the many other LVs she bought from Petaling Street! And yes.. all throughout the trip, she kept gushing over LV, LV and LV. I think she dare not say Louis Vuitton because she doesn’t even know how to pronounce it!
I quite like the La Vallee Outlet Shopping Village, in Marne La Vallee, a new town in east of Paris. It has small little quaint shops along a very, very long stretch of shopping mall – it’s probably 6x the size of Mid Valley! Here, you get most of the brands at factory outlet prices. I got a teapot from Bodum at probably 60% off the prices in Malaysia. For those who enjoy shopping, I gather this is a good place to go. The boutiques are in little cottages and it’s quite a joy to shop here. Nike are going cheap as well as other foreign brands like Zara, Massimo Dutti, Pull and Bear, etc.
After shopping in La Vallee, we went for lunch and again, proceeded back to the city, La Fayette for shopping. On our way there, we saw some demonstration going on there. The demonstration is not about pensions but, about animals’ rights. Well, this is the way of life for the French. They always go on strike most of the time that they probably could make a career out of it! No joke!
For animal’s right! Malaysia needs this badly as well!
At La Fayette, you probably see all the tourists mainly Asians making their money’s worth. You see long queues going to Longchamps, Gucci, Prada, Burberry, Yves Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton etc! Nobody lined up at Bottega Veneta, Chanel, Christian Dior? Because they are more expensive! I didn’t bother to shop. I ventured out from crazily crowded La Fayette and went to walk around the surrounding area – Clichy.
Here are some photos of the day:-
Many, many taverns
Many, many sidewalk cafes
Little French Girl
Crossing the Road
We had dinner of escargot in buttered garlic and parsley
For people who would like to buy souvenirs, the best place is probably St Michel. I find that you get more choices at almost half the prices you get elsewhere around Paris! After all the shopping madness, we took the subway to St Michel where all the happening people are on a Saturday night. It was indeed an experience. French subway is already more than 100 years old! Instead of using steel wheels, they are still running on rubber tyres! The funny part is probably, you still need to manually open the doors by yourself in order to get in and get out! It’s a maze in the subway! There are many exits like the ones in Hong Kong!
A stop at St Michel
The road surrounding this area is paved with cobble stones, just like the ones in Macau. Even the names of the street were seemingly the same like Macau. I believe it’s not French, probably some influence of Portuguese. I guess that’s because Portugal was a powerhouse back then, other than Spain, leading the first exploration via sea back in the 1500s. A quick check on the internet reveals that, cobble stones are mainly used in earlier streets in European countries.
Latin Corner Cafe has a mean bouncer!
For girls who want to have a great fun night out, I suggest you go to Latin Café, along Rue de laHuchette. Here, you get half naked men in g string, serving you like a queen! Our group consists of too many men, so we weren’t allowed in. so, I guess you need to go separately, and better – if all girls, you will get a place to sit in no time!
We just walkabout the place, and felt a little out of place. I guess we didn’t dress to the nines like the very good looking people we see along St Michel’s. I guess we need to visit this place another time sans the men in our group!