Basically Rouen, for me, can be defined as the opposite of this McDonald's...I'll get to that in a bit, though. First, I'd like to share how I spent my weekend of mini-vacances. I headed off to Paris on Thursday afternoon and I randomly was on the same train as my friend heading to Stockholm and we both had no idea! So, instead of spending a boring two hours all by my lonesome, I hung out with her in the bar voiture of the train. Remind me not to do that again unless I randomly decide feeling nauseous and having nowhere to sit equals good times. So, after I tossed my cookies, I quickly met up with our other friend going to Sweden who was already in Paris. Just a quick chat and then they were off to cherche a Starbucks and I was off to metro it to meet up with my friend at La Defense where she works. She ended up working til about 19h30, so I faire'd un tour around the big centre commercial and waited for her. We mange'd at a miammy thai resto vite fait(poulet curry vert!!...basically chicken in the form of fire) and then headed to her apt which is in a nice quartier outside the city. Let me tell you, her apt was awesome, I'm totally jealous...in an old building, but totally modernized inside with wood floors, a built in dressing in her room and a totally redone kitchen with pretty, colorful tiles on the walls. A reasonable price considering it's location and awesomeness(900/mo for 40 m2 on the metro line) and she, of course, had added nice bits of deco and a color scheme of reds, browns, whites and a bit of gray. It totally donne'd me envie to have a nice, new appart of my own....un jour!
K, I need to speed this up considering I said all of that for just half of a day! Friday, my friend ended up having meetings in the afternoon, so she had to work despite her original plans to take the afternoon off. So, I was left to my own devices to wander around the city and headed to the Tuileries to sit and read my book and people watch. Then, I met up with your favorite American podcaster and mine because I contacted her and her partner-in-crime once I found out my friend had to work last minute and she was free. Unfortunately, her Aussie counterpart had to work, so I'll just have to meet up with her the next time I swing by Paris! We ended up going to the Cluny Museum and enjoyed statues with dead shrimp eyes, trying to understand the English translations and failing, the unicorn tapestries and the narwhal tooth. You can hear about the visit here. And I urge you, dear reader, to go look up a narwhal now and tell me if, like me, you had no idea that existed. That will make me feel better about myself. After stealing K-Mac's magic orange glasses, I headed to Starbucks for a Mocha Frappuccino. I took a seat upstairs and thoroughly enjoyed it until this b****, I mean, lovely girl came up to me and promptly asked me if I could y aller because she and her friends were going to be assez nombreux. After punching that girl in the face, I left the 'Bucks and headed back to my friend's apt in order to head to Rouen that night.
Moving on to Rouen, I finally met my friend's fam and a friend of hers who was also staying the weekend. Everyone was really lovely...espec her dad who was a huge deconneur just like yours truly and managed to make an inappropriate joke approximately every 5 minutes. A guy after my own heart! I stayed in my friend's sister's room which happened to be right next to not only a boite de nuit, but also a child that loved to scream bloody murder at 5 in the morning...one on each side, the child was not sleeping in the night club. Well, at least I don't think so anyways. So, that was fun times...or not. After I finally rolled out of bed on Saturday, I then proceeded to eat my face off for the next 24 hours. I'm maybe still full from this weekend. The Frenchies and their courses, I tell ya! We had a huge lunch from two until FIVE PM on Sat then we ate Indian food at 8 that night and then a humungo brunch(I made pancakes!) at noon on Sunday. But back to Rouen...we finally left the house at 5 and walked around the city for a couple hours. First, my friend's mom took us to the top of a hill overlooking the city, then dropped us off downtown. We went in and out of stores along several streets and I guess(?) pretty much covered the city. Which leads me to my thoughts on the city of Rouen. Like I said, it can be basically be defined as the opposite of the McDonald's in the photo above. I found the fact that something as ugly as a McDo was hidden behind such a pretty facade pretty ridiculous. Rouen, on the otherhand, is a bit fugly from afar, but once you get inside the vieille ville, it is actually really pretty. There were a lot of the half-timbered houses(like the one McDo is hidden behind) like we also have in Rennes. At one point, we found ourselves meandering down a fairly narrow street that had such a cozy and inviting-looking salon de the, I would've moved in had they let me.
I am so glad my first impression of an industrial-looking, gray city did not last longer than the second I stepped foot into centreville. Unfortunately, my camera ran out of battery power, so I didn't get to take a lot of pics(I just bought a battery charger today, actually...good riddance to batteries!) Rouen has the oldest auberge apparently in France...or Western Europe maybe...woulda liked a pic of that. Tant pis! I think that's all I got for now, peepz, so I will bid you adieu. I'm off to feed my cold with some warm tea. Hopefully I'll get my voice back sometime soon too. Ciao!