May 29 2014

The orchids

Renate’s flowers. Her advice is, put them under the sunlight. Plenty sunshine is good.
Oh well.

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May 29 2014

The popularity of zhacai 榨菜

On the flight from Ffm to Beijing, I sat next to a young man who was nice enough to ask if I’d like some homey food. He was on his way home after touring Europe for 10 days, and still has so many homey food from China. I wondered how many did he bring. “A lot,” he laughed.
“Is this your first trip to Europe?”
“Yes.”
“Where did you visit?”
“I don’t know …”
“Why? ..”
“I, or we shopped mostly.”
His tourmates all have so many red bags, just liked his.
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After we landed in Beijing, waiting to exit the plane, he called his parents in Tianjin, to tell them he’ll be home for lunch and his sister would pick him up from the train station. A considerate son.


May 29 2014

Heading to BJ

It’s only May but the hot spots – the tourist traps are already crowded to a point as too gaudy and tiring, reducing the enjoyment. Which makes the off beaten track so much more appealing. But the hot-spots are no brainers and the off beaten tracks need a little digging to find and to plan: they even out in the end?

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23kg in one pc of luggage is the limit for Lufthansa at Frankfurt airport, but 24kg is tolerable. I have exactly 23kg but after shopping at the supermarket with 2 bottle of wines and sausage it’s bit over weight. I’d to take the green shoes and the Coach bag out.

Carry on bag checkers are really work hard at looking at our belongings. The macarons are problematic and already broken up in small pieces. Really dumb of me to even bought this.

The passengers on the flight are predominately Chinese. They quietly lined up at Gate 54 which is next to 52 – our indicated gate. The Lufthansa females agents were laughing at it. But in the end we indeed gone through Gate 54 instead 52. Not sure it’s for the ease or they intended that way.

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The airplane is noisy, the Chinese tourists are all speaking at the same time. Obviously they all knew each other. Few are talking about drinking together. The overhead cabinets are loaded up to the max. A few costumers came bit late had trouble to fit theirs in.

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It’s cute to see Chinese pickled veggies on the airplane that is heading back to China. They’ve loaded up their favored snakes for the trip and have those many leftovers. Don’t they want to try the local cuisines?!

The massive Chinese seems to buy buy buy and buy, everywhere. A boy in his late 20s or early 30s sitiing next to me, offered me a small bag of pickled veggie 榨菜.
“Where did you get those?” I wondered. Hoping he did not bring those from China.
“From China.”
IMG_2976So he carried those snakes and local delicacies on the trip.
“Are you a tourist?” I asked him.
“Yes.”
“How long was your trip?”
“Ten days.”
“Where did you go?”
“I don’t remember.” He looked vacant.
“What did you do?”
“Buy .. watches and (hand?) bags ..”

When we landed in Beijing, he called his parents to report safely return and went on to say, he’d catch a train to Tianjin and sister would pick him up.


May 29 2014

Visiting Elisabeth

We walked to Elisabeth (1924-2011) grave which is by the national library, passing by Grüneburgpark .. The Rothschild. She’s buried with Renate’s aunt. The cemetery is under going renovation. It offers no new plot. The existing site can take in new tenant every five years. It’s really convenient, in the city. We took the U Bahn that first runs on the street then into the tunnel back home.

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On the way to her grave, we passed by rows of housing that used to be occupied by USA servicemen. It’s called the golden ghetto because when the USA dollar was strong, the soldiers had good life. Every pay day they populated the bars, especially in Sachsenhausen, (Schweizer Straße is the main street there)which is crying now.

 

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Norbert said the right wing of France wants out of EU; and the Germans didn’t really want to give up their Deutsch Mark – remembered the Deutsche Mark was only second to the US$, far ahead of the British pounds. The east Germany produces or contribute only about 70% as vs the 100% of its own capacity. Germans don’t really regret forming and joining the EU, it’s more of cultural alliance. He said look in the past, there were wars between Germany and France. It’s impossible to have war now.

We had 夫妻肺片 for lunch. They liked it. It tastes bit sour for too old. They still haven’t eaten the 驴打滚 yet. Not fresh any more. But they will eat. Renate said they’re Europeans, they eat whatever.

In their backyard, there is a rake for cloth hanging, which is good. The way it suppose to be. In USA it considers kind of eyesore. In that sense, Chinese and Europeans are same, all from the old culture while the Americans area from new. Yes dryer is convenient especially when you wash sacks, etc.

Do I need some kind of vindication or confirmation to live the Chinese way?
Left the gate at 5:20, taxing then take off on 5:43pm, Ffm time. The pic is taken at 5:45 wherever it is. 8:24am landed.

For one hour flight, train is the better choice. Getting to the airport is usually farther than the train station. 1.5 to 2 hr prior to the departure, the flying time plus landing, it’s usually two hours event. Paris/Frankfurt is 4 hours train ride on TGV. No need to jet out of the city. Frankfurt airport costs 4.35€, Paris 9.75€, those tickets entitles you to an one way subway ride.

 


May 28 2014

Benlux

It’s the summer 1983 (June 24 – Aug 8) when I spent three months in Paris. With a couple of girls from Hong Kong we found this little duty free (tax) gem Benelux, selling premium cosmetics at deep discount. However, over the years I always make it a point to visit it again, again .. and this year the clientele is 99% Asian, mostly Chinese.

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May 28 2014

The Louvre, and a rat

Saw a mouse in the food court at the prestigious Louvre! McDonald is the busiest of all! Benlux is 99% Asian .. Some pix on FB
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May 28 2014

The TGV

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May 28 2014

Paris Metro Gare de L’Est

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May 28 2014

La Cure Gourmande

La Cure Gourmande Montmartre
8-10 rue de Steinkarque
75018 Paris, 01 42 234202
curegourmande.com

The service is better than Maison Georges Larnicol

 

 

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May 28 2014

Maison Georges Larnicol

Just went to shopping around the corner. Montmartre is a liberal area with many 99 cent trinket shops stores catering to tourists. There are two sweet shops Maison Georges Larnicol (7-9 rue de Steinkerque, 75018 Paris) and La Cure Gourmande Montmartre – they’re under handed and I found the sales women rude at Maison Georges.

They’re charging up scale $ with 99 cent store mentality. For the paper bag, I’ve to ask for twice and seeing the reluctance. Maybe the Europeans’ frugality is saving the world. No one dare to say no when asking reasonably for a free bag in the USA – No one beats the Americans for service. They tasted ok. My review on Yelp. Ladurée is also good.

The sales tax breakdown:
Tx 5.50,
Ht 16.97
Taxe 0.93
TTC 17.90€

The following day for the convenience I went there to buy a box of macaroons for Beijing. Ha. it cost €25. The price of the macaroon is €5.5 for 100g, about 8 pieces. I just don’t get it why would they charge that much more for a cheap container. It clearly (pun intended) doesn’t worth it and makes the cookies looking so cheap. I have no choice but to pay because the distance I’ll have to bring to. Oh the Frenchy. The ending isn’t too pretty: after the security check at the airport, most of them are ruined.

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The store and the street its on ..

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