More Trips

Frangland July 19


Korkong April 19


Japan8 October 18


China4 April 18


Japan7 October 17


Taiwan4 March 17


Japan6 October 16


Europe May 16


Japan5 November 15


Korea2 March 15

Even More Trips

HongJapWan March 2014
Sichuan March 2013
Tokyo3 October 2012
China2 August 2012
Japwan March 2012
China November 2011
Korea September 2011
Taiwan March 2011
London3 June 2010
Japan May 2010
London2 February 2010
London September 2009
SE Asia December 2005

France & England... for work... - Page 3

Day 7 - Thursday, 11 July 2019

The monk life

Living in a monastery in rural France

I have to run to a meeting shortly so this is a tiny update.

Last night I went to a fancy dinner at a fancy hall de ceramique museum or something, it was very far on a bus.

This morning despite getting back from dinner at midnight I got up and went for a small walk around the local area, it is not as quaint as people would imagine. No idea if I will find time to add anything else tonight.
Also it is cloudy this morning, the first time it hasnt been bright sunshine. Here is 4 crap pics, including some clouds.

France & England... for work... - First, a field, its probably what most people imagine the French countryside should look like.

First, a field, its probably what most people imagine the French countryside should look like.


France & England... for work... - Here is the local village, so beautiful and peaceful, wonderful old houses.

Here is the local village, so beautiful and peaceful, wonderful old houses.


France & England... for work... - Some beautiful flower arrangements in the village square.

Some beautiful flower arrangements in the village square.


France & England... for work... - All stores in France, post the bread futures market spot price on their window like they are trading gold.

All stores in France, post the bread futures market spot price on their window like they are trading gold.


The great escape

Escaping the monastery through fields of wheat at sunset

I managed to escape the monastery.

After a long day of mainly looking out a bus window and being fed cheese, salted meats and various pastries, I finally cracked under the pressure and scaled the monastery wall, death rolled into the fields of hay and scarpered across a world war 1 battle field to the relative safety of the local Carrefour supermarket. Also I dont care what the spellchecker thinks, scarpered is a word!

The supermarket experience was as disappointing as the local village. Clearly I am in a poor people area, poor enough that the local monastery shut down. Many Carrefours are fantastic, even in China! This one was like a bi-lo (insert the local dented can supermarket of your country here).

After walking every aisle to amass more steps, I walked through the village, with an eye over my shoulder and my hands in my pockets. Soon after I found a nice dirt track through a field, google suggested it would link to a forest track and get met back to where I needed to be, and indeed it did. Along the way, I became aware that if a cloud would just move an inch, I would have great light, so I actually stopped and waited a few minutes for the clouds to part, and the hay to turn gold.

Which reminds me, on the bus earlier I was stuck in traffic, and the reason was, someone had flicked a cigarette butt out of a car window on a highway and set the hay field alight.

Thats all for now, tomorrow I predict there will only be a late evening update, I will be back in Paris for one more night then.

France & England... for work... - Here she is in all her glory, the local Carrefour supermarket. Its the town pump / village well, the only place with people.

Here she is in all her glory, the local Carrefour supermarket. Its the town pump / village well, the only place with people.


France & England... for work... - Inside, people wander the aisles, wondering how a modern supermarket can exist without air conditioning and with every drinks fridge turned off.

Inside, people wander the aisles, wondering how a modern supermarket can exist without air conditioning and with every drinks fridge turned off.


France & England... for work... - Just past the edge of the village, a youth activity centre, behind large fences. Hoodlums without skateboards are hanging out on the skateboard ramp.

Just past the edge of the village, a youth activity centre, behind large fences. Hoodlums without skateboards are hanging out on the skateboard ramp.


France & England... for work... - Now we start our dedication to fields of hay and the evening sun.

Now we start our dedication to fields of hay and the evening sun.


France & England... for work... - Clouds and powerlines go well with hay.

Clouds and powerlines go well with hay.


France & England... for work... - Shot of the day.

Shot of the day.


France & England... for work... - And finally, taking things too far.

And finally, taking things too far.


France & England... for work... - Then I found a dark forest to walk through, and see if I could find the illusive French bear.

Then I found a dark forest to walk through, and see if I could find the illusive French bear.


France & England... for work... - Eventually this became a park, with a nice tree. It was still daylight, but time for me to go to bed.

Eventually this became a park, with a nice tree. It was still daylight, but time for me to go to bed.


There are currently 2 comments - click to add

David on 2019-07-12 said:

I need to crop the left edge out of the power line photos


mother on 2019-07-12 said:

The field with the power lines is my favourite. what will happen when all of Europe finally get airconditioning?



Day 8 - Friday, 12 July 2019

Back in Paris

A stroll through the northern parts of Paris

As the creative title says, I am now back in Paris, in the same hotel in the same room, for one night. Tomorrow I go to London on the Eurostar, assuming there is no sudden strike.
I was able to get a lift back to where I needed to be in Paris in the afternoon after work, this was very convenient as it allowed me to do my washing, more on that shortly.

The journey back was not without incident, the traffic situation is terrible and I was only trying to get to the outskirts of Paris, still there was a major motorcycle accident, and then when stopped at a freeway offramp, small immigrant child beggars raced over and tried to open the car door to beg for money / rob / stab me. There was a huge amount of rubbish and junk in this area, it was unclear if its because beggars pull it out of cars by opening the doors, or if motorists throw it at them. I was deep in some culture.

As is usual for the hotel laundry, the dryer cooked my clothes to the point of immolation. I burnt myself on a zip removing my clothes from the dryer.

The laundry was finished in good time, which meant I could walk all the way into the middle of the city from my hotel and gawk at tourists enjoying Friday night. There was a huge amount of people around, and despite eating a ridiculous amount of cheese and meat and cake in the last 3 days, I managed to choose the worst dinner of all time!

These wont quite be the last Paris photos, I have time to take a few more photos of identical looking streets again tomorrow morning before heading to the station. I think I have seen all there is to see, it all looks the same to me. Most people think its the most beautiful city in the world, yet to my eyes it looks like rows and rows of prison cells, no views, no trees, no variety, lots of litter, basically no parks, uninviting shops, nowhere to sit, no toilets, everyone smoking, you get the idea, I am wearing out my comma key.

France & England... for work... - I think this is a combo of a housing project for immigrants, a supermarket, and a reconstructed ancient gate possibly celebrating Levi Strauss, the gu

I think this is a combo of a housing project for immigrants, a supermarket, and a reconstructed ancient gate possibly celebrating Levi Strauss, the guy that invented American blue jeans in the wild west that Russians will trade for military secrets.


France & England... for work... - Here we have a section of track where the metro goes above the road. It is very loud and rickety.

Here we have a section of track where the metro goes above the road. It is very loud and rickety.


France & England... for work... - My walk took me past the other big train station, Gare de L'est. Trains from here seem to go mainly to Germany. Apparently tonight is the start of the

My walk took me past the other big train station, Gare de L'est. Trains from here seem to go mainly to Germany. Apparently tonight is the start of the 8 week official French / German holiday period, and possibly the worst night all year for traffic escaping Paris. The train station was very busy. I am trying to use up my remaining Euros, so I drank 5 litres of water before setting off on my walk so I could keep paying to use the toilets. There was no need for cash, everywhere takes card, and by card I mean I paid with google pay via my phone everywhere. That would be fine except I took some Euros out before I knew that, so now I have to use them, which is annoying. I could give my cash to the immigrant children but they already tried to rob me.


France & England... for work... - A rather picturesque street.

A rather picturesque street.


France & England... for work... - This is the biggest park in the entire greater Paris metropolitan area. These two ladies and their babies are enjoying the lovely gravel.

This is the biggest park in the entire greater Paris metropolitan area. These two ladies and their babies are enjoying the lovely gravel.


France & England... for work... - All white delivery vans are conveniently painted a few times each day to prevent rust.

All white delivery vans are conveniently painted a few times each day to prevent rust.


France & England... for work... - This is African hairdresser street. Every shop here is a COIFFEUR. I speak French now.

This is African hairdresser street. Every shop here is a COIFFEUR. I speak French now.


France & England... for work... - Arc de non triomphe.

Arc de non triomphe.


France & England... for work... - Now for my dinner. Everywhere is a crepe shop, so why not a crepe for dinner? See below to find out why not.

Now for my dinner. Everywhere is a crepe shop, so why not a crepe for dinner? See below to find out why not.


France & England... for work... - I got talked into a crepe combo, savoury and sweet. I expected the savoury one to be more than just cheese. It was just cheese. The chocolate one was

I got talked into a crepe combo, savoury and sweet. I expected the savoury one to be more than just cheese. It was just cheese. The chocolate one was nutella from a jar. Why are they this dark brown color? I have so many questions as to how a crepe shop in Paris can stuff up crepes. I have regrets.


France & England... for work... - Lots and lots of people had amassed to watch this busker guy. I made sure my pockets were zipped up and took up a spot. First he spent 5 minutes untan

Lots and lots of people had amassed to watch this busker guy. I made sure my pockets were zipped up and took up a spot. First he spent 5 minutes untangling his blue rope to music, occasionally jumping in the air or standing on one leg while his music was playing, then when he was done, he just stood like this until the crowd dispersed. So cultural.


France & England... for work... - Tonights photograph of the sun.

Tonights photograph of the sun.


France & England... for work... - TIN TIN WAS GAY! Finally the truth comes out.

TIN TIN WAS GAY! Finally the truth comes out.


France & England... for work... - And what might this building be?, gallery? church? embassy? military? No its a bank branch.

And what might this building be?, gallery? church? embassy? military? No its a bank branch.


There are currently 3 comments - click to add

elz on 2019-07-14 said:

I love you captain Hadock, please kiss me


tintin on 2019-07-14 said:

captain hackduck compon youg marinve


adriana on 2019-07-13 said:

I see your opinion of Paris has not changed. I can also see why you prefer China - I think I would too.



Day 9 - Saturday, 13 July 2019

Escaping the continent

Taking the Eurostar from Paris to London

Now I am in London, England, formerly part of Europe, currently part of limboland.

Escaping was not without incident, quite fittingly, just before entering the tunnel between France and England, drama.
The Eurostar train is dirty and dated, despite being one of the newer versions of the trains that plow the line. They are very long.
Anyway, I got up and walked to the dining car. Which is a small bar area without seating, just a couple of shelves to lean on.
As you might do, I took a photo of the bar area after ordering my terrible French style coffee. Despite not photographing the girl that was serving, she freaked out and demanded I delete the photo. There were no signs saying 'no photo' but I deleted it anyway.

She then disappeared briefly.

So... I am standing drinking my coffee reading my phone, and next thing a soldier with a machine gun arrives, demands to see my phone. I reluctantly handed it to him, then showed him how to find the photo gallery app. I asked him 'I do not understand what the problem is?'. His response, 'Shut up now or be arrested, YOUR CHOICE!'.

So there you go, that was my lasting impression of France.

Now I am in my hilariously tiny, very cheap, London hotel room. A single bed, no desk, no fridge, no air conditioning, no tv. The room has a narrow shelf to perch my laptop on while I sit on the bed, but it is quite uncomfortable, but it will do! There is however a tiny bathroom, but it has no shelf of any kind, the toilet paper is on the cistern, there is nowhere to hang a towel at all, it is currently on my bed. Finally, the window is open, and the room is full of flies!

France & England... for work... - Still in Paris at this point, and here I am in some kind of a monument park. There are many monuments, and many many more keep off the grass signs.

Still in Paris at this point, and here I am in some kind of a monument park. There are many monuments, and many many more keep off the grass signs.


France & England... for work... - As this is a French park, it is mainly blinding white gravel.

As this is a French park, it is mainly blinding white gravel.


France & England... for work... - There are however ducks, that seem completely oblivious to humans. The water was filthy.

There are however ducks, that seem completely oblivious to humans. The water was filthy.


France & England... for work... - This is a sculpture. It is made out of plastic or marble or something like that. Why someone spent a great deal of effort to sculpt a tree that has fa

This is a sculpture. It is made out of plastic or marble or something like that. Why someone spent a great deal of effort to sculpt a tree that has fallen over, I do not know.


France & England... for work... - Another photo of the Seine, the last one.

Another photo of the Seine, the last one.


France & England... for work... - Still in the sculpture park, someone has sculpted a realistic looking bag of rubbish.

Still in the sculpture park, someone has sculpted a realistic looking bag of rubbish.


France & England... for work... - Time for one last photo of an impressive old building with gold painted highlights.

Time for one last photo of an impressive old building with gold painted highlights.


France & England... for work... - Everywhere you go, piles of scooters await.

Everywhere you go, piles of scooters await.


France & England... for work... - Yep. And later in Gare Du Nord they were announcing in English that multiple pickpockets had been arrested so far today.

Yep. And later in Gare Du Nord they were announcing in English that multiple pickpockets had been arrested so far today.


France & England... for work... - Here is Gare du Nord as seen from the Eurostar check in area. The check in process has actually improved since I was last here, with e-passports now a

Here is Gare du Nord as seen from the Eurostar check in area. The check in process has actually improved since I was last here, with e-passports now accepted.


France & England... for work... - I managed to find something reasonably healthy, but extortionately expensive, but that was ok, I was spending my remaining Euros.

I managed to find something reasonably healthy, but extortionately expensive, but that was ok, I was spending my remaining Euros.


France & England... for work... - The departure lounge area is still very small, just before you can board the train, you cannot move. It was a lot better than last time I was here, wh

The departure lounge area is still very small, just before you can board the train, you cannot move. It was a lot better than last time I was here, which was 10 years ago minus one day exactly. I was last here on Bastille day, which is tomorrow, and left on the Eurostar that evening. It poured with rain all day and the entire wooden floor area here was mud. No rain in site this time.


France & England... for work... - The inside of the Eurostar is surprisingly claustrophobic. The seats are very high, the aisles are very narrow. It also seems dirty.

The inside of the Eurostar is surprisingly claustrophobic. The seats are very high, the aisles are very narrow. It also seems dirty.


France & England... for work... - And now, the comedy hotel room! This is the entire room! Me and the friendly flies are sharing it.

And now, the comedy hotel room! This is the entire room! Me and the friendly flies are sharing it.


There is no traffic in London

The area north of Kings Cross is now completely gentrified

Like the title says, the first thing I noticed tonight, no traffic. The daily consumption tax thing for crossing the red line and entering the city centre keeps nearly every car out. This is a great thing. All cities should have it. Walk you lazy assholes.

The next thing I noticed was variety. Variety in building types, food places, shops, parks, markets, grass you are allowed on etc. All in all a much more varied location than Paris. Of course I already knew this, but the area near my hotel has changed drastically since I was last here.
From Kings Cross north to Camden is now all modern buildings, mixed with old industrial things turned into shops and markets. A very nice area as you shall see.

Then a bit later I went to Oxford street, the main shopping street. It was very busy with people, not many cars or buses, but then someone managed to get run over! I took a pic.

Then I remembered that British departments stores still have restaurants, that are cheap, relatively healthy, and very accessible to the solo diner. I took pic.

Since nothing funny happened in the above diatribe, and since I now have English language tv stations, I will explain how British ads are different to ours. They explain everything. In great detail. I find this very strange and a little bit condescending. An ad for a dyson vacuum cleaner explains how if you push the button the vacuum will start and you can suck dirt and debris from the floor of your house. When you are done, you plug it into the wall and it recharges. Once the little blinking light turns off it is charged and you can use it again! All explained in a very happy school teacher voice.

The same then applies for various medical things, if you have a headache, open the box and pull out one of the two slides of capsules. Pop out one or two of the capsules and swallow them one at a time with a glass of water. Once you have swallowed them sit or lie down and wait a few minutes, your headache will start to go away!
Very weird.

France & England... for work... - My hotel is just across the street from Kings Cross station, which means betting shops, England loves them. This one is great, because 3 homeless guys

My hotel is just across the street from Kings Cross station, which means betting shops, England loves them. This one is great, because 3 homeless guys who are probably homeless due to the betting shop, are passed out directly out the front of the shop. Much like Australia there are lots and lots of betting ads on tv.


France & England... for work... - I dont know why, but I wandered into Kings Cross station to take a photo.

I dont know why, but I wandered into Kings Cross station to take a photo.


France & England... for work... - Heading north and I got to this surprise outdoor area with a canal, near something called the coal drop sheds, where people are watching the Wimbledon

Heading north and I got to this surprise outdoor area with a canal, near something called the coal drop sheds, where people are watching the Wimbledon tennis on a big floating screen.


France & England... for work... - As it was about 20c, lots of people cant resist the lure of a fountain.

As it was about 20c, lots of people cant resist the lure of a fountain.


France & England... for work... - Here is just one of a few markets in this area. I think this one is called canopy market.

Here is just one of a few markets in this area. I think this one is called canopy market.


France & England... for work... - Canal boats. I think they are strange in that there is nowhere on these boats to sit outside and enjoy the weather. The full length is under a non ope

Canal boats. I think they are strange in that there is nowhere on these boats to sit outside and enjoy the weather. The full length is under a non opening roof.


France & England... for work... - Real grass you can sit on! More of that to come.

Real grass you can sit on! More of that to come.


France & England... for work... - This is an independent record label market. Apparently people still buy records.

This is an independent record label market. Apparently people still buy records.


France & England... for work... - I briefly returned to my tiny room to check if I had been robbed yet. Here is the view. Outside the window 2 fat women were having a tourettes battle.

I briefly returned to my tiny room to check if I had been robbed yet. Here is the view. Outside the window 2 fat women were having a tourettes battle. It was simultaneously amusing and concerning.


France & England... for work... - MORE GRASS. Parks people can use.

MORE GRASS. Parks people can use.


France & England... for work... - No, I have no idea how the water authority is preventing your house from being broken into.

No, I have no idea how the water authority is preventing your house from being broken into.


France & England... for work... - I almost managed to get this properly square on! You can actually correct parallax in lightroom, I have never played with the tool.

I almost managed to get this properly square on! You can actually correct parallax in lightroom, I have never played with the tool.


France & England... for work... - Here is a random street. Note its cloudy. There was a bit of sun, but nothing like the bright blue sky of Paris.

Here is a random street. Note its cloudy. There was a bit of sun, but nothing like the bright blue sky of Paris.


France & England... for work... - There are nice streets full of little houses, with more variety and general niceness than Paris.

There are nice streets full of little houses, with more variety and general niceness than Paris.


France & England... for work... - The start of the busy Oxford street shopping area looking towards Piccadilly Circus. Everyone who has been to London has been here.

The start of the busy Oxford street shopping area looking towards Piccadilly Circus. Everyone who has been to London has been here.


France & England... for work... - The top floor of John Lewis has a restaurant. I was excited.

The top floor of John Lewis has a restaurant. I was excited.


France & England... for work... - There were many healthy options, I settled on Sri Lankan vegetarian curry. It was really quite nice, and very cheap! I could have taken my pick from 2

There were many healthy options, I settled on Sri Lankan vegetarian curry. It was really quite nice, and very cheap! I could have taken my pick from 20 different tables. How convenient!


France & England... for work... - I have no idea at all how or why, but the Microsoft store has what I assume is a real Mclaren Senna, that you can sit in and play xbox games. These ar

I have no idea at all how or why, but the Microsoft store has what I assume is a real Mclaren Senna, that you can sit in and play xbox games. These are about a million bucks and limited to about 500 being built? Maybe Mclaren built them a rolling shell, but its still all made of carbon fibre.


France & England... for work... - This is where a guy got run over. He is on the ground here. There was a bang, a series of metallic crashing noises, then general screaming and panic.

This is where a guy got run over. He is on the ground here. There was a bang, a series of metallic crashing noises, then general screaming and panic. I suspect he went over the car that hit him rather than under it, he did not seem to badly hurt, maybe a broken leg.


France & England... for work... - The church near my hotel is a bit weird. It has these statues of people half buried, head first. They are presumably trying to dig down to hell.

The church near my hotel is a bit weird. It has these statues of people half buried, head first. They are presumably trying to dig down to hell.


France & England... for work... - And now two of my favorite things. Marks and Spencer fruit salad, of the WITHOUT MELON because apparently melons cause cancer, and their excellent die

And now two of my favorite things. Marks and Spencer fruit salad, of the WITHOUT MELON because apparently melons cause cancer, and their excellent diet ginger beer. I really wish Marks and Spencer would come to Australia.


There are currently 1 comments - click to add

mother on 2019-07-14 said:

I have s o m any comments - why d on't you put a comment section after each photo cos I forget what I want to say by the time I get to the end. So I will only say that London seems to have a lot of rubbish in the streets as well.



There is now a page 4, click to go there now. RIGHT NOW OR ELSE!

Contents

Day 0 - Saturday, 21 September 2019
  Retrospective
Day 1 - Friday, 5 July 2019
  The ridiculous preamble
Day 2 - Saturday, 6 July 2019
  The longest leg
  Hot and dirty
  Not quite bed time yet
Day 3 - Sunday, 7 July 2019
  Palatial botany
  Not much of a mountain
Day 4 - Monday, 8 July 2019
  Bonus update
  Hamburger
Day 5 - Tuesday, 9 July 2019
  Morning stroll
  Evening stroll
Day 6 - Wednesday, 10 July 2019
  Even earlier morning stroll
Day 7 - Thursday, 11 July 2019
  The monk life
  The great escape
Day 8 - Friday, 12 July 2019
  Back in Paris
Day 9 - Saturday, 13 July 2019
  Escaping the continent
  There is no traffic in London
Day 10 - Sunday, 14 July 2019
  The greyness sets in
  Tourist Freaktown
Day 11 - Monday, 15 July 2019
  Bird watching
Day 12 - Tuesday, 16 July 2019
  Fast lap
Day 13 - Wednesday, 17 July 2019
  2 new strategies
Day 14 - Thursday, 18 July 2019
  The big park
Day 15 - Friday, 20 July 2019
  Wet cold and windy
Day 16 - Saturday, 20 July 2019
  Flying museum visit
  The other Southbank
Day 17 - Sunday, 21 July 2019
  The last lap
Day 18 - Monday, 22 July 2019
  The shortest update
  The end