Giverny

20130725-165903.jpg One of the last things I did right before I left Paris was to go to Claude Monet's gardens at Giverny, where the Impressionist artist painted his famous water lily and bridge paintings. I went once 9 years ago and honestly it was one of the most beautiful places I can remember so I was extremely glad I got to go back.

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Les Soldes - Thoughts on Fashion Value

So it's the most wonderful time of the year in Paris. 20130630-021119.jpg

Les Soldes!! Or... The sales!

Twice a year the French government mandates that all retail stores hold sales. This years Spring/ Summer collection sales started Wednesday, June 26th and go straight till the end of July!

On Wednesday you could genuinely feel the winds changing. There was a buzz in the air, people eveywhere, and traffic like Port of Spain in the rain, especially in places where there are a lot of shops like the Opera area. Even in the Metro the ticket seller asked me, "Do you know what today isssss?" in a kinda tease-y tone. Needless to say, this is a high point for Parisian shoppers.

I went into Zara just to see what the scenario was (as one usually needs money to buy things I cannot even participate in these sales which can go up to 40 or 50% off. And though I know right now there's the best selections the markdowns will be even more marked down later in the sales season. Right now Zara is discounting meager 25 percents. Somebody call me when that shit gets to like 3€ - 8€ for items). Anyway, while I don't think there was utter pandemonium, there was definite frenzy.

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Even if I had money I don't think I'd be participating in the sales. First of all I don't really love anything that I've seen in stores this season. Second of all I CANNOT shop like this, grabbing garments from the clutches of other women, elbowing bitches in the ribs. I saw one woman standing in a corner guarding what I can only describe as a hoard of shoes.

And speaking of shoes:

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This is not even appealing. It's not even organized by size. Like I would appreciate this more if it was at least the size 41 pile as opposed to the Lucky Dip pile.

I also stopped in at Merci, a concept store on the Boulevard Beaumarchais, to see what a bit of a higher end sale looked like. I have to admit it was unnerving for me to see brands like Isabel Marant and Carven crammed together on what looks a rack from a Marshall's in Middle America, complete with colour coded circle discount stickers. It goes to show that trendy clothes are a horrible investment, if they lose their value and their appeal a mere 4 months after they were once coveted pieces, and then exponentially after that.

I'm finally beginning to realize, though I love colour, why fashion people always dress in black. You could have a garment in the most avant garde cut and style, but if it's in black you can wear it forever. Not so much for that lime green version. Black depreciates faster.

However...you could always just spend the money on shoes instead;)

The Paris Metro

20130618-115454.jpg There are many great things about the Paris metro. It serves the city extremely well and wherever you are you're pretty close to at least 3 metro stations to select from. And the time that you have to spend on the metro is quite short as the distances from one station to another can be like a minute of traveling time, unlike some subway systems I can name ( London I'm lookin at you!)

But those short minutes you spend on the metro can be the most unpleasant minutes of your day.

Firstly, an open message to large groups of tourists, if one person in your party is purchasing tickets for all of you, all of you do NOT need to stand up in the line. Furthermore, when your dude buys the tickets can you move out of the line to do your distribution process?? There are other people behind you and you're being dicks.

Secondly, the Paris Metro has HIGH levels of crazy. Super high. From the man the other day who was clearly suffering from French Tourette's, to the pregnant and clearly strung out on drugs lady begging on the train to yesterday's grizzly gentleman in what looked like and orange prison shirt completely unbuttoned with his entire Santa Clause (without the jolliness) size hairy belly on display, breezing out in the seats across from me. He was scary. And starey. He stared at everyone.

Oh and to the mister who was diggin his nose super hard in the metro for ten minutes jus now and LOOKING AT IT...yuh nasty.

The Paris metro also has high gross factor. I would love to tell you that the stereotype about the French and their aversion to showering isn't true but my mother didn't raise a liar. Added to that, not all trains are air conditioned, so as summer creeps up on us every step into a metro car or elevator is like a game of Smell Roulette. Smell Roulette is a losing game.