Trip to Paris: Day Three

Lol, remember when I said I would ease my way back into blogging by writing lighter posts, well joke’s on me because this is easy, and I’ve been delaying. But, I’m here now, so let’s get to day three of Paris!

Okay, we started the day by ordering breakfast to our hotel because I saw this highly-rated bakery on UberEats and decided to try it out – well, I mostly ate and my mum drank black tea (mum) and my sister, well, sorry to this girl because I don’t remember what she ate/drank. I ordered bread (obviously!) and chocolate tart and another dessert which, again, I don’t remember. I didn’t take pictures, so flex your imaginations and picture some delicious dessert and try not to drool… tough not to when it’s dessert, I know.

We took an Uber to Sacré-Cœur Basilica which neither my mum nor sister looked forward to, but that was on the agenda when we planned the trip, so ainsi sera, groigne qui groigne. It was drizzling, so my mum purchased an umbrella at the foot of the stairs to the Basilica – I know, look at the sharp business acumen of Parisians, brilliant, fantastic. My mum and sister were shocked to discover that it’s a cathedral so were heartily disgruntled which put a damper on my spirits because, hey, we’re allowed to explore, learn and discover without relinquishing our faith! The basilica was beautiful, ornate and refined. As a service was running, all visitors had to maintain noise levels to a minimum, but I wandered around in awe of the splendour of the basilica’s architectural design. Once we finished taking a tour around the basilica, we were treated to the beautiful view mistily enveloped by the fog that had descended on Paris. The basilica is located at the top of a hill which I had somehow failed to notice when we arrived at the location. I could just imagine how much more beautiful it would look once the fog had lifted.

 

Afterwards, we took an Uber (we took a lot of Ubers!) to Galeries Lafayette, a department store. I hadn’t realised that it was a high-street retailer and I was taken aback by the prices! Literally, all I could afford there was food, that’s how expensive it was! Surprisingly, the macaroons tasted a lot better at the department store than it did at Laduree and was slightly more affordable as well. My sister went on a hunt for a teddy bear – albeit she specified a weird looking toy in actuality – for her friend to no avail. Galeries Lafayatte was strikingly resplendent, and I found it difficult to tear my eyes away from the dome of the store – and aesthetically pleasing locations are a significant contributor to happiness, right?! Who wouldn’t feel lighter and brighter at a beautiful place?

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Unsatisfied with the non-existent shopping we had done, we decided to take an (other!) Uber to Les Halles instead. And, now, this is the freaky part. I had a dream about this, this shopping store, and I dreamt that I would walk across a specific black and white corner (it was a Sephora store and I’m annoyed that I didn’t make any ColourPop purchases, how rude of me to do this to myself). And now, after a month, I stumbled across a place that had frequented my dreams during my teenage years, and I’m even more freaked out because I’m running out of places I’ve dreamt about, so what does this signify?! Back to normal and non-weird talk, we bought gifts for our family and I purchased another headband… I was having a headband phase which I’m now over, but tell that to lamenting headbands in my closet wilting away.

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After this, we needed to eat dinner, so we headed to a restaurant nearby our hotel and, yay, it was Indian food, and, of course, I ordered biryani (bottom right) – my numero deux love of my life (lamb chop curry is numero uno, obviously). The biryani was exquisite, and we had a great time along with my uncle who joined us for dinner. With yummy food in our tummies, we headed home satisfied. I showered and went to bed, already knowing that I was going to miss the bed that gave me nights of bliss. Ew, that sounds bad, but okay.

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As we booked an early Eurostar, we woke up early and made our way to Gare du Nord. I purchased a mocha for the train journey, bread, and tartlette fraise (fruity desserts are the best desserts). I made a last-minute book purchase: ‘Paris Revealed: The Secret Life of a City‘, and I can’t wait to get around to reading this! Also, if you’re a Londoner or visiting London, the best bookstore for books on cities and countries around the globe is Waterstones Gower Street, they have such a vast collection naturally, it is located near SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) after all.  

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Now, this is when things went haywire. Paris Customs has such a bizarre and complex approach to passport control. We had to scan our passport to go through the barriers, but the process itself is lengthy with little to no help from customer service who vaguely explain the process as if we’re traveling aficionados. It took me a couple of minutes to get through. But my sister, who has serious anxiety, was struggling to get through for a good 5-10 minutes and began panicking which escalated into a teary panic attack. As my mum and myself were already through the barriers, my sister was stuck on the other side unable to get through. I asked a customer service rep if I could move forward to help my sister, a 16-year-old, as she has anxiety and he promptly replied that her mental health is not any of their concern. D****. What total d****. They finally told us that she could go to the office, located right next to the barriers, and go through a customer service rep to verify her passport. A wonderful woman who, like us, was experiencing the same issue with her daughter, asked her daughter to accompany my sister, so that they could go through it together. They finally got through, but, seriously?!?!?! If there’s an easier process, customer service rep need to inform customers! I found out after we landed that my aunt’s family went through the same thing and what’s even crazier is that they asked a 6/7-year-old to go through their elaborate and poorly-explained passport control by herself while her mother, father and brother were on the other side – I… wow. Okay. You’re gonna tell a whole 6/7-year-old to go through it by her own. No brain cells were used throughout the process of this creation. Clearly.

Anyway, after that incident, I was glad to be on the Eurostar and go home. I enjoyed my trip to Paris, despite the bizarre customs process and I think I’ve discovered my travelling style – just explore the streets and go on detours and find a lively, busy and bustling scene and immerse myself in the wonderful adventure that is travelling.

Related:

Trip to Paris: Day Two

Trip to Paris: Day One


Questions for you, reader:

Which tourist attractions have been your favourite so far and which tourist attractions are on your list of places you want to visit? Do you enjoy shopping when you’re travelling? What books and bookstores would you recommend if you want to learn more about the life and histories of various countries? What’s your go to tea/coffee choice for long train journeys? What’s the worst customer service experience you’ve ever been on the receiving end of or witnessed? Let me know in the comments!

Sophia Ismaa

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26 Comments

    1. €149 for a top we can buy at.. I’m going to say Zara because I don’t think the US has Primark, but then again Target is probably the US version of Primark? But yep, yay for the macaroons.

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  1. Paris is a lovely city. I’ve been several times and have found it to be one of those places where there is always something new to discover.

    I would like to see the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, I’m not so sure about the Galaries Lafayette though.

    On a completely different subject, someone nominated me for a blogger award and since I generally like survey type posts I played along and I hope you don’t mind that I have nominated you next. No obligation, obviously, but I did want to let you know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are only a few holiday destinations which we can truly repeat. It’s the Home Alone of holiday destinations.

      Paha! On top of that, a lot of the outrageously priced items can easily be bought for a lot cheaper (but I’m not sure if this is great, fast fashion isn’t great for the planet). Do visit Sacré-Cœur Basilica during summer!

      I don’t believe I’ve seen the award nomination as of yet! I do have to let you know that I no longer do award posts unless it’s a completely new award created by a fellow blogger with a fresh premise! Sorry for this. 😞

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      1. No worries re. the nomination. It is, of course, entirely up to you whether you want to take part in these sorts of posts or not.

        I’m sure we’ll be back in Paris within the next few years. We shall have to see what we can take in closer to the time.

        Happy New Year 🙂

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  2. On the topic of headbands: I quite like them myself, but winter, rain, and having to wear my hood all the time i haven’t been wearing them cuz that’d be too much 😀

    I’d like to visit Paris some time in the future. Can’t believe i live so close but never went there.
    I tend to not do shopping when i’m on holiday. Usually barely have enough space for my stuff 😀

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    1. Paha! They’re definitely more summer weather worthy, plus the rain has a funny way of slowly taking our headbands down, slippery little things! But you gotta admit, it makes you feel very Blair Waldorf-like and isn’t that quite something. 👸🏽

      Wait, you live near Paris? :O and you’ve never been?! I thought you live in the U.K.? Yep, I don’t think I would ever recommend shopping during holiday unless you’re definitely buying something that you wouldn’t be able to buy.

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  3. Hey Sophia. Sorry to barge in, but I only know you who’s from Bangladesh and I was really hoping if you could shed some light on the political atmosphere over there. How are minorities being treated there? Have they been fleeing to India to save themselves from religious persecution?

    Okay this must be real weird for you. So there are protests everywhere in India against the CAA which gives citizenship to people of 6 different religions (but not Muslims) only from 3 counties – Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Now, you may think I could’ve googled it but I wanted to hear a personal opinion from someone who has been on the ground.

    Sorry again for yk for intruding this way. But I am experiencing a political unrest like never before.

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    1. I really wish I knew more to say, the information I’ve received are from Twitter and mostly from Saman (Saman Javed), she lives in India and is an Indian Muslim. From the information I’ve gathered, it looks like minorities are in the process of being registered on a list in India – which to me is extremely similar to the early stages of the holocaust. I know that some people are considering fleeing from India to avoid persecution. But I had no idea that people were from fleeing from Bangladesh to India which is news to me. If that’s the case, it looks like minorities from Bangladesh and India are fleeing from religious persecution in that case.

      If I recall, you’re Pakistani/Indian right? I’m British Bangladeshi, I can ask my mum for more because she regularly watches Channel S. Let me know if you have information, I’d like to keep up-to-date as well. It looks like it might be better to move to the West, if worse comes to worse, but Britain’s immigration laws are going to get tighter under Boris Johnson I believe. France would have been a better option, but they discriminate against Muslim women’s religious attire. Spain, in some places, can be rather racist as well. It’s really difficult to say which places would be best to move to.

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      1. I’ve been in a really bad place mentally since I commented on your post. Hence, the extended delay in reply. I just couldn’t believe that those things were actually happening in real time. It was too much for me. I just did what I had to protect my sanity – I went offline. I acknowledge my privilege of being able to do so, but I just couldn’t cope up with, well everything. And I realised that I can can no longer ignore even most subtle hint of islamaphobia at this point, like I used to before.

        It’s okay if you don’t know. Frankly I’m not even sure what I’m trying to type here. There’s so little I can do with so much happening. It’s a weird case of helplessness.

        As far as the situation in India goes – it’s shit. BJP lost elections in Jharkhand and Delhi (there’s only so much they could win through spreading of hate). But riots broke out in the capital city of country (not so coincidentally in the areas where BJP was elected) with a death toll of at least 42 people, of which the majority were Muslims. Kashmir’s been under lockdown since August 2019, so we don’t even know what’s been going there. Northeast has its own problems but mainland India has always lended a deaf ear to it.

        P.S. I want to give a more detail description of what all has happened Sophia, but for that I’ll have to revisit it again and I’m not sure if I’m ready for that. I hope you understand..

        But if you’re interested you may follow @fayedsouza @feministflowercrown @fuckbjp @ronnysen

        I just want be able to live in my own country fearlessly and not wake up to another news of another brutal death, that’s all.

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        1. You have every right to be upset, thank you for sharing how you’re feeling. What is happening right now in India is terrifying, especially seeing what happened during the Delhi attacks. I saw a news article about a woman who had survived many of these attacks including the 1947 riots, but she did not survive this one. It was heartbreaking. The fear that must be wrapped up in everyday life now for Indian Muslims… there’s been such a huge spike in Islamophobia, but nothing that comes close to what is happening in India and China. May Allah (SWT) grant you relief and justice. I wonder what is happening right now in the world, now that a lot of people are living in fear of sickness, is because of all of this… only Allah (SWT) knows. Is there anything we can do? I feel as if there’s a lull in Islamophobic attacks and then it returns and it’s scarier than last time. Please let me know if there’s anything we can do to help even if it’s something as small as raising awareness or as big as making dua. Modi is a vile and disgusting man, the BJP invites these attacks and then distances itself from it from what we can see. With an internet ban in Kashmir… all I know is that around 10,000 people disappeared in Kashmir. And Anupam Kher called it the Kashmir Solution referencing Hitler’s Final Solution makes me think what’s going on can only be dark.

          I’ll follow those accounts, right now Saman has been letting me know what’s going on. I don’t know if you follow her on IG @_saman.javed_

          I don’t know what it’s going to take for the west to intervene, but given how Uyghyur Muslims are being ignored by the west, Trump & Johnson in power… I don’t know, the Middle East is embroiled in their own (still ours) conflict. To me it looks like we’re getting closer to the signs of judgement day. Hold fast to Allah (SWT). We’ll pray for you. Allah (SWT) is the best of planners and He never forgets. Everyone will have their due.

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  4. I’m glad you found a restaurant serving decent desi food! Alas, I have yet to find one 😦 The French are not overly keen on spicy food, so, the desi restaurants seem to drop the spices and up the cream content massively to cater for local tastes.

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    1. Wait, I had no idea that there aren’t many South Asian restaurants in France? I did notice it wasn’t very spicy, but it was packed with flavour. The restaurant I went to was somewhat tucked away in an alley with other restaurants – which I loved because it’s far more aesthetically pleasing and experimental than we have here in London.

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  5. I was over here trying to remember my experience on the Eurostar when it hit me that we flew out of Paris. We had a one-way train ride. I will say, that the people in Paris were the least helpful. You’re right, their customer service sucks. Have you been watching Modern Family? Because in one of the latest episodes, the family went to Paris and everyone was so… helpful!! Which wasn’t my experience at all lol. Also, you ubered everywhere! We took the train and it wasn’t so bad, I think. Their transportation system is waaay better than the one in Los Angeles haha. BTW your outfits were the real highlight. Like damn girl, you know how to dress. Where do you get your fashion genius from??

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    1. It would be a bit bizarre for you to get the Eurostar when you live in America! The customer service staff do not give a shit, I have a feeling if they lost our items, they’d end up blaming us. 😭 Even at the high end retailers, they look at you like you’re beneath them. *shudders* Being pretty wealthy might have helped the Pritchett-Dunphy’s… that & being white (can’t forget that France can be pretty racist). I’m waiting for the series to show on Sky Atlantic (I think that’s the one) on our tv, but it hasn’t started yet & I need those subtitles lol. Wish I took the trains more, I loved how insane it was, you go get your seat, all directness none of the passive aggression of Brits *shudders again*. It’s a lot better than the one we have in London as well, plus they have AIR CONDITIONING. Do you know how smelly the tube can get in London in summer! 😦

      Haha, thanks, I kinda know that I’m a great dresser! 😇 I LOVE fashion, I sometimes design my own clothes for Eid as well (well I create the spec and experiment and then send to the tailors).

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      1. Bahahaha no this was while I was studying abroad in Italy. We had a 2 week holiday so my friends and I went traveling. Flew from Pisa to Barcelona. From Barcelona to London. Eurostar from London to Paris. Flew back from Paris to Florence.

        I *think* there’s 2 episodes left and I am not ready! I may put off watching it lol

        I was in London during the fall so thankfully I do not haha. European transportation is a million times better than California. Everything smells, people are terribly rude, and nothing is ever on time smh.

        Tell us (me) your secrets!! Okay girl, I see you. You’re a fashion designer! Makes so much sense! Have you thought about incorporating fashion tips/ideas into your blog?? Seriously, you have a lot of talent.

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        1. You studied abroad? I didn’t know! That sounds amazing, and pretty expensive, lol! How did you find London? 2 week holiday sounds like it definitely wasn’t during summer, and if it isn’t summer, then it’s absolutely pouring in London.

          You gotta give me some spoilers though! How’s the final season shaping up? How’s Hayley and the baby?

          Oh, London tube definitely smells, people are rude but in a passive aggressive way – I’d rather they be more direct, but it’s usually on time, Paris is definitely a lot better than London. So I’m guessing it goes Europe > London > California Lol.

          I need to start taking pictures, but I’m too lazy. I was going to use self isolation to do photo shoots in my house (my room is great for it), but every day I’m like… you know what, I’m just gonna stare at the wall and think. How’s self isolation going for you? Both of our countries have a leader that’s a joke, one is giving false information and the other is treating the british people like a joke (kinda are because these people have been doing huge gatherings in parks – one near my area as well, they need a thumping), but that makes sense.

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          1. It was expensive lol but so worth it. The best time I’ve ever had. London was great! So much history haha. Plus most of the museums we went to were free. Bonus points for that!! We have to pay for everything in California lmao.

            OMG!! Hayley and Dylan had twins! A boy and girl named George and Poppy. And motherhood is stressing her out. Alex works for this big company and is pretty much filthy rich now. Ooh, Mitch and Cam are adopting a baby boy!!!

            It’s a legit miracle when anything arrives on time here lol. 2 minutes away is more like 10 minutes away. It’s annoying.

            Oh no!! Girl, do the photo shoots!! No staring at walls! As you know, I’m an introvert so self-isolation is right up my alley. Seriously, it feels like I’ve been training for this moment my whole life. My president sucks. From “we have nothing to worry about” to “we have a possible cure” I actually stopped watching the news. Can’t deal with the stupidity. Or the cycle of hatred! First it was Black Lives Matter are terrorists. Then it was Latinx are rapists. Now, it’s Asians carry disease. It’s despicable. I’m actually scared he’ll use the pandemic to stay in power longer. It is a legit fear of mine. I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix and going on walks with my dog. You’d think I would be reading more, but nope haha. In LA people are taking it very seriously, I think. There is no traffic on the freeways. No traffic!! What are you doing to fill time?? You’re an extrovert so I imagine this whole situation has not been easy for you.

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