Snapshots of KLIA2–AirAsia’s new airport at KL

klia2
Walking time to departure gates at KLIA2
Most important photo of this post: Walking time to departure gates at KLIA2

KLIA2 is the new terminal for budget carriers flying in or out Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia’s largest budget airline AirAsia moved its operations from the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) to KLIA2 on May 9.

I was flying to KL on May 10 so I had the chance to see the airport while it was still new. Here’s a peek at what the new airport looks like.

Why KLIA2 is so huge?
Before flying, I’ve read advisories from AirAsia telling travellers that the boarding gates are quite far so everyone needs to be early. The walk from the arrival gates to the main terminal did feel quite long, although the view of airplanes from the large windows helped pass time.

Things were still kind of bare when I was at KLIA2. I didn’t get much photos of the arrival hall because I wanted to catch my bus to KL Sentral.

KLIA2 FAQ person
There were these human-FAQ walking around at the airport. They’re helpful with directions and bad at finding a normal trashcan.

The buses are located at Basement 2. I had booked a shuttle bus to KL Sentral from AirAsia. Turns out I could just hop on the bus and show my ticket.

Leaving KLIA2

AirAsia checkin counter at KLIA2
Not many people check in their luggage so the counters are bare.

I had more time to take photos when I was leaving KL. The departure level is the highest of the building and getting here takes more time than I expected.

I like that there are a lot more restaurants at KLIA2 than LCCT. Finally, more food choices. But I only got a cup of latte from McCafe since I ate multiple meals before leaving the city center.

After having my coffee, I had a really difficult time finding a normal trashcan to throw my cup. The human-FAQ couldn’t help me and only pointed to the recycling bins.

More than 95 percent of the trash cans are recycle bins.
KLIA2 is overdoing the recycling bins. It seemed like every corner I see one of these but not a regular trash can. Recycling won’t work if everyone throws their regular trash inside.

International Departure at KLIA2

Departure lounge

Walking time to departure gates at KLIA2
Walking time to departure gates at KLIA2
Long walkway at KLIA 2
The walkway to the international departure lounge was pretty far. The shops weren’t opened so the walk was boring.
KLIA2 depature hall
Empty KLIA2 depature hall
Resting lounge at departure lounge at KLIA2
Resting lounge at departure lounge at KLIA2

Flight to Taipei cancelled because of typhoon [YQasia Day 11 Oct 6]

china flight delay

Location: Shanghai, China

My flight to Taipei was originally scheduled at 2:30pm and I was supposed to reach the destination at 4:25pm. However, I learned that the flight was delayed till the next morning so I would be Google, Faceook and Twitter-less for another day.

This is the story of the day my flight was delayed. (There’s a happy ending, don’t worry.)

Breakfast at Xiao Yang

After eating at Xiao Yang’s Dumpling yesterday, I still wanted to have more of it. The dumplings themselves weren’t delicate works but its rough, doughy texture and soupy filling makes it a great meal. This was why I decided to wake up early to head to a Xiao Yang branch before finishing my luggage packing and checking out.

As my phone didn’t have mobile Internet, I copied out the directions given by Baidu Map and took a look at the road maps for that area.

Rainy Shanghai
Rainy Shanghai

When I stepped out of the hotel, it was drizzling. I had to head back and grab my umbrella since I would be walking quite a distance later. The bus stop was right next to the hotel, which was convenient, but the bus that I needed to take arrived much later.

Taking the bus in Shanghai is very easy if you know Chinese as you will be able to read the destinations listed at the bus stop.

Even if you don’t know Chinese, there are announcements of the next destination of the bus once you are in it. However, sometimes the announcement comes too late (one second before the bus leaves the stop) so you’ll have to memorize how many stops there are before yours.

The original Xiao Yang
The original Xiao Yang

I reached my destination without a glitch and found the restaurant. The Xiao Yang Dumpling branch at Huanghe Road (黄河路) is the main branch and it even has an upper floor.

As with yesterday, I paid for my dumplings and went to queue. Unfortunately for me, the last dumpling in the pan was given away right before my turn. I waited for the next batch and suddenly realized that I was standing in the wrong queue. Thus I joined the second queue.

Again, my luck ran out and there were only 3 remaining dumplings by the time it was my turn. It was déjà vu as the same situation happened yesterday. I was a bit whiny so the employee told me to find a table and she’ll let someone send it up.

Only 3 dumplings
Only 3 dumplings
Wantan soup
Wantan soup

So up I went the upper level which smelled like a musty table cloth. My wanton soup arrived and I happily dug in. The fried dumplings were still as oily and had a strong taste of pork, making me wonder why I actually like them. As I ate, I realized that the best part about these dumplings were the soup inside.

Unlike xiaolongbao which are tiny, these shengjianbao are much bigger. Nibbling a bit of the upper part off, you can slurp out the scalding hot soup inside. It takes several deep slurps to suck the dumpling dry. Then comes the crunchy bottom part (which is actually the top of a regular Chinese bun). This is the most oily but I cannot help not eating them.

After I finished my meal, my single dumpling hadn’t arrived yet. I waited and waited and still there was no sign of my dumpling. Since my stomach was stretched to its limit, I thought I should just leave without it.

As I walked down the stairs, I thought I heard the employees say my table number. Too late to turn back and finish that little rascal.

Off I went in search of my bus back to the hotel. Again, it was the slowest to arrive but at least I had a seat.

Taking the metro to Shanghai airport

At first, I thought about taking the Maglev train to Shanghai Pudong Airport. However, Nicole who went to the airport last night reported that the time it takes to reach the airport wasn’t very long so I decided to take the metro and save 33 yuan. Plus, the distance from Longshan Station to the airport is really quite short.

Off I went with my luggage to Yuyuan Station. The rain had stopped but the ground was still wet with puddles.

The train station wasn’t as crowded as it was yesterday. I couldn’t find a seat so I stood most of the way. At Guanglan Station, everyone got off and switched to another train.

Flight delayed…until tomorrow

Sorry that your flight is delayed
Sorry that your flight is delayed

Finally, I reached Shanghai Pudong Airport. But when I reached the check in counter, there was a note saying that the flight had been delayed to 8pm and we should check in at 2pm. Hey! We were supposed to leave at 2:30pm. The airline would get us a room to rest.

There wasn’t much to do in Terminal 2 so I walked around, bought a stamp for a postcard home, walked around some more and sat down to read before it was our check in time.

At check in, Air China employee told me to wait at Gate 26 for the shuttle to the airport. As you have guessed, the bus–buses actually since there were too–came late.

We were driven around for a while before finally stopping at a fancy hotel. Is this where we will be resting?

Yes, it was. The hotel staff said the rooms were for two people so I paired up with a lady who spoke with a Taiwanese accent. After putting my bags in my room, I head out for food and some toiletries shopping.

The little ramen place that I visited was run by Muslim-Chinese. Many of them run noodle shops such as the one I went to. The father of the house was rolling dough and pulling it into thin strands of noodles.

Ramen rolling
Ramen rolling

Unfortunately, the noodle wasn’t that good. I couldn’t finish half of it. When I asked how much it was, the son even charged me a large bowl of noodles although I think it was a small one. That’s only 1 yuan difference but it’s annoying to be overcharged.

Then it was toiletries shopping. I bought several bars of soap–something I’ve been buying as souvenirs for some time–although I’m afraid that people might think I am hinting that they need to take a shower if I give them any.

Hotel for the night due to flight cancellation
Hotel for the night due to flight cancellation

So back to the hotel I went. While I went online in the lobby, I spotted my roommate who was getting her luggage out of storage. Turns out, she was returning to her home in Shanghai city as the flight was delayed until tomorrow.

Back in my room, I found out that the internet speed was really fast. Wonderful! I have been plagued by slow internet speed since returning home.

In the middle of j-drama bingeing, the reception called to say that I could go for dinner at 5:30pm. Dinner was pitiful but at least they tried.

Later, the reception called again to say that check out tomorrow is at 5:30am and we will leave at 6:00am.

Wonderful.

Follow my (2 weeks late) adventures in China:

Day 1 Misadventures at Hangzhou Airport [YQasia Day 1 Sep 26]
Day 2 Swindlers and bicycle misadventures at West Lake
Day 3 Bike returning at West Lake/ Staying with a cute baby [YQasia Day 3 Sep 28]
Day 4 To Thousand-Island Lake by bus [YQasia Day 4 Sep 28]
Day 5 Tour of Qiandao Hu (Thousand-Island Lake) [YQasia Day 5 Sep 30]
Day 6 Buying tix to Shanghai/ Eating on a floating platform in middle of nowhere [YQasia Day 6 Oct 1]
Day 7 A very Chinese wedding [YQasia Day 7 Oct 2]
Day 8 A very Chinese hotel/ 7-hour buses to Shanghai [YQasia Day 8 Oct 3]
Day 9 Exploring Shanghai: Buffet, the Bund and Nanjing East Rd [YQasia Day 9 Oct 4]
Day 10 A day of food and coffee in Shanghai [YQasia Day 10 Oct 5]

Misadventures at Hangzhou Airport [YQasia Day 1 Sep 26]

day 1 in china hangzhou misadventures

[Since I did not have access to my blog when I was in China, I have to update my trip only now. Enjoy the delayed posts.]

Location: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia -> Hangzhou, China

Hello everybody, I’m now in Hangzhou, China. Today’s the first day of my East Asia (China and Taiwan) trip.

At the beginning, I didn’t thought about writing daily entries as I did on my round-the-world trip. But today’s event was so interesting (or frustrating) that I thought it would be interesting to share details about this 20-day trip.

Let’s hop over to the start of the trip, to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Mom dropped me off at AirAsia’s terminal and headed off to the shop. Our family’s kind of laissez-faire about sending off people because we seem to be travelling too much for tearful farewells. Heck, my parents only start driving to the airport to pick me up after I call them to say that I’ve arrived.

The counters were full of guests waiting for check-in. I picked one of the queues that seemed to have less people and even lesser luggage.

Queue at AirAsia Kota Kinabalu
Queue at AirAsia Kota Kinabalu

Of course, I have the worst of luck when it comes to queues so my line was slower than the one on my left but faster than the one on my right. (I feel good about the latter part.)

While I was waiting, my mom suddenly appeared at my side. She told me that a police officer had left the parking area so she parked illegally. She didn’t hang around for a long time and went off soon.

After checking in my 8kg luggage despite having 20kg of paid weight, I headed into the boarding room. AIrAsia’s boarding room is kind of messy since they only have number gates and everyone waits in the same place.

I didn’t realize that my flight was boarding until I heard a man yell out my destination, “HANGZHOU!” By that time, the queue has dispersed and only the rest of the absentminded guests were rushing over to pass the gate.

The majority of the passengers on my flight were tourists from mainland China. It’s great that AirAsia has started Hangzhou – Kota Kinabalu route as it brings in a lot more tourists. Still, I think that the city still needs to work more to make the place tourist-friendlier.

Anyway, back to my flight. I booked a meal for the trip to Hangzhou because it was flying at an awkward timing (4:15pm to 8:20pm!). I booked black pepper chicken since I would be eating a lot of rice for the next 20 days.

AirAisa black pepper chicken
AirAisa black pepper chicken

All throughout my flight, the little kid behind me kept kicking my seat. He even shut the window shutter really loudly when I had my head leaning on the wall.

I didn’t confront his parents because I’m a wimp but from the kid and his mom’s conversation, I can tell that they are actually good parents and not raising a spoiled brat.

Soon (actually, about 4 hours), we reached Hangzhou. The airport was huge and our plane needed a car with an arrow sign to lead it to its space. I only glimpsed the car when it made turns. This made me wonder if there are actually tiny cars leading planes to their right parking in all airports.

Immigration at Hangzhou airport was fast since it didn’t seem like a lot of people were around. I hurried past the customs officers since I was eager to hea

Waiting, waiting and waiting for my hotel pick up

Hangzhou Airport arrival
Hangzhou Airport arrival

I got out my phone and tried to call the hotel through Skype since it’s much cheaper that way. What I didn’t realize that Skype’s service was blocked in China. (I should have known this considering my previous job involved a lot of writing about the Great Firewall of China.)

I was nervous and did the next best thing: Whatsapp my mom and ask her to call the hotel. I could see from my phone record that Mom had read my note. But a long while passed and she still did not reply me.

I forwarded the hotel’s number to the Whatsapp group where I contact both my mom and my sister. Soon, my mom replied. She said she was busy fetching someone to the airport and didn’t have time to call the hotel then. She had made the call and the receptionist said that the hotel bus was already off to pick me up. This was 9:27pm.

So I waited and waited and waited. I looked at every person who walked by, to see if they would approach me and ask if I was staying at Guanghua Hotel. No one asked me even though they looked like they were there to pick someone up.

At 9:40pm, I told my family that the vehicle wasn’t there even though the hotel is supposed to be near the airport.

9:46pm I wrote Nicole’s full name on a piece of paper and hung it on my luggage. Since she made the booking, I assumed that the pick up person would know to pick me up.

9:48pm I asked my mom to call the hotel again. My sister also volunteered to call.

9:54pm Mom wrote that the reception to the hotel was bad and she couldn’t hear much. I tried calling and no one could hear me speak.

10:03pm My sister said she would call. Mom wrote back, “I just called. They said that they’ve picked someone up. I told them that you’re still at the airport. She asked if there were 3 of you. Then I said that you have been waiting since 9pm.”

10:06pm My sister wrote, “The receptionist dared say that the 2 Malaysians have checked in. Head to Gate 14. Car plate 38, silver gray car with a driver called Liu.”

So off I walked from Gate 4 to Gate 14. Even though the numbers don’t feel too far from each other, the walk was dang long. When I reached Gate 4, my heart fell. This place was a total mess with more people waiting than people arriving. I knew I wouldn’t be able to recognize anyone there. I didn’t dare walk too far out of the airport because it was unknown territory. I told my sister about the situation and she called the hotel again.

10:20pm My sister wrote to tell me to head out and a vehicle would be honking and some one would be calling out my name. I walked out and there was a van outside. The driver was honking but he wasn’t yelling my name. I gratefully got on the bus.

Even though it was only a 5-minute drive, it felt like forever. The highway was quite empty and the dark roadside was lit here and there with florescent signs announcing hotels.

Finally, the bus approached a grand hotel. It was Guanghua, the place where I will be staying for one night. The receptionists were apologetic when I checked in. I took my room card and the breakfast coupon to our floor.

The room was majestic. After 4 months of living in hostels, a grand hotel room was very unfamiliar, although very exciting. Soft comfy beds! Dim lights! Not very cold air conditioning. These were things unfamiliar to me.

Guanghua Hotel
Guanghua Hotel
Payable items in China hotel
Payable items in China hotel

Other things that were unfamiliar to me were payable items such as junk food, face towel, shampoo and even instant noodles in the room.

Another thing that I’ve never seen in a hotel room is this basket consisting of 1 box of vibrating condoms, 1 box of ladies’ underwear, 1 box of ladies’ socks, 1 box of men’s underwear and another box I didn’t see clearly.

Condoms in Chinese hotel rooms
Condoms in Chinese hotel rooms

Nicole’s flight arrive slightly after midnight. I went to the reception to tell them to send a car over. Soon, she reached and we’re about to start our adventures tomorrow!

What is the strangest thing you have seen in a hotel room?

Follow my (2 weeks late) adventures in China:

Day 1 Misadventures at Hangzhou Airport [YQasia Day 1 Sep 26]
Day 2 Swindlers and bicycle misadventures at West Lake
Day 3 Bike returning at West Lake/ Staying with a cute baby [YQasia Day 3 Sep 28]
Day 4 To Thousand-Island Lake by bus [YQasia Day 4 Sep 28]
Day 5 Tour of Qiandao Hu (Thousand-Island Lake) [YQasia Day 5 Sep 30]
Day 6 Buying tix to Shanghai/ Eating on a floating platform in middle of nowhere [YQasia Day 6 Oct 1]
Day 7 A very Chinese wedding [YQasia Day 7 Oct 2]
Day 8 A very Chinese hotel/ 7-hour buses to Shanghai [YQasia Day 8 Oct 3]
Day 9 Exploring Shanghai: Buffet, the Bund and Nanjing East Rd [YQasia Day 9 Oct 4]
Day 10 A day of food and coffee in Shanghai [YQasia Day 10 Oct 5]

Cheap eats: Changi Airport Staff Canteen (Terminal 1)

changi staff canteen

It’s Food Friday here at YQ Travelling. Today, I will share where you can find the staff canteen at Changi Airport Terminal 1.

Usually, food at airport is expensive. However, among all the airports that I have been, Singapore’s Changi Airport has the relatively cheapest food.

If you don’t fancy fast food or restaurants at Changi Airport, I suggest visiting the staff canteen. Today, I will introduce the staff canteen at Terminal 1 because this is where I usually leave when I take AirAsia.

I find that the canteen can only be accessed from the second floor’s lift. Somehow, I could not find the elevator on the first floor.

Sign to Changi Airport Staff Canteen Terminal 1

Look for the toilet nearest to the AirAsia counter. Around the corner, there is a set of elevators to the basement. Head to Basement 1.

You will reach a large staff canteen such as this.

Changi Staff Canteen

I find it surprising that many Indonesian tourists know of this relatively secret hideout for cheap eats. Every time I go, I see a table of tourists from Indonesians with their large luggage.

The food in the canteen is very similar to what you can find at normal hawker centers.

Duck stall at Changi Staff Canteen

For example, this bowl of duck porridge is S$4. The same price as at the food court.

Duck porridge at Changi Airport Staff Canteen

A normal cup of kopi (local coffee)

Have you been to the staff canteen at Changi Airport? Which is your favorite stall?

Should you fly from JB Senai Airport or Singapore Changi Airport?

Senai Airport

When I was in the first three years of university, I flew from Kota Kinabaluto Johor’s Senai Airport on AirAsia. From the airport, I usually take a private cab into Singapore for a princely sum.

Of course I had a choice of flying directly into Changi Airport but it was an expensive choice of SilkAir.

When AirAsia finally flew from KK to Singapore directly, I was ecstatic. I remember saying “goodbye” to Senai Airport, adding, “We’ll never see each other again.”

Unfortunately, I did see Senai again.

I took an AirAsia flight from JB back home to Sabah during the Christmas break. It was more than S$100 cheaper per trip compared with flying directly to or from Singapore. (RM284 [SG$115] vs ~S$250).

Compared to 4 years ago, AirAsia has made it convenient for passengers in Singapore to go to Senai. There’s a 2-hourly bus from JB’s CIQ to Senai. The bus journey is about 40 minutes and a pleasant ride.

AirAsia Sky Shuttle
AirAsia Sky Shuttle

When I was on the way to the airport, I asked the driver about the number of passengers who have taken the shuttle. He counted in his head and said, “13. And that’s a good number. It’s the weekend, you see.”

On the way to the airport, there were 3 passengers. On my way back to JB, there was only me. I have a feeling AirAsia might cancel the shuttle any time.

Since I had the chance to experience flying to Senai and to Changi, I will list down the pros and cons for you to decide.

Pros and cons of Senai and Changi

Senai Airport
Cruel fate

Senai Airport

Pros:

  • Tickets are cheaper than flying directly into Singapore
  • Marry Brown fast food at airport
  • Less crowded at airport
  • Free transport to Senai and CIQ

Cons:

  • Extra travelling time to JB or Singapore (depending on traffic)
  • Nothing much at airport
  • Free transport only available once every 2 hours
Changi Airport
Changi Airport

Changi Airport

Pros:

Cons:

  • Tickets are usually more expensive

If you are still undecided, here are some factors to take into consideration when buying your JB/Singapore ticket:

  • Total price difference (Remember to count in transport fees from Senai into Singapore. It doesn’t make sense if your transport fees are similar to airtickets savings.)
  • Time to travel to airport (You will probably be travelling for an extra 2+ hours depending on your SIngapore location.)
  • Wait for SkyShuttle bus (Buses come 2-hourly)
  • Getting to location in Singapore (Do you have too much luggage? Do you really want to drag them from Malaysia to Singapore?)

Have you flown from JB airport instead of Singapore? How was your experience?

From the airport to the house


Edited on June 11, 2011. A rainy Saturday.

I know it sounds really long winded, describing each step I take. It’s just that I haven’t figured out what sort of voice is best for these sort of writing.

xxx

We then had to queue at the immigration checkpoint. The EU-ians had a fast queue while we foreign people queue at the slow one.

I waited for my luggae and there it was. I decided that my gray coat was too bulky so took my things to a corner to stuff it in.

After packing my heavy coat into my luggage, I stepped out of the luggage collection area. On the way out was a drug sniffing black beautiful large canine and its guard.

Outside, the space was quite small. A long corridor stretched to the left. I went to look for transport into the city,

I passed a booth selling SIM cards. Eager to contact my mother and not wanting to roam, I bought one for 9.90 euro. The man promised 3 euros of credits today and 6 euros tomorrow. He also said that relaoding is easy and I can just ask for it at any tabac for Mobisud rechargee.

Bullshit. He lied. So my friends, please do not buy the first SIM card you see. Also, for anyone searching Mobisud online, it sucks. It sucks like a vacuum cleaner.


Anyway, I didn’t know anything about how sucky Mobisud was and continued on my way.

From my research, I found out that it is best for me to take the Orlybus to Denfert-Rochereau where there is a line 4 metro to take me near my homestay.

But, there was no sign of where the Orlybus could be found. Even the machine didn’t sell any Orlybus ticket.

The only sign was one for Orlyval.

The man at the counter (like what I read in guide books) took his time doing other things before serving me. I wasn’t offended or anything because it is actually expected of people in Paris.

I asked for Orlybus tickets. He said he only has Orlyval and I have to buy it behind (here he pointed his thumb to the back).

I went around the back and walked further down the corridor and still couldn’t see any sign of Orlybus. I did see signs for Disneyland.

At last, I went to the information counter, queueing behind a harrassed-looking lady. I was busy looking around that someone called me, “Madam” and gestured that I could go inside to ask.

I asked in halting French, where I could find the Orlybus.

The lady said it slowly, with hand gestures and used her fingers to tell me the location. Merci bien, madam!

As I exited the airport, a chilly breeze blew but the sun was piercing.

An Orlybus rolled to the stop, but I went to the ticket machine and slowly inserted my change. So slow that the bus left before I even finished putting half the change needed. Why do they not accept bills?

When I finally got my ticket, I sat down and enjoyed another egg. A sparrow chirped and hopped around me, perhaps hoping for a piece of what I was eating. I was quite horrified, it would be cannibalism if I let the bird eat the eggs!

Finally the bus came. I was at Orly Sud, the first stop so there was no one. I settled myself and my luggage in a cosy corner.

On the bus, I messaged my landperson–Louis who’s a Taiwanese working as a tour guide in the city of lights–that I am on my way and when he wants to come pick up the rent.

Louis called back, sounding like the friendly Taiwanese I imagined him to be. He advised that I bring my warm things out because the night can get cold.

I messaged my parents and spent the trip staring out the window or napping.

The trip from the airport to was unmemorable. Places just at the fringe of cities are often unmemorable.

But once nearer to the city, the buildings start to change. No longer are they dull gray “modern” buildings but petite red-bricked buildings with steps in front.

As we passed a neighborhood, I was surprised to find someone jogging. I had read that Parisians do not jog. (Or maybe they do now.)

The bus stopped at Denfert-Rochereau, a place which I would visit another two times and this is not counting my trip back to the airport.

The train station had a orange-cream sort of color and looked very European. I finally started feeling that my adventure has arrived.

Entering the station, I headed to the counter, queued behind two men. When it was my turn, I said my “Bonjour madame” and showed her the list of tickets I wanted to buy.

The lady was very kind as she did not shout to ask what I want. Instead, she put on her spectacles and read my list.

I did my research before traveling and found out that on weekends and public holidays, people under 26 years old can buy a Tiket Jeune (Youth ticket) which allows them to travel at a much cheaper rate. It’s also a all you can ride sort of ticket, but I found out later that the ticket works from 5am to the last train ride, not from 12am to 11.59pm.

After I have my ticket, getting to the right platform was the challenge.

The signs weren’t very helpful as sometimes they point up when clearly you can’t expect me to walk up the wall!

That was what happened to me while I tried to find the Metro underneath Denfert-Rochereau. Turns out I have to walk a long long long long way from the RER lines to get to the metro.

The metro line looked like a big cave. The wonderful thing was that everything smelled like piss.

Really, I find it very romantic that Paris–the city of lights and what have you–actually smells like piss instead of a room perfumed with rosewater.

The ride to my stop wasn’t very comfortable because of my luggage. But I managed to get one of the foldable seats and sat gripping my luggage.

My stop came and I luged my bag up the stairs. I tried following Louis’ directions–which he also included pictures. But like always, I failed at first try and walked in a completely wrong direction for two blocks!

However, being in Paris, smelling the piss-laced air, I didn’t find myself being angry. This is Paris! Paris! Paris! Paris! I had to stop myself from singing out loud.

At last I found my street. It was a dirty looking, cobbled street lined with Chinese shops.

As Louis was out, he instructed that I go collect my keys from one of the restaurants.

Forgive me for calling these eateries restaurants. They aren’t.

Food is pre-cooked and put in a glass cabinet. I imagine people order by pointing to the dishes they want and the serveur would take some of the cold dish and plonk it onto a melamine plate. And I imagine that the most Chinese part of the dish is the plate which was manufactured in China.

Having picked up my keys, I ignored a sheet of paper inside. That paper proved to be crucial and I regret not reading it sooner.

The paper was a printed letter from Louis, advising how to manuever the stairs. You have to switch on the light or else, like me, you will be in complete darkness climbing up the romanticly winding stairs to your attic where cold soup awaits room.

In the darkness, I climbed up blindly, not even sure if I had reached my floor.

When I suspected I did, I turned into one of the rooms in the corridor and tried the key.

The room was terrific. The curtains were shut when I went in but it felt really really good to see this neat little space after the darkness.

I quickly made a mess myself at home. 

Read Part 2 of my first day in Paris here: Paris Day 1 Adventure: Musée des arts et métiers.