Writing this from home and couldn’t be happier after surviving two long haul flights and two medium ones with a toddler.
While the mood is still here, would like to write some facts about Paris that I experienced. When we talk about facts, it can’t be helped to talk about it by numbers. So, enjoy calculating a bit.
1. The taxi fare from and to Charles de Gaulle airport is fixed.
I love this one about Paris. No worries of fare watching during your trip with a taxi to and from the airport. When you stay in the right bank, it is 50 euro, while left bank 55 euro. You can give one or two euros for tips.
Expensive? For those who travel by group, it’s surely cheap.
When you go by bus and carrying large luggages, it’s around 11 or 17 euro per person. Then, from the bus stop in city centre, you either have to take a metro or bus, or taxi to reach your hotel or apartment.
When you choose a RER train, it costs very cheap, around 2 euro, but have yourself covered in sweat because you need to go underground by stairs.
Metro and bus have the same fare, it is 1,90 euro while taxi fare starts from 2,60 euro. Don’t forget about dragging your luggages here and there, climbing up and down the stairs. It’s another intangible cost.
2. Buying t-tickets for your transport saves a lot than having a pass. Paris Pass is quite pricey and overpriced, for me. Glad we didn’t buy it and bought t-tickets instead.
We bought two bundles of two t-tickets at first (each bundle has 10 t-tickets). It can be used for metro and bus for the trip around Paris (1-20 arrondossement). Bus ticket can be bought inside the bus with different fare. With t-ticket you pay 1,90 while direct purchase is 2,00 euro.
For seven days going around Paris, we spent buying 4 bundles of t-tickets. One bundle costs 14,10. So, total of four is (only) 56, 40 euro (two adults).
Compared if you buy Paris Visite Pass : for five days pass, covering zone 1-5, it costs 63,50 per adults.
So, don’t bother buying it. Use the money for enjoying any other things about Paris. Like buying the nice macarons, croissants, or a pair of french made shoes.
3. Big croissants cost around 1,2-1,7 euro while the small ones cost around 0,50- 0,60 euro. I’d rather go to the big one.
4. Paris two last numbers of zip code show the arrondissement. 75001 means it is in the 1st, 75017 means it is the 17th arrondissement.
5. Seen lots of electric car while they were being charged and hadn’t seen any singles gas station during the stay. Don’t know why.
6. You will always being greeted and better to say ‘Bonjour’ almost everywhere. Bus, store, cafe, office, attraction places, just everywhere. While saying ‘ Au Revoir’ is only when you have the chance while parting.
7. Everyone has their own way to enjoy the trip. Since we enjoy food a lot, most of our euros go to good food. In fact, after calculating the expenses, 65 percent of them go to restaurants and… Monoprix. Champ Éllysées and Galeries Lafayette didn’t tempted us. Monoprix food section did a lot.
8. I don’t know about others’ experiences, but I really have a very good experience with Parisiens. The officers, the taxi and bus drivers, the people. Wearing hijab is totally indifferent. They answer your questions nicely, serve you well at the stores, cafes, and restaurants, helping me to hold the doors, and all those kind little gestures I really love.
Maybe, just maybe, it was because I traveled with a cute little toddler who had been attracting others to play. Or another maybe, was because I spoke the language. Or, if I can just suggest another possibility, it was simply an answer to my pray.
I always pray one thing whenever I am facing new things, new places, or new people : for me to meet the kind ones. Those who won’t do any harms to me (and my companion).
When I went for postgrad, I asked to be given a good roommate. I had two, and their kindness were really beyond my expectation. During hajj, I asked to be given the good ones who shared the room with me and my mom. I was given a pair of mother and daughter like me and my mom who were very considerate and kind. Then, Paris… was even more surprising. We’re saved from any pickpockets, scammer, even met too many kind people during the trip.
Well, that is all just my guess about this fact. But, meeting those kind parisiens meant a lot for me.
Still try to remember more, but up to now, that is all.