Saturday, February 25, 2006

In 38 seconds to the 56th floor..

Let yourself be transported in 38 seconds to the 56th floor of the Montparnasse tower. You are in 200 meters height at the doors of the highest restaurant in Europe: "Ciel de Paris".

This week was all about Brussels and Paris for me. I invited our group IT directors for a two day Paris meeting. We had a great diner in Ciel de Paris overlooking Paris. Fabulous restaurant!


Traveling via Paris airport Charles de Gaulle is becoming a real pain these days.

I fly very frequently and have all sorts of cards, iris scan badges, quick airport acces, vip valet parking and electronic tickets. Anything possible to make my traveling life efficient. It normally takes me about half an hour to leave from home and be seated in the plane. In France however, you can prepare as much as you like. Forget about it. The French customs and security check has gone bazurk. I had to queue up for 45 minutes to be frisked by a sweaty fat guy. Had to take of shoes and belt and was yelled at to move on. Many people miss their flights because of this which causes a lot of stress and frustration. Ahh..la belle France...

When I arrived back in Amsterdam, the Dutch airport Schiphol was a mess too.. But I guarantee you this area will look brand new next week.

I may be very critical to my country some times but if there's one thing we do well than that would be organizing things to maximum efficiency. France on the other hand..(-deep sigh-)

9 comments:

Mother Damnable said...

Welcome back Dimitri :>)

Lenren said...

I went to France the summer before my SR. year in highschol.(98) So the 1st day in Paris, I have a seizure. (My very 1st, but now I have them all the time and on medication for them)Anyway I am taken to the ER by ambulance. When I finally come to I am in this strange and scary room. I was a 3rd year french student, but when you are in the country (and scared) it is so hard to understand. My teacher was not allowed in the room because they said it was for females only. I was vey upset. The woman next to me was moaning and groaning and cursed at me a few times because apparently should wanted to have a room by herself.(yes I understood the curse words I had a very cool teacher)So about 3 hours later they said I could leave.Oh they made me pee in a cup and as I was doing so, bent over and everything, a drunk frenchman opens the door! I literally was having a tug of war w/this drunk dude!So we leave. My teacher and I get a cab. 2xs the cab driver goes in a big circle. I wasn't exactly in a normal state of mind, but I knew he was running up the meter. I said something to my teacher and he tells me to just be quiet. We get to the hotel and my teacher tells me I should expect this type of thing because the french hate Americans. Also a few days later a group of us are coming back from visting Jim Morrison's grave, very cool btw! We get lost. All we can do for help is show our hotel keychain and say "ici ici" They kept telling us the wrong way, which we didn't realize until a very nice english speaking french lady said "they are telling you to go in circles, this(and points) is the way to your hotel." So it was fun, but I had the feeling the only thing about our group they wanted was our money.Sorry long comment a little off subject, but thought you might enjoy.

Lesley said...

I haven't been to France for 2 years, but last time I was there they were very efficient and I was wishing American airports were that good.

Gary said...

C'est la vie, mon ami! It's worth it to have a good meal in Paris.

Canadians are pretty well organized too, although the Dutch and Swiss win the gold and silver I think.

DA said...

Thx MD :-)

Thank you for sharing this Lenren. What an amazing story..Best not to have seizures in France I guess. They don't like Dutch people as well (we tend to behave somewhat arrogant so I can relate to that). In fact I believe they only like themselves. I have never been in a French hospital though. Hope you are fine now :-)

I think a lot happened since 911 Lesley. But we have allways been making jokes on the French lack of organizing skills.

Our countries both had a good share of plaques this year Amigo. I've never visited Canada, would love to do it once..

Lorraine said...

HI Dimitri, interesting post...BTW, should there be a minor translation need check out my 3rd blog (nottooshabbycommenttranslator) which you can access through my profile. Unfortunately, I'm not HTML savvy enough to put it in clickable form :)

Lenren said...

Yes I am. They are under control. Thank you though for your kind words.I have a very close friend who is Dutch. I love his little saying. " you ain't much if you ain't Dutch!" Yes the hospital was really strange. TAKE CARE! :) Amber

DA said...

I will need that Lorraine, thx for offering:-)

"you ain't much if you ain't Dutch" lol, that would be the arrogance I mentioned Amber :-))

Zee said...

I suppose lenren is your typical stereotype US american euro-traveller. Voulez vous couchez avec moi, ce soire? No merci, I'm going in circles...