Ile de France Expats Group meet : 2eme Arrondissment, Paris.

The weekend has passed and I’ve not really sat down to write on here, even if I prepared the photos for my entry on Sunday.

Saturday was uneventful – usual mundane stuff like cleaning the place etc etc – usual weekend type thing I suppose.
The following day, we had a meet up with some friends on my “Expat Group” for those here in the Paris area. It’s a group I’ve run off and on since 1999 – having a long gap in between while my friend Pat ran it. I took back the reigns about 2 years ago and since then, we’ve got back to having social meetings in the centre of Paris from time to time. More recently, however, we’ve tried to do these once a month, usually in a restaurant.

At one time we used to go to the same venue in Montparnasse each month – a very small Italian Restaurant in rue Gergovie. But the last time we went they had double booked and thus we ended up getting booted out at 9.30pm. Luckily having finished the meal first!
Last month we went to a Thai restaurant recommended by my friend Pascal, in the 13th district of Paris and also where he lives. I’d never eaten Thai before – but was very impressed.

Getting back to this month. It had been planned that we all go for a picnic in Bois de Vincennes. Unfortunately having checked the weather forcast – it looked like it wasn’t going to be good weather for a picnic: heavy rain.
In fact for once the forecast turned out to be right – but we’d decided to go and eat at an Italian restaurant near the Opéra. “Pasta Papa” turned out to be good value for money, and good food too! Although a bit rushed because I think they wanted to close.

When Thumpah and me arrived at the restaurant, 4 of our party had already arrived 15 minutes before us – but hadn’t dared talk to each other! Out of the 4 were 2 regulars, Irfan & Pascal and two newbies, Kristina & Steve. We are quite a multinational bunch with I guess one thing in common. We all speak English! Irfan is from Pakistan, Pascal is French, Kristina is American and like me Steve is another Brit. As we were chatting we were joined by Alan, an American and another newbie to the meet ups – like Kristina and Steve I’d never met him before.
A few minutes later fellow Brits and also regulars, Angie and Gary joined us – so it was then time to go into the restaurant.

After the meal we decided on the spur of the moment to go in search of “Paris Plage” – an artificial beach created each Summer season, on the banks of the Seine right slap bang in the middle of Paris. Although that promised rain had come along – in fact it had been raining heavily while we were in the restaurant – luckily not so heavily as we started out on our walk.
We all made it down to the Seine – but didn’t manage to find the “beach”. Instead we were happy to just walk along the prom and chat. We took shelter under a bridge after a while, as the rain got heavier. Lots of banter and laughter – you’d think some of us had known each other for a while.
Angie, Gary, Kristina and Alan took their leave of us – hopefully we’ll see them next time for the next meet up. While the rest of us walked back to the Opéra where our car was parked. Steve decided to say goodbye here has he wanted to kill some time before he went to look for his girlfriend at Gare de Lyon. The rest of us, Thumpah, me, Irfan and Pascal piled ourselves into the car to go to Pascal’s flat where he invited us up for a tea or beer. He also kindly let me use his PC to upload mine and his photos from the get together to our Yahoo Group.

The journey back on the A6 motorway was a bit hairy – we ended up driving through torrential rain which remineded us that the front tyres needed replacing as our car went though it’s “contrôle technique” (MOT) a few weeks ago. We skidded a little on the wet surface.

Hopefully next time we’ll be organising a BBQ at our place. As we are quite a way outside of Paris we can’t really organise all our meet ups at our house every month – much as we’d like to. To get here you really do need a car!

Here’s to next month….

Leave you with a photo of the pyramides in front of the Louvre.

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