Al-Maliki, Les Pates Vivantes, Watch Out and Happy Mother’s Day …

Started this week at the Elysee Palace, the French equivalent of the White House, where I photographed a visit from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki. He’s in town trying to drum up some business.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is greeted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is greeted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy

It’s always nice watching the goings-on and formalities inside the Elysee.

Stumbled upon a rarity in Paris this week … good Chinese food. Found a place in the 9th arrondissement called Les Pates Vivantes (Living Pasta). They make fresh pasta noodles for each order and wisely have a window facing the street where you can see them in action.

Making noodles at Les Pates Vivantes

Making noodles at Les Pates Vivantes

Prices were quite fair and the food was good. I’d recommend it if you’re looking for Chinese in Paris.

A couple of French news items this week …

A new study by the OECD found that the French spend more time sleeping and eating than their counterparts in economically developed countries. The Japanese sleep nearly an hour less every night than the French and also spend more time at work and commuting than indulging in fun. The French also live up to their reputation for long lunches: They devote nearly double the time to meals than do Americans, Britons or Mexicans. On average, the French get 8.8 hours of sleep each night, enjoying more rest than Americans and Spaniards and a full hour more than South Koreans who rank last on the list with 7.8 hours of sleep.

Also this week French feminist activists startled swimmers Wednesday when they went topless in a Paris swimming pool in a protest against what they said was the different treatment of men and women.

 About 10 young women stripped off at Les Halles pool in the center of Paris, swimming and walking around for about 15 minutes.

 One activist said she was taking part because women’s bodies were considered more sexual than men’s and they were under greater pressure to live up to standards of beauty.

 As other swimmers looked on, mostly amused by the spectacle, a member of staff tried to persuade them to put their tops back on. (sorry, no photos)

One warm evening this week while crossing the Ile Saint Louis, I came across some locals having fun outside a cafe; no particular occasion. You can watch them HERE.

Perhaps my favorite moment of the week happened when I was having a drink with a French friend of mine in the Place des Vosges. I sneezed and my friend, in English, accidentally said “watch out!” instead of “bless you”. I love these moments and can only imagine how many of them I’ve given to random French people by saying things like “good night” at noon.

The calm of this week will be shattered next week as the Cannes Film Festival begins. I’m taking my vitamins 😉

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers … but even more to mine!

And finally, some photos of the week:

This is unlikely to work out too well ...

This is unlikely to work out too well ...

Hotel recently converted from a bank

Hotel recently converted from a bank

Chez Julien in the Marais

Chez Julien in the Marais

Street Paella

Street Paella

Unfortunate Typo

Unfortunate Typo

Applying last minute touches at the Elysee Palace

Applying last minute touches at the Elysee Palace

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Second Baseman on May 10, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    Thanks David for keeping us informed of how your week went….It is always interesting and it makes it feel like we are living part of our life with you which most of us would probably wish we could….

    Reply

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