Thursday, April 28, 2011

Park Visit

With the recent development in the home front, thoughts and ideas on a travel blog of our last vacation got temporarily interrupted. Ideas just simple didn't flow and the body was most of the time exhausted to even write a line.

However, I am determined to have it completed - never mind if it takes ages.

In this entry, I am featuring the Jardin du Luxembourg, a park located near the Sorbonne University.

Jardin du Luxembourg or the Luxembourg Gardens is about 55 acres large. Originally owned by the duke of Luxembourg, hence the name.

The gardens were laid out in Italian style on request of Marie de' Medici, the queen consort of France. She was the second wife of King Henry IV of France. Blooms are not out yet, hence the barren look.

In Paris parks or gardens are like art. They exhibit paintings of tree and watercolor of fountains. Adorning the park there are many statues and one famous statue is Statue of Saint-Geneviève - the patroness of Paris.

Nissa and Statue of Pan in the background. Pan in Greek religion and mythology, is the companion of the nymphs, god of shepherds and flocks, of mountain wilds, hunting and rustic music.

Greens of the garden

Spring colours out in the garden

Top - Greek mythological figure - Polyphemus.
Bottom - sea nymph Galatea and Acis - a shepherd and the son of Pan.

Polyphemus loved Galatea, but Galatea loved Acis. Galatea and Acis mocked the love songs that Polyphemus sang to Galatea. When Polyphemus caught Acis and Galatea sleeping, he killed Acis by crushing him with a rock.

Threesome - Polyphemus, Galatea & Acis

Threesome - us

Statue of Pan & Palais du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Palace) in the background

Nissa fascinated by....

.......Pan, of course :)

Nissa & Daddy. In the background Fontaine de Medicis, a romantic baroque fountain designed in 1624.

The park allows one to get hold of one of the many chairs and take it to the exact spot where you want to sit, just like this someone did.

NO Thanks

It is almost hopeless trying to keep the eyes opened – even for another extra hour to do some blogging or reading these days. By the time I finished putting away the dishes and have the kitchen sweet smelling from the scent of Lysol, after mopping away the grease and spills from earlier dinner preparations, I’m almost ready to drop flat.

I can’t call the day off yet, however. There’s Nissa’s next day school attire to press and laundry to fold. (why can’t the kids just go off in normal day clothes???) Ohhhh….housework – it is just never ending.

That has been the story of my life for the past week since the disappearance of the maid. I am extremely exhausted from these after office hours extra laborious assignment of a home consultant.

Sometimes I wonder – why did the maid run away? Was it due to all the hard labour she had to carry out or was it due to external influence (read: boyfriend, lover, or more pay) that made her not look back that day when she left.

Last weekend, when both Abe and I resumed the role as cleaners we discovered that the maid was not worthy as we saw her. After running a quick inspection of the house, we discovered the short cuts she’d been taking. Her job was shoddy – kids rooms were not cleaned as how she was instructed to do so. Dust accumulated under the beds, behind the closet areas and in places where were not visible to the eyes.

I was extremely upset with the discovery. It was not like there was so much to do in our house. We do not have little children and we are out most of the time and on weekends.

So the question was – what has she been up too all this time??

As I recall the many days when she was home alone - during weekends, during our vacations, and we thought she was resting and recuperating for the hard work, I wonder now what really went on in the house. I shudder at the thoughts that she could have been up to no good right under our nose!! Nauzubillah….

So…it is somewhat good riddance that the maid’s gone. My back aches like crazy now from all chores I take up. But…..the mind is crystal clear and there is none what so ever remorse feeling inside about not having her in the house.

So what, now that she’s gone……life goes on. Coffee is still brewing, laundry is still done, clothes are still neatly pressed, dishes are all well kept and the house is still clean, perhaps cleaner than before!! I going to look for a replacement at this point in time? With a going rate of almost 8k in agency fees, plus no warrantees that they will stay and undertake the job with honesty and integrity, no kidding lah.....I don't need one, no thanks!!

Well, maybe later...but for now - NO.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bumpy Roads Ahead

Haven't been able to blog anything since the last posting. Many things happened in the last week. The maid ran away last Monday and this caused our schedules and plans turn topsy turvy. I want to scream…I want to cry…I want to kick someone. Well, for those who have been in my shoes, you kinda know the feeling, yes?

I’m already in the office – half way finishing my coffee and all set to brave the day today; both in the office and home front. InshaAllah, I’ll manage to withstand the challenges.

My matra since last week.

But..tears welled my eyes when I saw this text message in Nissa's BB - "bibik balik la..."
Ohhh...God give me strength.

Sent via Kay Berry

Friday, April 15, 2011

Paris Wake Up!!

Paris s'éveille……Paris wake up!!

It must have been jet lag that caused Abe to be wide awake by 3.00am Paris time. Me?? I am not a morning person, sleepy head, like always - regardless Paris or KL.

But the noise and smell of food from the kitchen rolled me out from my slumber. Abe was already making breakfast and the aroma of 3 in 1 coffee filled the space of the tiny apartment.

My watch, still on Malaysian time showed that it was 10.00am. No wonder lah dah terjaga.

That morning breakfast was simple - tuna sandwiches and instant noodles. We didn't manage to go get groceries the night before, so we had to make do with ration we brought from home. Tapi dah lapar kan.....semua pun sedap.

Paris streets - still early and quiet

Magazine and news stand were the earliest to start business for the day

Where to we go from here now??

After breakfast, we prepared our first big day in Paris. We have only 2 full days in Paris, and to cover all the many interesting places may not be possible if we did a tour of our own. Hence, the best alternative was to do a hop on hop off (HOHO) tour round the city. I checked quite a number of companies that offered the HOHO package online. Checked out the different packages and finally settled with one from Insago L'Open Tour. Paid for my bookings online and got the confirmation printed.

It was still early when we hit the Paris streets. Side walk cafes have not opened but the smell of coffee brewing was enough to get our nostrils cracking. Right across our apartment there was dainty a porcelain shop, told myself to go take a peek if time permits.

Decide where to.....

Street leads to Institute Curie

Upon seeing the name "Curie" teringat mata pelajaran tawarikh in primary school. Google helped refresh these details about Curie - he was pioneer in the study about radioactivity, received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 was married Marie Curie.

Hospital close to Institute Curie

Hardly 10 minutes walk from our base, a fantastic architectural sight came to view – the Pantheon.

The Pantheon - in Greek it means "every god"

It was originally built as a church

Now it serves as a temple to the great intellectuals of France

Gothic decorations

Its architect, Jacques-Germain Soufflot died before his work was completed

One of the few family pictures we managed to snap.
Pantheon - located in the 5th arrondissement on the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève.

Adjacent to the Pantheon

University Paris 1 Panthéon- Sorbonne - famous for its Faculty of Law and Economics

Église St-Etienne-du-Mont - a church located very close to the Pantheon

Moi asking for directions. Luckily the lady understood English.


A blimp spotted near the Pantheon

Letters to mail out, anyone? way of parking your bike?

What Inez said about Rue Monge being close to many attractions in Paris was very true. So where to next?

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Joys of Present

“Here's my love, take it. Here's my soul, use it. Here's my heart, don't break it. Here's my hand, hold it and together we will make it forever.”

Errr…those weren’t quite his words. No poetic ammo, just straight to the heart kind of question he asked me.

Early in the relationship, making sense with scents was perhaps easier to him, L'Air du Temps - Air of Time.

Today we celebrate our 24 years of each other - 2 + 3 makes 5; one big happy family (but if you add the many years when the eyes first exchanged glances, we’ve been an item for almost 29 years!!)

Today we celebrate the memories of yesterday, the joys of present and the hopes of tomorrow.

I thank God for everything - my family and my life and all the wonderful blessings He's bestowed upon us.