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Grenoble, France

March 2, 2009

Alps

Yes, I am in Grenoble, France the capital of the Rhône-Alpes region. It’s been two weeks since I came to France. Emirates was the flight, Hyderabad(HYD) the Origin, Dubai(DXB) the transit and Paris(CDG) the Destination airport (to people who are interested in the technical details 🙂 ).  It was a long journey but thanks to the Emirates in-flight entertainment system and my own high spirits ( initially with a tinge of fear) it was not that boring. From the aerial view Dubai was a treat to the eyes. Being a small and compact city it was like a miniature planned city. Well, other than that I can’t quite describe the complete journey with clouds and their appearances being the only company at 30k feet above ground.

I reached Paris at about mid-day. From the airplane it was a bit warm but as soon as I got down the first thing I did was to wear a jacket. The sunlight is deceiving 😛 … The airport is on the outskirts of Paris. Hence, No, I know it is weird but I haven’t been to Paris yet. There was an SNCF station right below the airport from which I took the train out to Grenoble which was about 600 KM from Paris. But thanks to the French Train à Grande Vitesse, the journey took a bit over 4 hours(normally a direct train would take 3 hours but unfortunately I had to change trains at Lyons).

Grenoble is a quiet place even with the high student population owing to the Universities situated. The ambience in the city is great thanks to the snow capped(currently) Alps in sight in almost the three directions. French are I should put it ‘Courteous’. Maybe my opinion is biased as I come from India, given the number of people here it is a strain to be courteous to everyone :P. Be sure to be greeted by everyone you talk to ! Bon Jour (Good day), Bon Soir(Good evening) Merci(Thank You) Salut(Hi) Ça va? (How are you?) D’accord(Okay) à bientôt(See you) and Au revoir (Bye) will stay on the tip of your tongue 🙂 . The interesting thing is the sudden change in their expression they give when you use the English counterparts of the above. They look at you weirdly for a second before giving a smile and groping for an appropriate english word to reply (which believe me is very strenuous for them) ! And be sure to learn the exact pronounciation. Otherwise you will have to face bewildered stares !!

Life here is quite expensive especially since there is that internal calculator in your brain converting every € to Rupee. Well now I try to stop that habit since it’s painful when you have to spend but there is that voice saying Whoa ! I am spending 400 Bucks for a Rs.110 Mc D Burger, just to quote. Regarding the food here they are meat maniacs. Pork and beef being the preferred meal 😦 !! And they just love Indian food making the few Indian restaurants in town expensive.

And I have started reading Brisingr … Yeah Finally !

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