Sunday, 4 November 2012

A boys Saturday. by Sam.

It was a Saturday and I wanted a bit of a day to myself. I woke up at around 10:30am, had a pan au chocolat as always and decided that I would go for a run as Henry had been for a run a couple of days before and I was feeling guilty for not doing it myself. Henry didn't want to go this time, so I put on my running shoes and went on a run around Bois-d'Arcy. I ran for about 55 minutes with some small rests in between (mostly due to me being extra cautious near crossings as I get confused with which way cars are coming and the fact that the French motorists seem to have a liberal and inconsistent approach to crossings.) 

I eventually found a woods and ran through them, and then back to the apartment. I hit the shower and then I explained to Henry that I was going to go into Montigny to get a tan at the Sunbed salon I had excitedly spotted from the bus on a previous journey, much to the girls amusement. He was happy to watch football on his laptop and drink some beers he had just got from Lidl.

I got the bus and a French woman asked me something but I didnt understand and didnt know what to say, so I assumed she was asking me for my seat for her friend so I moved to the front. I was really embarrassed and realised I must of seemed rude. When I got off the bus the same lady asked me "Parles-tu français" and I smiled and said no, she understood, smiled and said thank you so I felt better about my mistake. I then found the Salon, but I was nervous to go in. I realised from a poster that the sunbed was referred to as a "solarium". I went in and asked the lady in French if I could go on it, she showed me a leaflet pointing out the price and times and I agreed. She showed me the machine and explained to me that it would start automatically. It was a really fancy machine, im used to stand up ones, and it was quite surreal getting in it and having very blue UV lamps on my face and quite a loud audio system blasting my ears with what was supposed to be relaxing music!. 

I felt invigorated after my pampering session and I had a walk around Montigny. Looking at motorcycles, scooters and discovering the main park. An Asian wedding motorcade went past with a ribbon clad Porsche Panamera revving and beeping its horn repeatedly with the following relatives less impressive cars attempting to do the same albeit with less flare. I chuckled to myself thinking of how similar the scene was to what I had witnessed when I had attended an Asian wedding in Manchester a few weeks ago. I decided to head back as me and Henry had discussed eating out tonight, I noticed that restaurants were just starting to open 
at 6.00pm. 

I got back and Henry was watching the Man City match and on his ninth little bottle of biere blonde, we checked the bus time tables for what time we should go out and get back. I managed to find some online reviews for the local Indian restaurant  which were very positive, and I found the menu and opening times. We agreed to go out for a curry, we put on our shirts and headed to the bus stop, just about making it in time. 

We got to Montigny and entered the "Punjab" restaurant. Everything felt very familiar, it looked just like a curry house would in the UK. We were seated and given the menu with all the usual dishes we have grown up with in Blighty. No poppadoms were present though. I ordered the sheek kebab starter, plain nan, and chicken madras. Henry ordered mixed pakora starter, garlic nan and lamb keema and we ordered saffron rice for two. The beers were quite hidden on the drinks menu, it was more spirit and wine focused, but we managed to find Heineken and "Bière indienne" which turned out to be UK brewed "Kingfisher" as the English speaking waiter jokingly told us. 

We were given three dips which the waiter asked me if I, being English recognised them. I enthusiastically answered "Yes, lime pickle, imli (Tamarind Chutney) and mint yoghurt." The starters arrived looking delicious and served just like in the UK with my portion of sheek kebab arriving on a sizzling cast iron platter sitting on top of pepper and onion slices complete with a wedge of lemon!. The freshly baked nans arrived with the starters which is something we were not used to and we would of rather had them served with the main, but they were delicious and we decided to save most of them anyway for our main dishes. The mains arrived in little golden balti dishes, each sitting in a little holder with a tea light under neath.

The food was really delicious and a taste of home, we paid up, tipping generously and decided to try and find a bar where we could continue some leisurely drinking. We stumbled upon the "Theatre Bar/Brasserie" which seemed to have the most patrons and the most similar layout to what we would expect a bar to look like. A live band was playing familiar and some not so familiar rock songs in French and English. We went to the bar and I noticed a collection of die cast model mini's and pictures of London buses, and the walls were also displaying old British motorcycle marque adverts, photographs of Fidel Castro, Elvis Presley and the iconic Che Guevara outline and even a large maggi "bouillon kub" picture (equivalent to an oxo cube to those not in the know, I actually use these maggi stock cubes at home) all adding to the ambiance of a hip place to be

We ordered a grande Heineken for me and a bottle of desperado for Henry. We found a seat and this continued for the rest of the night as we tapped our feet and sang along to such great songs as fortunate son, all shook up and a particularly good rendition of "zombie" by The Cranberries. We checked the bus times and the last bus would be at 0:45, we headed to the bus stop but then realised that our time tables must be out of date and that in fact the bus would be arriving at 1:18. We wasted some time by going back upstairs from the Bus stop to the snack machine and I got some Oreo's. Eventually the bus arrived and we got back to Bois-d'Arcy only to be spotted out of the window by Charlotte and Fern.

We went over to theirs and crept in very quietly not to wake the others and we were hoodwinked into watching an awful rom com with them in bed (rest assured no hanky panky ensued lol). It finished to my and Henrys relief and we headed back to ours for a good nights rest after a good night out. We planned to have a nice relaxing day of rest on the following Sunday, and as of writing this I can happily declare that we did ;). Sauna time me thinks...   

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