16 February 2008

Bonjour Paris !

“Events do not happen; they already exist and are executed on a time machine”. This quote by Einstein is very much applicable to my Paris trip. The business trip to Paris was supposed to be my first travel outside India. But something else was written in the script. I want to share many flashbacks including a trip to Mumbai for France Visa interview. But let’s start with actual Paris trip i.e. the thoughts which are fresh in my mind.

After a lot of uncertainties, finally my travel got confirmed. I had to fly from Bangalore on 3rd Feb by Air France at 2.30 am. To be on safer side I left my home at 10.30 pm(2nd Feb). While leaving, my subconscious constantly troubling me that I have forgot something very important. On the way to the airport while descending Richmond Circle, a bell rang !! that I have not taken node lock license device, without which I won’t be able to work. I immediately requested taxi driver to go back to my home. He nodded and took a turn. Thank god it strike me before getting to the airport, seriously subconscious mind is really powerful.

After taking license key device, I reached airport at 11.30 pm, exactly 3 hours before the scheduled departure. The queue to check-in was not very long. Everything seemed to be fine, my luggage was 23.7 kg. But the Air France lady said my luggage is overweight for 1 month stay. She asked me to make it 22kg. I removed the security seal and took 4-5 ‘ready to eat’ pack handed it over to my mother in visitors gallery and some clothes I stuffed into my cabin bag. Before going to the check-in counter I made sure that my luggage was below 22kg. Finally check-in was done and I had boarding pass in my hand.

Enthusiasm of going to Paris was there, but somehow curiosity and excitement of first trip was not there. While filling the immigration form in first floor a girl sitting to next to me asked many clarifications. She was traveling abroad for first time on an onsite assignment to Philadelphia. After immigration and security check I made phone calls to my friends. After sometime a guy came and sat next to me, the curiosity on his face was very much revealing that he was traveling by air for the first time. I had brief chat with him. He was from Bosch and was going to someplace in Germany for 3 months. Then, the discussion came to the point that he will be landing in new airport after 3 months.

The wait for announcement for boarding continued. As I was seated in front of security clearance section, was just observing the body language of different people undergoing security check. One person’s face seemed to be very familiar to classmate Rohith. In fact it was Rohith Kumar, it was nice have a known person as co-passenger. I was even more delighted, when I got to know that he was also going to stay in Paris for business trip, and may be a potential mate for sightseeing in weekends.

The boarding call came. It was done in reverse order of row numbers. Since my seat was in front the call came in the last. The person sitting next to me was a Technical Architect from NXP and was going to Amsterdam. Major part of journey I had technical discussion with him and he asked me many curious questions about my project.

At 8.30 am(Paris time) the plane landed. Sitting in the aisle seat I missed the view of city while landing. After coming out of the plane in the sky bridge itself police checked our passport for the valid visa. Then for immigration stamping and baggage collection we took airport’s automatic train to the other terminal. After stamping I waited for 20 minutes next to baggage belt. Rohith got his bag early as he had checked in later than me(LIFO strategy).

The accommodation for me was booked at Hyatt Regency. From the airport there is Hyatt’s shuttle to the hotel every twenty minutes. From information counter I got the exact place to board the shuttle i.e. gate 4. As soon as I came out Gate-4, I started shivering like anything as the temperature was 2 degree. Thankfully the shuttle came in within one minute and was relived from further torture. Also, the good morning wish of the driver made me comfortable and the feeling of alien land was erased in a jiffy.

At 9.30 am, I reached the hotel. After completing the formalities, the house keeping person (Simon) showed the way to my room. After finishing ablutions I called up JiWon and he told me to take rest. I slept for 2-3 hrs, got up and had a Spinach sambar rice(ready to eat) for lunch.

Later Jiwon showed me ‘LG lounge’(opposite to my room) and other facilities of hotel. In evening he took me Regency into which only privileged customer of the hotel have access. There I had pastry and coffee. Later I came back to my room, prepared noodles at the lounge for dinner and slept early as I had to be ready early in morning for going to office.


  1. Is this a series like Andaman? :D

  2. I stumbled upon your blog quite accidentally while googling for something else. But I must say I've enjoyed reading about your expeditions. You've captured a gorgeous picture of the Eiffel Tower..I've been to France before, but my own pictures dont do the Eiffel Tower as much justice as yours has...looking forward to reading more about the trip! :)

  3. @raveesh: this is not exactly like Andaman series.

    @vagabond: thanks for comments and keep visiting in future for updates.