Antique Market from Saturday to MondayAntique Market from Saturday to Monday

Although I wasn’t able to join the rest of the group on their trip to Dublin, Ireland, I couldn’t have asked for a more rewarding weekend. First of all, I will be blogging on this new website which Intrax provided upon seeing my enthusiasm for sharing my experiences demonstrated in my personal blog. What a surprise!

Yuksel's collection of ancient keysYuksel’s collection of ancient keys

Inspired by the short time I have left in France, I took initiative this weekend to explore the city. I visited the Marché aux Puces at Porte Clignancourt at the suggestion of Mathilde,who is interning in Paris for Pathmotion. On a mission to view the antiques, I ventured past the bargain vendors, street games and men selling coal roasted corn from shopping carts.

When I came upon a quiet alley with vine-covered buildings, there were people browsing through ancient furniture from deceased Nobles, glass crystals, and elaborate gowns. There, I conversed with the merchant of the adorable skeleton key display. The merchant, Yuksel, had visited the Bay Area before and was happy to meet me. He left his contact, inviting me back to visit or grab coffee anytime.

Here I am savoring real French home-cooking!Here I am savoring real French home-cooking!

Making friends with other travelors at VersailleMaking friends with other travelors at Versaille

That afternoon, I searched for Turkish delights. In anywhere else other than the US, it is called Rahat Loukroum. I once tried to make them without much success, so it was time for me to taste the real thing! I managed to find some at Barbès Rochechouart!

I brought my precious Loukroum to my visit at the house of a some family friends, Michel and Weixin. Michel had prepared a self-created recipe: feuille-pâte stuffed with confit de canard and cèpes (Porcini mushrooms). I was excited to taste it because I had heard about the famous cèpes from Jean-François and Olivier during my trip to Rungis – the international wholesale food market near Frèsnes where I work. It was altogether absolutely delicious.

The next day, I visited Versaille by myself… but that didn’t last for long! I met a Chinese couple for whom I had offered to take their photo in exchange for mine. Soon, we were taking the tour together as if we were old friends. I have truly been lucky to meet so many friendly people this week! My favorite part of the visit is definitely the “Le Domaine de Marie Antoinette”.

My future home (Marie Antoinette's adorable farm)My future home (Marie Antoinette’s adorable farm)

Then as a final note – I visited my friend Cyril at his restaurant  “Le Vin Qui Chante”. Along with some beautiful sandre and a refreshingly icy fruit dessert, Cyril also introduced me to some delicious white wine (Viguls Rousses), while his friend Xavier brought a few bottles of some of his very own family-produced provençale rosé for us to sample as well: Millesime 2008.

Xavier suggested that I visit Delice de Sezchuan at Strasbourg and Cyril mentioned that the Villette plays free movies in the evenings.

During our conversation, I came up with the following quote that sums up what I’ve learned from taking control of my adventures this week; “If you look too far into your future, you will only see the end of your life and miss out on living now”

Life is short, try dessert first. Life is short, try dessert first.

Carpe Diem!