Thursday, April 29, 2010
A real Tourist
My new home! Update: I'm moving in tomorrow, will be sleeping on the couch in the spare room/living room for at least a week until the existing flatmate moves out/my new IKEA bed arrives and is assembled (Mum has her doubts about how long that will take). Yay, has all gone smoothly so far, of course the hurdle of the first day of work is still to be passed...
St-Pierre-des-Corps (home of a big shopping centre and where most of the TGV trains seem to stop): twinned with Hebron! Wikipedia tells me that part of Hebron is under Israeli control, and part is under Palestinian, but obviously St-P-d-C has chosen which horse to back here...
Bit hard to see, this is people eating out in Place Plumereau, seemingly the most happenin' square in Tours, probably around 9.30-10 pm on a Wednesday, nice to see so many people out & that the weather permits it, after all the dire warnings they give you down south about how rubbish it's going to be!
My series on places where you can spend money begins with the Mutant store just for my Dadoo
Continues with I <3 IK chinese character chinese character
They ain't lying when they call these places 'grandes surfaces', this is one huge-ass Carrefour! The photo doesn't really show it, but all that receding off into the distance is the supermarket & I'm standing in the central aisle... This one is all pretty much food as well, unless there was some corner of clothes/electronics/etc that I missed. All that and no English cider :( There were TimTams and Vegemite, but I unfortunately like neither
The commerce section ends with my chouette hotel room - I fully recommend the Hotel Val de Loire to anyone who's going to be in the region. I have to share a loo/shower, but I get a lovely room, double bed, free wifi for 35 euro a night, right by the train station.
I will try to post more fully later, I should really get out of the hotel room!
A few quick notes:
1) A lady brought a baby on the overnight train. It was a pretty good baby, I will admit. Cried a couple of times in the night, but not endlessly & the lady took it outside. But still, baby on an overnight train COME ON! (PS my love of babies is legendary)
2) Tours is hella cool! But yesterday especially and today have been HOT. Saw a sign saying 24.5 degrees today, I don't put much faith in these things, but seems about right. Must buy some summer shoes ASAP! Wandered through the old town centre last night, and it was packed with people dining al fresco on a Wednesday, great atmosphere.
3) The buses seem better than Nice, because a) there are electronic noticeboards telling you when the next bus is due, and b) the pamphlet on the night buses list which bus lines you can take when leaving fast food restaurants and bars/clubs! Ha ha, I like! I don't like that you have to push a button to get the bus to stop, and then another button to open the doors. It's okay now I know about it, but someone looked foolish there this afternoon. In a separate incident, I totally walked into a glass door yesterday while being shown around a flat. Boo! I've already bought my bus card, but it doesn't kick in till the 1st of May (or, rather, the 2nd since of course buses don't run on May Day).
4) I looooove IKEA! That place is like a treasure trove of delight! I have been before, but this was the first time with an eye for shopping for myself. The prices! The value! The selection! The 50 cent hot dogs! What's not to love?
5) And most importantly, I have successfully found a flat. It's parfait, I think. Sharing with 1 girl of my age, who seems really nice and speaks comprehensibly woohoo, and 2 cats (yay!). It's on a residential street 1 block back from a main road, seems really quiet. Can walk to the main shops/bars district in about 15 mins max, bus to work takes about 15-20 mins as well. There's a bakery and little supermarket at the end of the road, and apparently a proper supermarket near by. Room is big, there is a spare room with couch for visitors. Very excited! Only drawback is the room's not furnished, hence the trip to IKEA. Found out I can get a double bed, mattress etc. for 140 euro, sweet! At first I thought 120 but then I asked 'c'est quoi un sommier?' and found out it means slats. Yeah, I need those... Plus delivery still comes in at less than 200. Since I really like the place, I'm staying at least a year, and I don't have to shell out for a security deposit and so can actually afford it, I think it's a reasonable investment. I looked at another place, but gut instinct was to go with this one and I think it's the right decision. :D
Okay well this ended up being a pretty long post after all...