Business class on the Saudi Arabian Airlines! Double Decker jumbo. Whoa, this is amazing we walked in to the air craft’s business class, tall ceiling filled out panorama, reclining leather seats, smiling flight attendants and the smell of fresh coffee surrounded our senses.
— Good morning. —we smiled at the right person and said jokingly — If you will have any seats available please call us we are somewhere back there in the economy section.
The flight attendant took our tickets and asked us to follow him. We walked up the stairs to the second level of the aircraft and he sat us down in the secluded business section of the Boeing 747. —SWEEEET! That was exactly what we needed after days of traveling on packed, crowded, sticky and smelly local Sri Lankan buses, Luxury shinned into our eyes. This is a good start.
We landed in Paris.
We were the colorful UFO that landed on the Eiffel Tower. We observed humanity and recovered from memory the once known behaviors, conduct and displays of civilized maintenance. Quick rush was zooming us by, lost in the world of French speakers we were taken back. No one spoke English, all signs were in French. — Where are we? In Sri Lanka the small boys from the villages knew how to speak English.
Thank god for Fawz, he picked us up and showed us around.
Black and dark tones are the colors in the fashion capital of the world, black jackets, black shoes, black faces, black Renaults. Here we tough we would camouflage, but wrong, our wardrobe was too colorful. Vivid skirt from India, bright red jacket from Vietnam, tan from Sri Lanka and happy energy from the world. We were once again stared at.
Texting, messaging and browsing the digital world is what’s in fashion, or is still in fashion yet slightly taken to the next level. We couldn’t have a 5 minute conversation with anyone with out them glancing at their mobile. Constantly checking mobiles have become part of everyday body movement, it’s like scratching the head when the head is not itching. This is going where Singapore has gone already, completely no human contact just the mobile is what counts.
I smiled and she didn’t, I smiled and he didn’t even see me. Excuse me I asked and she didn’t even hear me, headphones on loud she passed us by. Fast forward button was pressed speed is what counts, no eye contact no interaction, lets talk business, money is what counts. —Next—screams the guy behind the counter. The lines once again are in effect. No more pushing, skipping or ignoring.
No bargaining, all prices are fixed, no hustling just one bus. Metro? 2 Euro for few stops. WHAT? We paid 2 Euro to cross country few day back. Five Euro for black tea? Ridiculous, everything is overpriced. Oh, hello consumerism, we meet again.
She came closer, her eyes were green, made-up-make-up green, her face was flawless. White magic powder flawless, it’s what keeps her young. High heals made her taller, real green Louis Vutton purse matched her eyes. She was a beauty with a freshly baked baguette under her arm. We couldn’t stop staring, ordinary people became out of the ordinary. It was once again a new culture, popping in from what we have left behind.
Food etiquette? Lets talk about the fork, really who invented the fork? Few days prior we were eating with our hands, Sri Lankans believe is the best way to enjoy a meal. You use all the senses to taste the food with hands and fingers you can feel the texture of the food. In East Asia chop-sticks rule the region, and in most other countries the spoon is what does the job.
Honestly, using a fork was quite strange and frustrating. But in Paris, imagine us eating with our hands, or eating a piece of cheese with a spoon. — No, don’t use this cutting board for bread, use this one, and use this knife for bread the other one is for dry susage— Said one of our friends we stayed with.
There are rules, you don’t eat cheese with jam, you don’t cut bread with a meat knife and you surely don’t make the „pop“ sound when opening a wine bottle. Being raised with such food etiquette, we somehow forgotten about it, and it felt a bit strange to have to eat a certain way. Lets be individual humans and enjoy things the way we want to individually enjoy them. I love making the „POP“ sound when I open a bottle of wine. I also love cheese with jam.
The pedestrians get right of the way. Ohh.. how great!! We were so confused when a car stooped to let us cross the street. We simply didn’t know how to act, and played the dancing game. This we can get used to very quickly, one less things to worry about when touring around in the clouds.
Hot shower! My first shower was too hot, the water was hot, or warm and it felt hot. It’s been months since we had a hot shower. India, was hot so cold showers were great. In Sri Lanka the weather didn’t matter hot or cold the showers were always cold. Apparently, cold showers are good for staying young and tender. That is what we repeated to our selfs while taking a cold shower. Hot shower? Iza had to turn the cold knob up, as she almost melted in the heat of the water. I? I loved it! I stood under that puring heat and scrubbed month‘s of dirt. I was clean, smooth, shinning white baby. It was also time to leave the toilet paper back home.
Food? We started with tap water, no worries about loose stool, no more spicy food, no more rice. Fresh baguettes, stinky cheese and green leaves. Walking in the Aunch supermarket we were in glory, the veggie aile was filled with green leafy goodies. Spinach, lettuce and other greens our bodies were deprived were all nicely packed ready to be consumed. —OMG they have everything here.— We walked and picked up every package in the store. They have an aisle for the rich „BIO“ the aisle for the poor and the international aisle where we were able to find cultural food from all the past 32 countries we have visited. Absolutely AMAZING, but why were the bananas 3 euros when we just paid 0.25 in Sri Lanka. (yes we do know why)
All in all, it took us few days to readjust and swing into full force of globalized mind. Before we knew it we were back on track with new haircuts, French perfume and enjoying every part of the fast paste world as we left it 2 years ago. It was 2 weeks of civilized spa retreat, and cheesee fun. We have ate more cheese in 3 days then in the entire 2 years.
Ah, the benefits of the other side.