PARIS (DAY 1 & DAY 2) – PART 1
Monday, June 18, 2012

Hmm. Bukan senang kan nak handle post-vacation syndrome. It is NEVER easy getting back into the swing of things, managing things around and going to work. All those day-in and day-out activities. Susahnya. Benda yang rasa so familiar pun boleh jadi foreign and strange. Rasanya the only cure is time kot. Hopefully I can settle in and get back into the groove of things. Ataupun mungkin the best cure is planning for my next trip? The thing I miss the most is meeting new people every day. Oh gosh, it is really HARD. Talk to me please. I've been bit hard by the travel bug. The thing about the travel bug is that it never goes away. It only gets worse!

My travel plans this year memang huru-hara. January haritu, my family and I went to Beijing, then pergi Seoul with my friends in February, lepastu ada pulak weekend getaway to Kuching with my little sister, also in February and I’ve just returned from my backpack trip to Europe. BIG thanks to Air Asia (AA), now everyone can really fly, OFTEN!

There are so many things I want to share, tapi masa tak ada. Tersangat lah busy with my normal routines everyday. Work, work and work. Kerja banyak sangat. Itula orang kata, pre and post-vacation memang membencikan. Kerja banyak. And satu lagi, wedding! Since I balik from Europe, every weekend ada wedding. Sampaikan orang-orang duk tanya;

Orang-orang : “Eh Jah, wedding orang je kau pergi, wedding kau bila?”                                
Me : “Erk. Well bulan 12, tapi tahun entah bila!”

Haha ;p Sibuk je tanya soalan macamtu kan. Serabut! Serious sangat penat nak menjawabnya. If only they knew. If only they understood.

After a long vacation, what could be better than visiting a massage therapist to ease and invigorate tired muscles? Getting a massage memang in the top of the things that I’d like to do the moment I touched down at the airport. Sakit belakang, sakit pinggang semua ada. Haha. Tapi itulah, busy sangat kau kan, kalah PM katanya. Hehe. But then finally, this is the week to get pampered! Massage memang a great help lah. Lega sangat rasanya. Then lepastu, catching up with my besties, Murni and Mel. Time for a long overdue gossip session!

26 APRIL 2012

Let me tell you a story, the best thing that ever happened to me, the beautiful journey that I had, and the people that I met and experienced through my heart; the beauty of this world. We may not have followed the original road of our itinerary, we missed Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and banyak lagi lah tourist attractions yang lain (sebab nak shopping punya pasal) but we were on a ‘trip’ that many lessons in life that can be learned. It was hard to start and finish it.

Hard to start sebab even though I brought something for me to write, I just couldn’t write all the things happened. Hmm. The notebook remained blank. The only collections I have are my pictures and my memories. Setiap kali I tengok my pictures, it brings painful joy in my heart. Joy of how beautiful everything was and yet it pains me that all beautiful things in the world must come to an end. Well, that’s life. Everything must come to and end, eventually.

Hard to finish sebab I want to blog this as long as I remember all that happened. Tapi itulah, I don’t really have the time. Maybe alasan je kot. Or maybe I don’t know what and how to write. Sob sob.

There were 3 of us. All girls and this was our first backpacking trip. It took me a year to study everything. Alone. Haha. But I don’t mind at all. That’s the best part. From researching destinations to booking flights and accommodations and to actually figuring out what to do when we arrive and so on and so forth. I love doing all those and I missed that moment. I read and asked a lot, Lonely Planet, Rick Steves, Trip Advisor, CARI Forum, some well known, others less so. Kiranya kalau ada exam pasal ni, maybe I boleh lepas dengan jayanya. Haha. I compiled everything in one ring. My friends panggil, THESIS! Hehehe.

I spent almost RM5,500 for +/- 19 days Europe trip with 6 countries covered and it includes;

Transportation; return tickets KUL – CDG (Kuala Lumpur – Paris ) & LHR – KUL (London – Kuala Lumpur), intercity transportation, cross-country transportation
Accomodation; mostly bed and breakfast( B&B)
Food; either lunch or dinner, and the snacks, pasta, gelatos, cakes and coffee
Souvenirs; mostly magnets

And shopping is another story. Hehe. Tak sure lah if RM5,500 ni considered cheap or tak, but for me it was really a good bargain. Masa booked tickets dengan AA (thanks to my friend, the most popular travel blogger John or Danny or bdk2 or whateevernameyoucallhim, dia tolong belikan our tickets sebab I was out of town, nun jauh di tengah Pulau Sipadan with no internet connection), we just paid RM1,800+ for the return tickets. Knowing AA, dengan segala macam drama and problems (love-hate relationship is always there but I am still your #1 fan, hehe), our flight was cancelled 3 months before our departure date. Jahat tak AA. Haha. Sedih tu toksah nak cakap la. But then again, they gave us recovery options which include transfer to an alternative airline, SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY. Gitu. Tak tahu nak react apa. Happy and sad sebab kalau tak available then macam mana tu?

Tapi Alhamdulillah, semuanya dipermudahkan. After so long, last I naik Malaysia Airlines (MAS) was back in 2009, akhirnya dapat lagi fly with MAS. So we got our tickets (KUL – CDG), tapi return tickets (LHR – KUL) memang tak ada! Azran told me (ha kau sekarang nak senang I email direct Azran Rani, the CEO of AAX) the tickets will be given 2 weeks before your departure date. Kiranya kalau tickets yang you beli tu adalah KUL – CDG – KUL then MAS e-ticket tu you boleh dapat sekali in one email. Tapi for our case, we bought KUL – CDG and LHR – KUL. So untuk yang LHR – KUL tu, we have to wait. Haih. Macam-macam hal. Nak pergi Europe, one of the MOST IMPORTANT documents to have is actually your return ticket. So how ni? Hahaha. Pasrah je la. So kat KLIA, staff MAS kalut-kalut called Azran sebab dia kata ni kes pertama jadi macam ni. Dia takut we all ada problem dengan immigration nanti. Then Azran email confirmation just in case kalau we all kena soal jawab kat Paris nanti. Sob sob. Tak berdarah muka time tu ok. Takut.
We've already had many people fly without having the e-ticket of their return flight. Immigration officers have all been told. Don’t worry.
Pandai-pandai dia je kata dah ramai orang fly without return ticket, sedangkan staff MAS sendiri cakap ni kes pertama? Tak senang duduk dalam flight sebab takut kena hantar balik Malaysia. Hahaha. Tak ke sadis namanya kalau sempat pergi jejak airport Paris je lepas tu balik Malaysia? Erk BTW, I terus sarung boot sebabnya tak muat nak letak dalam bag! Tak kesah la apa orang nak cakap. Hehe.

Dalam flight, I tidur-tidur ayam sebab rasa excited nya nak pergi Paris! Haha. Lagi satu sebab, takut kena soal kat immigration. Kaedahnya I ni jenis yang tak boleh kena sergah-sergah sikit sebab nanti mula la menggelabah tak tentu pasal. Haru-biru jadinya. Haha. Nak borak dengan kawan sebelah pun dia dah sedap tidur. Ada Ombak Rindu dekat dalam movie list in-flight entertainment, layan kejap movie ni for the 2nd time. Keke. Semua cerita yang ada mostly dah tengok. Layankan je la yang mana rasa nak tengok lagi. I watched Sherlock Holmes again and again sebab I love Robert Downey hehehe. Pendek kata, kat dalam flight we all makan tidur bangun pergi toilet, layan movie. Complete semua. Buat ni semua 2, 3 kali pun still tak sampai lagi Paris. Hahaha. Lenguh duduk.

The flight was full. And I noticed ada 5 orang je Malays. We all 3 orang plus lagi 2 orang lelaki. The rest mostly memang banyak orang putih! Next to me ada Parisian couple, husband and wife, early 40. I ajak the wife berborak sebab bosan sangat, dah tak tahu apa nak buat. Then the hubs pulak join sekaki. The wife is a school teacher and the hubs kerja dekat Metro station. They went to Bali for holiday, just two of them. So sweet kan? I like that kind of lifestyle bila you can go travel with your loved ones and spend quality time together.

I’ve been reading a lot of articles and hearing a lot of people warning about the pickpockets in Paris, but is it really that bad? I know they absolutely do not want to make anybody paranoid during their visit to Paris but it’s better to have good habits and be wary of crime rather than be oblivious and get victimised. So, bila dengar tentang pickpockets from the locals, you know bila kita tak ingat pun pasal benda ni, and they suddenly brought up this issue, then it must be really serious, kan?

Habis berborak dengan couple ni, after our 2nd meal served, lebih kurang dalam 4 jam lagi nak sampai, then one of the cabin crew, Chinese man datang and dia ajak borak pulak dah. Hehe. His reactions bila tahu just 3 of us, and all girls, backpacking, first time some more, semua bertudung, dia macam terkejut and dia pulak yang takut! Hahaha. Macam mana tu? He was so concerned about us sampaikan dia bagi sangat banyak snacks. Satu beg plastic besar yang penuh dengan MAS snacks, and 2 kotak guava jus. A lot of salted peanuts and chocs. I suka kacang MAS ni, sangat suka kot makan benda ni. Sampai satu tahap tu entah hari ke berapa, bila dah dekat Amsterdam, satu-satu pimples naik kat muka. Haha. Punya lah banyak makan.

A little bit of Paris

A long journey. It takes more than 13 hours from Kuala Lumpur to reach Charles de Gaulle airport. But the flight to Paris was pleasant without much turbulence
The time difference between Paris and Kuala Lumpur is 6 hours, with Paris being 6 hours later than Kuala Lumpur.
Currency RM1 = 4.01€ (that was in April and May 2012)

 27 APRIL 2012 

So, finally we reached Paris airport on time around 6.10am (Paris local time). Akhirnya! Haha. I pandang my friend kat sebelah, and we both were smiling to each other. Tak tahu nak cakap apa, I think I cubit dia sebab excited sangat! Hahaha. Then, keluar je plane, 2 orang lelaki Melayu tadi tu tegur. Basically soalan yang sama dengan apa yang steward tadi tu tanya. Seorang tu I rasa maybe late 20s or early 30s and lagi seorang tu memang budak lagi. Still teenager la kot. They were actually on a trip with Reliance Travel and I asked them how much does it cost. And dia bagitahu almost RM11k per pax, 2 weeks, 6 countries. Gulp. Mahalnya mak datuk! Haha. Tapi dalam hati je lah I cakap macamtu. Dia cakap lagi, best kan dapat cakap Malay kat Paris. Hehe. Yes indeed. Rasa macam still at home lagi bila dengar bahasa yang kita selalu dengar.

I nak fast forward sikit cerita ni sebab drama sangat. Susah nak percaya, but it happened. Haha. Gini ceritanya, I reached KLIA from London hari Selasa, then Sabtu my friends ajak jumpa kat The Curve. So I went there, berkurung moden, lepas balik kenduri kawen katanya! We had lunch dekat Teh Tarik Place @ The Curve. Tengah sakan berborak, suddenly ada orang datang kat our table, and dia cakap I look familiar. So I looked at him; and terus menjerit, we were in the same flight! Haha. And he said;
Sorry, I didn’t get your name last time. BTW, you look different. Haritu brutal sangat dengan boots semua.
Hahaha. Of all places, I met him again. Dah tu takkan nak pergi travel pakai baju kurung? Hehe. Tapi macam biasa, dalam hati je lah mampu cakap.

So back to topic again, dekat immigration counter, memang first question yang immi officer tanya adalah mana our return ticket. My friends looked at me, tengok apa yang I nak buat. Berpeluh toksah cerita lah Takut sangat. Tapi, I tak sempat nak menggelabah, sebabnya, I senyum dulu pandang 2 orang officers tu. And buat-buat cari our return tickets dalam handbag. Sebelum tu, I passed dulu documents yang my friends kata thesis tu kat depa 2 orang sebelum buat-buat cari our return tickets. Keke. Lepas depa dah tengok our documents tu, first thing yang I dengar dia cakap adalah WOW! Nice booklets you have. And dia terus lupa pasal our return tickets. Dia belek semua kertas-kertas yang ada. Dalam tu segala mak nenek ada, ada gambar makanan yang I really want to try, ada gambar football boots yang my brothers suruh beli. And gambar handbags yang orang tempah, macam-macam. And they were smiling. Siap cakap, enjoy your stay in Paris and beware of pickpockets! Kekekeke. Thank GOD! Sometimes, a smile will go a long way la. It helps you a lot. And kastam, takde problem. We all tak declare apa-apa. Walaupun sikit punya banyak makanan bawak sebab nak save budget. We cooked everyday. Reason tak declare, sebab tak ada orang jaga kat situ. Hehe.

The moment lepas dah habis hazab dekat immigration tadi, barulah rasa lost! Tak tahu kat mana nak mula. What we did, we all ikut je orang yang rasanya tadi satu flight untuk pergi dekat baggage carousel. Lost sangat ni. Tiba-tiba rasa blank. And that little girl, maybe she knows how I feel? She looks a bit worried as well. Tengok strangers with hijab, senyum kat dia, ambil gambar dia, maunya tak risau kan? Haha. Bertabahla dik. Since I tak pernah backpacking, my bag pun, bukan jenis backpack punya bag la. I bought this red bag in Seoul and trolley bag in Beijing! Haha ada jugak nak bawak trolley bag kan. Trolley bag tu isi semua baju la, backpack tu makanan semua sumbat dalam tu. Memang time bawak backpack ni kalau tak membebel tak sah, sebab beratnya memang tak tertahan. Hehehe. I have to talk a lot untuk meringankan beban kat bahu. Hahaha.

So after dah collect bags semua tu, we all duduk kejap. Nak pergi toilet pun tak terfikir, selalunya first thing first after sampai je airport, memang akan cari toilet. Nak buat macam mana, sebab semua tengah blank. All in French. I looked at my friend, she looked at her cousin, and her cousin looked back at me. Gitula. Pandang-pandang sesama sendiri. After few seconds, we all macam cakap tak percaya ada kat Paris. Hahaha. Memang tak percaya! Lepastu gelak-gelak balik. Kalau my mom tahu ni, kena marah la ni. Galok dia kata. Hahahaha. Hadoi.

Lepas dah rasa di dunia nyata balik, we followed the crowd again. Cari exit. Celah mana exitnya? Memang tak ada! Hahaha. Mulai dari saat itu, EXIT adalah SORTIE, in French. Hehe. Memang ingat la Sortie ni sampai bila-bila sebabnya asyik nampak je sign SORTIE. It is everywhere kaedahnya. Haha.

Time ni, sesat barat dalam airport terjadi la macam biasa, kat mana nak naik train semua tu I dah research, tapi tak teringat nak check. Keke. Which terminal to go, train apa yang nak naik. Semua dah ada dalam booklets tadi. Excited sangat nak baca French signboard, semua pun kau lupa. Haih. Then, Parisian couple tadi tu, approached us, dia kata let us show you the way. And they were smiling. Blessed! That is how I feel at that moment. So dia lah yang bawak turun naik lift, belikan tickets dekat counter, explain about the maps, bagitahu where to stop and again ingatkan tentang pickpockets. Oh dear, thanks for a warm welcome.

And our first mission is searching for our hotel. HOTEL DE LA PLACE. Tak susah pun nak cari hotel ni sebab couple tadi tu dah bagitahu kat metro station mana nak stop. Cuma bila dah sampai station tu, memang kena ringan kan mulut bertanya. Excuse moi, excuse moi. Haha. Malu bertanya sesat jalan. Ingat tu tau. Sesat jalan tak kesah, tapi kalau sesat jalan dengan bags yang berat ni, memang akan hangin sikit, tak ke? Hehe. Tapi I think sepanjang kat Europe, my mood memang happy je. Takde nak hangin ke apa sangat. Sebab I just want to enjoy each and every moment.

Charles De Gaulle Airport – Hotel De La Place

If sampai awal, boleh la beli Day Ticket (Carte Mobilis) which covers Zone 1 and Zone 2. Boleh guna untuk trains, RER (Regional Express Network), Metro (subway), buses yang cover Zone 1 and Zone 2. The price differs kalau you beli yang cover Zone 1 – 3, or Zone 1 – 5. Sebab tu lah, kalau nak cari hotel, cari yang within Zone 2! Tickets can be purchased at the counter, senang. Machine pun boleh, tapi tak kuasa nak ambil masa belajar kejap guna machine tu. Hehe. 
Cost : 6.30€
Source : Click HERE
 From CDG airport, memang kena beli another ticket, a single journey ticket. You have to take RER-B from CDG Terminal 3 and stop at Gare Du Nord Station. Beli kat counter je senang.
Cost : 9.40€
Source : Click HERE
 Then, kat sini dah kena start guna Metro. Guna lah Carte Mobilis tu tadi. It can be used 24 hours after kita dah validate the ticket kat machine.
 Take metro line #4 to Montparnasse. Change to line 13 and get off at metro station, Malakoff-Plateau des Vanves. Haha berbelit lidah nak menyebutnya! But I can still remember how it was pronounced.
 Take the exit on your left where written Malakoff and Then carry on the Boulevard Charles de Gaulle. Turn right on the Rue Scelle. Carry on the Rue Gabriel Crié . Turn left on the Rue Henri Martin and the address is 21 Rue Henri Martin.
Source : Click HERE

I like the location of the hotel. Dia macam housing area, rasa safe. And the best part, it is still within Zone 2. Dekat la nak pergi Paris top spot tu. If your hotel is located outside Zone 2, harga mahal sikit untuk transportation. Hmm, the room was clean. Bathroom pun bersih. Tapi memang kecik la biliknya. Ruang untuk solat tak ada. So pandai-pandai la. We all solat atas katil hehe. Ada flat screen tv, tapi tengok ke masalahnya. Memang tak lah kan. Haha. Untuk tidur after penat seharian berjalan tu, memang lebih daripada cukup. Recommended. And sepanjang jalan from Metro station Malakoff-Plateau des Vanves, masa tu almost 10.30am, ada macam market all the way. Sempat kejap tengok apa yang ada. I tak sure if dia ada everyday ke macam mana, sebab tak pernah pulak balik bilik around that time dah. Hehe.

Check-in time supposed to be 2.00pm. Tapi masa sampai tu, the staff of the hotel, or maybe he’s the owner kot, and a muslim, kesian agaknya tengok kami ni, and dia bagi check-in awal. Sebab the room is ready kan, then why not. Tapi, baik dia ada makna tu, lepas tu ajak keluar tengok Paris at night with his car? At night? Romantic sangat kau kan. Hmmm. Situation macam ni, kat negara orang pulak tu, kadang-kadang memang akan blur, tak tahu nak respond macam mana. And kalau pernah tengok movie TAKEN, haa I teringat cerita tu. So dia akan tunggu dekat situ dalam pukul 730pm. And I cakap kat my friends we have to get back to the hotel after 730pm!

After dah dapat masuk bilik and put our luggage, lega nya rasa. Hilang beban! Haha. So we decided to spend sejam lebih-lebih sikit la untuk rest and pergi bathroom, buat la apa yang patut. Janji comfortable. Hehe. Nak mandi ke taknak, it’s up to you! Hahaha. ;p. Nak breakfast kenyang lagi. Makan la salted peanuts with guava juice.

Sebenarnya, I was told by so many people, jangan pakai macam tourist. Camera bagai ni kena simpan. Letak dalam handbag ke apa. Tapi tak muat! Bag tu penuh barang yang entah apa-apa. Keke. Even orang kat dalam train pun cakap, put your camera inside your bag. Serious tak muat la. Bukan degil. I should have bought bigger bag ke? Haha. 

Ada orang cakap, kalau boleh dress macam orang bangla yang kerja kat Paris pun, better. Gitu. Dah sudah kat mana aku nak cari baju macam orang bangla kerja kat Paris dik non. So senang cerita, I pakai je la apa yang I nak pakai. Heheh. 

For me, woman should always keep their purses or handbags closed, with the flap or zipper in front of them and never behind. Sebabnya, in a crowd, it’s very easy for a thief to open your bag from behind and run away. So, train yourself to hold your bag tightly! Memang we all quite paranoid dekat Paris ni, setiap kali kat Metro, tangan mesti tak lepas daripada pegang zip bag. Never put anything down. I selalu buat perangai ni masa kat Seoul, suka letak bag merata. Hmm. 

Rasanya kena bersambung to Part 2 lah. Too long. Good night. Haha banyaknya Fida membebel. Tsk tsk tsk.

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12:58 AM | 19 comments

Noor Rafidah Jacob
Fida Jacob
Kuala Lumpur, MY
Chartered accountant
Tax Manager, BIMB
Kaplan Financial UK
IIUM Alumni

Hi everyone! My weaknesses are pretty things and kindness. Knowledge is of high importance. I believe that everyone has the potential to become the best they can be and that beauty comes within. This is a spot where I'll share with you some of my adventures + my inner thoughts! Oh and don't forget to follow me on instagram! : @fidajacob

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KOREA 2012
Day 1
Day 2 (Part 1)
Day 3 (Part 1)
Day 4
Day 5 (Part 1)
Day 5 (Part 2)
Day 6 (Part 1)
Day 7 (Part 1)


PARIS 2012
Day 1 & Day 2 (Part 1)
Day 1 & Day 2 (Part 2)
Day 3 (Part 1)
Day 3 (Part 2)
Day 3 (Part 3)




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