I’m currently ensconced in a comfortable, fluffy hotel bed in Amsterdam. I was so exhausted from trekking to Amsterdam via Delhi – Moscow – Paris that I passed out for 8 hours straight once I got to the hotel. I’m digesting a huge (since I missed dinner) hotel buffet breakfast before I hit up all of the museums.
The past week or so has been a whirlwind of eye-opening experiences. I really enjoyed the golden triangle, spending tons of time with NYC friends, meeting new friends, experiencing an Indian wedding extravaganza, and cannot wait to go back and learn more about India. We travelled in luxury but there were snippets of the India’s harsh reality – children trained to be hawkers at a young age, illiteracy, poverty, threat of terrorism, etc.
In typical Irene fashion, the trip had its fair share of bumps — I brought the wrong camera charger, found a generic replacement in Paris that I thought was defective, but thanks to some pre-falling asleep strokes of brilliance was able to make it work. I also barely made my outbound flight (thank you, flight delay), barely got to Paris Nord in time for my train to Amsterdam (no thanks to flight delays, but thank you, nice Aeroflot flight agent) but had enough time to find a pharmacie open on a Sunday* to stock up on more Dermaphil Indien lip balm, which is my new favorite.
Since I’ve been between computers, I haven’t had time to install Adobe Lightroom to process my pictures. All of the pictures below were taken with my Nikon D80 or iPhone and post-processed on my iPhone via applications: tadaa, Instagram, or Diptic (which had a massive update and is my collage app of choice).
I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, but do have a few that I’d work on regardless of the New Year that can be shared on the web:
- Eat healthy. I really want a Vitamix blender, I can’t tell you how many veggies I throw out because they went bad.
- Work out. I’ve fallen off this bandwagon.
- Get to airports earlier. My previous just-in-time strategy is nail-biting stressful.
- Make better shopping decisions. I love J.Crew’s style resolutions, particularly the edit closet and wear more black.
- Purge / eBay. I’m glad that many items sold in my eBay store while I am away!
- Read books. I read a ton of blogs and magazines.
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*I transited through Paris on a Sunday, which means that most shops are closed. The pharmacie I went to did not show up on any Google blog posts and I needed something closer than a 10-15 minute walk given I had substantial bags to lug. I found it the old fashioned way — I stuck my head outside of the station and looked for a green, lit “+” sign. So if you’re in the Paris Gare du Nord train station on a Sunday and need a pharmacy close by, head to the Pharmacie Centrale du Nord on 132 Rue La Fayette. They are open on Sundays from 10:00 – 20:00. The best exit point from the massive Gare du Nord station is the doors opposite of the Thalys tracks (~7,8,9). Head straight away from the train station.