Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Crepe and British

Definition of Crepe - a very thin pancake usually made out of wheat flour.

Not that pancakes are new to me but I was fascinated by the T shaped stick that they use to spread out the batter evenly on the hot frying pan.


You can have them with different fillings and I chose banana and chocolate. When this young boy was making this he made sure that his hands did not touch any part of the pancake or the fillings. (note how he is cutting the banana without peeling it fully)


Then comes the chocolate


And finally it was neatly transferred to the paper napkin and handed over to the customer.


Here is another guy near Notre Dame cathedral, serving us crepe (he told us he was from Pakistan)
While chatting with him he told us the proportion of the batter and how to make it.




While I was having the crepe, these two cops passed by. Noticed that the cops that are on the beat are mostly in pairs (or sometimes more that two) Makes sense in case of an emergency.

At Mount St Mitchel one of the tourists had some health problem (could be due to the climbing involved) and I found that the authorities were there in no time with medical assistance.



Some cops are friendly and chat along with the tourists



While some have a bored look on their face (could be due to the repetitive action of giving directions)


The only place I was stopped by a cop was at Paris central station. The minute I took out my camera, a plainclothesman planted himself in front of me and asked “Do you speak English?” When I answered in the affirmative, he pulled out his I Card and said, “I am from the Police dept, you are not allowed to take photographs here. You can click out side the station” I nodded and moved on. Security reasons I suppose (or did I have a suspicious look?)

At stations its best to ask a ticket checker for directions.


And talking of ticket checkers I noticed that they also had to do the multi task of giving the signal too.
Its like this, as soon as the train stops at a station, the ticket checker (from the train) comes out and stands on the platform. He makes sure that there is no one left to alight or board after which he blows the whistle and closes all the doors (by pressing a switch in his cabin)

Then he goes to the nearest pole having the signal button, inserts his special key, and turns the switch (to change the signal?)

 and makes a dash back to his cabin and presses the button to close his cabin door (which is independent of other doors) and the train moves on.



Did travel on the High speed train (Thalys) twice and found their service quite good. Even though it moves at a high speed (max 300 kmph) it is pretty stable inside and you hardly feel any movement.


For a change we travelled in comfort 1. You get good bargain fares if you book well in advance. The food is complementary in comfort1.



I liked the design of the head rest of the seat. (prevents you from falling into the co passenger’s seat when you fall asleep)
Talking of trains we were staying at this place in Ponterson which was diagonally opposite the station. There were only a handful of trains that pass through this station and even the trains that come are of two or three bogies. After 4 pm there is no activity at the station.


The level crossing has only one bar and the drivers obey and stay behind the bar (something that cannot be thought of in India !!)
A special mention should be made about Mr Robert Holyoak who drives the bus between Ponterson and Mont St Michel. He helped us a lot in giving us information about the area and train/bus timings and how to get back to Amsterdam via Rouen.


Initially when we asked him “Speak English?” He gave us a worried look and said “I think so, if I am born and bred in Stratford I think I should speak fairly good English”

Our mistake. . . . . . . . we should have guessed that he was British.

(by the way eventhough I am not featured in any of these pictures, I am still visible in two of them  - Hitchcock style)
In case you want to enlarge the pictures, just click on them.



20 comments:

Phani said...

Joe is reflected in train window while taking Maria's photo....other one ???? it is driving me crazy ,scanned all photos twice ,but nothing conclusive, other regulars on this blog mayplease help.

Harman said...

I couldn't find ..seriously... goin back n forth ..still cudnt see ya picture.
But its beautiful wht you shared..Crepes I have tasted in Canada ..its Yum...
all of you seem to have a good vacation...worth sharing.

Jeannette said...

Your wife's smile is lovely. Are you making your crepes at home now? Chocolate and banana...what an influence you are.

Jyoti Mishra said...

Along with fun it is indeed a delicious vacation too :)

Renu said...

I saw crepe selling like hot cakes in London, but nevr tried it, now I think I missed something:)...complimentary food is something I could nevr enjoy as there veg is totally different from ours.

Neha said...

I can't see you. Which one?

And aren't those like dosas? :)

Haddock said...

I think I better give away the secret as I am not comfortable with the fact that all are wasting their time searching for miniscule me.
1) In the fifth picture (Pakistani crepe maker) I am reflected in the mirror inside his shop-see on the top left. In fact its multiple reflection - twice in the five mirrors (or is it just glass?)
2) In the 17th picture again its a reflection in the train window glass.
@ Phanee - you have got one right, now I hope you can see the other one.
@ Harman - I did not find crepes so fascinating but I noticed that its a big thing in Europe and people are crazy about it.
@ Jeanette - yes like some one said "its a dazzling smile" - maybe making up for the one missing on my face :-)
@ Jyoti Mishra - we tried out almost all the European food.
@ Renu - We usually miss out on these things later. Your comment on the veg food there is true.
@ Neha - Ha ha .....I think Dosas are much thicker. (look at the first and third picture) And the batter of Dosa is also different.

Bikramjit said...

lovely beautiful pics ..
Yes cops are always in two , its a good habit watch each others back.. and as you said in case of emergency ..

never tasted crepes :(


Bikram's

Daisy said...

Those crepes look delicious. Great pictures, as always, Joe. I enjoyed hearing about your travels. I agree with Jeanette, your wife has a beautiful smile. :-)

Babli said...

Very beautiful pictures with lovely description. I have never tasted crepes and it looks delicious. Wonderful post. I enjoyed and liked it very much.

Indrani said...

Great post.

Stewart M said...

Hi there - thanks for dropping by my blog - I like the story of your post. I'm not really sure if it’s really improving safety to stop people taking pictures - but I think people seem to want to see something happening.

Anyway - will keep an eye on your travels.

Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

deeps said...

Ohh wow…. That’s mouthwatering stuff…
and seems to great traveling experience…

shivani said...

i feel like i'm seeing one of those TLC programmes. Getting educated on food, travel and finer aspects that only a keen traveler could impart.
Thank you for sharing your travel experiences with all the beautifully shot natural pictures.
More additional information and i will remember that the TC unlike ours are also multi taskers.
i saw ur pic in one of the trains...which is the other? or am i wrong in that one sighting too?

Haddock said...

One comment did not get captured here, but has appeared in my mail in box.
its from Shivani and here it is:
shivani has left a new comment on your post "Crepe and British":

i feel like i'm seeing one of those TLC programmes. Getting educated on food, travel and finer aspects that only a keen traveler could impart.
Thank you for sharing your travel experiences with all the beautifully shot natural pictures.
More additional information and i will remember that the TC unlike ours are also multi taskers.
i saw ur pic in one of the trains...which is the other? or am i wrong in that one sighting too?

Eden said...

The crepes look good.
Beautiful photos.

Eden said...

The crepes look good.
Beautiful photos.

TexWisGirl said...

hi there! wanted to come by and say thanks for stopping by my blog this week and leaving a comment. i really appreciate it! you look like you're having fun traveling! those crepes look delicious!!!

Corinne Rodrigues said...

You and your wife seem to have had a wonderful experience travelling. Lovely pics!

Elizabeth said...

That crepe with banana and chocolate looks more than delicious to me!!!!