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Old 21st August 2010, 11:02   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
Everytime I wanted to change a lane, I made the wiper running on the dry windscreen - that was my first experience with driving on the other side.
Well, that happens if you switch from a japanese car to a european car in India itself. Ever tried driving a Fiat or Skoda in India?

Anyways, the evening in Paris on foot continues. Some more photos of this stunning city.

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And now at St. Michel/ Notre Dame

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The rest of the evening we spend at a typical french cafe on the street. Onion soup, bloody steaks and quiche lorraines. God how I love this city (but not its people, lol)

It is a cold evening, the temperature has dropped a bit. It is time to say goodbye to the Notre Dame and get home. We have a long drive tomorrow.

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Old 21st August 2010, 11:46   #32
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Default Saturday, 14th August 2010

It's a nice day today. So far. Today we're going to drive to the stunning little of La Flèche. No that isn't actually where the wedding is, but where our hotel is.

The village in in the province of Sarthe, same as the village where the wedding is, as well as Le Mans, made world-famous with the 24 hour endurance race.

Taken from maps.google

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This morning's drive will be about 260kms. I do not drive at all. In fact I have not started driving this trip.
We cross little towns and a few quaint villages. Almost everywhere, there is a speed limit of 130 kmph.

And cameras installed in places. It can get awfully boring driving continuously at that speed.

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And now we're at Le Mans.

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We are reserved at Le Relais Cicero, an unbelievably romantique, old-fashioned hotel.
Of course the girl at the counter speaks not one halfway word of English. I dig for my school french and Jenny reaches for hers and we manage.


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As we're in the room she comes to remind of of Petit Dejeuner at huit.
At 8? Huit?
Oui.
Nous avons besoin de sleep
(I forget the word for sleep in french and make a namaste, fold it under my cheek and turn my head sideways with my eyes closed)
She stares at me. I guess french children don't do that thing.
Uh. Possible petit dejeuner at dix?
As mais oui. Pas de probleme.

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The room is amazingly old-fashioned and the hotel is old and beautiful. But we don't have much time to relax. We are due at 4 pm to a littler village 45 kms away from this hotel called Yvré-l'Evêque, right next to Le Mans.

Time to shower and get dressed, got to be in time for church.

Ladies and Gentlemen, for your viewing pleasure, I present!

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Old 21st August 2010, 12:20   #33
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Holy @#$$ !!!!!

hahahahahahahaha - Sorry but am not used to seeing you in a suit, so the hysterical laugh !!

ps - hahahahaha
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Old 21st August 2010, 12:30   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normally_crazy View Post
Holy @#$$ !!!!!

hahahahahahahaha - Sorry but am not used to seeing you in a suit, so the hysterical laugh !!

ps - hahahahaha
And suddenly I remember a joke regarding suits

Sam did you sleep in the suit at night ?


That apart, superb pictures from Paris. Keep them coming.
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Old 21st August 2010, 12:36   #35
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Hey Sam

do you have a distinct cousin or brother who plays guitar, acts in hollywood movies and shoots at will (ofcourse bullets), his initials were A.B.

perfectly suited to attend a french church wedding
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Old 21st August 2010, 12:56   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normally_crazy View Post
hahahahahahahaha - Sorry but am not used to seeing you in a suit, so the hysterical laugh !!
Why Changu is laughing on Mangu?:
Wait till we see the pic of changu in a suit.

Too many days since saw your last post!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
perfectly suited to attend a french church wedding
+1.

That yellow tie reminded one incident.

When Bill Clinton as the President of USA visited India, he gave a speech at the dias of FICCI or something in Mumbai.
At that occasion, he was in a suit with yellow tie.
Next day, all yellow coloured ties in stores of Mumbai were out of stock!!!!
[ Source: tv and paper news].

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Old 21st August 2010, 13:01   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normally_crazy View Post
hahahahaha
Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
Why Changu is laughing on Mangu?:
LMAO

Ashish, I may or may not post any photos of the wedding, but I will surely post a photo of NC in a suit in Germany.

For your viewing pleasure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post

perfectly suited to attend a french church wedding
Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
+1.
Thank you. TO be honest I was not willing to wear a combination of 4 colours (Suit, shirt, tie, pochette) but this was designed by the same extremely talented gentleman who designed and tailored my wedding wardrobe in Mumbai. He insisted I wear this combination at the French wedding (It was also to complement Jenny who was wearing green) and I did and even in France, I received compliments.

Thanks again.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 21st August 2010 at 13:04.
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Old 21st August 2010, 13:13   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post

Ashish, I may or may not post any photos of the wedding, but I will surely post a photo of NC in a suit in Germany.

For your viewing pleasure.
Sam - go and enjoy the day today and forget about posting my pictures in a suit for 2 reasons.

1) I am not wearing a suit in Germany
2) I can get a lot more than your suit pictures for everyone's viewing pleasure
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Old 21st August 2010, 13:14   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
LMAO

Ashish, I may or may not post any photos of the wedding, but I will surely post a photo of NC in a suit in Germany.
You dont want to be the only one being laughed at? :P
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Old 21st August 2010, 14:57   #40
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Default Sunday, 15th August 2010

It's independence day in India. Not for some men, like my friend who got married last night.

And me. Soon.

After a wonderful, very traditional french wedding, we returned home in the wee hours of the morning.
However we must rise at 10. No, not for the petit dejeuner but for the brunch at the same castle where the wedding was had last night.

I wake up and take a few photos of the hotel. God what a quaint and beautiful old-fashioned french hotel. Seems like such a shame we have been here just a few hours.

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After breakfast we drive again to the castle where we were last night for a pleasant and relaxed brunch.

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The day is cloudy and cold, with a little hint of rain. The temperature is about 13 degrees and to be honest, I am a little scared it will look like this on the day of our wedding.
The sun hides and refuses to show his face. Even though we are out in the castle gardens, it is warmer and nicer inside.

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Will you look at the size of that baguette???

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And by about 2 we have to say goodbye to the beautiful bride and groom and the beautiful rural countryside of france.

Though the party will continue till 5, we have a flight to frankfurt at 6.30pm. We also have to return the car to Sixt and fill fuel.

Fuel? Did you realise I did not fill fuel all this time? It is normal to hand over a car to you that has a tankfull of fuel. It is expected of you to fill it up completely when you return it.
If you don't? Well, the car rental agency has your credit card details and they are well within their legal rights to charge you anything they like for the fuel you have consumed. So be careful.

We leave the chateau at 2pm, waving goodbye to the grrom and my colleague who has decided to extend his stay in France. Jenny drives and I relax.
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Old 21st August 2010, 16:57   #41
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Whoa! Those are some amazing pictures of awesome places.
The perfect start to one's own marriage, attend a friends marriage in picturesque country!
Looking forward to this tour, Sam and Jenny.
The cottage hotel and the castle are very cozy in contrast to the French grandeur.
We wish you sunny skies for your marriage.
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Old 21st August 2010, 17:20   #42
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And so it comes to pass that Jenny and Sam are driving in the Renault Laguna from Le Mans to CDG. Jenny is driving and I am in general, relaxed.

Suddenly she slows down and pulls over.
??
I cannot drive.
What?? Why??
I have not had enough sleep and I cannot drive. Buss. You drive.
Me?
Yes.

I falter. It isn't that I haven't driven in Europe before. I have, more than a few times. Whenever I drive in a left hand drive car, well my judgement is kaput for a while.
It isn't the legs (Thankfully the clutch, brake and accelerator are in the same position) it is mix of things.
  1. Keeping the wheel steady with the left hand as I change gears with my right.
  2. Somehow my judgment goes for a toss. I keep sticking too far away from the left and too close to the right.
  3. The turns - we instinctively turn away from the road when we go right and hug the sidewalk when we go left. To do the exact opposite (i.e. hug the sidewalk when going right) is something that requires concentration.
  4. The rules - There are rules everywhere. Speed limits, multiple signs, exits (that if you miss, you end up driving 40 to 50kms to find another)
  5. Of course, you must stop for every human being you see crossing. Luckily that will not happen on the French highway.
  6. Overtaking strictly from the right
  7. Painted dividers, the thickness, colour and more. One MUST follow these.
Of course there are many many more rules but these are the rules that I find myself concentrating on.

OK fine I'll drive.

And so it comes to pass that I find myself at the wheel of the Laguna. My first impression - it is a really quick car, even though it is diesel. The engine is surprisingly quiet and vibration free.
Actually it is too easy to cross the speed limit and I find myself touching 15 and 160 before I look at the speedo and then slow down.

Don't go to sleep. I might need your help.
What help.
I don't know. When we come to the city I guess.
OK I'll stay awake.


Barely does she finish the last word before she falls asleep, dead to the world.And so it comes to pass that I am on my own. At fist I am a little nervous, finding it hard to stay in a straight line i veer slightly left and slightly right. About 20 minutes laer I have a good idea of where the car should be positioned along the painted dividers.

30 minutes later I activate the cruise control, setting it at 125kmph and then chug along enjoying the drive.

When I need to overtake I step on the accelerator and when I leave it, the car returns to 125 kmph. Touch the brake and the cruise control is deactivated, until I turn it on again.
I know how this works from my Skoda Superb, I have used this a few times while driving to Pune and back.

At 4.15 pm we are in Paris, or at least at the outskirts. Jenny has woken up a few times and dozed off. Once I touch Paris I am in the thick of traffic.

French traffic is not as orderly as German traffic, nobody waits for you to go. At times it is almost as bad as Bombay, except that it is quiet. We are getting late and the navi now estimates that at this speed we will be at CDG at 5.45.

That will be too late for a 6.30 flight.

I am doing my best and often turning exasperatedly towards Jenny, wishing that we was driving instead. This is hard on me. I turn angrily and look at her, fast asleep, soften and turn back. Dammit, lol.

She wakes up at 5pm.

We're not going to make it, crap.
I keep driving. I am doing my best here.
I'm not saying that it's your fault, I am simply saying that we're not going to make it.

And she falls back asleep.

For me the mental pressure is tremendous. One wrong turn and we will surely miss our flight.

At 5.30 we reach the Total gas station that is 3 kms away from the Airport terminal. While Jenny fills up I run inside to pay for the diesel.

Now she takes over, driving with experience as fast as she can, cutting and speeding.
5.40 - Terminal 2D. But where to leave the car? We see a sign that says car rental return and speed over. But the signs are confusing to say the very least. Not only to me, but also to Jenny.

5.45 we reach a small booth called Sixt. This is not where I took the car from. Will they take it back?
She parks and I run with the key to the booth.
Thank you sir.
Do you want to check the kms or the fuel.
No Sir. If needed, it will come on to your bill.

Uhuh.
I have no time to think about it. Jenny and I run to the terminal. Every sign is in the wrong place. We have NO idea where to go. We run around a bit, not hearts beating knowing that the flight is missed.

5.55 we mange to reach an Air France person who guides us where to go. There is a long line.

Pardon, we are very late I say panting to the lady at the welcome desk.
Line please, says she.
We're late. Nous sommes en retard s'il vous plait I yell pointing to the boarding ticket that reads 18.30
She nods and opens the Q-manager shouting at a colleague.

We fling our bag on the belt and stand there panting.

Made it.

We get onto the plane and then the plane is late. Takes off at 7pm.

C'est la vie!

We're going to Germany!
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Old 21st August 2010, 18:11   #43
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Default Slightly OT

The other day, 11th August to be precise, i spot a White Superb going towards Lilavati. See a JBL tissue box on the right side behind the rear seat. Then i recognize somebody in the car, Akbar (He's become a celeb here with his stories; imagine getting excited to see him hehehe). And as the other car goes a bit ahead on my right, i see TheOne®. By the time i could open my window & wave out (Not that she'll recognize me; Need to paint Team-BHP on my car then), another car overtook me from the left & i could not manage to stay in line with the Superb. Managed to click a picture though.

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Sorry for hijacking your story, but here's wishing you both a great life ahead!

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Old 21st August 2010, 18:33   #44
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Great writeup yeti, keep it coming.

anil - i think you should blank out the plates or request a mod to do it.
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Old 21st August 2010, 18:51   #45
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Bahut Khatarnaak tailor pakda hai ! Kudos on the suit, you look Great !
as ever, and for always...
Have a great time.
m
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