I know I promised to be more mindful of my spending here, especially when it comes to food. Ok, that's my only expense right now, so it should be easy, right? Wrong!
After coming back from my blissfully cheap lunch at the cantine yesterday, I ran into one of our longtime Dutch customers who just happened to be visiting the office here.
"Hi! Omid! Hey, do you have any dinner plans?"
Now I like this guy. We typically see each other once a year at our annual worldwide conference. He's a nice guy, we get along, and I enjoy his company. But dammit, going to dinner with someone who's come from far away usually means one thing: $$$. Or rather, €€€.
He stopped by my office after the work day was over and we set out to find a place to eat. Mind you, this is Clichy, where the options are as limited as the sophistication. We settled on one of the many dreadful Italian places in town, largely because it was a more affordable option.
Now here's something weird about Paris. Despite France's proximity to Italy, I've never since I first visited over five years ago been able to find a remotely decent Italian meal in this city. And the prospect of having something they do so poorly in a suburb where they do almost everything more poorly made me cringe.
Bitch and moan as I may, though, my pizza "Paysanne" was surprisingly good, relatively affordable (if you don't think about it in dollars), and the company was great. When you're living in a hotel for a week, it's always worth the price of admission to have a dining companion. All told - after ice cream and a .5 litre pitcher of house red - I spent more than I'd like to, but it certainly beat sitting on my bed, watching a dubbed version of CSI and munching on an apple.
The benefit of trying to stay cheap is that the half litre of wine knocked my ass out shortly after I got home, so I slept like a baby for the first time in what seems like eons. Now I see why winos sleep so well.