To recap yesterday and part of today...
Got to the airport and had no problems at all. The flight to Paris was very smooth, a bit of turbulence here and there, and I managed to sleep through for about five or six hours, waking only when some noise woke me (obviously banished_babe was right - the key is to be tired enough that you can sleep on the plane regardless!). Breakfast on the plane was very good, a nice, simple continental breakfast with some decaf coffee. I didn't suffer hunger pangs during the majority of the flight, since I was able to eat the cheese and salad that I had brought with me (picked up in one of the airport restaurants).
Arrived in Paris at Charles de Gaulle airport, and was met by André Courtemanche, my contact for the job, who welcomed me to the city, took me to the hotel to drop off my bags, and then took me off to the workplace. I basically met a lot of my French colleagues at the Embassy, got a tour of the place and familiarized myself with the layout and all, and did a little bit of work. It looks like work will be very busy while I'm here, but that I'll have a little bit of time to take in the Parisian ambiance and see a bit of city. Andre has said that he would be glad to show me some of the less touristy sites, and I will likely take him up on that.
I'm currently at the hotel, taking a bit of time to relax and get my bearings, before Andre and his charming wife, Estelle, arrive. They plan to whisk me off somewhere for dinner tonight, so we shall see...
The Hotel is the Courcelles Etoile, at 184 Rue de Courcelles near the Pereire subway station, and is in the heart of the 17th district. André says that the hotel is modestly priced, and is in a chic, nice neighbourhood, with boutiques, markets, restaurants and bistros. Sounds like a good place to walk around in. It's very close to the Champs Elysè, but I'll learn more (he says) during the week about the environs. The is very nice, and has broadband wi-fi internet access (which I'm accessing right now). I was expecting some of the old-fashioned sort of look and feel to the room, but it's got a flat screen tv, a soft quilt for the bed, heavy curtains, and the bathroom has a Jacuzzi tub.
Anyway, must change for the evening meal. Will try to post some more from the City of Lights, but that will depend on how busy and how tired I feel.
A bientot! :)