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Baby at the sea side

18 Jul

As an adult, more precisely as a red-haired adult, going to the beach is a crusade. 50+ sunscreen to put on every 2 hours. Long sleeved anything or a pareo to cover your entire you from the entire sun. A towel. A hat. Sun glasses. Don’t go to the beach between 12pm and 5pm and preferably not even after 11am and not until 7pm. Don’t use oil, water, sand, foil paper or anything that can reflect light on you. Stay covered at all times and if you have any freckles (yes, we red haired people are usually covered in them) make sure to have them checked yearly and do your best not to expose them… Basically, to make things easier stay in doors and watch “Baywatch” if you feel like going to the beach, or go at night time and have a cocktail instead. Getting drunk is ok no matter your skin color !!

Taking a new born baby to the beach is more or less the same but worse.

If you are like me, not following the “red haired beach rules” you spend your summer looking like a red lobster and chilling down with yogurt on your body and potatoes on your shoulders hoping to look normal again within hours and start the roasting session again in the morning. When you have baby, as you’re not sure how to take care of yourself, you avoid taking the risk with him and so you basically just don’t go to the beach because he’ll never be too protected (so you think) and the day light only will (so you think as well) burn him for life… And so you keep him indoors like Dracula until the sun goes down.

Should try the mountains instead…

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Bata, Equatorial Guinea. Seen by Sandra

24 Nov

Social life is not a major activity in Equatorial Guinea. Restaurants and bars where one (the expat community mostly) can meet and enjoy a social moment together are rare. On the other hand, tourism is not really a motive to come here and entering the country may be a tough and long thing to do. However, if you are lucky to experience a trip of some kind down here, here are a few places I’ve discovered since my arrival.

For a proper French meal by the sea, you can go to Le Kalao. A sweet little restaurant on the Paseo. The owner, Philippe is a lovely and friendly French man. Together with his wife they are happy to see new faces and welcome you even for just a cup of coffee or a drink during the day. The menu is simple, fresh, familiar and reasonably priced (the equivalent of an average priced meal in France) the dishes are quite large so be sure not to fill your stomach before you go. There are about a dozen bottles of wine of each color. Champagne and other alcoholic drinks. It is also the only place I have found with a proper Nespresso machine for coffee and Clooney lovers. Also, there is Wifi ~ Open all week except for Tuesdays.

North of Bata you will find the Utunde resort with Les Pagaies restaurant and bar. Hotel (huts) on the beach with a pool and pleasant, more local style food to order. The owners are a French couple who have traveled through the continent for over 20 years before landing in Guinea and opening this resort. If you make it there and go spend a day at sea, go by to see the Monkey. ~ Tel. 56 62 37

Another beach corner North of Bata on Bome Beach, is the Farm. A nice beach corner full of people on Sunday with quite a big restaurant to fill your needs over lunch or brunch. Don’t expect to be served quickly, so make sure to order at least an hour before you actually wish to eat. Apparently the Paella is to be tried out (may take over an hour to prepare so be patient). A nice corner for a weekend trip.
Another culinary corner is the Villa Celotti restaurant at the General Works housing village. An Italian company that opened an Italian cafeteria restaurant. Big, quite cosy with some sofa’s, rugs and family like tables for 6. The menu is simple (pasta, pizza, meat and fish dishes, a burger… Some for take away). You have the choice between the menu or the cafeteria dishes of the day. There is a bar. A proper bar with chairs and many, many bottles. Champagne, wine and more or less all the alcohol you may want. There are also two TV screens for game nights or just to crash and watch. You will kindly be handed the remote to play with. Make sure to be friendly and share.

Two other places to have a drink or a meal are the French Cultural Centre café and the Spanish Cultural Centre café and snack bar. Both by the sea, letting you have a drink while looking over the ocean and meeting acquaintances and  friends randomly passing by.

Paris, France. Seen by Alex

30 Oct

Alex has recently moved to Switzerland. Zürich. We, his friends, still wonder why… I suppose there is a part of mystery in each one of us and we should simply accept, and go visit !

When asked about his favorite new places in his favorite new home, he gave one of his favorites… in Paris.

Chez Léon, A traditional grandma-and-grandpa style French bistro, with the classic red-and-white checkered tablecloth, garlic sausage, smoked hareng and the hard boiled display eggs on the bar.

The cuisine is just like home. Basic, classic, tasty dishes. Loud. The ambiance is friendly and the smiles are on (yes, those still exist so take them while you can !!) ~ 5 Rue Isly, 75008 Paris, France. Tel : 01 43 87 42 77

Bucharest, Romania. Seen by Dan

23 Oct

Barcelona, Spain. Seen by Emmanuel

23 Oct

Emmanuel left Paris almost a year ago for the Barcelonian sun, tapas and playa. Who could blame him !? A city that wakes up at midnight and goes to bed by the time our alarm clock rings, shuts down for siesta’s half way through the day and spends its free time by the sea eating fresh shrimp and patatas bravas.

We haven’t seen him back in Paris since he left… That must be a sign.

So, where does Emmanuel go ?

The best and most unexpected bar. Pipa Club. It’s located in an old apartment, at the third floor of the building. To go up there, you’ll have to ring the bell and go upstairs. The bar is originally a club where you can smoke the pipe, so you can see plenty of them displayed everywhere. The club also organizes tango classes one a week, which take place in the living room. ~ Plaça Reial 3

Want some tapas in a crazy atmosphere? At Txakolin you’ll find some traditional tapas from Andorra, which you have to choose directly at the desk. Just grab as many as you like, the waiter will know how many you have eaten at the end by counting the toothpick that you have in your plate (each tapas is picked with one). Oh, and the place is most of the time full, so expect to each standing at the counter. ~ Avinguda Marquès de l’Argentera 19

One of the best vegetarian restaurant you will find! Biocenter. Healthy and tasty food at a bargain price. If you go for lunch, you can choose a menu with all you can eat buffet + soup or gazpacho + a big plate to choose from the menu + dessert. In the evening you’ll get a nice atmosphere and the same great food. You can also enjoy some art exhibition around the restaurant. ~ Carrer Pintor Fortuny 25

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