Thursday, July 17, 2008

Munching in Muenchen and Picking in Paris

Today I was browsing through a travel related blog site and came across a post claiming to help out travelers "on a budget" in Paris.  I was immediately skeptical.  These are usually preaching to the wrong crowds.  It then went on to give listings of restaurants in Paris where budget travelers can go for budget meals.  First listing for breakfast: Angelina on Rue de Rivoli.

Pure bullshit.

If you want to have the best fucking cup of hot chocolate in your life, go to Angelina.  You will forget your name and all about world hunger.  Starving children in Ethiopia?  I didn't notice.   I was too busy sipping an Olympian nectar.  And it was good.  The catch... it's going to set you back about 7.50 euros.  Honestly, what budget traveler would ever spend 7 euros on a meal, nevermind just hot chocolate?  And that's just the hot chocolate!  What about if, god forbid, you want some solid sustenance?  There's another 7 euros.  You're down 14 euros (adjusting for inflation, about $230) and it's not even 11am.
If you can spend that kind of money, then you are not a budget traveler.

There should be postings like this:
Breakfast:  Go to your local boulangerie (bakery).  Listen to me: don't go to any that are inside of the 1-7 arrondissements.  I know you'll get hungry as you stroll along the banks of the Seine, eyeing the unusually attractive people there, but don't you dare go to a bakery in that area.  If they greet you in English, walk out.  Places like this are all inevitably over-priced and prey on unknowing tourists.  You, however, are an all-knowing tourist.  In fact, you are the Most Omnipotent and Reasoning Of Nibblers.  That's right.  You're a MORON.
Also, don't get croissants.  Yeah they are typically French, and even the French like them, but hey... you're broke.  Get a baguette instead.  Whereas a croissant will set you back about 1.80 euros and is mostly butter and air, and can satiate an Ethiopian chipmunk, you are a full grown 20-something and need some calories to burn.  A full baguette is the way to go.  They usually cost a mere one euro (don't spend a cent more) and it is huge.  Eat half, throw the rest in your bag and munch on it throughout the entire day.  Easy.  
If you happen to find a lucky coin on the ground, consider investing in some cheese (fromage).  The protein will do you good.  Now, most penniless of pedestrians, buying cheese from a cheese store (fromagerie... or something) is more expensive than buying from a general grocery store.  You could get a full block of Brie or Camembert (I prefer Camembert.  It tastes more French) for about 2 euros.  And while it won't be as good as the cheese shop block, it's a hell of a lot better than the crap we have here.  Enjoy it.  You just saved 11.50 euros.

And if we were in Munich:
Breakfast- Beer.  Preferably, Augustiner Helles.  About 1.75 euros gets you a half liter.  For best results, drink quickly.

I might have found my target audience.

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