Welcome to my world! My name's Nik, and I'm a British expatriate who has been living in Paris, France for the last five years. Even though I never planned to stay in Paris for very long, now I'm here I've no plans to leave soon - the beauty of Paris has never worn off, and so far it's been a five year long vacation! Enjoy my ramblings...

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I've just got back from Düsseldorf, where I've been doing various businesslike things. This is about the fifth time I've been there, and it seems to be the only area of Germany that I ever end up in - not by choice particularly, but the work seems to have always lead me there. I really want to go to Berlin since *everyone* is saying how fantastic it is, but that's not happened yet.

One of the big reasons I love going to Düsseldorf is the nightlife and beer. Parisiens seem to want to drag out a glass of wine for the entire night, while Düsseldorfians have perfected the conveyor belt method of keeping a full glass of beer in front of all night! A waiter or waitress constantly patrols the bar with a tray full of 20cl glasses of beer. As soon as you've finished one, they swoop down and quickly replace it with a full one. No wasting time with receipts and additions, as they just make a mark on your beer mat, and at the end of the night count the number of notches to make the bill.


There were a few times when we felt a bit ashamed of the fact that our beer mats were becoming more notches than mat, but it seemed we were in plenty of good company. There were even a few people who were onto the second or third beer mat.

Food is good too, although kinda heavy and meaty though. There is meat *everywhere*, even to the point of the vegetarian dishes still having meat in them;


The picture is a bit blurry, but in the small print under Vegetable soup are the words 'with beef'. Of course, what kind of vegetable soup could respect itself in Germany without beef in it! So, for the entire time there we were fairly stuffed, but no complaints.

Finally, just to be infantile, here's a bar we found called the 'Bastard', which amused me greatly, although as you can see my brother didn't appreciate being photo'd in front of it...