This weekend I tried to start ticking things off my list of things to do and see in Paris. After going to Darty to sort out my French phone, I decided to have a walk around Place de la Nation and then Place de la Bastille. I think I’m starting to get my bearings around the city. Paris is much smaller than London, so I’m starting to find it’s possible to walk to a lot of places once you start to get to know your way around. I really want to try out the Vélibs here (Parisian version of the Boris bikes), but I’m still a bit scared of braving the roads here. As I think I’ve mentioned before, drivers here are mental.
On Saturday evening I was invited by my friend Sandra (who I met last week) to a soirée at hers. I have definitely made a good friend here – Sandra works in a patisserie near Bois de Vincennes and had made a quiche and a delicious gateau! The group were all natives, which was great for my French. Not going to lie, at the beginning of the night I sat there in awe of the speed that everyone was speaking in! Everyone was really friendly and gave me lots of advice about Paris. They also all shared with me their impressions of the English (mainly our excessive drinking culture), as well as some rather cringey clips of X Factor contestants which we all had a good laugh at. Making French friends is definitely the way to go if I want to be fluent by the end of my year here, even if I feel thrown in at the deep end to begin with.
Sunday was a particularly touristy day. It has been yet again another beautiful weekend weather-wise in Paris so I had a little promenade along Champs-Élysées and eyed up all the shops. I just love effortlessly cool Parisians are – they’re all so well dressed and chic. I can already see that my shopping addiction will not be cured in Paris (I may have already bought a pair of shoes…) Met Nikki at Place de la Concorde where the touristy day continued. We had a cheeky view of the Tour Eiffel whilst walking along the Seine before heading to Place des Invalides. We visited Musée de l’Armée (the military museum of the French army) and saw Napoléon Bonaparte’stomb. The Warwick History department should be proud of me! Tomorrow I intend to start the adventure of applying for CAF, which should hopefully help with the extortionate Parisian rent!
Extremely cheesy, but I just have to share Joe Dassin’s Champs-Élysées.