I’ve officially started my stage part-time (mainly doing translation, research, writing for articles for the website) as well as being the Erasmus face promoting nights out for students. I learnt a new expression from my boss last week which pretty much sums up busy life up in one: ‘On a du pain sur la planche’ – we’ve got a alot of work to be getting on with! It’s great that I’ve been thrown in straight away and become one of the team. It’s funny to think how when I first got here I dreaded speaking on the phone and now I’m having full on skype meetings in French! My boss is pretty accommodating with the fact that I’m still at uni, so I go into the office when needed – on Champs-Elysees, needless to say what that’s going to be like for the shopping addiction… Otherwise I’m doing what I can from chez moi for the time being. Juggling part-time work experience, uni, child-minding, English tutoring lessons and a social life can be a bit hectic at times, though I’m handling it surprisingly well!
The beau temps has finally arrived in Paris, so a lot of my spare time recently has been spent chilling in parks with picnics and soaking up the sun. The best spot I’ve discovered so far is definitely Parc des Buttes Chaumont, one of the largest green spaces in Paris. When waiting for Boryana and Catherine at the entrance, I had no idea of its sheer immenseness. For a city park, it’s quite something: winding hills spiral round to form cliffs connected by suspended bridges which tower above a beautifully blue lake, into which a thundering waterfall crashes and tumbles down from the grotto above. It’s all artificial of course – another one of Monsieur Napoleon III’s great ideas. After spending an hour immersed in this ‘natural’ retreat, I struggled to remember that I was in the metropolis.
Other than enjoying the beginning of spring, I’ve as always been making the most of the gourmandise on offer in the French capital. The evening before going to Germany was fittingly spent in a German bistro called Le Stube, which has been given the German seal of approval by Cristina’s boyfriend Yan. Here my sweet tooth was satisfied by a Tarte aux pommes, cannelle et noix which was délicieux. Myself and some of the girls also finally found a frozen yogurt place around Beaubourg – it’s just starting to become a trend here… I’ve had a few frozen yogurts in London, and the Parisian version was just as good, if not better because of the French inspired toppings on offer – Spéculoos and crème beurre caramel salé miam miam!
I’ve had a few interesting evenings out the last two weeks, starting with a Sorbonne event at the American Cultural Centre right opposite the Eiffel Tower. Its swanky setting was matched by quite a fancy do inside, with an open bar (though it was an absolute nightmare getting a drink) and buffet (which was pretty much wiped clean by the time we got there!) Last weekend a group of us when to a cool little bar in the Quatier Latin called Le Piano Vache – it was pretty busy which resulted in a struggle for seats, but it’s got a buzzing atmosphere and some good music. At around half 12 we thought that it would be a great idea to head over the Cité U for a party – in the house of Belgium funnily enough. Our last minute spontaneity did not pay off however, as upon arrival we were welcomed by hoards of students and found out that they weren’t letting anyone else in. Having trekked rather a long way and seeing that it was obviously a good night, we refused to accept this and attempted various strategies for getting in. This included chatting up people outside in hope that they give us their entry bands, checking for unattended back doors and begging the bouncers to let us in. Being a big group, we all got spilt up – the end of the story is that some of us succeeded, others did not. I was one of the unlucky ones, so I soon lost patience and decided to get the joyful noctilien (night bus) home – this is always event-filled journey with the type of strange sights one expects to see in the early hours of the morning. Last night we decided to make the most of a beautiful summer-like evening with drinks outside at the Cité U. Unfortunately it would seem that the glorious weather was short-lived, with the sun going back in today and the rain clouds showing their ugly face. So much for having nice weather for a weekend trip to Normandie for Emma’s birthday and to celebrate the beginning of two weeks holiday. Tant pis!
Le Stube: 31, rue de Richelieu 75001
Yogurt Factory : 3 rue St Merri 75004
Le Piano Vache: 8 Rue Laplace 75005