Spending a year in France of course wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Paris, so since we had another lovely bank holiday weekend last week, I decided it would be the ideal opportunity to go and see some familiar faces. I had a banging time and I may or may not be planning already the next time I can go up again.
1. I went on the metro.
Having heard so much about the Paris metro it was cool to actually go on it (although it wasn’t notably different to the Underground). On some of the trains however you have to flick a little latch for the doors to open which really showed me up as a tourist, and I liked though how there was a different ‘theme’ at some stations e.g. at Tuileries all the walls are this cool modern-arty decoration and at Concorde there are loads of trippy lettered tiles that seem to make sentences but my French isn’t good enough for that shizzle yet lol.
2. Everyone was touched up by French guys.
So we went clubbing on Saturday night to my absolute DELIGHT as there is a distinct lack of (good) clubs in Toulouse and I was desperate to get my sexy on and have a good old dance. I had a really good night and the club was great, however the pretty much constant surprise male hands on your hips were not, and it very quickly dawned that it was not just me and my sexy that was having this problem but pretty much every female in the club. Naht cool.
3. We discovered that chocolate BNBN’s plus Twinings orange and lotus flower green tea is *amazing*
Don’t ask, just do.
4. I went to a museum on my own.
I’ve come to realise over the last couple of years that try as I might, I’m just not into museums. I apologise if this comes across as shallow or unworldly, but I was never particularly into history or art at school and I continue to have different interests today (I do believe that it takes all sorts of people to make the world go round).
So on the Monday where my poor old host had to go to work, it seems weird in hindsight that I chose to go to the Louvre, but in actual fact it was EXTREMELY therapeutic to walk around with your own thoughts, unrushed and quiet do with your time what you like, and I ended up there for a good 4 hours. It was also free as an EU citizen under 26 which is such a good deal given how big it is. The parts that I was actually really into was the Islamic art collection on the ground floor and the Napoleon III apartments, which were by far the most lavishly decorated rooms I have ever seen in my life. And of course I went to say hello to Mona.
5. I got homesick for the first time.
It seems that what really brought home that fact that I was far away from home was seeing everyone from university together in Paris. As I said previously, pretty much all of the French students from my university are working in Paris and so although I knew that they hang out a lot together, it was different actually being with them and it made me realise what I’d been missing out on. If I’m completely honest it pulled on a bit of a heart string and made me wonder if perhaps I’d like to be in Paris too, hanging out with familiar faces and talking about British things. It’s a completely different experience to what I’m having in Toulouse where interns come and go every week, almost like a conveyor belt of friends (can I say that?), but having said this there is no way I would change where I am for the world. I’ve made excellent friends here and I know that my uni friends will be right there when we all return home ready to hit up Rubix big stylee.
6. We de-corked a bottle of wine sans corkscrew.
You can tell that you’re not a fully grown adult yet is when you buy corked wine without having a corkscrew. The desperation to get these 2 bottles of wine open resulted in a messy (and potentially hazardous) start to pre drinks, until we finally got the jist and managed to open wine bottle number 2 without shards of glass and bits of cork in it and drink our wine like sophisticated adults.
7. We ate a ‘full English’
After clubbing on Saturday night it was agreed that brunch would be a good idea the morning after, so at what was more lunchtime than brunch we headed to a place which did an all day breakfast with sausages and bacon and toast and eggs and ughhhhhhhh. It was pretty pricey at 19.50 euro, but it included unlimited juice and coffee, and I have a feeling that brunch isn’t too much cheaper in Toulouse for something like that. I really needed it after 4 months now without even a bacon sandwich, and although this wasn’t the real deal it did feel a pretty large British hole in my heart.
8. I realised that I need to become a millionaire.
We went to Galeries Lafayette and it was surreaaaaaaal, within 5 minutes of walking in I saw two men at a women’s watch counter talking with a shop assistant accompanied by two glasses of champagne – what do I have to do to be on the receiving end of that exchange??? They have a huge sparkly Christmas tree in the centre of the store which is about as beautiful as everything else they sell and it got me a little bit in the Christmassey mood ^^. It must be really obvious to the staff there who is there to genuinely buy, and who is just having a frolic among the lingerie that is worth more than I’m paid in a month. In that moment I made a little promise to my material-hungry alter-ego that I would work really really hard forever more at university so one day I might be able to afford a pair of knickers from there.
9. I lit a candle at Sacre Coeur.
On Tuesday we went to Sacre Coeur and we genuinely couldn’t have picked a better day for it; the sun was glorious and it made everything look like how it does in the films. We went into Sacre Coeur Basilica (NB there is a difference between a Basilica and a Cathedral as we found out – see here) and I think that it was the most impressive church I’ve ever been into, I would really love to experience a service there. I lit a candle for my dear Auntie Emma who passed 6 years ago as it’s become a sort of ritual in our family to take her always with us by way of a lit candle in a church; I think she’d be happy in Paris because she liked cigarettes and wine and so does everyone there so she’d fit right in with no problems at all.
10. I saw La Défense from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.
Sure I also saw the Eiffel Tower and Sacre Coeur and the Champs-Élysées but there’s a very good reason I take Business Management at university and it is because damnnnn I’m about that corporate life. We went up to the top on Saturday at about 5ish in the evening, so everything was shimmery and lovely looking, and it was also free with the whole EU under 26 thang ANOTHER BONUS.
Parisien hugs xxx