Okay I’m writing this feeling incredibly sentimental with only 10 days left of my time in Paris, so fair warning for any soppiness that may be on its way!
Nearing the end of my six months in Paris, I am feeling really happy and secure here (ironic that I have to leave so soon then). I’ve made lots of friends, who I feel I could go to if I was having any issues or troubles. I’ve learnt what it’s like working in an actual company with a 9-5 (though realistically a 9-6) day job. I’ve met people from all sorts of nationalities and had an amazing time.
Once I leave I’ll do a proper post reflecting on the past six months, so I’ll save the rest of the nostalgia for that.
Since 2017 came around I’ve already done lots of fun stuff:
My friend Rebecca and I decided to take a day trip out of Paris the Sunday before last to explore the much raved about Fontainebleau. This is a beautiful chateau reminiscent of Versailles, just without the crowds!
Despite the freezing temperatures, I’m so glad we went- it was beautiful and so good to explore an area outside of Paris. Even though, to be perfectly honest, I find a lot of these chateaus very similar, and can’t stay in them for more than an hour or so without going a little mad, I always find it interesting to see the excessive splendour and to compare it to those who would have built the building. The discrepancy in wealth is shocking, and makes me wonder how different it is today?
Le Mauvais Sang
On the Tuesday, my flatmate and I decided to go and watch Mauvais Sang in an independent cinema near where we live. This french film was directed by Leos Carax and was released in 1986.
The basic premise of the film is that there is a new sexually transmitted disease that only affects those who make love without any feelings for the other person. I thought this sounded really interesting and was excited to see how the film would treat the subject.
However, about half an hour in I realised I was not going to understand a word or the plot of the entire film. Not only did they speak French super quickly, but the language was so poetic and the plot so unclear that I was completely lost the whole way through.
Although this wasn’t great for my confidence, I did really like the cinema, it had a beautiful starry ceiling, and I felt very French even if the language itself escaped me.
Thursday and Friday I went for drinks, first with work and second with friends. Both were lots of fun, I got to meet lots of new people on the Friday when we headed to Café Charbon again. They also played some of my favourite music haha- lots of Beyoncé, very reminiscent of the Who Run the World? Girls. playlist on Spotify!
I also faced a year abroad milestone, getting a haircut in a foreign language! Although I was terrified that my dodgy French would lead to a shaved head, I am actually pretty pleased with the result. It took a few days of getting used to- as soon as they cut it, it felt like part of me and my identity had died, but now i actually really like it! It’s sooo much easier to manage as well, and it’s fun learning how to style it 🙂
Usually in France Sundays are very chilled out and sleepy, however I decided to make the most of my penultimate Sunday in Paris.My housemate and I woke up at a horrendous hour (8am lol the horror) to go to the St Ouen Flea Market before she headed to work.
By the time we got there, at about 9:30, most of the stalls hadn’t even opened yet! But we got to look around a few of them, I bought a cute hairband and we saw lots of knick-knacks. Despite the cold (I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes by the end of it) we managed to avoid the crowds and see some amazing little collector’s items.
I then headed to the Louvre (finally!). I’ve been there before when I was about 12, so it was nice to go again, especially after living in Paris for over 5 months! I got a bit confused at the entrance and didn’t see the maps so had to wander around blindly. I managed to get a glimpse of the Mona Lisa though, behind her bulletproof glass! And I also got to see a few of the paintings I studied in first year for my Italy and the Arts module which was really interesting.
I also happened upon an Islamic section. The art there was so beautiful and intricate. Really recommend if you take a visit to the Louvre!
After braving lunch by myself (luckily encountered wifi at the café so wasn’t completely alone haha) I met my friend by Shakespeare and Company for some tea. Was lovely to see her after like 8 months! She’s been in Germany for the first half of her year abroad, and has now come to Paris for the second half. Was nice to catch up and find out all about her year abroad adventures! We went for tea at The Tea Caddy, which is apparently based on old English tea houses. It was very cute (though, of course, very expensive).
We then headed to Notre Dame, one of my favourite buildings in Paris. I wanted to climb up but it turned out we had chatted for too long and were too late! So a tip for anyone heading to Paris in winter, climb Notre Dame before 4pm!!
I now only have one and a half weeks left of my time in Paris. It all feels a bit surreal at the moment, I simultaneously feel like I’ve been here forever and for no time at all. Over the next 10 days or so I am going to be concentrating on seeing and experiencing as much as possible!