Currently sitting in bed, windows open, a nice breeze coming through and listening to the choir singing in the church next door to the apartment. It’s 11:23am. I have such late starts to the day here. If I left the house at like 8 or 9 my days would be soooo long! I have been leaving around 11/12 and I’m still out for over 8 hours ha. Tomorrow I’m going to get up early thought because I want to get to the Louvre before the massive queues! I walked past the louvre yesterday and it looks amazing, I’m looking forward to walking around it!
So yesterday…day three. It was a mixed day. The first half being pretty rubbish but the night was fun 🙂
I don’t have a floor length mirror here so I stood on a stool to I could fit my outfit in ha. Nearly every parisian wears their jeans like this; rolled up just above their ankle and most women wear these sandal type shoes so that’s what I did. Talk about conforming 😛 But I really want to look like a local haha. If I actually lived here then I would want to do my crazy makeup and try to look different ha.
My plan for the day was to visit 2 vintage stores up in the north of paris and then visit Sacre Coeur as it is near by, then Galerie Layfayette then head to the Eiffel Tower to see it lit up. I had it all planned out. Over breakfast I talked with the other Airbnb boarder here (Courtney) and met the housemate Enning(Not how you spell it, he is German and I think it’s spelled with a ‘H’ at the front but whatevs I’m spelling it how it sounds haha). Courtney wanted to see the tower too so we decided to meet up later and go together. Then Enning said we should come to the German restaurant/cafe where he works so we decided to have dinner there and then go to the tower. So my day sounded like it was going to be great…
I caught the metro to Place de Clichy which is north of Paris. Let’s just get it out there: I hate the north of Paris. I could not wait to get out of that quarter…I think I was in the 9th quarter. Serge told me yesterday to be more careful in the north of Paris…I can see why. It definitely felt like the poorer side of town.
So of course I (being me) ended up in the back streets of this area, lost and alone haha. So I took a selfie. haha
I walked across some bridge and it went over a big cemetry…it looked awesome so I decided I would go for a walk through it. But I couldn’t figure out how to get in and ended up walking around the entire thing but on the outside. Couldn’t even see it because of the massive wall surrounding it. The streets kept getting quieter and more rough looking and then I couldn’t figure out where I was so I just kept walking, making turns down streets that had people on them and eventually I came out on the street i wanted, right in front of the op shop I was looking for haha!
The first vintage store I wanted to visit was called Guerrisol. I wouldn’t say it’s a Vintage store though. It felt like an op shop back in Perth…the clothes were old but not in nice way and daggy. I was quite disappointed. I did buy three scarves there though.
Feeling very hot and tired and annoyed because of my lack of sense of direction I stopped at restaurant and ordered a nutella crepe and lemonade.
On my search for the next vintage store I came across the sex shops of Paris haha. And check it out: a Sexodrome!! What even is that ha. No joke, literally every single shop either sold clothing, toys or was a video store or was a place for people to go watch the ladies dance, even an Erotic Museum!!…it was all related to adult stuff. This was the first time I felt a bit unsafe in Paris. And I did get more guys staring and trying to talk to me on this street then anywhere else I’ve been. I definitely won’t be going to north of Paris again.
I didn’t end up finding the store. I walked up and down that street a couple times and I just really wanted to get away from it so I gave up. I really disliked this section of Paris and wanted to get back into the city centre but I wanted to visit the Sacre Coeur first!
This place was beautiful. And you are allowed to sit on the grass here!! haha. On the way up I got stopped by two guys from Ghana, they were carrying string bracelets. I said no but they grabbed my arm and started braiding the bracelet around my wrist. I knew what this was…they pretend to do it for free and then when they’re finished they ask you to pay. But I couldn’t be firm and say no so oh well I just went with it. The guy then asked for 10 euros! ahhh yeah no way! I told him I only have coins for the metro and pay for everything else with my credit card…he was pretty annoyed. I gave him a couple euro and took off. Next time I will be firm and walk away…lesson learnt ha. So that just added to my growing list of things to go wrong that day haha.
There was soooo many people! I felt quite claustrophobic. So now I know why Serge told me to either go early in the morning or later at night to see the church. I queued up to go inside. Again, too many people in there! I sat in a pew at the back for a while. I love catholic churches. They are so peaceful. I think they are good places to sit and think…and my feet were incredibly sore.
There was a guy dancing with a soccer ball which was pretty cool. If you follow the link it will take you to the video 🙂
After Sacre Coeur I thought: ok, i’ll go to the Galeries Lafayette and do some shopping. It looked so simple on the map. But it seems today was just not my day. I got lost again and couldn’t figure out where I was on the map. I walked up streets and then back down them and then down back streets and on and on! I was so tired and annoyed about my ruined day and was nervous because I kept ending up on quiet streets.
Eventually I just chucked it in and looked for a metro station to take me home. At least I managed to catch the right metro 😛
When I got home I was feeling exhausted, home sick and a bit down. I skyped Jack for a little while and that cheered me up. It’s nice to hear a familiar voice when you’re alone in a foreign country. I’m so used to hearing French now, it will be weird adjusting to only hearing English back in Australia. So I only had a couple hours at the apartment and then I had to head out again to meet Courtney at Henning’s (I learnt how to spell his name) work. He works at some German cafe/restaurant near the louvre.
Again I caught the metro fine but once I got off at my stop I got lost and was walking around for 20 minutes in circles before finally finding the place. I didn’t mind too much about getting lost but was stressed because I was supposed to meet Courtney at 8pm…ended up being 8.30 but oh well.
Henning gave us both a free glass of wine and then we ordered. We decided on some meat strudel and spinach tart. The strudel was amazing!! I wanted to eat both but we were sharing the dishes ha. I think I will go back there once more before I leave Paris. So we sat and ate and talked about places we had been and our lives in Australia and Thailand (that’s where courtney lives but she is from America). Henning brought out a slice of cheese cake and a slice of apple and rhubarb pie for us to share also. The cheese cake was so different to what I’m used to! It was so light and airy, it melted in your mouth. Bizarre!
Henning and his work collegue Yohann invited us to come back to the restaurant when they finished work and we would hang out. Courtney and I left around 9.30 to catch the metro to the Eiffel Tower. We got there just at 10pm when the lights start twinkling. So very cool! Courtney and I got our tourist on and started posing in front of the tower and taking selfies 😛 then we sat down on the lawn and opened our German bottle of wine (bought it from Henning’s work).
Follow this link to see a little video of the Eiffel Tower 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=703775836306401&l=6026249214512329234
We had been there for about half hour when suddenly two men came sat down with us…lounged would be a better term haha. They lay on their sides and looked at us and one started speaking in French to me. He quickly figured out that my french is limited 😛 His english was limited so we had a conversation going between french and english. I couldn’t believe it when he said that he is studying geology and that he wants to come to australia to work on the mines! I just can’t escape geologists haha!! (My housemates and all their friends are Geos).
We had a laugh afterwards because these guys coming up to us and acting like they were the best thing to happen to us was exactly what we both were expecting from Paris. So we got our paris experience 😛
Around 11pm we caught the metro back to the restaurant. Henning and Yohann had just closed shop. So we all sat in the restaurant for the next 3 hours playing games and talking. Drinking the beer for free 😛 Another German was there, his name was Frank. Me and Courtney thought Yohann was German also but found out he is French. The guys spoke in French and sometimes German with each and then English/French to us. I learnt some new french words “tu bois” and tricheur (drink! and cheat!) so spent a lot of the night shouting tu bois and tricheur if I thought someone was cheating at the game haha.
Around 3am we walked across the street to a bar. The roller shutter was down so Henning banged on it and voices yelled out in French from behind the shutter. He said that we had to walk around to the back of the building. We were let in through the kitchen door and had to walk upstairs to the bar. It was teeny tiny! And only had a few people in there. 2 were playing music and the others at the tables. I don’t think we stayed there that long before we all caught a taxi and headed back to our apartment.
Part way through the drive Yohann said “stop!” and then he just leapt out of the taxi and walked off! The taxi driver drove off. Courtney and I were like no way can he be left alone in the city at night so we made Henning walk back and find him haha. Us girls were hanging out of the windows on the look out for the guys. When we eventually saw them we were relieved and then both went to our rooms and fell fast asleep.
So concludes day three!
(finishing this post later on in the day)
It’s currently 9pm of day 4 and I have nothing to write about today! I woke up around 9ish. Had a shower and then lounged around in my room and started typing this post. I skyped my family for about an hour. Around 2ish Henning made pasta for lunch/breakfast. Courtney and I walked down to the boulangerie and bought baguettes to have with the pasta. We were all so tired so we sat in the living room talking and listening to music. I went out walking for a couple hours and that’s it. It has been nice! I felt like I really lived here today. Although, to be honest I’m not sure if I really would live in Paris if I had the chance. There are things I really love about the place and other things that would make me quite hesitant about living here.
My next post will be a tour of the apartment!
Au revoir! xx