I’ve now been in Paris for just over 2 weeks. 2 long, tiring and busy weeks! I am living in a foyer, which is a form of accommodation for young workers and students. There are about 80 rooms here but it seems to be very quiet here at the moment. We have dinner provided Monday-Friday, which is very convenient, however doesn’t exactly live up the expectation of delicious French cuisine. Let’s hope that this week they change the menu options slightly and i don’t have to eat green beans with every meal! Despite the slightly questionable dinners, the foyer is in a great location, just off the Champs Elysées, about a 30minute walk to work, and a short metro journey to all the main touristy places. I have to share a room, which was strange at first but I’m getting used to it, and it’s another benefit to have to speak French to my roommate every day.
For work, I am in a shop selling women’s shoes, which you can customise with different coloured tassels. It’s all going well so far and it was far less scary than I had been imagining. Everyone who works there has been very patient with my current poor level of French, which is nice. Because it’s August (a month when most shops and businesses are shut for the holidays), it is very quiet so I spend a fair amount of time organising and tidying, but I am enjoying interacting with the customers who do come in,
When I’m not working (Sunday and Wednesdays) I am out exploring Paris. The weather has been so lovely the last couple of weeks which is a bonus, because it’s so nice to wander around here. Last week I had a great day – I visited the Conciergerie (the place they used to hold people during the revolution before they were taken to the guillotine), and the Sainte-Chappelle Church which was absolutely beautiful and mostly ignored by the majority of tourists visiting Paris. I then went for a stroll through the Ile Saint-Louis, stopping for a Berthillon ice cream, and then spent the afternoon in the Luxembourg gardens before heading to a creperie for my dinner.
I’ve also been busy most evenings after work, meeting up with various friends around Paris and attempting to locate bars with a happy hour! The other night we went to La Terrass bar which is on the 7th floor of a hotel near the Montmartre area, and it has the nicest view of Paris – including the Eiffel tower which continues to be a source of great excitement when it starts to sparkle!
So to summarise, I feel like I’ve settled in fairly well now. I’ve started to know my way around, and I can already feel my French improving. Definitely looking forward to what the next few weeks will bring!