Je suis arrivée!

So I have just spent my first 24 hours as a Parisienne! The journey from London on the Eurostar was fairly easy but the lack of escalators in most of the Metro stations was pretty annoying, especially with a huge suitcase. Had a slight panic in a shop in the Gare du Nord when I realised I forgot how to say the number 13, not a great start.

Saying goodbye to London at St Pancras International

At the moment I am staying in an apartment in a place called Goncourt in the 10th Arrondissement, which really reminds me of Tooting with all the Halal meat centres and awful clothes shops! I'll be moving out of here on Saturday to an apartment near the 16th into what might be the smallest flat in the world.

A view from my temporary apartment

Last night my mum and I went for a pizza at a place called Pizza Rossi in the 2nd as it had amazing reviews on Trip Advisor and seemed reasonable. After getting off the metro to find the restaurant we were greeted by a number of ladies of the night going about their business which was slightly strange, so I was a bit dubious about this tiny restaurant on a Parisian side street. Turned out the pizza was pretty good and the restaurant was very cosy (we had two couples literally sat either side of us, bit awkward, especially when the German guy sat next to us refused to eat any type of cheese). 

Crazy huge pizza

Today we were up on the Champs-Elysées by 10am as I had an appointment at HSBC to set up my new French bank account. This was faaaairly painless, the guy spoke a little bit of English but I think I got by with my French okay. The only thing is they need proof of literally everything, and because I don't have any gas bills etc for my new place they opened the account with my English address. In the end it was an old P60 from HMRC that they took as proof of address so if you're going to set up a French bank account make sure you come prepared. I didn't really look around for bank accounts because I'm with HSBC already, I like them and the student bank account is pretty good and only costs €4 a month (apparently monthly fees are the done thing here). 

So this is my bank. On the Champs Elyées.

We've done a few touristy things, such as going to the Jardin des Tuileries and the Notre Dame but haven't yet been to the Eiffel Tower. My mum is leaving me tomorrow morning which is slightly petrifying as I currently feel like I'm on holiday and not my year abroad! I start work on Thursday which I'm super nervous about but I've already been to the offices so I think I know what to expect. 

Fancy windows at the Notre Dame

So far this is what I've learnt from my first 24 hours

  • People on the Metro love a good stare
  • The French can't make tea. Don't even think about asking for milk.
  • There is a severe lack of decent high street shops
  • Everything costs more.
  • Parisians can actually be really nice. No, really.
  • That maybe, just maybe, I can actually speak French.

Hope you enjoyed reading my first post, I'm hoping to update this blog regularly so if you just click subscribe up there and enter in your details I'll spam ya inbox whenever I write something on here!




  1. Good luck, Sophie! Can't wait to read your posts x

  2. The French banking system has been the bane of my existence. Just glad you didn't go with Societe Generale...

  3. I think I'm going to be reading your blog a lot since I'm about to start my semester abroad in Paris, and you seem to know some good places already :)


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