Paris in the Rain

There are genuinely no words to describe how great a time I am having here, and I am sure that I might be slightly annoying going on about how amazing Paris is all the time. It is because of this that I have decided to write this post, all about my worst day so far. I'm still going to put some irrelevant Paris photos in, just to distract from the doom and gloom of what will be this First World Problems post.

The ceiling in the Gallery Lafayette

When I say my worst day, I really mean my worst evening. I found out yesterday afternoon that I got paid from work and despite the temptation to head to the Galleries Lafayette and pick up a designer handbag, or head to Sephora to buy a lipbalm that costs €44 but is definitely worth it, (don't worry Mum -- I bought neither of these things!) I went to Lidl.

Yep, turns out living the life of a stagiaire in Paris isn't as glamorous as it sounds, whilst the standard wage for an intern is 30% of the minimum wage, I have been very lucky in that my employers pay me waaay over that! However, something inside of me told me to pass my local Carrefour and go to Lidl instead, I think it was the bright, modern shop front, or maybe even the Eiffel Tower painted on the wall inside (I definitely have a thing for the Eiffel Tower).

Big mistake. I have never seen a shop so busy and so crowded. I don't think I have ever said "pardon" or "excusez-moi" so much in my life, it was manic. The prices were pretty low, even if the packaging was frighteningly foreign I still managed to spend €18 on a pretty big basket full of food. I came out missing the one thing I went in for, which was milk, as the only "red top" milk that was available wasn't in the fridge and it had teddy bears and babies all over the packaging which was just too off putting.

When I finally managed to get into a queue, a lady decided she was going to start a conversation with me about how a priest had definitely joined our queue with more than 8kg of items in his trolley, and just because he was a priest it didn't mean he should get priorities. This was all happening at the same time as a little old lady was trying to push in front of me in the queue, only to give up and attempt to steal her bottle of fabric conditioner. She was swiftly spotted by the security guard but by this point I was so tempted to abandon my basket and leave. Honestly, if it wasn't so tragic I would have actually laughed out loud.

It was just as I was about to leave that it started raining heavily, with thunder and lightning. I don't know why everyone goes on about us Brits having weather issues when the French are OBSESSED. As soon as it gets hot everyone runs around screaming "CANICULE! CANICULE!", which means heatwave, and the slightest bit of rain leaves everyone hovering in shop doorways with frightened looks upon their faces.

So there I am, stood in the middle of potentially 50-60 shoppers with a Lidl shopping bag in one arm and a packet of 18 yoghurts under the other (keeping it classy), everyone is staring at me with bemused expressions wondering if I could really be that crazy to actually walk in the rain. And I am, because I am a Londoner at heart and a little bit of rain never harmed anybody. And it was absolutely fine, about 100 metres down the road it stopped raining and Paris returned to its normal self. 

As much as I'd like this to be the end of my First World Problems post, I decided to put a wash on when I got home, and when I say put a wash on I mean all the underwear I own in France right now, only to be given electric shocks in my thumb, for the washing machine cylinder to spin round and lock itself shut and for my incredibly condescending flatmate to then spout off a load of xenophobic rubbish about English people. I called the plumber however he still hasn't turned up yet, so that will be great fun for him when he gets to break apart the washing machine and see all my dirty laundry!

The rest of the evening didn't go too great, considering I found some absolute bargains in the ASOS sale only to receive an email from them demanding the world (apparently in France you need ID and a photocopy of address to purchase a few €5 tops, oh my life). I also tried to renew my travelcard online, as in France you can only renew your travelcard around the 1st of the month, and apparently there are queues everywhere on the morning of the 1st. However, it turns out France haven't quite got the 21st century figured out yet, as if you want to top up your Navigo online you need to buy a €7 USB card reader from a metro station so you can then link your card to your computer and buy it through that.

Place de la République
Today proved much better though, as I took a trip to the shopping centre near where I work, saw a Marks and Spencers which even had an M&S Cafe and then met up with one of my best pals here, Fayida, who as always cheered me up in our favourite Indian with her Parisian life stories.

Nothing quite like a familiar face!

Oh well, c'est la vie!



  1. While it is reassuring to hear that your Parisian lifestyle is only 98% fantastic, that sucks! I am sure your other days will be a lot better.

    As for French Bureaucracy, well... yeh. ID for everything, something very roundabout and difficult for everything else. C'est la vie indeed.

    Bloody annoying in my eyes :)

    1. haha oh James, get yourself over here so you can join the French/Paris fun!


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