For the first time in quite a while I'm having an evening where I'm genuinely doing absolutely nothing, so I've decided to write a post on the little things that I've noticed since I arrived here in June that make me laugh/make me want to jump on a Eurostar home/make me want to live here forever.
|The Jardin des Tuileries|
As I've been told many times whilst I've been here, Paris was not destroyed in WWII because it was simply too beautiful and it really is true, Paris is such a stunning city despite the fact that the metro smells to high heaven and the heartbreaking number of homeless and disabled people on the streets. One of my favourite things to do in Paris is just walk the streets or jump on a metro and head n'importe où.
This is exactly what we did on Saturday evening, we jumped on a metro after downing a few bottles of champagne (when in Paris...) to take part in the Nuit Blanche (literally translated as a white night, but it means an all-nighter) where we bumped into a London bus which made me miss home just a little bit!
The Nuit Blanche is one night a year where everything is supposed to be open, with museums opening longer and things going on throughout the streets of Paris. It actually turned out to be a bit of a let down as everything seemed to be closed by about 11pm. We did see some kind of lit up flower exhibition in the church in Le Marais, but that was about it. So we headed to Chatelet and um, picked up some fine cuisine.
Unfortunately in France everything seems to close early, banks close at lunch time and close again just before work finishes and just do not open at weekends. My local Carrefour makes a big deal about the fact that it opens late (until 10pm!!) and the fact that its open on a Sunday (for a whole four hours).
Yes, I did the unthinkable and ordered cheesey chips, in Paris. The look on the guy's face when I told him I wanted chips "avec fromage" and that the cheese actually had to be on top of the chips. He then tried to make it more "British" by adding curry sauce. LOL. Just in case you were wondering, they were awful as the French grated cheese of choice is not our beloved Cheddar, but the tasteless, rubbery delight that is Emmental. Non, merci.
On the subject of food, one thing I've had to get used to on the rare occasion I order meat is having to really stress how I would like it to actually be cooked. On Friday night I tried the delicacy that is Steak Tartare, a dish in France where the chef literally pops to the supermarket, opens up a packet of mince and slides in straight on to your plate. And then cracks a raw egg over the top for good measure. I'm not gonna lie to you guys, it wasn't as bad as I thought, but it was rank.
|Breaks my heart.|
To combat the effects of all this fine wining and dining, on Monday evening I committed to dropping an obscene amount of money a month to join the gym. I've been twice now and I can honestly say all it has in common with my gym in Southampton is the fact that it has exactly the same equipment, which is pretty handy considering it is all in French.
I've also noticed that the gym in France is full of beautiful, thin people that just don't sweat and will actually stop what they're doing to go and faire la bise (double kiss) if they spot a friend. Whilst I have 20 branches at my disposal, I've discovered the one that I've been going to this week has lots of little corners where I can hide and just be the sweaty English gal.
To Matt's amusement, however, I have seem to have lost all my ability to do any sort of ab work, which is slightly awkward/hilarious when I spend a good 5 minutes suspended upside-down on a decline bench because I genuinely cannot get back up! Fortunately the gym has hundreds of classes so hopefully I will get my pre cheese & wine body back soon...
My family/cats/friends/my hairdresser/Sainsbury's/TFL journey planner/the London accent/cheap mcdo/cars that don't go through red lights/real milk/people that don't stare on the underground/not getting leered at in the street/having a real post box/lie ins/pound coins/English magazines/Mum's cooking/peace and quiet/the UK Top 40/Southampton/the uni gym/the Oyster card/cups of tea/baked beans/the high street/English opening hours/Northern England/shopping centres/Boots&Superdrug/having a nap at 4pm just cos I can/sofas/Indian food
Bonne soirée tout le monde!