I’ve written lots about my travels in Western Europe but somehow left out the very iconic city of Paris! Here are the highlights of my trip:
1. How to Be A Parisian
If you’re considering taking a trip to Paris I recommend seeing How to Become Parisian in One Hour. It is an English language one-man comedy show starring Olivier Giraud who pokes fun of Parisians. It’s a funny show but be warned that he does interact with the audience and by the end calls at least two different people to the stage at random.
2. Super Cute Parisian Digs
Paris was the only stop along my trip where I rented a place to myself – – no host, no hostel. I splurged and rented a split-level studio apartment in the heart of the city, just a short walk to the Eiffel Tower. In true Parisian fashion it was teeny tiny, but it was all mine for those few days. I played soul music on the apartment’s stereo and the sounds would waft to the second floor of the unit while I made meals, used the dishwasher, or did laundry. Having a cozy place to retreat to offered me daily solace from the Parisian streets.
3. Strangers Helping Me Find the Metro
I had a couple of negative experiences going around Paris. The worst was when a woman at a G20 supermarket checked the contents of my bag as I went to exit the store. I had broken 50 Euros to purchase a package of crackers and ziplock bags. The woman must have thought I was trying to steal things to save the 40 Euros or so I had left back from the transaction…!?
That wasn’t the first time I felt uncomfortable while trying to shop around Paris. There were a few other occasions where I felt like I was being treated as a prime suspect for intent to commit petty theft. The G20 supermarket experience, however, was the moment I felt at a my lowest. Frustrated at being unfairly targeted as a thief I spent ample amounts of time in the Parisian apartment I’d rented. At least there I felt safe from these infuriating situations.
This long wind of information is to explain why I remember so fondly those who helped me find metro stations! A kind young woman assured me that I was at the proper metro station on the night of the one-man show. A male souvenir shop worker pointed out a metro sign so far in the distance I wouldn’t have recognized it without his help. Although these were short-lived interactions I hold onto them and their positive nature as a way to counteract the negative experiences I had elsewhere in Paris.
4. Seeing Paris!
After a lifetime of seeing Eiffel Tower images on the television I finally got to see it and other famous Parisian structures in real life.
Traveling as always has its ups and downs, but being places you’ve only ever imagined visiting is worth it.