The Start of Life in Paris

Today marks almost two weeks in Paris- I arrived last week, Jan. 16, at 7:45 am. Somehow, I still remember the exact time the plane touched down; I remember thinking that we had landed 25 minutes early and would my host mom be ready for me? I was so excited and nervous that it didn’t occur to me that twenty-five minutes is not that early, when considering the amount of time it takes to get through immigrations, baggage claim, and all the traffic leading into the city.

Of course, I finally reached my host mother’s apartment at around 10ish, and it was just perfect. It’s overflowing with books, literature and history, and antique furniture. It’s the epitome of Parisian class. I’m in the 6th Arrondissement, so I’m pretty central and super close to les Jardins du Luxembourg and la Cimitère Montparnasse. I’m lucky, and while I’ve done a lot of exploring that requires the metro, my plan for this weekend is to do some more exploring in my own neighborhood. I want to acquaint myself with my surroundings, and have a regular place close to me.

In the meantime! Here are my immediate thoughts. My favorite areas remain Montmartre (the 18th) and le Marais (the 3rd and 4th). I am also drawn to anything along the Seine- It reminds me of being near the Charles River back in Boston, and it eases a bit of my homesickness. The metro here is amazingly fast and efficient, and as much as I miss Boston and my loved ones back home, what I do not miss the public transportation there. Beantown can definitely afford to take a cue from Paris on this one.

Food: in a word, sublime. It’s a bit difficult for me as a vegetarian, but worst case scenario, I just eat a salad and a plate of cheese. The desserts in this country trump all else, however. My drink of choice is chocolat chaud (hot chocolate), and if they have it, chocolat viennoise (hot chocolate with whipped cream). One of my favorite patissérie/boulangéries, across the street from classes, has wonderful tartes citrons et tartes chocolats. And there’s always pasta.

More thoughts on my living situation, settling into Paris, and travel plans to come! Classes start on Monday, so wish me luck preparing. Time to get back into the routine of buying school supplies, doing homework, and stressing about tests. Also, don’t worry- all future posts will be full of pictures 🙂

À bientôt! ~Sim

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