You know what? I’m far too tired again to go into detail about that first day so I’ll just have to keep the feeling as a memory and detail any bits that come back to me later on. Needless to say is was a fabulous first day and I already noticed alot about Paris and its quirks.
Now onto today!
So today I failed to look at apartments, though this wasn’t entirely my fault. This morning I went out to do many a thing that needed doing as well as make sure I could definately find a few places, and just to have a general wander around. I bought a ‘carte mobilis’ which is a public transport ticket for one day’s unlimited travel.
Firstly I went to place de l’opera to the BNP paribas bank there as this is where the ‘agence’ (branch.. of the bank) yesterday said I would be able to open a bank account without having a fixed address. Again it was rather strange coming out of the metro to a view of the Paris opera (which I’ve actually never been inside, despite all the Phantom of the Opera links!) but straightaway walking away from it to go do adminy ‘i live here’ type stuff. The guy at the bank was great, I think. Though I’m still not sure if I’ve just signed my life away to something horrible!! I was able to set up the account with some kind of 30 day lee-way I have to find an apartment and give an address. I’m not given my card or cheque book until an address but it gets round the bank-apartment catch-22 as I now have the RIB slips that I need to show a landlord. I actually came out of there overwhelmed that I’d been in a room speaking straight French all on my own for almost half an hour.
Next it was on to the american church where aparently there are lots of advertisements for housing and where I hoped to pick up the P à P and the FUSAC magazines (full of accommodation offers). However when I got there the whole place looked shut up and and italian guy sat outside didn’t seem to know when it would be open. Stupid me really should have checked the website I guess! So that kinda put pain to my plans to do some house hunting. I wandered from here to another metro stop and got my first glimpse of the eiffel tower which, despite the cliché still makes me a bit happy
The next stop was by the Sorbonne (one of the universities in Paris and I think the french equivalent to Oxford) and Lycée Louis le Grande where we have our welcome and teacher training for my teaching scheme at the beginning of October. The Sorbonne was beautiful and very imposing :p.
I wanted to get some clothes and I’d figured out that one of the main shopping streets was reasonably near so I wandered through the ‘jardin du Luxembourg’ which was stunning. There was a band playing with lots of people watching so I stopped to watch that for a little while. Then as I passed the lake I saw all the toy sail boats and motor boats that some of the children (and some of the adults!) were playing with. A bit further on some people were giving donkey rides
The girl second from the left gave me a wide-eyed smile as I walked past which clearly was saying ‘how can anyone expect me to enjoy plodding along at 1mph down some random path’ :p. Or perhaps she was just extactic with glee, being on a cute fury horsey thing.
I got to where the shops were and had a happy/worrying moment when I realised that it was in fact a huge street full of many clothes shops, and the metro stop at the end of this street goes directly to the metro stop nearest my house. Far to easy. Once I’d done some shopping I actually took the metro all the way to the stop by my school. I wanted to have a quick look at it before I start. It’s not nearly as bad an area as I thought it could be. I don’t think Paris can quite do bad areas really. But the school is huge!! Quite excited now though to start there. Ooo also, I managed to call Catherine today who is the english teacher responsable for me and I’m going round to her house tomorrow.
After seeing the school I came back to the house for a while then went to the Champion supermarket just down the road to get some supplies finally!
This evening Emma (a friend from uni who is working in Paris for 6 months as part of her year abroad) came round and we had spaghetti bolognaise and a gossip about all things french. I cooked in Paris! It was so bizaare, especially as I haven’t really cooked at all in 3 months. Twas lovely to have someone in a similar boat with all the struggles of settling in and finding an apartment and getting used to the french ways of life.
We looked at FUSAC apartment adds online and I feel a bit more confident and ready and optimistic to start looking tomorrow And my mama is coming tomorrow morning so that definately adds to the whole confidence thing, having someone to go look at places with. It was great opening the bank account this morning, knowing I’d done it myself, but the whole ‘look what you’ve achieved all on your own thing’ is overrated. I know I’ll feel far happier, safer and more prepared with some one else there. Emma offered to come with me once mum has gone too which is awesome.
Gonna write down some numbers from the FUSAC adds then go to bed I think! I’m still completely shattered but I feel like right now I really shouldn’t stop before I’ve got a least the basic things sorted. The good thing about coming a bit earlier I guess is that hopefully I’ll have an apartment soonish and then I’ll have some time to actually relax and settle in properly
Au revoir! xx