August 25, 2015, by Gemma Coleman
So am I Parisian now?
I knew I had brought too much stuff. Three coats, a plethora of silky scarves and enough stripy tops to deck out the entire cast of Ratatouille did seem a bit excessive when I was packing, but when you’re going to the fashion capital of the world for a semester, you’ve got to step up your game. I didn’t realise, though, that I’d brought so much stuff that I wouldn’t be able to fit my case through the barriers at the metro.
After some heavy lifting, we reached our temporary apartment (me and my friend Chris, who is also doing a semester in Paris), only to realise we would have to drag the cases up four flights of stairs. Not a good start. We soon settled in, though, especially after our host served tea in Wills and Kate wedding mugs and bought us English muffins to “make us feel at home, no?”
A quick pot of tea later and the housing hunt began. Manically sending emails in broken French and trying to find rooms that my bank account could handle is not how I usually like to spend my Thursday nights but I thought it would probably be the best way to avoid spending every other Thursday night here homeless. I soon had a viewing and within three days had moved into my new home for the semester: a room in a French family’s flat, including their cat (which FYI should be a housing filter: one bedroom, non-smoker, feline lover).
After moving in, I found the nearest cheap supermarket and began my life as a Parisian. This involved staring confusedly at the different types of cheeses and hurling all my bank cards and IDs (including a Boots advantage card because you never know when that will come in handy abroad) across the checkout counter. Definitely not chic. Sadly cheddar, a big part of my life in the UK, is not going to be affordable and it appears that we’re going to have to go on a break. We just can’t handle the long distance.
Classes start next week – wish me bonne chance!