Taking a French attitude today and asking “why not?”
Today was gloriously sunny and 29 degrees — perfect for reading in the Jardin du Luxembourg after a delicious chicken and salad baguette. I think a glass of rosé is the only way to finish off the day.
Speaking of rosé, it’s also the colour of my chest after spending the whole day in the sun wearing a scoop neck T-shirt. And yes, I have been raised under the Australian sun…
The second day of autumn and the Jardin du Luxembourg is still in full bloom and packed with Parisians slouched in a chair, their feet on another, reading a book in the sun. Others enjoy an apéro under the trees, while children sail boats in the pool in front of the Palais.
I must admit, I did join in by reading A Moveable Feast beside the water. But half an hour was enough for me—my pale summer-deprived skin was in danger of getting sunburnt. I’m still getting used to the European thing…
It was about 9:30 in the morning when the taxi driver dropped me outside the apartment that I’d booked through Airbnb. He helped me with my bags, grunting with the weight of my 30kg suitcase, and drove off. I stood there waiting, knowing it would be about 20 to 30 minutes before the girl who was due to give me the key could meet me.
I stood on the street, trying to stop my suitcases from rolling down the hill, thinking “Oh my God. What have I done?”
Here I am in my first hour of living in a new city, out of the family home for the very first time and I feel completely out of place, terrified someone will approach me and ask a question in French that I don’t know how to respond to.
But, alas, along came Mathilde. We hadn’t even moved off the street and she was already asking about what I wanted to do in Paris and offering to speak to her friend who works in the industry. Her welcoming nature made me instantly at ease.
Yes, the metro sometimes smells like urine and there are copious amounts of red tape preventing me from doing things like setting up a French bank account, but Paris is beautiful. The weather is almost unseasonably warm, there is always a boulangerie nearby and I have met great people from all corners of the world.