I couldn’t sleep that first night. I was way too excited to be there, although everyone else blamed it on jet lag. I finally got to sleep at about sunrise and slept till about 10. Everyone was gone when I woke up. They left me a note stating when they would be back to go on a walking tour if I wanted to join. They didn’t leave me a key, so I was a little annoyed at feeling extremely trapped. I also didn’t have any adaptors with me, so my phone was nearing the end of its battery life. I thought they would be easy to find, considering the abundance of tourists from around the world, however that did not end up being the case. I sneakily used my travel mate’s adapter while I was getting ready. I had mentioned that I had no adapters with me the day before and asked where I could get one, but they didn’t know, suggested the name of something I had never heard of, but never offered me the use of theirs until I found one.
I debated whether or not I should leave, and decided if I was going to be in Paris, I might as well explore it. I left and started to explore the district. I walked up and down streets, taking everything in. It was everything they say Paris is, and at the same time, nothing like it. After wandering around looking for a decently priced breakfast, I settled on ordering an onion soup at a cafe near the apartment. Let me tell you: nothing is cheap in Paris. The soup cost me 9 euros, which included tax and gratuity, but it’s still expensive as far as soup goes, and of course it took about 1.5 Canadian dollars to buy a Euro, so my soup was actually $13.50. Most of my traveling has happened in cheaper countries. For example: in Ecuador I would regularly buy 3 course meals and a drink for US $1.50. It was a difficult adjustment for me to make, spending so much money on food.
We all met up later and went to go on our walking tour with a local Parisian guide. It is a free service they offer through Discover Walks. We met up with our guide and he was a lovely, chatty fellow who enjoyed speaking English to everyone’s relief except mine. I wanted to practice my French! The biggest thing I took from his tour was the awesome graffiti that the Parisians do. I didn’t really pay attention to any of them before, but after his tour, I saw them everywhere, and it became almost a sort of game when it came to spotting them.
My travel mate, L, said she was disappointed that there wasn’t much green space in Paris, so our guide made sure to take us through many parks to show her a different perspective. He also took us to a mosque with a giant tea house that was always packed with people, and a lovely walk along the Seine. I saw people dancing for free, and in that moment I wanted to move to Paris, just so I could dance alongside the river for free with like-minded people. He ended our journey at the Islamic Cultural Centre that has a fantastic view of Paris, which you can see in the video below.
It was getting late when we got back, and I was hungry but no one else was, so I decided to go out and find another crepe. This time they gave me the spare key to take. I felt that the district we were in was safe, so I didn’t mind wandering around alone at night. I eventually bought a shwarma and a crepe and ate the two together on the steps of one of the many churches. The shwarma wasn’t as good as I had hoped, but the crepe was fantastic. I later returned to the apartment for another sleepless night.
WordPress is making me sad because the quality of the videos is very poor compared to the originals. I may have to try something else eventually.