Paris Diary: Day 1

As you may know, I went to Paris last week. It's been a dream to go and it was exciting to finally be able to. In addition to taking a lot of photos, I also wrote about my experience (I did this for New York too!). So if you want to know 'How was Paris?' read on.

Day 1: "Remember how we didn't take 40 000 steps everyday?" #thingswedidntsayinparis 

After a 7 hour flight, I finally arrived in Paris at the Charles des Gaulles airport. What's weird is that the planes do not connect to the airport itself. We had to get on a shuttle - with no seats - to be driven to the airport. You would think because Paris is Paris their airport would be more sophisticated. American airports are sophisticated compared to it. 

I then took the train to Gare du Nord where I was staying at a place nearby. We wanted to stay close to the station so we could travel back to the airport easily. Plus, points of interest like the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower were in walking distance (read: under an hour).

Gare du Nord was confusing and not luggage friendly. I got lost and when I did go the right way, I could not find any elevators - if there were any - so I had to go up 2-3 flights of stairs.

With my 60lbs luggage...

Exiting Gare du Nord, the first thing I noticed about Paris are the buildings. I'm not familiar with technical terms for structures, but theirs is different from ours. I would just describe it as French. And you can feel the history of it. It has more style and character than it's North American counterpart - in my opinion.

Definitely more beautiful.

But the horror story continued. We rented via Airbnb and there were some miscommunication and got the wrong address. I was punching in lock codes on the wrong doors.  Plus, their streets are not two-way intersections like ours. Theirs are 3-5 intersections so going straight, turning left/right, is not really a thing. The street signs are veeeeery discrete. They are not found next to the street light or on a pole on the corner of the street, they are small signs bolted to the wall. 

Short story, I got lost.

In addition, the roads are inclined. The hills are steep and I went up and down the street maybe 4-5 times with my 60lbs luggage.

When I asked for help French people were reluctant to speak english/to me. I did find a hotel nice enough to give me access to their wifi which I had to keep going back to every time I didn't find my place so I can contact my Airbnb host. Friendly French people are a rarity I learned.

After more than an hour of the traumatic experience of being lost, I finally found the right place. I was exhausted, in distraught, and my anxiety was flared up.

But my struggle was not over yet.

The building had 3 points of lock: the entrance to the building; the entrance to the stairs and the door itself. I was horrified when I saw the stairs. There were 5 FLIGHTS OF STAIRS. It was 100 steps. At this point, going up those stairs was unfathomable.

But I did it. In addition to my luggage I was also carrying a heavy carry on. So I carried that upstairs first, walked back down, and then dragged my luggage up the damn stairs. That was 300 steps. 

I checked out the rooms half alive. This is the first time I used Airbnb and I was glad I did. There was a bathroom, a kitchen, a living room, and a bedroom (there's a tenant occupying the other bedroom and I met her once and she was nice and helpful). Not only was it significantly better value to have access to these amenities and a space larger than a hotel, I got to see what living in Paris was like. It just added to the experience.

View from the 6(th floor)
I crashed on the couch for a moment and then changed out of my sweaty clothes. I had to leave the apartment soon. I was thiiiiiirsty and I had to find a way to get a hold of my friend who was arriving later. Surely she was about to have the same experience as me. The place also provided me the wrong wifi password so I had to return to the hotel that had given me wifi access. 

So I went downstairs.

There's a door after the stairs I didn't know how to open. The horrifying feeling of having to go back up those stairs again for the fifth time and find something to help me open the door and feeling trapped gave me a panic attack. I  grabbed sets of keys I found in the apartment and on the way down knocked on the four other apartments (but remember French people are unfriendly).

Thankfully, this mirage of girl opened her door. She spoke english like I did; she thought I was here for fashion week (I was wearing a t-shirt and pants, what?); and she moved here from LA with her French boyfriend. She was living my dream.

More importantly, she opened the door (clicked the button above the door handle...) because she's also magic.

I made my way to the hotel I got wifi from and waited for my friend there. She never appeared so I went back to the apartment. She eventually made her way there.

This grocery played rainforest background music at the fruit aisle. Idk.

Once she got situated, we went back down again to grocery shop. Went back up and ate our cold cuts sandwich as we try to figure out what we were going to do that day. 

We decided to go to COS and we got lost again. We went up and down the same street maybe 4-5 times. We would cross the street and the street name would change. THIS IS NOT HOW STREETS WORK PARIS #BLAIRWITCH. 

So we had to go back up the apartment again (FOR FUCK'S SAKE, DO NOT RENT AN ELEVATORLESS PLACE LIKE I DID #poorlifedecision) and check the internet. Turns out we went the opposite direction of the street.

We finally found COS this time around. When I told people I'm going to Paris, they kept mentioning how much shopping I was going to do. I forgot I'm a fashion kid going to a fashion capital. I don't know, there's not many stores we don't have in Canada so shopping wasn't in my mind. COS is one we still don't have in Canada (it's opening this fall!) and it's essentially me in store form. However, I ended up not being compelled to get anything.

We saw &Other Stories across the street, so we went there as well.

After, we made our way to the Louvre and this was the first landmark we visited. After seeing places like these in books and hearing about them from others, it was surreal to actually be there. It's a dream and to realize it, I feel privileged to say 'I have been there.'

Then I got interrupted by someone trying to sell me a selfie stick.

Selfie sticks pollutes the streets of Paris. Tourists using them and merchants selling them, both obnoxiously. They're largely harmless - until you/I hit someone with it - but there's just something insufferable and basic bitch about them.

We explored the outside for a bit and took some pictures without selfie sticks, with self respect before we entered the Louvre. To get in, you go through the pyramid which takes you to a downstairs area.

The Louvre is massive. The building is in the shape of an eight and two floors tall (I think). It has medieval and renaissance arts. Greek, Roman, French art. Sculptures, paintings, and even armoury.

Dick, ass, dick lol.
Pimp cup
Wrong sculpture, but okay.
There was a lady before us taking pictures posing with her hand out like this. I thought it was hilarious so I did the same after her. I am a troll.
Pray for me.
Thinking with my crew,
Would you rather: have both arms or a penis?
The room Mona Lisa is in.
I don't know if you can tell, but these paintings were 10 feet tall or so.
That building across is a continuation of the Louvre and houses more artwork. It is MASSIVE.
Just being a sculpture.
Adjacent to the Mona Lisa is this massive painting. 

The most popular however is our girl Mona Lisa. Again, really surreal when we finally found the room she was in. She was surrounded by her fans but I pushed and shoved my way to the middle. Everyone says it's small and I don't think it is. I thought it would be like the size of a paper 8x11 but it's actually closer to 30x20 inches.

I see you tryna smile at me.

It was night by the time we left the Louvre so we decided to call it a day. We went home, got changed, and went out to find a place to eat. It was around 9-10 pm and places closed by that time so it was difficult to find a place to. We ended up having asian which there is surprisingly a lot of in Paris.

Paris begun terribly but it was promising at the end.

Stay tuned for day 2 in Paris. Day 2 is here! We visit the Eiffel tower and everything but your vacant soul.

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