Paris Diary Day 2

If you haven't read my traumatic first day in Paris, here you go heaux.

On our second day at Paris we finally got our tourist on. Throughout our vacation, we decided to walk everywhere. This - we felt - gave us a richer experience of the culture by being able to see more of the city and people. Not just the tourist areas.

Also, it saved us money. Cha ching.

So we planned to go to the Eiffel tower. It was about an hour away. We also wanted to soak in the culture, explore, and smell the flowers.

First stop: pastries. I got a chocolate croissant and a twisty bread filled with melted chocolate chips cuz I'm extra like that. They were delicious, expensive, and worth it.

However this incident is a prime example of how you never win with French people: my friend started speaking French and the sales person spoke to her in English. I'm poor in French and I'm self conscious about it, so I spoke in English. My sales person kept speaking to me in French. They're just not impressed whether you try or not.

We went to Guerissol next, a second hand store recommended by the internet. It's apparently a go-to thrift shop in Paris. I'm not really a thrift shopper looking to be delighted by a surprise (I want specific things and I lurk sales until prices have drop low enough I can snatch them). My friend however is and skilled and patient at it. She found a Masimmo Dutti romper, Maje jeans, and Dior jeans.

We took a lot of photos after this. I can't repeat it enough: Paris is beautiful. For instance, the long rows of buildings in the narrow street we walked in disappeared in to the horizon. It seems commonplace but it was dreamy.

Wrong city bro: Sometimes French people are funny.

Up to this point of our trip we've avoided souvenir stores. However we found one not filled with tourists with cheaper prices. I ended up getting a mug, two place mats, and two eiffel towers: one was gold and the other was made of baguettes. My friend got keychains, an Eiffel tower, and a mug

We regret nothing.

We then found a mall and because we are basic, we went in. The mall was small and stores like H&M had three stores selling by category (e.g. bathings suits, womenswear) instead of one big one and the rack were not overflowing. I suspect Parisians prefer a boutique experience.

The mall had an openness to it. They had an area with plants and sunlight shining through the glass ceiling. The a.c. wasn't blasted. Instead, fresh air. We even found a pigeon inside. I went to the Starbucks to try a drink we didn't have here (a blended mango yogurt?). My friend went to use the bathroom which she had to pay 1 euro for.

Soon we were in the Champs-Elysee area. It's best described as the Time Square of Paris (read: big retail stores for tourists).  From where we were, we could see the Arc de Triomphe, it was kind of exciting.

We saw another Guerissol. It was smaller and more edited. They only had menswear.

We ended up walking down the street with all the high-end stores. Being around designer clothing, my friend and I yearn. Yearn for a lifestyle that afford us these things. It's sad and shallow but simultaneously, also motivational. To have such privilege, you must aspire to be great.

It was funny: we saw stores we liked more on the other side, so we crossed. Then almost immediately we crossed back again because there were more stores we liked on the other side (I think it was Celine and Chanel). #fashion #ridiculous

As we exited the street, boom, there it was: the Eiffel Tower. Just casually within sight. We stopped by a bridge to take photos, danced a little, and kept walking.

Finally we made it to the Eiffel tower. We ended up entering next to it (instead of the large path that leads to it). That would've been more climactic I suppose, but  I'M IN PARIS NEXT TO THE EIFFEL TOWER. I will take any entrance and be happy with it.

The Eiffel tower is one of those things you've seen and heard of so many times. It is incredibly surreal to be in the presence of it.

There was a line up to go up the tower but we weren't interested in that. Plus there was a long line. Instead we made our way to the lawn. There's a long lawn where people have picnics and my seemingly random purchase of place mats now seemed perceptive.

We had a picnic with the Eiffel tower as our background. What.

Lots of people selling Eiffel towers and booze.

Let me take a minute to talk about scams though. There were women who would come up to tourists asking us if we spoke English. There demeanour just seemed suspicious and my friend told me to ignore them. I looked it up online and what they do is make you sign a petition and harass you for a donation. They also swarm you and pick pocket you.

So if you're going to Paris, please look up 'scams in Paris' to protect yourself.

Afterwards we walked on the path. We saw ferry rides. Kids performing to Michael Jackson like really well. Police officers inspecting men (pick pockets?). There's a carousel and obviously we took a ride. We also bought a photo of us riding it lmao.

We stayed awhile taking photos. A long while.

Then we made our way to the Arc de Triomphe through Champ Elysee. We went to Laduree and bought some macaroons. There was a line up outside and inside.

Finally we got to Arc de Triomphe. It's in the middle of the road surrounded by traffic so we weren't sure how to get there. Instead, we went on the middle of a street and took pictures. What's funny was nobody was on that spot - because it's kind of dangerous - and by the time we finished shooting, basic bitches were waiting for their turn...

Basic bitch comes to our spot and then half ass copies my pose. GIRL BYE.
We then made our way to Notre Dame (the one in the Disney movie!) which was maybe, 45 minutes away. We walked through Pont Alexandre III, the most ornate bridge I've ever been on. There are gold accents everywhere and sculptures on the side of it. Four statues on massive pillars are found on each end of the bridge. It's so wow.

We stopped by at the lock bridge, which I think was not the famous one because we passed by another that was filled with tourists. Whatever, more photo taking space for me.

We were exhausted at this point (we walked everywhere). Then we found a mirage of a pub literally called The Great Canadian Pub. It wasn't particularly Canadian. The signs were in english and the bartender had a British accent.

I guess that's close enough...

So exhausted at this point.
Afterwards we finally did make it to Notre Dame. There are in fact, gargoyles high up. It's a beautiful church. We went in for a bit. Outside we were looking at our to map to find our way home and this man in leather - who was staring at us for a bit - approached and asked us if we needed directions. NO THANKS, TAKEN 4 IS NOT HAPPENING TODAY. #SOSliamneeson

Then we left, had dinner, and safely got home.

About eating out: great food is easily found in Paris. We made a decision for this vacation we were going to splurge on food and eat out everyday. Tip: tipping is not required in Europe! Sometimes a service fee is included already as well. They think it's wild we leave money behind. So save your money and get dessert.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE. We got ready to do some night life and went  to Le Comptoir General, a "ghetto museum." On the street, there's just a white cement wall with people lined up. Once we got to enter (no cover cha ching), there was a pitch black alley way which we were pretty sure we were going to get jumped. This seemed like a poor life decision at this point (I read about this too).

But after 15 seconds, there was a building and inside, people were alive and having fun. One room had chill music and the other had dance music. The music was okay. The place looked like a shabby museum but it had character. There was a tiki bar. My friend had some awful alcoholic beverage I liked (I don't drink) and I had a coconut. It was authentic and delicious and it was 6 euros. Which - fine - I mean, who has a coconut in Paris? Me. #ridiculous

The place became increasingly hot as more people came so we decided to leave an hour or so after. Right outside was a river that ran parallel to the street. A row of benches ran on each side of it and lively young adults filled them. We found a vacant bench to sit down on. I thought about the events of the day and how great this new experience I was having.

That night, I was just another kid in Paris.

Then some man approached us, called me Xiao Ming; spoke indiscernible French; shook my hand and didn't let go. That was our cue to leave and call it a night.

And on our final day...

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