|Paris Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie - Avenue de Friedland|
Aside from work, I've been discovering a little more about the area I'm living in (I'd like to say Montmartre, but I'm two streets away from that... welcome to Barbès!). So far there's been no direct hassle, even with the "light" collision directly outside our flat, the roof of the shop next door falling down and the constant offering of fake cigarettes by illegal street vendors. Other than that, I've enjoyed a visit to the greasy friend chicken shop nearby (the legendary Chicken 75), then making homemade fried chicken with my flatmates and their friends and meeting the little old lady across the hall (even if that was because I sounded like I was bashing our front door down when my key got stuck...).
So, to round up this week, here are the top five things I've discovered so far:
1. The Distinction in Arrondissements
|Steak and Chips|
1st (Pont Neuf): blazers, tight jeans, patent leather brogues; 79,95 € for a three course meal and drinks
7th (Eiffel Tower): a random mix of foreign tourists and their clothes; 19,60 € for steak and chips with a soft drink
8th (Champs-Élysées): black shift dresses, silk scarfs, stillettos; 4,25 € for an M&S prawn mayo sandwich
18th (Barbès): cultural dress, socks and sandals; 6,50 € for a fried chicken meal
2. Work's Canteen
What a life saver! With my best intentions of avoiding the abovementioned expensive prawn mayo sandwiches, I brought in a packed lunch for my first day of work. No need! The canteen, serving quite a workforce, clearly benefits from economies of scale - 2,25 € for an amazing chicken and egg salad, with of course the usual free bread (bread is apparently free in all of France when served with a main meal), free carafes of mineral water, free salad dressings, olives, pickles etc. and only an extra 32 cents for a good amount of brie or a natural yoghurt. It's my new favourite place to eat.
3. The Weather
Even with England a stone's throw away, it's pretty clear the weather in Paris is definitely different. I'd say much more decisive - if you wake up and it's cloudy, it'll be grey skies all day. If you wake up and it's sunny, it'll be brilliantly bright all day.
4. The Architecture
A pretty obvious one, but it's worth a mention. Everywhere in Paris is beautiful. Everywhere within the 20 arrondissements is sculpted, carved and built with more flair than any other city I've been to.
5. Apples & Pears
The best foody thing I found this week was a cross between a yoghurt and a compote, in the form of mashed apples and pears. I think the closest thing in England is the same flavour of baby food, but here, it's actually acceptable to eat. And they're really, really tasty!