This post was written by our co-president, Priyanka Kumar. Check out the original post here.
Firstly, I sincerely apologise for not updating my blog for a while. I did promise that I’d write about my experiences travelling in Europe, so I am going to write my truest experiences about the cities I visited.
Let’s start with Paris. Ah, Paris. Quand j’ai réalisé que je serais en visite à Paris, j’étais assez excité que je pouvais pratiquer mon français sur les rues, les buses, partout!
So I was quite eager to go to this city, as I had a background in French and was keen to try out my language skills. The journey to Paris, however, was far from smooth. We met up at 7am in Cannon Park Shopping Centre (Tescos), as the Megabus was supposed to take us from Coventry to London Victoria, and then from London Victoria to Paris. It was a 10-12 hour journey overall, and it was tiring.
But the worst part of the ordeal was that we managed to miss our second bus from London to Paris! By only 5 minutes. It was frustrating, infuriating and the five of us were already doubting whether we would be able to survive this whole Euro trip. Nevertheless, common sense kicked in and we realised that the only way forward was to pay for another bus ticket and wait for that bus to come. So our journey was pretty much close to 16 hours, I reckon.
We spent a weekend in the city. The highlights included staying with a lovely host family and having cute french breakfasts and dinners, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Paris lock bridge (which has been taken down now!) some of the museums but sadly not the Louvre, and of course, the Champs-Élysées where we walked all the way down to the Arc de Triomphe! It was a pretty incredible weekend to be fair, and Paris is probably the prettiest city I’ve seen in my life. Every road, corner, building is neat, intricate and pastel-coloured. It was almost as if we had stepped into a picture book, where the dirt had turned to white chalk and every street had its own charm.
The food was simply incredible. Buttery, hot crossiants. Quiche with an array of fillings, macaroons, sweet-smelling chocolate, an endless selection of baguettes, meats and cheeses. The best continental food I’ve tasted has come from France, and I was not let down after this trip
The only thing that surprised me was that the French in Paris were quite stand-offish and arrogant at times. Despite trying to speak their language, they would look back at me blankly in response and some had even asked people around if they knew English. I had two similar situations of trying to find the right bus at a bus stop in Paris, France and Hanoi, Vietnam. The Vietnamese were by far more genuine and eager to help than the French I encountered in Paris.
Would I go back to visit this city? Of course. However, l don’t think I’d like to live in Paris on a permanent basis. There are friendlier places to settle down. Paris is, at the end of the day, a bustling, fast-paced city.