As you may have gathered by now dear readers, I’m in Paris! So far, it has been FABULOUS. But the first few days were a total haze. I was jet lagged, I couldn’t understand a word of French (and that is all anyone seems to speak here. Whatever happened to English?) and nothing was opened (I arrived on a Sunday). The area I lived in was not what I imagined Paris to be, even their keyboards are different! I was completely shocked and confused. Now I know what a culture shock is.

But then, we stepped out of the St. Michel and Notre Dame station and found civilization. THIS was what I imagined Paris to be. We toured the Notre Dame, ate crepe and walked around the streets of Paris admiring the quaint streets and gorgeous architecture. It was bliss.

After that I finally learnt how to use the metro (which turns out to be SO much better than Chicago) and how to squeeze onto it in the morning, I mastered the art of communicating with a mixture of English, a few French phrases and sign language and all was good.

We visited 2 of the Chateaux de la Loire and they were beautiful. It really brings me back to the days when kings actually lived there and thought that colored tiles was a luxury (personally it looked like it belonged in a bath). It also amazes me that people were able to build such grand architecture so long ago, even this awesome double spiral staircase in the shape of a DNA that creates an illusion that someone is coming down the stairs but really they’re on the other staircase. There we also to see a quaint little village on the way and there was this really weird building that periodically had dragon heads come out the window. . . . strange.
Saturday, we went to Disneyland! The Halloween theme was up and it was fabulous even though it is nothing compared to Orlando. We went on some pretty cool rides, took loads of pictures, found McDonald’s (boy do we miss good ol’ American food) and of course, spent LOADS of time in the gift shops. Check out this remarkable imitation of Jack Sparrow on a cup, kind of creepy no?

As if Disneyland wasn’t enough for the day, we went straight back out for the once a year Nuit Blanche, where Paris is suppose to light up and be opened all night. We went to the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Elysees. Check out the highlights: Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and the Louis Vuitton store (which was opened till late and we even spied a little party going on at the top floor tents!).

But really, when they say all of Paris was opened they only meant certain stores like bars and car stores. We found this “drugstore” which sold Marc Jacobs, 150EUROs pillows and these really quite awesome socks for 34EUROs. And saw the “bat mobile” at the Peugot store. And whoever it was reponsible for organising this night was clearly out of their minds, the night transportation was beyond terrible! The infrequent buses were all full to bursting, the metro was closed and none of the cabs stopped. We ended up stranded in the streets of Paris (along with a hoard of people) all night until the metro started again at 530am! Definitely a night to remember.

In addition to all that, I've also explored Place d'Italie, the Louvre, Montparnasse, Chatelet, Luxembourg and Denfert Rochereau. Yes, I've had quite a week. But now I must go and pack for my weekend in London/Cambridge. A bientot!