09.17am, middle of nowhere, France
Okay, I concede. Perhaps a day at Wimbledon and three hours’ sleep wasn’t the most ideal way to start this little Parisian adventure.
I’m sitting on the Eurostar now, on the other side of the Channel, speeding towards Paris and starting to brick it a little.
First up, I have a meeting at my workplace, on rue de Lübeck. I have absolutely no idea what to expect. To tell the truth, there’s a part of me hoping it’ll be in English. A big part. No clue as to how long I’ll be there, what will be discussed, and the type of people I am going to be working with. Remind me again why I signed up for this?
I just listened to the recording of my last Skype interview with Fabien, my boss for the next two weeks. It sounded shocking. I was recovering from “a cold” (hangover) and I repeated “d’accord” a good twelve times in seven minutes. This might not go well.
9.34am, closer to Paris, still surrounded by fields, France
CRAP! Do I kiss my boss on both cheeks?
10.47am, 6 rue de Lübeck
Early. Early for my meeting. Sitting in the lobby and sweating profusely after slight panic getting lost around the Arc de Triomphe. Had to ask the sales assistant in Céline for directions.
13.23am, 10 rue du Midi
Well, I went to my first work meeting and didn’t die. This is good news. Whole team is under 22, and all seem really nice. Fabien, my supervisor person, is a funny mix of frantic and energetic and simultaneously very reassuring and approachable. Very much enjoyed having a conversation with the three other girls during which one person would ask a question in English and we would all reply in English and then as soon as someone dropped some French into the conversation we would all switch instantly. Bilingual superstars that we are.
Managed to negotiate the Métro (simples) back to my adorable apartment in Neuilly-sur-Seine. Apparently Sarkozy used to be mayor and there’s a farmer’s market on Sundays. I think I’m going to like it here…
10.28pm, 10 rue du Midi
Having pillaged Monoprix, my local supermarché (superior to Pingo Doce but not equal to Harvest Foods for those who understand my passion for foreign supermarkets), Fiona and I decided to go on a little adventure up the Champs-Élysées. It was then that the heavens opened.
Today of all days, we chose to leave the parapluie at home. Grave error. I have never been so wet in my life.
We made it all the way to Avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt before the rain got really too ridiculous. We headed for Galeries Lafayette and managed to spend a good three hours there (with a short macaroon break) until tiredness and hunger hit. Both of us reached the pathetic stage of exhaustion and only just made it back home for dinner before collapsing. Now curled up on my sofa, planning my attack on Le Marais tomorrow.