The greatest thing about spending May in Paris is not, surprisingly, the weather, as evidenced by the washout experienced by Imy, and the sunny-rainy-stormy-sunny days that have followed.
No, the best thing about May is that almost every working week is just four days long.
When you reach the last couple of weeks in the office, it’s hard not to start celebrating the weekend early. Thursday night I crossed town to enjoy a feast of Pringles and wine on the banks of the canal. Zannah and Bean had come to Paris to visit after finishing their exams, and it was a treat to catch up with the girls alongside what seemed like Paris’s entire under-25 population before heading to Le Petit Cambodge for our standard cheap and cheerful Parisian fast food.
Friday couldn’t come soon enough, particularly as I was anticipating an evening spent with other girls from Durham: Katie, who has recently moved to Paris, and Eleanor, who was celebrating finishing her degree in style with a long-overdue trip to Versailles. In desperate need of a cocktail at the end of *gasp* a five-day week, I suggested Buvette.
Naturally, neither the food nor the company disappointed: we had almost a whole year of international mischief to fill each other in on, and before we knew it we were onto another bottle of wine, chatting away until the very early hours of the morning.
I paid the price the next morning, though, as I had agreed with Pip to meet very early to make our way to the Marché aux puces de Saint-Ouen. Thankfully, I was revived by a chausson aux pommes from a bakery en route, and a leisurely coffee and fresh pear juice from Kookaburra Café – an unsurprising favourite of ‘My Token Aussie’, Pip.
After two perfect piccolos, we made our way north to pick up the metro to the market. The route did not inspire me with great hope: fighting through the counterfeit vendors and questionable characters, I was not expecting to find the vintage treasure trove that everyone recommended.
But, when we reached it, it was even better than I anticipated. The market is a hushed haven of alleys made up of wonky, three-sided shacks filled with everything from ancient furniture and stylish vintage posters to vast chandeliers and an awful lot of junk.
Walking for miles around the market we worked up quite the shopper’s appetite, and settled for delicious (if unattractive) veal burgers and French fries, on the justification that we would continue to walk for quite some time. We did just that after lunch, when Pip found her bargain: a Japanese ceramic coffee set dating from the 70s.
Unfortunately I was smitten with a find that wasn’t quite so bargainous: an original Bruce Weber print, signed by the photographer. Sorely tempted, but I had to listen to my head that time. My only souvenir from our trip to the market was a keyring with a pair of boxing gloves on, as a little momento for my dad. A former Oxford Blue boxer, my dad’s sparring partner at university was none other than former Australian PM, Tony Abbott.
Chanson du Jour: Thrift Shop – Macklemore (I joke.)