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Paris. The city of love, museums, food, art, culture, jazz, wine, smoke and public urination. It’s a place with many things, but good administration is not one of them. It’s a nightmare to get accommodation, a phone number, a bank account or to enroll in university courses. Even buying trusty blu-tack is impossible (but to be fair it is called white-tack here).

But organisational skills aside, Paris is a beautiful place, in both character and appearance. The wide boulevards and streets sweep through the city in organised lines, peppered with fountains and statues in every other block. There’s great café bars with excellent musicians, cheap high-quality wine and absolutely phenomenal food.

While I’ve met a few locals who have upheld the ‘rude Parisian’ stereotype, the vast majority are the exception to this rule. I’ve never shaken hands with so many strangers on the street, in bars, or in restaurants, who all leave me with a “welcome to Paris.” The Parisians are trying their hardest to clean up their reputation.

My apartment is in the Latin Quarter- a colourful area with student-friendly bars and restaurants. Eating out is very expensive so I’ve been getting very proficient at cooking pasta (and chicken stir fry if I’m feeling adventurous). There are plenty of local and international students to meet in the various watering holes around here.

My porthole window in my Latin Quarter apartment
My porthole window in my Latin Quarter apartment

My classes start next week, can’t wait to start learning again!!1!1

Fintan McDonnell


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