My Paris Experience
When I arrived in Paris, if I'm to be honest with you, I had low expectations. I was excited, but I was also trying to be realistic and preparing myself for the fact that I may not love Paris as much as I hoped that I would. 4 months later, and it's fair to say that my expectations were blown out of the water and I have completely fallen in love with this city and everything that comes with it, good and bad.
Let's begin with the not so good stuff about living in Paris. Paris is a place where people of all cultures, nationalities, ethnicites and religions come together, and personally I think that this multiculturalness is what makes cities so great. However in Paris there is a clear social divide and segregation which I didn't like, and at times this made me feel uncomfortable. There is massive inequality in Paris and it's so easy to see. Never before have I seen so much homelessness; in every metro station, in most metro carriages and around most street corners there were people sleeping rough on the streets with only a coat to cover them in the extreme cold. I heard during my time in Paris that the government has a great scheme in place to help people if they want help, so perhaps this was a choice, but whatever the reason, I feel like more needs to be done because it's a massive problem. There were a couple of times when I felt uncomfortable walking alone by myself in the evening and would sometimes just call an uber for a short journey home because I felt vulnerable walking alone at night. I'm not sure what it is, but in Paris if you go out showing even a little bit of skin, you get a lot of looks and comments. This was really, really bad in August and September when it was super hot and you had to wear as little as possible but still try to cover up because you knew that you would just attract unwelcomed attention. My last two reasons are a bit more light-hearted. I'm not sure if I've just forgotten what it's like to be cold, but in December, Paris was freezing! There were many times where I thought I had been the coldest that I've ever been and I don't think I could spend another full winter in Paris! Secondly, it was a bit of a shock when it came to how much food was in Paris! My food shops for a two week period were nearly double the price that I would spend in Bath. If I were to buy five avocados, that was a quarter of the price of my total food shop which made me laugh.
So now to the good bits! Paris, is Paris. The city of love, the city of lights, and as cheesy as it is, the city where you can do anything and feel everything! Every time I stepped out of my appartment I had to remind myself that I was in Paris and pinch myself! When the sun is out and there are clear blue skies, there really is no where like Paris and the city felt so magical. I love the hustle and bustle of the city and how many things were going on around me! There was always somewhere to explore, or a restaurant to go to, or a bar where my friends would be and I felt like life was just really exciting.