The Leidener

A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

Part Two: In Between M.Sc. and Ph.D.

Madeleine, around where I started yesterday.

Madeleine, around where I started yesterday.

Yesterday, was my first full day in Paris. Where to begin? I was woken up out of my comfortable dreamlike state by the sounds of construction, and I lay on the massive couch wondering where I am. Then I remembered. My lovely friend, India, was already nearly done getting ready to go to work and we were supposed to go out for breakfast: pain au chocolat. I hurriedly stuffed things into my bag and threw on some clothes, and we were off quickly to the metro. It was at this moment I realized I forgot my SD card for my camera in my laptop. I walked India to her work, making plans to meet up for lunch, and went off looking for an SD card. I was able to buy a new one, and I started taking pictures again.

Whitney, me, and Roxanne getting our picture in le Jardin des Tuileries.

Whitney, me, and Roxanne getting our picture in le Jardin des Tuileries.

I bought a map near Madeleine in the 35C heat. I walked around not rushing at all, and eventually decided to make some friends. To my left I heard the chatter of voices. Roxanne (Swiss), and Whitney (Canadian), were just meeting up for the first time in years. It was their first time in Paris together. They were long distance best friends, living on other sides of the world, who would occasionally meet up in various countries. They are a perfect example of how wonderfully globalized we are these days. I pulled out my French and asked “Etes vous filles touistes aussi?”. Living  up to Canadian standards, Whitney did not comprendre. Roxanne on the other hand was pretty fluent. With ice broken, we visited les Jardin de Tuileries and le Louvre, making little stops along the way for fresh fruit, and to refill water bottles. We found some shade to sit in for a while. Around 12:30 I said goodbye, and went to meet up with India for lunch.

Palais de Tuileries. Click to see it bigger!

Palais de Tuileries. Click to see it bigger!

India's coworks: Roberta, Orillia, Ariane, me, India, Luis. Probably not spelling it right.

India’s coworks:
Roberta, Oriana, Ariane, me, India, Luis.

We ate lunch together on the steps of Madeleine with her coworkers, who were all from different places: Germany, Colombia, Italy, and France of course. They were a very nice bunch of people. For me, lunch consisted of a baguette, fruit, and water. I ate two bites from the baguette and found it tasted too sweet and chemically. They gave me a few places to visit in the afternoon, which was getting even hotter now, 40C.

Ice cream on top of Printemps.

Ice cream on top of Printemps. Too hot to stay long.

They went back to work after a quick picture, and I made my way to 150 ans printemps, a mall which had a roof top terrace that could see over all of Paris. Printemps was quite unique, and the terrace felt idyllic. I enjoyed the view over some icecream, then sat under a parasol for a bit to write some thoughts. My camera battery died in the heat at this point before I could finish doing a panorama picture.

Click to see full size!

My camera died before I could finish taking enough for the complete panorama. Click to see full size!

Vegan ice cream is different but good. Tried coconut vanilla, and citron basil. Both good and refreshing.

Vegan ice cream is different but good. Tried coconut vanilla, and citron basil. Both good and refreshing.

To summarize the rest of the day quickly, I visited the opera, sat in starbucks to get wifi for a few minutes, met up with India after work, biked to a vegan store to buy some vegan icecream, ate it in a park, and went home to finally shower. That night we made rissoto, and enjoyed the warm summer breeze off her balcony.

Today and tomorrow, I’m adventuring quite on my own. India left for the seaside last night with some friends. It’s off to the artists district for me.

Old man in le Jardin des Tuileries. Artistic shot of day.

Old man in le Jardin des Tuileries. Artistic shot of day.

About Jalbert

I share my travels and experiences. Follow me as I do my Ph.D. in astronomy at Leiden University.

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This entry was posted on July 4, 2015 by in Authors and tagged , .
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