A Hermit Grad Student’s Perspective on the Election Outcome

After being swamped under mountains of work, I am only beginning to emerge from the cloistered life of a grad student. I have the awkwarndess of a hermit being thrust back into the social world, walking quickly down busy streets, avoiding eye contact with people and walking with a head slightly tilted sideways. I stop…

Weekend Gratitude List

The weekend lived up to, and exceeded, expectations that it would be a good one. I’m profoundly grateful to have Paris as a setting for great friendships, to be with the love of my life and to receive an interesting, utterly enjoyable education. If I did not fully believe there was a God before, I…

The cosy rush hour Paris métro

I was standing face to face and thigh to thigh with a greasy haired, very healthy man looking into my eyes when I began to wonder: at what point did I become so at peace with the intimacy and crowdedness of the Parisian métro at rush hour? I tried to recall a time when this…

Another face of Paris

As sometimes happens, I took the metro from the wrong platform. Call it a momentary bout of absent mindedness or stupidity I am at complete peace with my handicaps. Today this meant moving a bit further north than I am usually prone to do. So I decided to take advantage of my lack of attentiveness…

The joys of setting up appointments as a student in France

I was going to whine about setting up appointments in Paris and throw in a few unfair stereotypes about French bureacuracy, but instead I chose to think of five things that are positive, funny or interesting about trying to get appointments with lecturers and other important people for the purposes of research. In no particular…

Paris during one of those weeks

So, the past week was one of those very ‘special’ ones where all the deadlines converge, urgent emails that cry out for response constantly find their way into your inbox and sleep is merely a closing of the eyes. It was one of those weeks were your mind remains active and the lines between waking…

Whitney Houston in Paris

I came across this video from what I guess was one of Whitney Houston’s last appearances on French TV for Le Grand Journal (a nightly show on Canal +). Of course there was a barrier in terms of language but the emotions that she communicated were clearly understood and well received. That is perhaps the…

Beloved Boulevard Raspail

It is one of the arterial veins of the 6th arrondissement and – to me at least – one of those places that forces one into walk one’s spouse’s partners hand in theirs. It simply seems the only appropriate thing to do. The history of the neighbouhood is not particularly romantic. It goes back to…

La Diva to Welcome in the Weekend

Madame Callas is by far the best way to welcome in a weekend and by several light years the most fabulous inhabitant of Paris in recent history. Well, there is very stiff competition seeing as the city has a high concentration of fabulous people – one must say. Nonetheless, through very unscientific means, it is…

Saint Germain and Pont des Arts in the Morning

It is a rare view of the city to see early morning packages get delivered, feet shuffle slowly from and to our different versions of life in Paris and as an unwritten code of civility forces people to respectfully board on and off the métro with little hassle caused or experienced. This is the strange…

Sugar frosted Paris and Claire de Lune

Touches of Snow This morning we woke up not only to the highest electrical consumption level in the history of France but also to beautiful scenes of fine sugary flakes of snow covering the edges of pavements, stacks of cafe chairs left outdoors and the steps and roofs of the city’s buildings. It is a…