Jeff transferred to Paris, so now he lives there and we see each other on the weekend. Whenever I tell people that, they always make some joke about how they wished their partner lived there, or that I made a good choice to choose a partner who lives in Paris. I could explain that I didn’t choose this, but they’re basically right, it is pretty awesome.
|The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris|
While this isn’t saying too much, Paris is much more lively than Switzerland. There are people out at all hours of the night, people are more willing to be social, and the restaurants and bars are open for more hours. Though Switzerland has the aesthetics, and the cleanliness, I think this change of scenery was just what Jeff needed.
One of my favorite changes has definitely been the food. French food is delicious when made right and has some unique ingredients. Since we’ve moved here we have tried pig’s feet, snails, and foie gras. Pig’s feet taste more or less like ham, snails are usually cooked in butter but still have an earthy taste. Foie gras is pretty damn good, but I must admit that the way it is made is really cruel, and so Jeff and I avoid eating it for moral reasons. The way it is made is a duck is restrained and force fed via a feeding tube until it’s liver swells to the size of a football. Then it is killed and foie gras is the duck’s liver, usually served as a pate. Not the most PETA friendly dish, but a cultural dish all the same. On a happier note, the desserts are awesome.
We haven’t visited very many tourist spots in Paris yet because we are hoping that people will visit us more, and then we can see the tourist spots with them! Our first friend to visit was Sam from Zurich who played on ZUF with us and actually hooked us up with our first apartment in Zurich. He brought his girlfriend Christine and we wandered around Paris for a weekend. Our first stop were the Catacombs. The catacombs is referring to a tunnel network below Paris, of which a small part is used for skeletons. Today there are about 6 million skeletons inside. Since the conversion to Christianity, people wanted to be buried in and near their church, so these graveyards (which Paris has a few huge graveyards in their city limits) would eventually be too full. They used to just build a new cemetery atop the old one, but the residue left from the bodies was leaving too much lime in the city well water. Part of the solution was to place the old skeletons in this tunnel network.
Seeing so many skeletons led my mind in a sort of odd direction. I started trying to figure out how many skeletons were in here, but once I saw a wall chest high full of skulls, I decided it didn’t matter. Then I thought about what I would do if the skeletons started to pull back together and start attacking people, like they do in the movies. I decided that my best bet was to try to find some scapulas and throw them like frisbees at the skeletons. I also decided that this probably wouldn’t help, and running was the best option. Imagine how terrible it would be to be attacked by a skeleton though, they would just be able to poke you or claw you with their boney metatarsals, or gnaw on you with their jaws… Yes, this is how my mind works.
Our next adventure was to the top of the Arc de Triumphe at night to see the city lit up. We climbed a spiral staircase to the top and looked out amongst all of Paris. Taking pictures was really difficult, but a few of them came out okay. What is more interesting than the landscape though is watching the traffic that goes around the bottom of the arc. There are 5 streets that all lead to the arc and there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of traffic lights or traffic lanes. It is more or less a free-for-all roundabout. From above, the cars seemed to move in packs like little bugs, and you would pick one to cheer for. If they made it out of the roundabout without being hit, you win! There were some close calls, this was an exciting game.
We lived in temporary housing for the first month in Paris, but now we have found our own flat. We had a “reassignment specialist” to help us, who was amazing. She found us apartments to visit, she helped us set up a gas contract for the stove, internet, lease, everything. I wanted to kiss her. Jeff had some tricky housing requests. He had promised Sophia, the cat, that he would find her some outdoor space. We requested apartments on the cheaper side, with balconies or terraces that the cat could sit out on. After visiting 7 apartments, we managed to get our first choice of the apartments. We are not located in the center of the action, but we are right on a tram stop so getting to the action isn’t a problem. The reason our flat is awesome though is because we have access to the roof of the parking garage. Which is covered with a yard, cared for by the building. We are the only ones with access to it, but we don’t pay for the care of the yard. So we can enjoy the trees, and shrubs, and rose bushes, but we don’t have to do anything about it. Plus, it seems to be good enough for Sophia.
|This is from the back of the yard facing the apartment. We are below that balcony you can see.|
|She’s been a much happier cat.|