(50) things i learned this week, in PARIS. #3

!!! warning: super long writing post ahead !!!

okay peeps.
this week, as you might know, has been a hecka full week…………
so you might imagine how many things i learned. i went even further: I WROTE THEM DOWN.
all for your entertainment.
and i divided them into paris stuff, travel stuff and life stuff.
so you can decide what field you’re interested in and skip things that are booooring.
because that’s what life is about.

PARIS STUFF (aka stuff i learned on paris while in paris = recommendations from me to yours truly)

before you get sick of my blabbering, here are my top lists:

TOP THREE PLACES YOU SHOULD ABSOLUTELY GO SEE IN PARIS:
1. 59 rue de rivoli
2. shakespeare&co.
3. les berges

PLACE YOU SHOULD ABSOLUTELY GO FOR A MEAL IN PARISl’alsacien

PLACE(s) YOU SHOULD ABSOLUTELY GO FOR SNACKS IN PARISanticafé, le dernier bar avant la fin du monde

PLACE YOU SHOULD ABSOLUTELY GO FOR A TATTOO/PIERCING IN PARIS: abraxas

fiiine now unto serious learning.

1. paris is beautifully awesome.

2. parisians are not rude / unfriendly / whatever and they do speak english.
they do not hate english speaking people nor refuse to answer to them, provided you ask things nicely of course – because they’re human.
fact, we haven’t found a single person who didn’t speak english.

3. okay, this might be not relevant but it really is.
french boys are cuuuute. /insert awkward giggling here/
‘count the cute guys’ makes for a fun subway game or substitutes classic sheep.

4. buy your water at the supermarket. okay? okay.
it’s max 1€ there, while it can go up to 5€ (FIVE) if you buy it at the bar / with your meals.

5. go get fresh french pastries for breakfast at the closest bakery you can find.
fave: pain choco amande. a pain au chocolat stuffed with almond frangipane cream.
i suspect that about 99,9% of what’s wrong in the world comes from the fact that i’m not eating one right now.

6. if you’re visiting the louvre museum – and you really should be -, enter from the carrousel du louvre. the queue is awfully short there, and if you’re under 18 / student 18 to 25 y.o. the entrance is free!!!!!!!!
just follow the directions for the carrousel from the musée du louvre metro stop.

7. after your louvre visit, go grab a lunch time and sit on the grass just in front of the pyramid to eat! it’s beautiful, it’s green, it’s fresh and unexpectedly not crowded in a month where i would stay there everyday if i lived in paris.

8. start climbing the tour eiffel @ sunset……. so it gets dark while you’re climbing – BECAUSE YOU TOOK THE STAIRS DIDN’T YOU????? the queue is way shorter than the elevator line because most people are lazy bums + you’ll get taylor swift legs in the end so what’s to lose.
and you’ll admire the light sparkle show from the very top of the tour, which is super classy and also did i mention unforgettable.

9. parisians are very quiet, especially on the subway.
they don’t scream around or talk loudly at all.
(sub-text: so you better not do that. respect and be respected kinda like.)

10. go to the haunted house at disneyland. it is so well done. SOOOO WELL DOOOOONE.

11. refill your water @ the thousand of water spots in paris, seriously. don’t throw away empty bottles. oh and bring little snacks around.

12. kidnap peter pan.
okay this is not technically an advice / something i learned, it’s more of an order because the disneyland peter pan is too cute for words so you should bring him to me.

13. DO THE STAR WARS FLIGHT SIMULATOR AT DISNEYLAND.
DO IT. DO EHTTTTT. IT’S LIKE A VIDEOGAME EXCEPT FOR IN REAL LIFE.

14. grab a baguette from a bakery, then get cheap ham + jam at a supermarket (franprix is the way to go in france) and SNACK AWAY.

15. GO GO GO TO SHAKESPEARE & CO. they’re super nice they have a great cat they love to help people and read books what’s to miss?!?!?!?!!!!!
bring a book or buy one and sit reading upstairs until you’re tired of feeling too good.

16. if your life needs to be changed and your mind needs to be inspired to almost bursting extents, then it’s easy.
go to 59 rivoli and you’ll find the community of artists of my dreams.
yes, of my dreams.
shall we share? because i’m still a little speechless about the whole experience.

17. if you’re on rue de rivoli and looking for a place to eat, you have to go @ l’alsacien.
even if you’re not there, you shall make the trek. from wherever you are.
i’m not kidding, this might be my favourite restaurant in the world where they make my favourite food in the world.
flammekueche looks like pizza but tastes like heaven – YES MORE HEAVEN THAN PIZZA.
and the people there are soooo nice. they gave us free shots of liqueur the second time we went there!!!!!!! and they blasted defying gravity my life tune and glee musical theatre covers.
can someone be more amazing??????????!!!! no they can’t. #ehw

18. if i tell you there’s a place on the banks of the seine where you can go running, skateboarding, rollerblading, biking, play badminton, table games, sit on wooden pieces of art, get showered with the music you choose, all at your own pace and all FOR FREE would you believe me?
well you should because it’s les berges.

19. “the only way to see the 14th july paris parade is to, well, be a parader.”
camp early if you really want to. SLEEP THERE. or just see it on youtube.

20. if you see etam while strolling through the streets, enter.
and proceed to buy yourself 203945493 ultra cute pajamas because, let’s face it, you know you need them. and nail polishes. and makeup brushes.
do what i wanted to do but couldn’t.

21. they give you mustard with your fries in france.
if this excites you as much as me, then we should probably be friends.

22. if you want to unwind a lil bit & eat amazing snacks (think mini pretzels, peanuts, chocolate filled cookies, tortilla chips, madeleines, warm baguette pieces, all to your heart’s content…) & have drinks crafted by super kind people to request, head over to the anticafé!
of course you can also get some work done there, draw, write, think, do things.
it’s seriously a good place. i found it very stimulating.

23. if you go to rue de rivoli, don’t forget to check out the side streets!!!!!!!
they merge onto rue de rivoli but each one of them carries really great shops & boutiques!
hippy market, a thrift store with used, kinda-rare pieces in almost perfect conditions, is one i fell in love with. still dreaming about that pancake t-shirt.

24. metro tickets in paris, at least according to my experience, can be swiped on all sides. up, down, front, whatever – i loved it in a way i can only express by swearing every time, in another city, the ticket machine beeps angrily because i put mine the wrong way.

TRAVEL STUFF (aka general tips, tricks & ideas to enjoy travelling even more)

PRO TRAVEL TIP: if you’re two or three people, let every one of you plan a day where he/she/xe/they drag along the whole squad to surrrprise places. GUARANTEED 100% FUN.

25. take your freaking time to look at stuff.
if you need to stay 1.5 hours in front of a painting to absorb everything it has to give you & your mind then DO IT.
there’s no point in visiting / doing something if you rush through it because nothing will remain in your little soul of it.

26. don’t stress over social medias.
i know every one of us has a facebook / instagram / twitter / whatever appearance to keep up and i know it’s hard to let go for a week or two or three but you can do it.
you can free yourself from stressing over ‘oh now this moment needs to be instagram captured’ or ‘i gotta do this for the blog’ – and find out how freeing is to have a vacation in the true sense of it. go for it. you can do it x2. :)

27. leave reviews to all the places you liked!!!
trip advisor & yelp are popular everywhere. la fourchette is more of a french thing so if you’re visiting france go at it.
it’s super helpful for other travelers like you + super rewarding for shop owners! and we all know what a good feeling is when your work is appreciated.

28. rent an apartment. wherever you go.
if you can find it to your likeness, seriously do it.
it does wonders for what to me is the ‘feeling settled’ thing: traveling is all about knowing new places and integrating with them, leaving feeling less foreigner. isn’t it?!
airbnb and homelidays are great choices in looking for your little cozy spot – used both, always got great results.

29. cook a meal with supermarket stuff.
go find your nearest supermarket / open air market and buy the stuff the people of the city you’re visiting buy when they have to cook for themselves, their family or their friends.
it might not be your best dish but what the heck.

30. trust your travel companions, if you have some, and listen to their ideas, even the smallest ones.
communicating is key to finding the good vibes with a group and THEY MIGHT ACTUALLY HAVE GENIUS IDEAS SO LISTEN TO THEM ‘KAY

31. go see a movie in a foreign country!!!!!!!!
it may seem like the worst idea ever but it really is super cool.
it’s fun. it’s fun because you get to eat popcorns and movie snacks and giggle through it when you don’t get things but the pictures make you laugh anyways.

32. if you feel like RESTING do it.
there’s no point in traveling if you’re so tired you miss all the good stuff.
you shouldn’t be tired as in ‘i can’t leave the bed’ to rest.
learn to recognize when your brain is too tired to really function and absorb things and give it the few more sleep hours it needs, ‘kay? it’s not ‘wasted time’, it’s ‘time needed not to actually waste all the time because i can’t understand a thing’.

33. go for affordable splurges.
this may not seem very logical but it really is.
not all of us are rich people or poor people but sometimes there’s a way in between that might be for example having breakfast for 15 bucks on the top of the montparnasse tower overlooking paris and having a really nice time while dinner would cost bajillions.

34. find little ways to celebrate. you’re on a trip. you’re vacationing after all. even if you’re not vacationing, pretend you are and wear red lipstick or your favourite socks. silly reasons to be even more happy. make it special deep within.

35. leave your camera @ home.
i know it’s hard because of blogs and family you should show pictures to and ‘i’m not going to remember this if i don’t take a pic’ but i did it and i felt so much lighter.
focus on snapping it in your mind forever rather than bothering all day to find the perfect angle.

36. dinner or lunch or whatever doesn’t have to be fancy.
it’s the feelings that make it matter. don’t get stressed over finding the perfect ‘local’ restaurant or the best ‘gourmet’ spot.

37. don’t plan too much in advance, don’t read too much.
if you’re a person that likes knowing his/her metro lines, fine, go ahead.
but don’t plan obsessively till every meal is fixed and every minute is taken.
just don’t.

38. split food. new places have so much to offer – and maybe your stomach wants to taste it all but you want to be actually able to move after lunch and not have to hybernate.
so split food with your companions and you’ll taste twice as many things. ;););)

39. wander.
some beautiful places we ended up into in paris, i still don’t know their name nor how we got there, ’cause we just followed our hearts.
so dedicate an afternoon to wandering.

40. some places are worth a double visit.
don’t worry.

LIFE STUFF (aka super important things you should never forget)

41. give a chance to roller coasters. in general.
give a chance to life’s roller coasters – you might end up liking them so much you do them twice in a row. (that’s totally not what happened to us at disneyland with the big thunder mountains.)

42. always be sure there’s a chair under you before sitting down. in general, but especially on the paris’ metro.
(i had to do this forgive me)

43. pet all the animals you see around – of course the approachable ones that don’t want to bite your fingers off and/or are too shy that you would bug them.
animals are great loving creatures that will often give you so much just by looking them right in the eye SO GIVE THEM THE LOVE AND GET IT BACK.

44. if you fear doing something, analyze it. are you really scared of it or are you only scared that it might hurt / have random worries about the consequences? free yourself. jump over it and liiiivvveee.
unless we’re talking about doing drugs or something dangerous. common sense, kid.

45. the ditto ‘buy now before it’s gone forever’ isn’t always done. not at all.
we found a pair of boots on sale monday for 20€, friday for 5€.  ha ha are you kidding me. i’m not stupid. i know how to hide them away behind a rack in the shop and then casually retrieve them when their price has dramatically dropped down. (i swear we didn’t do this)

46. always go for the weird stuff.
i mean, try new things everytime you have the chance, because there lies the fun.
broadening your horizons…

47. …but sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of what basics taste like.
don’t feel pressured to always have to walk on unexplored land. settle down without feeling bad for it.

48. learning is a never-ending process.
be humble and don’t stop.

49. don’t stress. in general, y’know.
things will unwind themselves more easily if you don’t die over them and think the f*ck positive.

50. be open to inspiration.
let all your experiences, every single one of them, give you all the things they can. let ’em soak in.
bad or good, it’s stuff that adds up to your wonderrrrrrful perrrrrsonality.

okay now, that’s it.
it was a long one but, at least for me, it was worth every second.
if you read through all or a part of it, thank you so much!!!!!!!!!! /cries/
hope you got something out of it.
as much as i got compiling this little fun list!
i hope to make many more in the future because that means more traveling for me.

love love love endless love,

-c.

2 thoughts on “(50) things i learned this week, in PARIS. #3

  1. James Charney says:

    Costanza–I loved this list. And I learned a lot about Paris!
    Your enthusiasm and wisdom is contagious–in the best way. You made me want to return to Paris ASAP!
    James

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