France,  TAPIF

Paris is always a good idea.

That Paris exists and anyone could choose to live anywhere else in the world will always be a mystery to me.
Paris Seine

I may not have given myself very much spare time off of work in the US, to prepare for my big move (spoiler alert: I packed the day before my flight) BUT I made sure that I flew into France early enough to give myself some time in my favorite city before moving to Lille.  I still had no idea where I was going to live in Lille when I arrived in France.  However, arriving early really played to my benefit!

During my timeParis Streets studying abroad in Paris between 2012-2013, I met a lot of amazing people.  I still keep in touch with most of these friends through various forms of social media.  My friend, Shakka, kindly offered to meet me at the airport when I arrived in Paris!  (And thank GOODNESS because you should have seen me wobbling around the airport toting two suitcases that are my size.)  Shakka also very graciously hosted me for my first 10 days in Paris before I moved to Lille.   It was amazing to get to spend some time in Paris and catch up with friends!

I’m very excited to live in Lille, but Paris will always have a special place in my heart.  Good thing it’s only an hour train-ride away right!?  😛  Over my 10 days in Paris, I got to be a tourist again anParis Trocaderod revisit some of my favorite places.  I also got to visit several new ones!  ( New bars that is! haha!)

Paris is the same beautiful city that I remembered, however, I did take note of a few changes.  Of course, security has increased significantly in the wake of all the attacks over the past year or so.  You can no longer walk underneath the Eiffel Tower freely.  The entire perimeter is enclosed by a fence, the only openings at which are the security entrances you must now undergo if you are going to climb the tower.  There also is a much larger Gendarmerie presence than I have ever seen.  I used to see a few Gendarmerie at the occasional metro stop.  While staying in Paris, I saw them at every significant monument I visited along with several metro stations.
One other random change – there is now a weird obsession with burgers!  I used to search for any latenight kebab or McDonalds to quench my craving of a cheeseburger after going to the club/bar when I was studying here.  Now there are so many burger-themed restaurants!  Not chains!  Actually restuarants dedicated to making burgers!  I don’t understand!
Paris Montmartre
Stay tuned for some deets on my move to Lille!

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