A Month in Europe Journal: Paris

  • Back in Paris again after two years and a half, this time I come with the pure intention to travel. I found a very good deal for a return ticket to Paris and I didn't think very long to finally book one for me. It was actually a very impulsive decision, but until now, as I'm writing this in my cool airbnb apartment in Prague, I know I had made a very great decision. 
  • I was sooo scared since a month before the departure day. "Will a month be too long?". "I will be alone the whole time, can I survive?" , "What if I can't navigate the cities well later since most people don't speak English???" I was close to resechedule my ticket, but since it was waaay too expensive, I couldn't do that. But, now, I'm beyond thankful that I still have another fifteen days here in Europe.
  • I arrived in Paris safely in the afternoon and I went straight to my Airbnb apartment in St. Georges, which was only 10 minutes walk both to Lafeyette and Moulin Rouge (!!!) and the day was still cold I needed to put another sweater on. And Paris feels like an old friend, it was so good to be back. 
  • The apartment I stayed in was the Parisian apartment I've always dreamt of. The classic Haussmanian building that has that majestic front gate and once you step inside the gate, there will be a square overlooking the residences, complete with the cobblestoned alley. Upon arrival, I was greeted by the security man and though he couldn't speak English, we talked with gestures and laughed together lol. 
  • I was beyond tired after such a long flight I fell asleep once I touched the bed.
  • First day in Paris, I explored the city all by myself. It was raining and cold, I decided to see Notre Dame again because I like this one better than Eiffel haha. There is just something so beautiful and magical with this old church and it was also because I wanted to go back to Shakespeare & Co again. Spent there for half an hour, but ended up not buying.
  • I walked along Sorbonne area and stopped by Abbey Bookshop to get myself a copy of The Secret History, I was so happy to finally able getting myself one, BUT which one was the idiot to leave the book in the bus?????? Me.
  • After hours of walking around Sorbonne and I couldn't find Merci, I decided to go back home. But mostly, to be honest, because I felt sad to be alone that day haha.
  • The next day, I checked my Couchsurfing account and talked with this cool girl from Columbia , Alexa, who was also in town by herself. Decided to meet up at 11 in Montmartre, and we explored the city together. I was beyond happy meeting her. She was already so friendly in the beginning and we just talked a lot about everything.
  • We talked about her journey in Central Europe for the past month as Paris was her final stop. It was so fun and we also talked about Muslim culture as she had no idea about most of things as I also learned about Columbian cultures and history. Alexa is my first Couchsurfing friend, she was so friendly and smart and open-minded and because of meeting her, I always want to meet another one from the community during this trip.
  • We decided to do a Parisian picnic by the Eiffel Tower. I was soooo excited since I always wanted to do that!!! We grabbed baguettes, cheese ( a lot of them!), hummus, meat, some drinks and some other things from the local market and went straight to Champ de Mars because we were just so hungry.
  • After lunch we went up to Arc du Triomphe but the weather was too bad. 
  • The next day, we decided to spend the day together again as I was leaving for Rotterdam that night. This time the weather was super nice, we went for lunch in Jardin du Luxemburg. It was such a nice experience, everyone was out enjoying the sun. It always makes me so happy spending the time in the park. I know it's just a little thing, but isn't it that little thing that makes something special?
  • While enjoying our little picnic, Alexa and I talked further about Muslim culture here. Until she asked me how to wear hijab and she wanted me to put her scarf on her head. I felt both suprised and a bit surprised, but she said she really wanted to try it. 
  • The day before, I told her about how I was scared to wear hijab in Paris. This is Nerissa being honest. If you see the picture above, the one by the Eiffel Tower, I wore a winter hat because I was that scared to wear hijab since there was a shooting accident in the city two weeks ago. I told her about my worries, and that became the reason she was so interested in Muslim culture as she asked many things about the religion.
  • Back in the park again, I put the hijab on her head and she said it was so pretty she liked it. We took a lot of selfies as I was also wearing one, and she suddenly said that she wanted to walk around the city while wearing it. I was a bit confused, is she really sure? So then we walked around for an hour with our hijab on!
  • "Do you see, Nerissa? We're wearing this around and there is nobody looking at us! I know maybe you had this bad experience about people who stared at you badly just because you're wearing it, but not everyone behave that way."
  • I was so glad meeting and spending the whole two days in Paris with Alexa. I know I must not have felt this way, being scared for what I wear, but she helped through this. I gained a lot more confidence and I'm sure that was the way He told me that I'm loved. Forever loved.
  • Some of people may think I was too much, overthinking about my hijab. Maybe I was, but it was because I was only on my own this time. If only I'm traveling with someone else with me, I wouldn't be this scared. 
  • But, again, the time I spent in Paris with Alexa was totally the highlight and I'll treasure it forever.

1 comment :

  1. I absolutely adored this post Nerissa! You take such stunning photos, and I loved reading about your adventures on your own and your experience meeting Alexa! It's so lovely that you were both able to teach each other so much! It sounds like you had a wonderful time xx