>Noctilien

>Here comes a nightly report covering the public transports in Paris at night. After the Metro stops at around 1pm the night busses “Noctilien” start running. To my area ( Porte d’Orleans) a bus leaves every 15 minutes until the Metro starts again! Finding the bus was easy, the ride was smooth and fast. I felt safe as I walked the last block home. Hurray for functional public transport!

>Princess in Paris

>

My whole life has changed. I now go to sleep in the 14th arrondissement in Paris, take the Metro pass the Eiffeltower to the Swedish delegation at the OECD and spend most of my hours there. Here, I reside in a beautiful GRAND BUREAU with a French balcony that gives me height freight and so far read information about the new organization that I now am a part of. I got my badge to enter to the headquarters today. On the badge, it says “Mlle Hallberg, Stagiaire” – Miss Hallberg, trainee. However, I feel more like a princess, than a trainee.

Maybe that is because of the French food?
Over the weekend, wonderful food markets popped up everywhere and offered fresh seafood, organic vegetables and fantastic olives to enthused Frenchmen queing up for the delicassies. Good food has to take time! The respect for the French specialities is also interesting. In the messiest supermarket the cheeses are in alphabetical order! I have had the best Brie ever. Good wine is cheap (around €3) and everybody really carries a newly baked baguette under their arm on the way home to dinner. Also the exotic cuisine is thriving in Paris, so far I have been offered boiled Pigs’ feet – Greek style, Senegalese stew, and Asian ginger wok for the Chinese new year.

Or do I feel like a princess because

of my new living situation?
A picture says more than a thousand words. I reside in a nice room on the second floor (prèmier étage) in La Fondation Hellénique, one of the 38 student houses at Cité Universitaire.
Or because of the French politeness?
– “Bonjour, Madame”
– “Passez un bonne journée, Madame”
– “Excusez-moi, Madame”
– “Au revoir, Madame et à bientôt”
Do I have to say I never carried my suitcase anywhere in Paris? The French(men) couldn’t stop themselves from helping me. For once, chivalry felt comfortable.

As you can read/see, I am very happy with my (soon to be) first week in the metropol, and the only thing I ask myself before I go to sleep, slightly intoxicated by a glass of Beaujolais, is “Why didn’t I come sooner?”

>First, let’s have a song!

>
Paris

On se rappelle les chansons.
Un soir d’hiver, un frais visage,
La scène à marchands de marrons,
Une chambre au cinquième étage,
Les cafés crèmes du matin,
Montparnasse, le Café du Dôme,
Les faubourgs, le Quartier latin,
Les Tuileries et la Place Vendôme.

Paris, c’était la gaieté,
Paris,C’était la douceur aussi.
C’était notre tendresse.
Paris, tes gamins, tes artisans,
Tes camelots et tes agents
Et tes matins de printemps,
Paris, l’odeur de ton pavé d’oies,
De tes marronniers, du bois,
Je pense à toi sans cesse.
Paris, je m’ennuie de toi, mon vieux.
On se retrouvera tous les deux,
Mon grand Paris.

Évidemment, il y a parfois
Les heures un peu difficiles
Mais tout s’arrange bien, ma foi.
Avec Paris, c’est si facile.
Pour moi, Paris, c’est les beaux jours
Les airs légers, graves ou tendres.
Pour moi, Paris, c’est mes amours
Et mon cœur ne peut se reprendre.

Paris, tu es ma gaieté, Paris.
Tu es ma douceur aussi.
Tu es toute ma tendresse.
Paris, tes gamins, tes artisans,
Tes camelots et tes agents
Et tes matins de printemps,
Paris, l’odeur de ton pavé d’oies,
De tes marronniers, du bois.
Je pense à toi sans cesse.
Paris, je m’ennuie de toi, mon vieux.
On se retrouvera tous les deux,
Mon grand Paris.

A.Bernheim 1949 sung by Edith Piaf