Hello, I’m Katie and I blog away at La Coco Noire. In 2013, I upped and moved to Paris with my boyfriend. It was a total whirlwind of emotions - difficult at times, tiring, stressful and patience testing (French bureaucracy I’m looking single-handedly at you) but I can wholeheartedly say that 95% of the time it was totally and utterly breath taking…and I’m not just talking about the five flights of stairs up to our apartment either. Yep, I’m serious – five flights and no elevator (which, in hindsight, was a total blessing in disguise considering my daily macaroon intake – exercise was definitely needed!)
Finding happiness in the smallest things became so simple after moving to Paris. A cup of tea and a pain aux raisin in bed with my boyfriend before work was a sure way to have me smiling all day, likewise; a wander from one arrondisement to another but instead finding somewhere totally new that we’d never been before was enough to make me count my lucky stars. It seems like such a long time ago now, albeit only a few months ago that we left. So, in response to the blog title - what little lessons of infinite loveliness have I learnt from living in Paris? Well…
1. A red traffic light means go. A green traffic light means go. A red pedestrian light means go…and so does a green one.
2. If you ever want to feel the warmth of a hug without actually having to touch anyone, go and wander along the Pont Des Arts for 10 minutes and read a million peoples promises to one another.
3. Black is a better alternative to everything.
4. Eighty percent of problems can be solved with a macaron, and the other twenty percent can be solved with a La Durée one.
5. Audrey Hepburn said some pretty damn tasty things in her time, but this one is definitely the tastiest:
6. Getting lost is a blessing, not a curse.
7. No matter the question, wine is the answer. If it’s a really hard question – get two bottles.
8. Clubs aren’t worth the entry fee unless there is a slide inside.
9. Mona Lisa looks just as impressive on Google as she does in real life, if not more so. (Secondary sidenote: no matter how much you pretend to take an interest in art and culture, once you’ve seen Miss Lisa you won’t be in the Louvre for more than 5 minutes).
10. You can never, I repeat never, visit Disneyland too many times.
11. Wine is cheaper than orange juice and no good story ever started with “I drank too much orange juice…”
12. If you want a decent cocktail, sack off the French and find an Irish bar.
13. Once you’re in the Irish bar, order a Monkey Balls and enjoy.
14. French windows flung wide open to let in cold air are more satisfying than any sort of fan that money could buy.
15. If you don’t see at least four crazy people on the metro per day, you’re not looking hard enough.
16. There is no hangover so bad that a quick trip up the Tower of Terror at Disneyland can’t sort out. And trust me, we gave it a good go.
17. If your boyfriend is really drunk and leaves the club with the only set of keys to your apartment, you will be forced to sit outside for four hours until he wakes up.
18. If he does this two weeks in a row, remember to take your own keys.
19. There is never a bad time for a beer. Even if you are in La Duree and it’s 11 o clock in the morning.
20. It’s totally acceptable to enter a restaurant, sit down, look at the menu prices and get up and leave again.
21. It might be cheaper to walk up the Eiffel Tower, but you won’t be able to dance comfortably for days.
22. If it looks like you can’t afford it, you definitely can’t.
23. If it looks like you can afford it, you probably can’t.
24. Snails taste just like garlic mushrooms, but with a higher budget and a less classy mode of eating.
25. You can’t afford anything in Zara but that won’t stop you buying it anyway.
26. You do not want to be the only person in a bar supporting the English team when Paris Saint Germain are the opponents. And if you find yourself in this unluckiest of situations, don’t show any emotion and leave, promptly, at 90 minutes.
27. Don’t hold out for the kebab shop down the road to be open at 1am, you will be heart-wrenchingly disappointed.
28. You will never find a view of Paris more beautiful than from the steps of the Sacre Coeur.
29. If you get left alone in a classroom in charge of 20+ small French children, Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes your way through it.
30. No matter how much you try and convince yourself that leaving Paris will be okay, you will still cry for a solid two weeks when the time actually comes.
All images are my own (and are gut-wrenchingly difficult to look at from my university room in rainy Egham)
Official portfolio: www.katieleask.com
This is a Guest post as I'm currently taking a 2 week break. See you all soon x