Saturday Shenanigans: Friends, Wine and Festivals

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I woke up on Saturday listening to the rain. At first, I smiled a little bit because I love the kind of rain that falls slowly, not the kind in Indiana where you feel that at some point the windows are going to break due to the harshness… but then there was a pit in my stomach. What about all my plans for the day? I thought. Paris seemed to be on our side though, because by 10 in the morning, the sky had cleared.

To begin off my Saturday, friends came over to my apartment and we headed out to find a parade in Montmartre that we had heard was occurring due to the festival that has been going on all week. We had no clue where it was happening but we somehow managed to stumble upon it. There was a stage in front of the mairie (or town hall). The mayor said a few words and then the parade began.

The parade reminded me of parades in Spain I had been taken to by my Abuelos, the fact that the parade was to celebrate the towns history and people were dressed like old times. The streets were crowded and the parade was walking through a narrow street because people were jumping in front trying to take good pictures. We saw a few people get in trouble. One man in front of us kept getting yelled at as he held two cameras and ignored the regulations. After a while, we began to get hungry and left to find the festivities where we heard there was food and wine, but could not find out where it was. While searching for it, we did come across the vineyard in the middle of the city and a little house that looked like a country house. I was awestruck by it and have come to the conclusion that it is one of my favorite houses in Paris, which I ended up learning was a cabaret.

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Vineyard in Montmartre
My favorite house in Paris
My favorite house in Paris

Afterwards, since we apparently could not find the festival and the wine (the most important part), we ended up going to a cafe and having lunch there. Three of us decided to get a Croque Madame, which consists of toasted bread, melted cheese, ham and an egg. Afterwards, we finally figured out where the festival was and headed towards it. We arrived and the street was crowded. You had to push yourself through a crowd of people and were sent many glares every once in a while. We found 2 euro wine (it was a tasting event), so the whole thing was definitely worth it. When we toasted, I explained what my aunt in Belgium had told me, “if you don’t look people in the eyes while toasting you are going to have bad sex for 7 years.” Who wants bad sex? I will be taking every precaution, thank you.

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The view from the top of Sacre Coeur is just beautiful. Every time I end up there, I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that this is my home for the next year (most likely more). The festival was set up in the perfect spot to sip some wine and just enjoy the view.

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Afterwards, I had to return home and change because I had a birthday party to go to. First of all, I did not know this person at all. I knew her through family friends and they had given me her number when I had arrived, in case of emergency and help to settle down. I called her on multiple occasions for help and she has been so patient and helpful. She invited me to her 40th birthday party and I went, meeting many Spaniards there. They were very open with me and were interested in my story. I tried my best in speaking French the whole time. When I said that I had only been here for 7 weeks, they were shocked and told me my French was good. Every time I get that compliment, I get excited because it shows me that I am actually getting better at it. I had a conversation with someone about how hard it is to move to France and try to learn French because many people can speak English and once they hear my accent, they switch to English. A compliment like that makes me happy.

After spending a few hours there, I went to the next party I had been invited to go to, a fellow au pair’s friend. I arrived to the apartment and spent a few hours talking and meeting people. Some were from Brazil, others from Bolivia and some from the states.

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We spent a few hours at the apartment and all of the sudden, somehow, we decided to go to a club. We took a taxi and ended up at this place right by the Seine. Half of the nightclub was being held outside and the other was inside. We chose to stay outside because it was a perfect night and we could look out right at the Seine. I was so happy because I could dance, but I didn’t specifically like the music. It was too techno, and I am so used to dancing with music with lots of drums and melodies, not repetitive notes. I still had a blast and had to take pictures. As I was taking a selfie with my friends when a random guy came into the picture and photo bombed it. The picture is too dark but the memory is great.

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A girl watched us take this picture and asked if we wanted a group picture taken together.

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Days like these are worth the memories. I am so happy with the group of friends I have found here and so grateful for the experiences that I get to go through. I would not change this for anything in the world.



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