Settling In: My First Week in Paris

My First Week in ParisAs of today, I have officially been living in Paris for just over a week. Just over a week of macarons, black jeans and shiny white apartments.

So, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and feelings about my new life in France. Prepare yourselves – if I’m honest I’ve had a really awful week…

For a start, my French is really bloody awful. Like, so bad. I’ve been going to classes every day from 9h-13h (occasionally finishing at 17h…) and for some reason I’ve been put in the top set and I really should not be there. REALLY should not be there. I barely have any idea what’s going on and the grammar goes straight over my head. I do feel like I’m learning a few things though and I am getting more confident in shops and stuff. Ah man, though. My French is so bad.

Paris is really dirty. I don’t think you realise how dirty Paris is until you have to walk somewhere off the tourist route by yourself. My walk to university from home is gorgeous, through the Luxembourg Gardens, but seriously the whole city could do with a wash and a little TLC. Right now I’m sitting in between two Paris landmarks (I can literally see both) and there is a smashed up car just sitting in front of me. It has been there since I arrived. Is it me or is London normally sparkling? Since the Olympics, a lot of work has gone into keeping London ready for anything. Paris is the opposite. It is truly beautiful, sure, but also its gross. Sorry, everyone.

Why does nothing open until 10am? Seriously?! I mean, obviously the supermarkets and boulangeries open at like 8 and some of the bigger shops open at 9 – but on my road nothing opens until 10am. Nothing. I’ve already been up three hours, walked to uni and had an hour of class before I can buy myself anything. What is this about, France? And why is everything shut on a Sunday? And then why still shut on a Monday? Pick a day! Seriously, I’m really annoyed that I can’t buy milk unless I walk 20mins up hill on a Sunday.

I’ve had an absolute nightmare sorting out my wifi. You may have seen my desperate tweets yesterday morning. A week after ordering my internet, the box came. I plugged it in and nothing worked. I went to the shop to ask (30mins on the metro), they told me to bring it in, I went home and brought it back (another hour…) and they didn’t even look at it. A different guy just checked his iPad and told me it’d be another week before it worked. So, I’m still here in McDonalds, living my dream.

I think I’m being too mean to Paris. I’ve had a long week, had to find my way round a completely alien city, in French, and have spent far too much time in a classroom. I’ve been having nightmares, have to download TV in maccys to watch later, and the Americans at school are very American and laughed at me for getting upset at missing GBBO. I’ve had card problems, money problems, phone problems and wifi problems. I can’t FaceTime properly so haven’t really spoken to anyone from home. I’m tired. I’m so so tired. Yesterday I almost fell asleep on the metro. I want to come home so badly but want to stay here just as much. The wifi has just dropped in McDonalds. It was too hot at the start of the week and now I’m freezing. I don’t own a light jacket. I can’t afford a light jacket. Student finance have screwed my loan around and I’m not sure if it’ll even come.

(Lol a car just drove past with the most dodgy custom job wheels and lolololol welcome to Paris everyone)

I guess, though, this was to be expected. Moving somewhere brand new always has problems that come along side. I am, however, intensely fortunate to have been offered this opportunity. I am living in the Art History capital of the world and my flat is beautiful. I have made friends with some people on my course and have had an evening picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower, watching it sparkle at nightfall. I’m not about to run home.

Next week I’m going to post some more Paris specific things – maybe a few actual photos etc. I’m sorry I’ve been so absent.



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  • Patti Blue says:

    I’m sorry that you had a bad start in Paris. I guess France is just very different to the UK. Though you must be happy to live in a nice apartment and not in one of the horrible student housings in France (did that and didn’t enjoy!) 😉

    • Imii Mace says:

      It’s started to get a lot better now (: I’m so glad that the worst is over! And you’re right – I’m hugely lucky to have such a lovely flat! xx

  • Hannah says:

    What a shame you haven’t had the best of weeks,but it does sound like there have been positives as well. The photos I have seen on your IG are gorgeous so thats always a plus. I hope you have a better week next week!

    and Sandals Blog XX

  • Imogen H says:

    I know what you mean about it seeming so unclean in comparison with London, that’s why I don’t like it nearly as much as London! But you’re right in that it does have so many qualities, it’ll just take some time to find them. Even though Montpellier was a little city it still took ages for me to adjust and stop comparing it with places in England. Give it time! Oh and you’ll get used to the ridiculous opening times but it will probably never stop annoying you, aha! Good luck 🙂

    Imogen //

  • Emma Phillips says:

    Sounds like you’ve had a rough week! Don’t worry I’m sure everything will turn out great, and you’ll not ever want to leave! Keep focussing on the good, that’ll keep you going! 🙂
    Emma x

    emmasenclosure | baking & beauty blog

  • Aimee Julia says:

    So sorry you had such a bad start to your time in Paris. But hopefully things will get better for you – onwards and upwards and all that! Looking forward to seeing photos and hearing more about, hopefully happier, times in Paris! x

  • This sounds crazy but amazing at the same time. It’s an adventure!

    Tegan xx – Permanent Procrastination

  • B Shannon says:

    Unfortunate that you had a bad start, I hope you find your feet soon and find your stay in Paris wonderful! I’d love to visit Paris, bet the picnic by the Eiffel Tower was beautiful! Really love your posts, your writing style is amazing, can’t wait to read more!
    Becky Shannon xx – Life-by-Becky

  • Imogen C says:

    This has made me simultaneously excited and nervous for my year abroad! Sounds like you’ve had a rough week, hopefully these are just teething problems – the wifi situation sounds really frustrating. Glad to hear there are positive aspects to it, though, and hope you begin to have an amazing time soon x

    • Imii Mace says:

      You’ll have an amazing time, I’m sure (: It’s started to pick up a lot more now and I’m now really happy so there are definitely ups and downs (: good luck! xx

  • Shannon Clark says:

    I’m so sorry that you haven’t had the best start in Paris. I guess the first few weeks anywhere new are tough. I hope things get sorted soon, I’m sure you’ll be loving France in no time! xx

  • The first few weeks living anywhere new is so hard! And I completely sympathise with you on the French – I felt so lost when I first moved to France and realised how terrible my French was! Your flat does sound amazing though which is certainly a big plus. Hope your next few weeks go a bit better! xxx

  • Julia Speaks says:

    Oh I’m sorry that you had a challenging first week! Paris (and France as a whole) is really different from the UK, once you get used to seeing the city differently from how it is usually advertised on the Internet, you’ll grow to love it a lot!
    If you ever need advice on something, feel free to drop me an email at – I study in Paris so I’d be glad to help if you need to know anything.

    Hope your next few weeks go well!
    Julia xx

    • Imii Mace says:

      Ohh that’s so kind of you thank you! I’ll definitely drop you a message when my school term starts up properly (:
      I am slowly starting to love Paris more for itself and not because its Paris so I’m feeling a lot happier. You really notice things that pinterest doesn’t show and love it more because of that! xx

      • Julia Speaks says:

        No problem! I know what it is to live somewhere new and I’d gladly help if you need it 🙂
        That’s exactly it, loving Paris for what it actually is and not for what photos and foreign media think it is! That’s the same for every city though – you can never know the truth without emerging yourself in it, as you’re doing! 😀 xx

  • Katie Louise says:

    Oh no, sorry to hear you having such a bad time! I guess it;ll take time to really settle in and get used to the lifestyle over there. I’ve been to Paris and yeah, it really is dirty! So dirty! xD
    I’m late on my blog reading so I’m a week ahead now and I hope everything has started to look up for you!

    • Imii Mace says:

      Yes you’re right! SO dirty! I mean seriously, would it kill them to give the place a once over with a damp cloth?
      Paris is definitely getting a lot better now though! xx

  • Martha Jane says:

    Awww I hope it all works out for you, can you ask to move down a set? I have to admit, I’ve never been that enamoured with Paris, because yes it can be dirty, snobby and a little scary at times. Unpopular thing to say in the blogging community, but I’ve always been more of a fan of Spain! I’m sure everything will get better though, it always does x

    Martha Jane |

    • Imii Mace says:

      I’ve never been to Spain but definitely plan on going now that I’m on mainland Europe and can just get a train over there!
      My language course has actually worked out really well, to be honest! The class is challenging but actually really good for me so it’s all coming together nicely (: Feeling really positive now! xx

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