My first night in Paris was amazing! Seth and I picked up a couple of frozen quiche from Picard and took them home to bake for the “potluck.” The “potluck” turned out not to be a potluck so much as a wine festival. We had two quiche, a pound of bowtie pasta, and ten bottles of wine for nine people. (Don’t worry, mom. We did not drink them all.) We sat around the apartment eating, drinking, and talking about our futures. All of us, including our two guests from London, are in our last year of school. We talked about what we want to do when we grow up, where we want to do it, and whether money or fame (or neither) is important. It was so nice to be around other people of artistic backgrounds, other people who have not had jobs lined up since November.
After a substantial amount of wine, we went to the Bastille area to do some bar hopping. We were all prepared for outrageous drink prices, (eight, nine Euro!) hence the pre-party. The area we chose was full of Americans, and all of the drink menus were in English. I am not sure whether the former was due to the area or the time of year. (Most of the Americans were in town only for winter break.) The latter, though, seems to be standard across Paris; a gin fizz is a gin fizz anywhere. The bars closed around three, but the crêperies closed earlier. Those who had not bought their late night drunk munchies (like Seth and I) were roaming the street, grumpy and starving, looking for anything meaty, cheesy, or greasy to eat. Rather than cab it home, (the subway system closes at 12:30!) we decided to walk. We only had a mile or so to go, and we were sure we would find a restaurant (le McDonalds?) or food cart to satisfy our appetites. We stumbled upon a crêperie close to home, and we devoured our jambon-fromage delicacies in no time.
Seriously, though, McDonalds is really popular among Parisians. On our way to Nick and Lyon’s place (not Sohael and Sanket’s), a girl on the subway was chomping on those delectable frites and sauce (not ketchup! a white mayo-like sauce) and was smelling up the entire car. Also, the restaurants are always packed.
While I am on the subject of food, I forgot to mention the astoundingly scrumptious crêperie and boulangerie that we visited for lunch and dessert yesterday. Because French class was cancelled, Seth and I were able to sleep in and have lunch in our neighborhood. We found a wonderful stall on the canal which sold the most delicious crêpes champignon-fromage. And the bakery—oh my gosh, the bakery!—sold these amazing escargots chocolat-pistache. No, they were not sweet snails; they were wonderful swirled pastries (hence the escargot) filled with chocolate and pistachio paste. I almost died. I will certainly be back for more.