I have passed my first month in Paris and last night ended with an amazing display of fireworks during the celebration of July 14th, Bastille Day!

The Eiffel Tower on FIRE!

yin france

Everyone in the Intrax Intern Abroad group here in Paris quickly bonded when we went to our first French club (Queen) during our first week. Although , we left early, at around 2 a.m. We were still a learning the  timeline of the French night out that begins at midnight and ends at 6 a.m. the next morning. Everything’s later; people usually don’t eat until 9 p.m.! Although one’s first impression of the French week is that everything closes early and nothing is open on Sundays… the city actually never stops. There’s definitely something to do any time of day if you just go seek it out.

A group effort to savor some fondue cheese! A group effort to catch some escaping fondue cheese!

To celebrate my roommate’s birthday we all went to an eclectic idea restaurant named “Le Refuge des Fondus” on Rue de 3 Freres (3 brothers) near Montmartre between Metro stops Pigalle and Anvers. They serve their endless refill wine (red or white) in baby bottles along with their full course endless refill fondu that includes appetizers, aperatif drink and dessert all for 17 Euros prix fix.

July is also the month of “Les Soldes” which are “The Sales”. Everything is on average 50 % off their normal price- including all top brands everywhere. The most popular stores have already almost emptied their shelves now after having gone through their troisième demarqué.

Grabbing a bite on a Sunday visit in Le MaraisGrabbing a bite on a Sunday visit in Le Marais

During this time, I was lucky enough to witness the rare life event of Terry buying new suits. He had arrived on a Sunday and on Sundays, everything is closed except Le Marais and the stores in Chinatown (Belleville and Ivry). Le Marais is an excellent place to experience Jewish pastries – with the added nostalgia of San Francisco with the surprising juxtaposition of Rainbow Pride flags along the Jewish neighborhood (and flamboyant gay-men who have from impeccable to almost borderline insane sense of style).

Let us not neglect to mention that La Fête de la Musique was last month on June 21st! Music and performances were everywhere. Jin and Haitham, the talented salsa dancers in our group, even had a chance to dance to some music being played by a group right outside of a restaurant where the group was enjoying dinner.

We also toured Champagne/Reims with Terry on July 4th as a group excusion, celebrating America's Independence day!We also toured Champagne/Reims with Terry on July 4th as a group excusion, celebrating America’s Independence day!

Yesterday after a night of failure to enter the Saint Sulpice Bal au Pompiers (You have to be there before 11pm to get inside or have a very strong will to wait in line for an hour), I woke up early and went with three of the girls from the group to see the “Défilé” or the parade. Sarkozy waved from a tank down the Champs Elysees and then 30 minutes a spectacular airshow flew down the strip followed by the infantry marching in front of a long chain of military tanks. It was a completely military patriotic show – very unlike the floats and colorful laymen festivities in the United States. Then we had lunch in the Jardin de Luxembourg and rested at home until the fireworks lit up the Tour Eiffel. I watched it from Pont Bir-Hakeim (a landmark where the Foreign legion once fought and lost).

Happy Bastille Day!

Je vous embrasse!
Yin

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