A broke girl with a bucket list

8: drinks & day trips

8: drinks & day trips

Its snowing again in Reims as I write this – procrastinating from the essay and three midterms I have due next week. This weather’s a complete 180 from the beginning of the week when I felt brave enough wearing a skirt for the first time in months. I guess I tempted fate.

With midterms a distant 6 days away, we all felt pretty comfortable leaving our study at home for the night for a classy glass of wine at Le Clos (and a less classy glass of whiskey at the GluePot later) to celebrate Steph’s birthday. Managing to escape the temptation of Bodega, my Wednesday morning was spent hangover-free, pretending to study but for the better part catching up on Netflix.

On Thursday, disaster struck. My phone decided that the night before I went to Paris would be the most opportune moment to completely shut down in the middle of an update, and despite a couple of hours spent scrolling through help forums with Léa as moral support, there didn’t seem to be much I could do.

That night I set my (borrowed) alarm clock and packed everything ready for the next day so that when it went off at 4am I was ready to go. That’s when the second hurdle of the week hit: I made it to the train station by 4.30am, only to find out that the tickets I had booked three weeks prior were fake and the train I had gotten up so early for did not exist. Great.

No phone and no train but no worries – I forked out more money for the next train at 6.30am and made it to Jessie’s hostel with the hand-drawn map of the metro I had made the night before. After scabbing free brekkie, we spent a heavenly morning in the sun at Montmartre, listening to la vie en rose and avoiding the Spanish school groups that flooded the Basilica.

Despite ticking off the Paris bucket list, including the Moulin Rouge, Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, what stood out that day were the moments of complete silence we enjoyed in the streets around Notre Dame and the couple of hours we sat chatting over a homemade chai and a lemon tart (despite Jessie’s strong opinion on the segregation of fruit and dessert) at Shakespeare & Co. Check out Paris in Photos for my favourite pictures and my travel advice.

I returned home completely content, all thoughts of lost phones or cancelled trains erased. That night I tracked down a cheap second-hand iPhone I could buy the next day, ate an apple, Skyped my mum for far too long and got (very easily) pressured into going out for ‘one drink’ at a wine truck that turned into a bottle and Bodega. Funny how that happens.

On Saturday, the stress began to set in. Compounded by a hangover and the turn in the weather, I skipped St Patrick’s day to focus on Netflix. I mean study. My weekend ended up being almost completely consumed with a ten page essay on the Suez Crisis and the Anglo-American relationship, and aside from a little trip to do my laundry and a couple of hours studying at Bubble Coffee, I didn’t make it out of my little flat very much at all.

At the end of the week, despite impending midterms, walking home in the quiet, clean snow that had just began to settle on Sunday night gave me a much needed moment of peace to remember how grateful I am to be here. As stressed and anxious as I am about work, the fact that I am lucky enough to live in a place where it snows is still completely magical to me. To be honest, that ten page essay isn’t looking so bad anymore.