eating in paris

It’s important to eat well in Paris, even on a budget, and so I compiled a list of affordable but quality restaurants, where you can get a hearty  meal for 13 euros or under.  I was surprised (and delighted!) to find so many affordable restaurants in Paris, making it easier to go out more often and enjoy the dining experience. It’s worth getting off the beaten track, to find where the Parisian locals frequent, giving insights to the different social scenes and helping to uncover little gems that you are not going to find in the touristy areas.flks;lfk

C’est très important de bien manger a Paris, meme avec un petit budget. J’ai donc compilé une liste de restaurants avec de bons rapport qualité prix, ou on peut trouver de bon repas pour 13 euros ou moins.  J’ai été étonnée (mais ravie) de trouver beaucoup de restaurants moins chers à Paris.    Grâce à cela, on peut diner plus souvent et bien profiter de l’expérience du restaurant. Ca vaut le coup de faire des recherches et de manger où se trouvent les locaux.  Ca vous donnera un aperçu des différentes scènes sociales, et cela vous donnera l’opportunité de visiter des petits endroits que l’on ne trouve pas dans les quartiers touristiques.

Chez Gladines Chez Gladines is located at the buttes aux cailles, in the 13eme arrondisement, an area known for its Chinese community.   The buttes aux cailles is becoming well known for its funky and original bars, restaurants, and boutique shops.  This is a place where Parisians students and artists frequent and isn’t a touristy area, as it is far away from tourist attractions. Chez Gladines has hearty food; large portions at affordable prices.  The cuisine is French with a focus on the south-west and basque regions.  Steak, veal and duck dishes are prices between 11-13 euros, or the basque options include chicken and omlettes at similiar prices.  I tried a salad, a massive dish of lettuce, tomatoes, jambon, cheese, garlic potatoes, egg, which only cost 10 euros.

It’s always busy and lively at Chez Gladines, due to the great food served at low prices, so you will normally have a sangria or glass of wine whilst you wait for a free space.  The tables are communal and this adds to the fun atmosphere. Chez Gladines is located on rue 30 rue des Cinq Diamant, closest metro are Corvisart or Place d’Italie.  
Chez Gladines se trouve aux ‘Buttes aux Cailles‘ dan le 13eme arrondissement , un quartier connu par la communauté chinoise.  Les buttes aux Cailles est devenu connu pour ses bars, restaurants, et boutiques très originaux.  C’est un quartier d’étudiants et d’artistes. Il y a moins de touristes car c’est loin des attractions touristiques. Les plats sont généreux et chaleureux, mais les prix peu chers.  La cuisine est française, avec un influence sud-ouest et basque. Les repas avec ‘steak, veau et canard’ coute entre 11-13 euros.  J’ai goute une salade basque, avec des tomates, jambon, fromage, pomme de terres d’ail et oeufs.  Ca a été très bon et a seulement coute 10 euros. Les metros les plus proches sont Corvisart ou Place d’Italie.

bar at buttes aux cailles 1 225x300 On va manger ou a Paris?!salade at chez gladines at the buttes aux cailles1 225x300 On va manger ou a Paris?!

Le Jardin D’en Face A tiny, hole in the wall restaurant serving great french dishes at a fraction of the price in comparison to posher Parisian suburbs.  The ambience is cosy as it’s so small, and the decor is minimalistic, as the restaurant prime focus is serving great French food.  I normally start with the oeuf cocotte with foie gras, and the magret de canard as a main.  For the desssert, creme brulee is good with a pear digestif.  At 25 euros per person, for a shared entree, main dessert and wine; it’s almost too good to be true! On a long windy street in Monmartre, just a couple of streets away from the touristy areas of Sacre Coeur at 16 rue de trois freres.  The sister restaurant  Le Potager is opposite, a couple of doors down on the same street and has more or less the same menu.  The restaurant is open for dinner only.  It fills up quickly so be sure to book on this number – 01 53 28 26 20.  Closest metro is Abesses

Un tout petit restaurant avec des repas français traditionnels, pour un petit prix par rapport aux quartiers chics à Paris.  L’atmosphere est chaleureuse comme c’est petit, et le plus important pour ce resto, c’est de de servir de bons repas. Normalement, je commence avec avec ‘oeuf cocotte de foie gras’ et ‘le magret de canard’ comme plat principal.  Pour le desert, crème brûlée.  A 25 par personne, pour entree, plat, et dessert.  C’est presque trop bon, pour être vrai!

restaurant at monmartre 1024x682 On va manger ou a Paris?!magret de canard restaurant at montmartre 300x224 On va manger ou a Paris?! Creperie Josselin A charming Breton-styled creperie in the Montparnasse area, an area known for its high concentration of creperies.  You could easily be in provincial Brittany, with the traditional wooden style decor and lacy tableclothes that create a warm, welcoming ambience.  Not only is this restaurant attractive, but its practical, quick and affordable.  The kitchen is open plan, so you can watch the crepes been made right in front of you. Try a wholesome galette or also called crepe du ble noir, (crepe made of buckwheat), with jambon, egg and gruyere cheese, and wash it down with a traditional glass of cider.  Most of the crepes will set you back less than 10 euros at lunch and around 19 euros at dinner to have savoury followed by a sweet crepe.  There are sometimes queues but these move quickly.  Address is 67 rue du Montparnasse, 75014, closest metro is Montparnasse Bienvenue or Edgar Quinet

Crêperie Josselin‘ est une crêperie charmante dans le quartier de Montparnasse, un quartier connu pour ses crêperies.  On a l’impression d’être en Bretagne, comme le style est très traditionnel, avec des nappes en dentelle et un bel intérieur en bois.  Cela crée une ambiance chaleureuse.  Ce n’est pas seulement une belle crêperie, mais c’est peu moins cher et rapide.  La cuisine est ouverte, et donc vous pouvez regarder les crêpes faites en face de vous! Essaye une galette ou une crepe au blé noir, avec jambon, oeuf, fromage et avec un verre de cidre. La plupart des crepes coûtent pas plus de 10 euros et 19 euros pour 2 crepes, une salé et après une crepe sucre.  Quelquefois,  il y a des queues, mais ca passe vite normalement.  Crepere Josselin se trouve au 76 rue de Montparnasse. Les metros les plus proches sont Montparnasse Bienvenue or Edgar Quinet  001 1024x768 On va manger ou a Paris?!L’As de Fallafel Nice to try some simple take away food in the uber trendy area of Le Marais.  L’As de Fallafel is a little Israeli eatery, found in the characteristically Jewish section of the Marais, amongst Kosher butchers, synagogues and expert bakeries.  On the small, cobbled laneway at 34 rue des Rosiers is the small restaurant, where you can eat quality food in a comfortable environment.  Try a fallafel pita, with tahiny and hummous plus roasted eggplants, cabbage slaw, tomatoes and cucumber. All this for under 6 euros takeaway

L’as de Fallafel se trouve dans le  quartier branché du Marais.  C’est un tout petit restaurant israélien, qui se trouve dans la section juive du Marais, où se trouvent aussi des bouchers Kosher, synagogues et boulangers. Une fallafel pita est délicieuse avec du tahinny et du hummous, et aussi avec des aubergines, tomates et concombre.  Et ca coût seulement 6 euros à emporter. Bon appétit!

Secrets of Paris

This post is dedicated to some discoveries I had in Paris, that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with the Romantic city of lights, Paris!

1. Les bain douches

there is a building near between the Oberkampf station in the 10th arrondissement , that was where the poor Parisians would come for a shower.

2. Immigrants

There is a staggering amount of immigrants in Paris, coming from colonies in Africa.  20% of Parisian population comes from African immigrants. Immigrants from africa with their colourful dresses. i lived near the north of paris where there are lots of immigrants.  contributed to cheapest markets in Paris..alot of exotic food from africa was in the areas, dates, olives, eggs, all at very affordable prices.

3. Lack of space

Paris is one of the most cramped cities in the world.  there is a famous postcard that shows the size of Australia and the size of Europe, so you can get an idea of the huge population of Europe in comparison to the small population of Australian and get an appreciation of the different standard of personal space!.  Paris is cramped and apartment size are naturally a lot smaller that what you would find in Australia.  I lived in a tiny studio in Paris, where I the shower was so close to my tiny kitchenette that i could boil my eggs while having  shower!! i think the lack of personal space in Paris adds to making this a more stressful city.  and for people living there its important to escape the busy city to have relaxing weekend away.

4. Tabac

French smoke a lot in case you don’t realise and have a dedicated shop, ‘the tabac’ for this.

french are totally offay with queuing, and there are normally queues for buying cigarettes from the Tabac.

5.

5.

Ou mange-t-on a Paris?

It’s important to eat well in Paris, even on a budget, and so I compiled a list of affordable but quality restaurants, where you can get a hearty  meal for 13 euros or under.  I was surprised (and delighted!) to find so many affordable restaurants in Paris, making it easier to go out more often and enjoy the dining experience. It’s worth getting off the beaten track, to find where the Parisian locals frequent, giving insights to the different social scenes and helping to uncover little gems that you are not going to find in the touristy areas.flks;lfk

C’est très important de bien manger a Paris, meme avec un petit budget. J’ai donc compilé une liste de restaurants avec de bons rapport qualité prix, ou on peut trouver de bon repas pour 13 euros ou moins.  J’ai été étonnée (mais ravie) de trouver beaucoup de restaurants moins chers à Paris.    Grâce à cela, on peut diner plus souvent et bien profiter de l’expérience du restaurant. Ca vaut le coup de faire des recherches et de manger où se trouvent les locaux.  Ca vous donnera un aperçu des différentes scènes sociales, et cela vous donnera l’opportunité de visiter des petits endroits que l’on ne trouve pas dans les quartiers touristiques.

Chez Gladines Chez Gladines is located at the buttes aux cailles, in the 13eme arrondisement, an area known for its Chinese community.   The buttes aux cailles is becoming well known for its funky and original bars, restaurants, and boutique shops.  This is a place where Parisians students and artists frequent and isn’t a touristy area, as it is far away from tourist attractions. Chez Gladines has hearty food; large portions at affordable prices.  The cuisine is French with a focus on the south-west and basque regions.  Steak, veal and duck dishes are prices between 11-13 euros, or the basque options include chicken and omlettes at similiar prices.  I tried a salad, a massive dish of lettuce, tomatoes, jambon, cheese, garlic potatoes, egg, which only cost 10 euros.

It’s always busy and lively at Chez Gladines, due to the great food served at low prices, so you will normally have a sangria or glass of wine whilst you wait for a free space.  The tables are communal and this adds to the fun atmosphere. Chez Gladines is located on rue 30 rue des Cinq Diamant, closest metro are Corvisart or Place d’Italie.  
Chez Gladines se trouve aux ‘Buttes aux Cailles‘ dan le 13eme arrondissement , un quartier connu par la communauté chinoise.  Les buttes aux Cailles est devenu connu pour ses bars, restaurants, et boutiques très originaux.  C’est un quartier d’étudiants et d’artistes. Il y a moins de touristes car c’est loin des attractions touristiques. Les plats sont généreux et chaleureux, mais les prix peu chers.  La cuisine est française, avec un influence sud-ouest et basque. Les repas avec ‘steak, veau et canard’ coute entre 11-13 euros.  J’ai goute une salade basque, avec des tomates, jambon, fromage, pomme de terres d’ail et oeufs.  Ca a été très bon et a seulement coute 10 euros. Les metros les plus proches sont Corvisart ou Place d’Italie.

bar at buttes aux cailles 1 225x300 On va manger ou a Paris?!salade at chez gladines at the buttes aux cailles1 225x300 On va manger ou a Paris?!

Le Jardin D’en Face A tiny, hole in the wall restaurant serving great french dishes at a fraction of the price in comparison to posher Parisian suburbs.  The ambience is cosy as it’s so small, and the decor is minimalistic, as the restaurant prime focus is serving great French food.  I normally start with the oeuf cocotte with foie gras, and the magret de canard as a main.  For the desssert, creme brulee is good with a pear digestif.  At 25 euros per person, for a shared entree, main dessert and wine; it’s almost too good to be true! On a long windy street in Monmartre, just a couple of streets away from the touristy areas of Sacre Coeur at 16 rue de trois freres.  The sister restaurant  Le Potager is opposite, a couple of doors down on the same street and has more or less the same menu.  The restaurant is open for dinner only.  It fills up quickly so be sure to book on this number – 01 53 28 26 20.  Closest metro is Abesses

Un tout petit restaurant avec des repas français traditionnels, pour un petit prix par rapport aux quartiers chics à Paris.  L’atmosphere est chaleureuse comme c’est petit, et le plus important pour ce resto, c’est de de servir de bons repas. Normalement, je commence avec avec ‘oeuf cocotte de foie gras’ et ‘le magret de canard’ comme plat principal.  Pour le desert, crème brûlée.  A 25 par personne, pour entree, plat, et dessert.  C’est presque trop bon, pour être vrai!

restaurant at monmartre 1024x682 On va manger ou a Paris?!magret de canard restaurant at montmartre 300x224 On va manger ou a Paris?!  Creperie Josselin A charming Breton-styled creperie in the Montparnasse area, an area known for its high concentration of creperies.  You could easily be in provincial Brittany, with the traditional wooden style decor and lacy tableclothes that create a warm, welcoming ambience.  Not only is this restaurant attractive, but its practical, quick and affordable.  The kitchen is open plan, so you can watch the crepes been made right in front of you. Try a wholesome galette or also called crepe du ble noir, (crepe made of buckwheat), with jambon, egg and gruyere cheese, and wash it down with a traditional glass of cider.  Most of the crepes will set you back less than 10 euros at lunch and around 19 euros at dinner to have savoury followed by a sweet crepe.  There are sometimes queues but these move quickly.  Address is 67 rue du Montparnasse, 75014, closest metro is Montparnasse Bienvenue or Edgar Quinet

Crêperie Josselin‘ est une crêperie charmante dans le quartier de Montparnasse, un quartier connu pour ses crêperies.  On a l’impression d’être en Bretagne, comme le style est très traditionnel, avec des nappes en dentelle et un bel intérieur en bois.  Cela crée une ambiance chaleureuse.  Ce n’est pas seulement une belle crêperie, mais c’est peu moins cher et rapide.  La cuisine est ouverte, et donc vous pouvez regarder les crêpes faites en face de vous! Essaye une galette ou une crepe au blé noir, avec jambon, oeuf, fromage et avec un verre de cidre. La plupart des crepes coûtent pas plus de 10 euros et 19 euros pour 2 crepes, une salé et après une crepe sucre.  Quelquefois,  il y a des queues, mais ca passe vite normalement.  Crepere Josselin se trouve au 76 rue de Montparnasse. Les metros les plus proches sont Montparnasse Bienvenue or Edgar Quinet   001 1024x768 On va manger ou a Paris?! L’As de Fallafel Nice to try some simple take away food in the uber trendy area of Le Marais.  L’As de Fallafel is a little Israeli eatery, found in the characteristically Jewish section of the Marais, amongst Kosher butchers, synagogues and expert bakeries.  On the small, cobbled laneway at 34 rue des Rosiers is the small restaurant, where you can eat quality food in a comfortable environment.  Try a fallafel pita, with tahiny and hummous plus roasted eggplants, cabbage slaw, tomatoes and cucumber. All this for under 6 euros takeaway

L’as de Fallafel se trouve dans le  quartier branché du Marais.  C’est un tout petit restaurant israélien, qui se trouve dans la section juive du Marais, où se trouvent aussi des bouchers Kosher, synagogues et boulangers. Une fallafel pita est délicieuse avec du tahinny et du hummous, et aussi avec des aubergines, tomates et concombre.  Et ca coût seulement 6 euros à emporter. Bon appétit!

Escape to Deauville –Trouville

beach, deauville, parisian rivieria

Deauville resembles a romantic postcard from a long lost era, with long stretches of shoreline and misty clouds making its scenery so picturesque.  On the beach you will find many beach umbrellas neatly decorating the shore and gorgeous Norman style mansions line the wide streets around the beach.

The famous beaches of Deauville and Trouville have being frequented by Parisians for years, and it’s well known as the ‘Parisian Riveria’ or otherwise as the ‘queen of the Norman beaches.’  It is also the most convenient beach escape for Parisians, so it’s no wonder they flock here throughout the year to for some fresh air

norman style mansions, deauville

Deauville is a hot spot for the wealthy and high society families, who invest in the Norman style mansions with beach views. Coco Chanel opened her first boutique for leisure-wear in Deauville in 1913. YSL favoured Deauville as a place to unwind from the stresses of life in Paris.

How to get there

The coastline is now more accessible with the extension of the freeway, making the trip only 1.5 hrs from Paris and also with a convenient train station in the town centre. Book trains here.

To do

There is much to do in Deauville, enjoy long walks on the stunning beaches or some people watching in the beach cafes.

Watch horse races at the Hippodrome or try some golf in the lush courses over looking the beaches.

The shopping is chic with beautifully presented high-end boutiques shops. Some of the famous brands are Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Dior and Sonia Rykiel.

Deauville is a small village, making it very easy to navigate and see everything in one weekend.

cafe culture, deauville

Where to stay

Normandy-Barrière is a Tudor style hotel, situated on the beach.  It is one of the most striking hotels I have seen, built in 1912.  Prices will set you back 349 euros per night, for a double room.

 Hotel Normandy Barriere

Trouville

It’s easy to walk from Deauville to Trouville.  Trouville has a slightly more relaxed atmosphere.  Many families play on the beaches and frequent the down to earth restaurants located near the beachfront.

In the Belle Époque era, painters and writers such as Flaubert and Monet, frequented the areas seeking inspiration in the beautiful seaside surroundings.    The village retains its practicality as a fishing village, selling many types of fish.

beach, deauville-trouville

To do

It’s worth visiting the market at Trouville, which is open on Wednesday and Sundays.  The seafood is amazing with the most impressive St Jacque (scallops) I have ever seen.

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope you had a great party to bring in the New Year. I, as with many Melbournians, celebrated on the Peninsula Coast, a popular spot for Melbournians to have beach houses to take advantage of the hot Summer weather and great coastline. The freeway has been improved so the commute is pretty much one hour, making an easy getaway for weekends.

My grandparents really appreciated a good view, as a place where they could sit and enjoy their regular evening drink at 6pm!  We enjoyed many Summers watching the boats go past in the evening twilight.  Here is the view from the 2 storey house my grandpa project managed to completion.  Or near completion, if you could see how many weeds are on the tennis court!

DSC_0328 Beaches

There are many beach spots to choose from, including surf beaches.  The Sorrento back beach is popular with surfers and body boarders for the great waves it attracts.  On New Years Eve Day however, to avoid the crowds we went to Flinders beach, a quieter spot which backs onto the Bass Strait, driving through the picturesque golf course that over looks the beach.

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The front beaches of the Melbourne Bay are calmer and there places to enjoy fishing or just simple gold fashioned sun baking…

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Wineries

The region of Balnarring and Red Hill (just a short drive away away) are famous wine regions in Victoria.  There are many wineries and restaurants in the tree lined dirt streets in Red Hill, where you can enjoy great views of the beach and the luscious green rollings hills, over a award winning meal. These wineries hold free testing so you can be sure to sample a few and ask questions, and buy if you likeit.  Recently at Max’s, I tried the oysters as entree and duck with truffle sauce, which were very good.

I also recomend T’Gallant with has a slightly more relaxed approach, but equally an enviable menu and a very pleasant outdoor eating garden.  At the Spuntino Bar, enjoy a wood-fried, Roman style pizza, which is so authentic, you may think you are in Tuscany for a moment…

The McCrae Lighthouse

This was previously used as the turning point for ships coming into Melbourne from Port Phillips Heads, the lighthouse was the point where ships turned for Melbourne. These days, however, un-operational.

DSC_0359

DSC_0298

Aussies or Frenchies – Who has the best work life balance ?

The French have a little ‘savoir faire’, when it comes to their work/life balance attitude.   They do work hard, but know the balance, so that they can enjoy their lives outside of work too.

Holidays

I have never had so many  holidays in my life, as in  France with 7 weeks each year, plus bank holidays.  The French are lucky to benefit from these holidays, and whilst they work hard during work hours, they can enjoy long holidays, particularly in August and come back to work  refreshed and energized to start working again.

In May and August, there are so many bank holidays one has the impression of not working much at all, as you continue to re-start work then stop work for the holiday.  Whilst Australians may fight to have the day off before a public holidays to have a long weekend, in France, it’s normally an imposed RTT day off.   The companies automatically allows employees to ‘faire le pont’ or ‘make the bridge’ to have a 4 day weekend.  It seems the working rights are in favour of the French worker, rather than the other way around.

August is a great month to see Paris as most Parisians are on holidays in the south; it’s quieter with less people about.  Many shops close down for the entire month of August, which demonstrates how the French value quality family time and holidays over extra profits.  Enjoying this time for holidays is apart of their lives, and some extra profits made in this month doesn’t tempt them at all.  Well, good on them then, it doesn’t sound too bad actually!

Subsidized lunch with ticket-resto

The french are one nation to take their lunchtime seriously; where the pressure is to get your chosen brasserie/restaurant by 12.30 to secure a table.  Eating out for lunch is popular and you have to be on time.  It’s normal to go over 1 hr during lunch and  I think the French have the right attitude with a proper lunch break.   Mentally, it’s good to have a change of scenery, to eat well and be refreshed for the afternoon.

Most large companies give ticket-resto cheques, which are 50% company funded and 50% from your salary.  So, you have an extra incentive to eat out and have a proper lunch break.

Transport

Normally companies pay for half your transport costs, which is a basic need, that wasn’t covered in my workplace in Australia or the UK.  This indicates again how attitudes are in favour for the worker in France.

The 35 working week 

The 35 hour week was introduced by socialist government in 1998, and has changed over time as France lacked competitiveness with world markets.

Polls show the French are fond of their 35 hr week, so governments are unlikely to remove this completely.  However, modifications have been made to allow for overtime work, which should in turn help France’s productivity and economic growth.

Nowadays, working over time is compensated with RTT days off and the overtime rate has been reduced from a normal 25% to 10%, so workers are getting used to the idea of working more for a lesser reward.

In Germany, the working week is also 35 hrs but companies are asking employees to work more or otherwise told that the jobs would be outsourced to Hungary, Poland and or potentially China.

Recruitment

In France, once you have  a peramanent contract, it is difficult for your company to fire you, as the French law protects the employee.  This means that the recruitment process is long and employers prefer to put you on  a temporary contract CDI before starting the permanent CDD contract.

So in answer to the question of work life balance, I think the French do  know a few things, how to work hard, and at the same time, not be afraid to spend time with friends and family on long holidays.  The French make sure their work life  can fit in with their lifestyle.  So whilst, Australia is a beautiful country where Australian always have a positive outlook on life, on the work life balance, I think we can learn a little from the Frenchies!

6 things to do in New York

1. Brunch at Bagatelle
The new brunch craze in Manhattan, where people ditch Saturday night to have a boozy Sunday brunch instead. Book a table at Bagatelle in the Meatpacking district, enjoy a French inspired menu, and why not have a cocktail or two?! In the afternoon, the black curtains are drawn, the dj turns up the music, and its a pumping nightclub!
things to do in new york
Starts from 12.00
2. Walk the Highline
A converted train line, previously used for freight, the skyline provides great views on the city’s West Side, starting at Ganesvort street in the Meatpacking district and goes up to West 34th Street.
Check location here
things to do in new york
Things to do in New york
3. Do some celeb spotting
Near the Grand Central station, I noticed major streets barricaded off, masses of police cars and undercover SUVs swarming the streets, sirens blaring.  I wondered what on earth the commotion was for? And then I saw the Cadillac with the American flags.  Barak Obama! How cool to be so close to him in NYC.

Later that day, walking towards the Met, I noticed a woman very prettily dressed. I was so busy noticing the gorgeous fabric she wore, but glanced up quickly to see her face.  Hello Helena Christensen! If you are going to see famous people, NYC is not bad!

4. Bridal shopping in the Big Apple
Not normally on the ‘to do’ list, however, I was visiting an Australian friend, who was planning her wedding. She was having a hard time with a dress maker who wasn’t understanding her vision at all, and thus was considering a dress off the rack.    Interesting to see how wedding dresses in the US are competitively priced in comparison to Australia.  I came with my friend to the dress fitting in the garment district, between between 5th and 9th, from 32nd to 42nd street.   We planned to quickly do this during lunchtime, before dashing off to the play Warhorse.  We ran out of time after waiting more than one hour.   Both disappointed after not seeing the dress on, we came back later just in time, to see the dress on.

We then visited a fabric shop down the road, to sort out the type of silk for the hand made dress, only to discover that the designer was way off the mark with her choice of 2nd grade fabric, for a dress that should ultimately be the most special dress in a girl’s life.  This was an interesting insight to the district, and how you need to roll for getting your wedding dress in order in NYC.
5.If you have the time, consider the ballet. It was very easy to select seat tickets and buy tickets online.
Ballet in New York, things to do

5. Cycle around Grand Central Park
A great way to orient yourself in this city, pop past Carrie’s house in Sex in the City and why visit the famous Seinfield restaurant.
Bike riding in New York, things to do in New York

7 tips-Comment ‘draguer’ avec les francais

1. Flaunt your foreign accentvxcvcxvxcvx
The French love accents so don’t be embarrassed if you have a strong one or if your French is limited.  I felt self conscious with my french accent, noticing how different the pretty words come out of mouth in comparison to the Parisiens, no matter how hard I tried. A french friend told me to pretend like I was ‘singing’ over the french language to improve the harsh Australian accent.
But whilst I was self conscious, others apparently found it attractive!

2. Know your restaurants
The Frenchies love to talk about where to eat, what what they will eat, talk about what they just ate and where they would eat next, so talking about food is a safe topic!  In fact, the French are now recognised by Unesco for the Intangible Cultural Heritage of gastronomy in their country.  The cultural signifigance  of meal time in France is massive, from the tradition of setting the table, matching the food to the wine, and the many traditional recipes that are favourites for the French.   Most Frenchies could easily spend a couple of hours discussing cuisine/gastronomy, so having some good restaurant chat up your sleeve is sure to impress!

3. Spend a while on the wine lists
Frenchies consider themselves wine conossieurs and rightfully so.  So don’t by any means, just ask for a house white! ‘Quelle horreur!’  Spend at least 15 minutes looking at the wine list; use emotive words such as woody, fruity to describe the wine flavours and you can easily pass this one.

4. Pretend to smoke
The health warnings don’t seem to have registered with the Frenchies yet! Nothing more French than sipping a wine in a bobo bar, whilst puffing on a little cigarette.  The French still do smoke quite a bit, so hide your looks of surprise if you see alot of chain-smoking around you.

5. Get a makeover at Maje
I wandered into a Maje store in a pensive mood on a Sunday in May, the weather starting to get nice.  I was casually dressed in comparison to the glamorous Maje assistants of course, when a sales assistant descended on me, intrigued to find an Australian living/working in Paris.  She felt the need to educate me! “Fashion is very important in Paris,” she started, “you have to look sexy, but elegant,” she stressed.

So she asked what colours I liked, and I couldn’t help but participate. I walked out with a black leather mini skirt, boots and came back another day for the pink jumper.  The gay shop assistant assured me I would meet someone in that outfit!

6. Know a little about politics
The French enjoy talking about politics and tend to have strong opinions, potentially more so than Australians, so make sure you know something or form some kind of opinion in case asked!

7. Remember some key phrases
‘Enfin, bref’, this is used alot.  Translation, “you’re not getting this and I cannot be bothered explaining it either.” Use it in that situation!
“Bon, bah,” it’s an in between word, like “so” or “well”  Great phrase in a nice French accent.
‘Putain,’ a swear word, but really can be used to express anything, from good to bad. Check different uses  here.
Enjoy!

A Paris diary

Melbourne-From a Frenchy’s point of view

My friend Tifany moved to Australia from Bordeaux, France.  Read her story on how she adapted to life in Melbourne as school teacher. [English and French version].

Ma vie a Melbourne

« Un étranger qui vient dans le nord pleure deux fois : quand il arrive et quand il repart. » – Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis !

Personnellement, je ne suis jamais allée dans le nord ( il y fait trop froid :-s ), mais cette expression s’applique tout de même à moi ! En effet, Melbourne est un peu comme notre nord français ( il y fait plus froid qu’ailleurs, après la Tasmanie), mais ce n’est pas pour cette raison que l’on pleure avant d’y arriver. Partir à l’autre bout du monde est une expérience extraordinaire, mais cela demande un courage énorme. Cela faisait plusieurs années que j’y pensais : partir en Australie, où il fait toujours beau, où tout le monde est toujours bronzé, mais je voulais surtout y aller parce que je suis curieuse et aventureuse !

C’est donc le 24 janvier, après quelques difficultés à obtenir mon visa à temps, et avec un pincement au cœur que j’ai décollé pour Melbourne. Le voyage a duré environ 24 heures et était très fatiguant, mais j’étais tellement excitée d’arriver dans ce nouveau pays et de commencer une nouvelle vie que j’en ai oublié la fatigue. J’ai attéri tard le soir et suis allée me coucher après être arrivée à l’auberge, mais je n’ai pas beaucoup dormi  tellement j’étais excitée à l’idée de visiter ce nouveau pays.  Je me suis rapidement fait des amis à l’auberge, des amis que j’ai continué à voir, même après avoir quitté l’auberge. Je pense que mon arrivée en Australie n’était pas stressante car j’avais déjà trouvé un travail avant d’arriver à Melbourne, cela enlevait donc la pression financière ! Je n’ai eu aucune difficulté à trouver une colocation (c’est beaucoup plus facile qu’en France), et mes colocs étaient plutôt sympas et m’ont présenté d’autres personnes !

Tout s’est très bien passé, peut être trop bien passé, jusqu’en juillet quand mes colocs et moi avons du libérer la maison.  En effet, j’ai trouvé une autre colocation, avec des colocs géniaux mais qui restaient dans leurs coins, et à ce moment là, je me suis vraiment sentie seule ! Mes amis que j’avais rencontrés quand j’étais arrivée étaient tous soit de retour dans leurs pays ou, ailleurs en Australie et mes anciens colocataires ne me donnaient plus de nouvelles… Ca a été un véritable obstacle mais j’ai réussi à le surmonter ! En effet, j’ai commencé à faire du bénévolat, ce qui m’a permis de rencontrer des personnes, mais surtout, je me suis inscrite sur Meetup, qui est un site très utile pour rencontrer des personnes avec les mêmes centres d’intéréts ! J’ai donc rencontré des gens extras, mais cela n’a pas été si facile.
Une autre difficulté que j’ai eue, était de m’adapter à la nourriture…et oui, j’ai bien grossi en Australie et ca joue pas mal sur le moral aussi, mais cela m’a permis de me mettre au sport ! Moi qui ne faisais jamais de sport, j’ai bien changé… Finalement, je n’ai pas eu tellement de difficulté à m’adapter à ma vie dans ce nouveau pays, j’ai eu des hauts et des bas, mais j’en aurais eu aussi en France.
Cette expérience m’a en tout cas était très bénéfique : d’une part, j’ai amélioré mon anglais, et d’autre part,  d’un point de vue caractériel, j’ai muri, pris de l’assurance et j’ai réalisé que rien n’était impossible.

Cela m’a pris environ un an pour prendre mes marques, mais maintenant que je les ai, je veux les garder ! Ce n’est donc pas demain que je vais partir !!!

I moved to Melbourne in January ! Pretty scary to go on the other side of the planet by yourself, without knowing anyone over there…But I had been thinking about it for a while, and this is a great adventure I would have regretted if I had not done it! So, it is on the 24th January that I left France, for what should have been one year. I found the job while I was at uni, I submitted an application to an organisation in charge of an exchange program and was part of the 25 persons selected to come and teach in Australia which made the preparation for the trip less stressful. I landed 24 hours later and was so excited to visit this new country that I barely slept that night! I quickly met great people in the hostel, and I continued to meet with them, even after having left the hostel!


One week after the landing, I started my job. I loved it, meeting my colleagues, visiting my workplace, getting acquainted with the Victorian school system. I was pretty busy as I had to find an accommodation as well. Finding an accommodation is different here in Australia, and much easier than in France, but much more expensive! I found a house after 2 inspections, with two housemates who seemed great! I met their friends and was not alone at all, and I adapted rather quickly to my new life in Australia.


In July, I had to move house and separated from the other housemates. This was a difficult moment as I was alone! My new housemates had their friends and were not mingling that easily, my friends I met when I first arrived were either back in their country or in another city, and my previous housemates seemed to have forgotten me, so I decided to do some volunteering to meet people. But it is not that easy to meet people when you are not staying in a backpacker… So I signed up for Meetup, and met great people!


Another difficulty I had was to get used to the food! It might seem stupid, but I have put on weight a lot, and this is rather depressing to see your body changing like that.  But a bad thing leads to a good one: I started exercising (which is surprising as I have never been very active!).


This adventure has been very beneficial for me : I have gained some maturity, I stopped smoking, I became active, I visited amazing places, I learned more culture and languages, I developed my teaching skills and I volunteered. And even if it took me time to settle in, I am now really happy in this new life, and like Philippe Abrams in Bienvenue chez les ch’tis!, I want to stay.