27 Aug 2012


EurostarI’m leaving for Paris in under a week.  It’s actually happening.  The Eurostar has been booked and I’m £112 worse for wear (that’s what you get for booking only a week in advance!).  Nevertheless, I am well on my way to immersing myself in France’s capital city.  Ooooh la la.

I’ll be living in an apartment within the 6th arrondissement in a place called St. Germain-des-Près, just south of the River Seine.  My internship is at the International Herald Tribune (IHT) and they have offices in the western Parisian suburbs near La Defénse which is the last stop on the metro line.  #trek.   This is where I’ll be spending my week days from 3rd September until 2nd March, in an effervescing News Room bursting with Americans, Brits….possibly a few frogs but I’m not yet certain.  I’m not exactly sure which language I’ll be speaking at work either; after all, the IHT is the international version of the New York Times, and it’s written entirely in English.  As long as they don’t “zedify” every word, I’m fine with that; no way am I returning to Exeter having spent the year writing tantalize and specialize.  

With a generous expenses allowance of *€?/month from the IHT, a monthly Erasmus grant from the government and an accommodation cost of only ?/month, I’m expecting to have a remaining ? each month to fill the gaps.  So that’s essentially ?/week to fill the fridge, hop on the metro, purchase a caffeinated beverage every morning and take up salsa dancing.  Or join a pottery class.   Or something equally artistic.  But given the current shoddy-ness of the euro, the extortionate prices in Paris, and my inability to budget, this will probably only be just enough.  And who knows…maybe if I actually make any friends I might be persuaded to sneak out for an expensive weekend glass of scotch.  Or is that too British?

international herald tribune mag It’ll be a bit of a shock to the system working 40 hours a week when I’m used to having only 8 contact hours at uni, but I’m sure I’ll be tucked up in bed by 10.30pm most nights and the weekends will finally be a luxury.  I never really understood the benefits of weekends at uni because most of my time spent at Exeter felt like an on-going holiday with a few lectures and seminars floating around like anomalies.  (Bar exam season and the two days leading up to essay deadlines).  But given that I had about four essays a year, this again was an anomaly in the equation.  I know that students working abroad for the British Council this year get €800/month for teaching French kids 12 hrs/week of English, but I’m quite excited about buckling down and going to work with a flashy briefcase filled with A4 sheets of paper - even if I have doodled over all of them.  There’s just something about A4 paper which makes it sound important; it definitely means business.  I’m currently envisaging that 40 hours/week sitting in a news room with my eyes attached to a computer screen will somehow prepare me for my future stint in employment.  That is of course until I meet The One and have his babies and strive to be No. 1 Mummy while my husband brings home the pennies as tradition dictates and I go on weekly shops to Waitrose to buy lamb cutlets and spinach leaves.  The university days of beans on toast and instant noodles cannot be repeated.  Once my own children have all grown up I’ll then probably take up a job working with primary school children a few hours a week because I feel like I have to do something with my life.  Or I’ll volunteer in a soup kitchen.  Oh, the endless possibilities involved in cynicism…..

So there you have it.  I’m almost ready to embark on this new adventure.  Just need to get insurance (no biggy), pack and proceed to lug my life over to Paris unaided (that’ll be about 10 suitcases) and attempt to pronounce the name of the road I’m living on to the taxi driver in my best French accent.  Eh bien!

Watch this space.


*I'm avoiding giving exact figures in case someone attempts to stalk and then rob me.


  1. Monty, you are working so close to where I am working! Expect impromptu lunch visits, I will bring the scotch ;) Good luck!!!!!!!!

    1. flip! just googled courbevoie!!! soooo ridiculously close to me :) i'm working right by place de la defense which is like 20 mins walk! this is too exciting :) get your ass over to paris asap! thanks hun :)good luck to you too!! xxxx

    2. oh...and you better make the scotch a double ;) xxx