When I tell people (back in Ireland/anywhere outside of mainland Europe) I live in Paris they get SO excited. For some reason they invariably ask “So, can you see the Eiffel Tower from your apartment?” While the Eiffel Tower (or the “Awful Tower as my son’s 4-year-old best friend so lovingly labelled it) is 24 metro stops away on the wonderful Line 9, unfortunately the answer is No, I cannot see it. In fact strictly speaking I don’t even live in Paris as we’re a few hundred metres from the Peripherique… quelle dommage… We live in an interesting area called Montreuil, which is wonderfully full of artists (hundreds in fact) but which gives a whole new meaning to the term “competition”. It’s very mixed here and hopefully the Bobos (bourgeois bohemes or the other way around? I never know…) don’t take over… Speaking of which, coming from a small town in the south-east of Ireland, it shocked me to be told that that’s the category of people I fall into… so much for appearances (until I open my mouth to speak “culchie french” or to cackle loudly at something funny when it’s not very Parisien to laugh raucously).
So for the benefit of those who have not visited my humble abode: on the left we have La Tour Eiffel (which I cannot see without trundling through an underground tube squashed under someone’s sweaty armpit or not, depending on the time of day) and on the right, the current view from my apartment window (yes, it’s a wonderfully large window, but malheureusement La Tour Eiffel is nowhere in sight – but the rain is… aaah nostalgia for Ireland)