by MHS from Pakistan
My First Days in Paris
Ernest Hemingway said and I quote “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast”.
I applied to Paris School of Business got admission and got my visa after a long wait. The biggest dream of my life was about to come true. I was waiting at the airport lounge in my country for my flight looking at my ticket with curiosity and excitement. 12 hours later I was at Paris airport. The moment I stepped out of the airport I could feel the change in the air, it had a different aura. On the way to my apartment I kept on observing my surroundings the buildings the way they are constructed each of them has a story to tell. At last I reached my apartment thanks to feel Parisien everything was arranged before my arrival, they are very hard working and efficient.
I was very tired the first day so I kept my bags aside and slept. The next day when I woke up I was very excited because I was going to see the Eiffel Tower. Remember always to keep your passport and money safe while going to tourist places for the first time because these sites attracts a lot of pocket pickers. Well I changed my clothes bought a sandwich from the store near my residence and headed towards the RER train. The transportation system in paris is perfect but you need at least a week to understand it. I was lucky I had it all mapped out which RER to take when to get off and take a metro. I got off from the RER at Francois Mitterrand took the metro to Bercy and finally to Bir-Hakeim (tour de Eiffel).
The first sight of Eiffel tower was mesmerizing, I will remember it for the rest of my life. Standing near the Eiffel tower and watching it had a strange satisfaction it gives you happiness. Well I walked towards it crossed the entry doors and after that you have to stand in long ques to get the ticket to get on the tower. It was a long wait but worth every second of waiting, I got to the top of Eiffel tower it’s a long journey but it will be the most beautiful journey of your life. You can see almost all of Paris from the top and it is scenic. It is my sincere advice to all of the upcoming students to go to the top and enjoy the best view of Paris.
I have been telling you the Pros of Paris and my first day at Eiffel tower but there are cons too all of you should stay away from scams. There are a lot of people right there near Eiffel tower who are going to scam you and rob your money. There will be people asking you for donations for charity they will have a clipboard in their hands they will come to you write your name and talk to you kindly and then ask you for money. Second are the one with cup and ball game they are extremely clever. They will show you that the game is very easy and you can win and they will double your money but it is different. The man shuffling the cups is the head and he has 3-4 people of his own in the crowd. These are the people who keep on playing and winning giving you the impression that you can win too but you never will no one outside their gang will ever win. I was a prey to it too, I was standing there watching it when a woman held my arm and forced me to play when I refused she said “okay I will play first” she gave the man 100 euros he shuffled the cups and she chose the right cup and he gave her 200 euros as winning money. This is all fraud. I was motivated that I can win too, I knew which cup had the ball I saw it but when I chose the cup it was empty and I lost 100 euros. Even if you choose the right cup you will not win because they create a distraction somehow and change the cups because it is what they do scam people and they are perfect at it. Stay away from all these games and don’t lose your money.
There are many other things to do like the mix club it’s a great nightclub with free entry to international students each Thursday before midnight, it is packed with international students. Go to louvre or eat a sandwich by the seine. Have your evening strolls at Champs-Élysées. I have been in Paris for just a few days but I have discovered a lot, seen a lot because I chose to travel and go out. I had some setbacks like losing my money to the cup ball game scam but never let anything push you back. I have yet to discover and learn a lot, every morning brings a new tale and every night a new adventure to tell. Paris has a lot of secrets you need to uncover it’s a beautiful city with beautiful people. Be brave and the world is yours.
Muhammad Hannan Shahid