First days in Paris

La Tour Eiffel behind the Monument for Peace in the Parc du Champ de Mars.

Although getting to Paris was expensive, Paris itself wasn't too bad. My hostel was only €19 a night. And the reason for that became quite apparent. The place was pretty run down, which I really didn't get the impression of from their website which looks well up-kept. Worse than the actual building were the two clerks who ran the desk downstairs. They were the most miserable, irritable and unfriendly people that could possibly be running the hostel. They were the exact antithesis of the positivity emanating from their website.

One of the kids I was sharing a room with (I think his name was Iku?) in the hostel was from Osaka, Japan, and didn't speak English that well at all, and we sort of struggled talking to each other, as I didn't speak any Japanese whatsoever. But I really enjoyed that. This one girl running the hostel, however, had no tolerance for his broken English. Iku's luggage found its way on another plane during his voyage to France, so he didn't have much on him but the luggage was supposed to be delivered to the hostel when it arrived. When he and I were about to leave the hostel for the day, he wanted to ask this hostel girl to keep an eye out for his luggage, and, because his English was poor, the girl couldn't quite understand him and she was so visibly annoyed and was unbelievably rude to this poor kid.

Both hostel clerks constantly averted making eye contact with visitors, they spoke minimally if you wanted some information and were unhelpful. They just made me really upset in general even though they weren't necessarily mean to me personally.

And in contrast, the visitors I was living with for the week were amazing. The guys there came from countries including Poland, Germany, Argentina, Australia, Japan, Brazil and Mexico. Most of us would hang out in the evening and talk. It was cool. I was initially uneasy about the idea of sharing a room with other people, but I think it was in fact one of the best experiences I had in Paris.
Two Parisians enjoy some freestyle BMX action near the Eiffel Tower.
The subterranean Catacombes de Paris, the well-known ossuary.
It was really dark so not only did I have to use a very low shutter speed, but my autofocus wouldn't cooperate.