Paris is beautiful, although the weather is miserable. I'm taking French classes and the teacher is awful, but hopefully I will be able to pick up something from the class despite this. After Tokyo, Paris seems really inefficient, like super inefficient, but I forgive it so far because it's also awesome. It's so different from Asia, everything is so old and so European and there are no skyscrapers. There's an ordinance in place that buildings can't be over a certain height, I guess to preserve the ancient ambience. The little town that I'm staying in is super tiny and super expensive, and also really old and pretty. There's a park with a lake right next door, and basically the whole town is just clustered around the church. It's only 20 minutes to Paris on the train though, so I've been going into Paris every chance I get. I love the cafe culture, it's great to just pop into a sidewalk cafe and have a coffee and read a book or something. The crepes aren't as decadent as Tokyo crepes though. Here the fillings are just things like sugar or Nutella, instead of ice cream and cheesecake and whipped cream like in Harajuku. Still good for a walking snack though. The savory crepes are better than in Tokyo though; I had one with goat cheese and tomato that was delicious. My new favorite salad is the chevre chaud, which is a salad topped with goat cheese on toast. Yum. I've had it a couple times already, the best one was at this little cafe on rue St Honore that did a salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber slices, and apple slices, and four little pieces of toast that were nice and crispy. I've discovered a great flavor of ice cream too, salted caramel. It's so good! It's going to be too cold for ice cream soon though. Actually it already is, but we've been having a few days here and there are that are still nice.
Last weekend was one such nice weekend, so I spent it walking around areas of Paris I hadn't been to before. I went around the latin quarter and the Marais, and walked through the Luxembourg gardens and stopped there for a little while with a caramel buerre sale ice cream and a book : ) I want to live in that area if I end up staying in France after a year and move up into Paris proper.