Paris, that city where Starbucks is the cheap place to get your caffeine fix.
Despite having to subsist on nothing but sandwiches for a whole week, Paris was marvelous. As some bloke in a Woody Allen movie once said "Paris is a wonderful city to just get lost in."
It really is.
Since I went to Paris with a group of architecture students on a field trip there was certainly a lot of strolling around the city going on. An average of four hours of pure walking every day I would say ... consequently, I have no idea what the party night-life of Paris looks like.
Not that I could afford it anyway.
Buying a cup of tea in a lovely Parisian bistro - those things it's famous for - will set you back between four and five euro. That's a lunch here in Ljubljana. A single sandwich will cost anything between five-ish and seven-ish euro ... eating a proper meal is easily a twenty euro expense.
Even a falafel costs ten euro.
Luckily, everything other than food is reasonably priced. Clothes and gadgets cost about the same as at home, public transit is cheap and hostels aren't too pricey if you're willing to settle for a strange room with a bad paint job, one shower and bathroom per floor and a wash basin situated sort of in the middle of the room.
Unfortunately humans need food. A lot of food as it turns out.
But enough about money.
My favourite aspect of Paris were the bistros. They all look very lovely, make you want to sit around, sipping cup after cup of tea, for hours on end and all the seats are turned into the street.
On the whole, the city felt a lot like letting a modern web designer loose on London. Wide streets, plenty of whitespace, silly sounding language and more room for activities. All the buildings are roughly the same height and look very similar to one another.
There are a lot of carousels.
Every two hundred meters there is a butchery, every hundred meters there's a bakery and every fifty meters there's a pharmacy. Fancy shops are situated on Champs-Élysées - much like London's Oxford street.
There are very few commercial chains. Most shops are small things seemingly owned by families.
Since this was an architecture trip, I didn't get to go into any museums and such, we mostly looked at modern-ish buildings of various designs. This was a strangely pleasurable turn of events on how I usually experience cities that I visit.
You'd never guess how interesting building's facades can be - the arabic institute features shutters, Pompidue has all the installations on the outside and some manner of gallery thinks its facade is a forrest.
The national bibliotheque was wonderuful as well. All the books are stored in four skyscrapers, while the reading areas are all underground and in the middle of it all is a forest of very tall trees.
Oh and I got to see Loeb's rally car in the Citroen showroom, Morrison's grave and Wilde's terribly fangirl'd grave ... seriously, how can a guy who's been dead for 112 years still have that many fangirls trying to ruin his grave?
PS: I do not advise travelling with a group of ~12 females, it gets very ... group dynamics and stuff.
- Picture Perfect Paris
- Series of itineraries for the first time visitor: PARIS
- "Père Lachaise" by Wes Craven
- Paris Highlights - Jardin des Tuileries
Learned something new?
Read more Software Engineering Lessons from Production
I write articles with real insight into the career and skills of a modern software engineer. "Raw and honest from the heart!" as one reader described them. Fueled by lessons learned over 20 years of building production code for side-projects, small businesses, and hyper growth startups. Both successful and not.
Subscribe below 👇
Software Engineering Lessons from Production
Join Swizec's Newsletter and get insightful emails 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career. Real lessons from building production software. No bullshit.
"Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only newsletter I open and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"
Senior Mindset Book
Get promoted, earn a bigger salary, work for top companiesLearn more
Have a burning question that you think I can answer? Hit me up on twitter and I'll do my best.
Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.
Want to become a true senior engineer? Take ownership, have autonomy, and be a force multiplier on your team. The Senior Engineer Mindset ebook can help 👉 swizec.com/senior-mindset. These are the shifts in mindset that unlocked my career.
Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, for frontend engineers 👉 ServerlessHandbook.dev
Want to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz React components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization
Did someone amazing share this letter with you? Wonderful! You can sign up for my weekly letters for software engineers on their path to greatness, here: swizec.com/blog
By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️