Author Archives: osmith


In Paris, one could easily become overwhelmed or lost without a little planning. It has happened to me many times. A couple weekends ago, I was going to a friend’s appartment in an area I did not know. As I was running late, I forgot to write down the address of my destination before leaving. I’d been sent a message with directions, which I unfortunately could not see without wifi. So after an hour journey on the metro, I got off in the […]

Coffee and fatigue

Yes, I have been “lazy” and I haven’t posted recently. As for today, for lack of anything very interesting, I’d like to talk about coffee. Seriously, there have to be a million different ways to drink coffee around the world. The European favorite is surely a simple esspresso. As a sugary, creamy coffee fan, that took some getting used to. But now I drink them regularly. It’s one euro or one euro twenty for a quick pop of caffeine. There must […]

Une belle ville, Nice

From central Paris, it is a 6 hour TGV ride to the Cote d’Azur. On Thursday, the train zoomed through the French countryside to bring me and my group to Nice. Nice is an incredible city that mixes old and new with ease. There are roughly 350,000 inhabitants and plenty of visitors. In the center of the city lies a large new park featuring fountains and mist, gardens and creative playscapes for children. I loved it, and spent a long time […]

UMW friends abroad!

Yesterday, I had a great surprise. Patrick messaged me to tell me he was in Paris! So this morning, we met up near Rue de Rivoli. We tried out Cafes Verlet, which is a gourmet shop that offers hundreds of varieties of coffee. We had a great time reminiscing about UMW days while wandering around the first and second arrondissments. We also made sure to enjoy a crêpe, some organic desserts, and the Jardin des Tuilieries. This morning made me realize […]


So there’s been a cold going around the group and I did so well avoiding it…until the day before yesterday. I’ve been busy for the past few days, so I got less sleep than I should have. On Tuesday, Rebecca and I went to a meeting at Sciences Po, and then to Tracy’s art exhibit. I had lots of fun with Rebecca; she’s a sweetheart. Unfortunately though, the exhibit was outside and it was a cold night. The following morning, […]

A Breath of Home

A few days ago, I had the joy of seeing my parents. They arrived from the airport exhausted, but I got to spend a good amount of time catching up. I stayed with them in their budget hotel in Porte de Bagnolet, on the outskirts of the city. Then the following day, the three of us went around to see some of my favorite spots in Paris. I showed them the Centre Pompidou and the Marais. We had the typical […]

Art and Lights

  Living in Paris is a culturally-enriching experience. For example, it is an astoundingly diverse city with tourists and immigrants from every corner of the world. It is rich with history, from the Roman arena to World War II landmarks. Paris also has extraordinary museums and art exhibits on practically every street. And I’ve been to some of the greatest ones: Musee Rodin, Musee d’Orsay, Musee du Louvre, Centre Pompidou. It’s been said that Paris is the city of light. Here […]

Un portable…enfin!

I’ve spent many an hour searching online for the best cell phone plan  and I found Free Mobile. Unfortunately though, Free Mobile’s website is a piece of $h&@. I was able to purchase a SIM card and the first month of service. Then the second go around when I tired to purchase a phone, the company redirected me and annuled my transaction yet still posted charges to my bank account. I was worried that I was stuck. After much frustration, I […]

Learning the ropes

I’ve had a great couple of weeks in France. My French class started on Monday but my  international studies courses haven’t begun, thus I’ve had plenty of time. Primarily, I’ve been getting to know the other six people in my program. I’m glad to report that they are equally as curious about other cultures. Better still, they are equally as passionate about travelling as I am. As a group, we’ve been to many of the famous spots in the city.  We’re […]

Paris dans la pluie

I arrived in Paris on Monday,  at 11 AM local time (5 AM) after zero sleep.  My luggage is ridiculous unfortunately,  so it was a challenge getting to the hostel. It was raining then,  and still is now. And,  of course, there was my usual leg pain to top it all. On the bright side,  a French man saw me struggling on the metro.  So he insisted on lugging both of my bags through the station, on to the next […]