Lá le’Pádraig Outside of Éire : Observations

*Random thoughts I thought while spending St. Patrick’s Day outside of Éire. Listed for no particular reason in no particular reason. ENJOY*

1. Desire to belt out Amhrán na bhFiann  is notably higher than usual.


2. I hope all these peasants can see my authentic St. Patrick’s Day Festival t-shirt – not only have I been in Ireland, I’ve been in a parade too!


3. Why do so many non-Irish people know about St. Patrick’s Day? I only learned last Saturday that last Saturday was St. David’s Day ( Welsh National Holiday). On second thought, maybe this just shows how little I know ¿?


4. Leprechauns? If everyone was a redhead this would be just like home…


5. Y’all just using this as an excuse to sell alcohol, buy alcohol and drink alcohol. I guess somethings are the same everywhere.


6. Wearing plastic shamrock in place of the real thing should be a crime or at the very least a mortal sin. It’s just not okay. Don’t do it.


7. Everyone in Ireland  has that one article of green clothing that comes out for the 17th year after year. But you’re not Irish so how and why  have you decked yourself in green from head to toe I do not understand.


8. Bonne Fête de la Saint Patrick? I believe you mean LÁ FHÉILE PÁDRAIG SONA DHUIT!



9. This * Traditional Irish Music* is a joke. Where is the fiddle? And the bodhrán?A banjo is not enough. The musicians aren’t even Irish. Humpf!



10. Shout out to na cáiliní ag damsha at the side of the stage. Your jig made the band much more bearable.


11. In 18 years I have never ever seen a hat like that in Ireland. So I wearing it just marks you as an wannabe. But it’s cute, so I’ll allow it 😉


12. Who is Finn Patrick? Why is this hat a thing? Why did I take this hat home??


13. Legend sporting the tri-colour. You are a hero.


Go dtí an chead uair eile,

Go n-éirí an bóthar leat


P.S: Go raibh an-maith ag mo ghrá-thú, Edel (Banríon na hÉireann)


Don’t Mess With Le Métro – A Lesson

I adore the Métro. And the RER. And even the bus. Not everyone is such a fan, but I think public transport in Paris is an absolute gem. It’s easy to find, easy to use and, in my experience, very efficient (except for that one time it snowed and everything came to a stand still 🙈).

My Navigo Pass costs €75.20 per month and covers all zones in Paris. This allows me to use the buses, RER and Métro as I wish. Added bonus: Disney reimburses part of this, as I rely on the bus to commute to work. I have no doubt that I will miss dearly the Navigo when I leave Paris. In fact, Ireland’s lack of public transport will be a complete shock to the system, but I’ll deal with that when it comes!

So yes, the Navigo is wonderful. The problem however, is that it is all I know. When it comes to other types of tickets and fares I am utterly clueless. So when the BFF came to town I could tell her which train to take, where to change lines but not which ticket to buy. This was part of our downfall. The other parts were our own foolishness and rotten luck…..

When I met the BFF at the airport, we asked a lady at the ticket office which one we should buy. She told us to buy one there which would cover the journey to the centre of Paris.  We bought this ticket. She also informed us that we would have to purchase another ticket once in the city to cover the next two days. We did not buy this ticket.

We spent the day wandering about Paris, hopping on and off the Métro along the way. All was good, and any thoughts of tickets vanished from our minds (foolishness!!). Until approximately 9pm that evening as we were leaving the Métro at Anvers. It was here that we encountered those people who check the validity of your ticket. In my five months here it was the second time my ticket had been checked like this (rotten luck!!).

My Navigo and I sailed right through and on to the other side. My dear BFF was not so fortunate. Her ticket was no longer valid (even though it had allowed her to enter the Métro all day) and she faced a €50 fine. Nice. Playing the dumb tourist act did not resolve the situation – le métro shows no mercy.

I’m sure one day we’ll look back on the situation and laugh. Just not yet. It’s still too raw. €50!!!

On the bright side, our night was only temporarily dampened and soon perked right back up 😉

So the lessons are:

  • Be smart and research what ticket(s) you need
  • Don’t rely on Navigo-holders to guide you
  • Don’t rely on me to guide you (this one is key!)
  • If you’re spending between 4 days and a week in Paris I would definitely recommend buying a weekly Navigo Pass. It’s better value than day tickets (assuming you plan to explore the city) and is much, much, much less hassle
  • And last but most certainly not least – a €50 fine is no reason to cancel the party, quite the opposite in fact 😉

Til Next Time,

All My Love For The Navigo


‘The Most Relaxed I’ve Been in Months’

The most relaxed I’ve been in months’, is what I said as I lay on the stretch of wall just before Pont d’Iéna. And it was true too. My Best Friend Forever had landed in Paris that morning, bringing the sunshine with her. Work and reality (a pile of laundry I still haven’t dealt with) were miles and miles away. Everything was truly wonderful.

 The problem with exclamations like that is that they are often just too tempting for the universe. I should have known that no good would come of it. Because the next words that came out of my mouth were ‘Sh*t, I think something just dropped!’……..

At first I thought maybe I had let my lens cap fall. But no, it was my phone that had fallen, because my phone has a knack for falling or being forgotten.

*Context: There are two sides to every wall, as there were to the wall I was lying on. One side looks on to the street just in front of Place du Trocadéro. This side is not very high and so the drop is not a big one. The other side, however, is very high with a big drop. Anyone who has walked along the Seine will know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, I apologise for my shabby contextualisation!

So yes, my phone had quite the tumble. By some stroke of luck it landed on a rubbish bag. More fortunate still that the Seine was no longer flooded, otherwise the phone would have been a goner. We rushed down the nearby steps to assess the damage. The rubbish bag was one of many heaped together in a kind of metal cage. Thankfully this cage-contraption was unlocked and open. In I walked and picked  my phone to see that the screen had survived but the back cover and battery were missing.

As usual, I was remarkably calm about the possible destruction of my phone. I think it’s a matter of practice.

The back cover was easily found, it was lying on the ground next to the rubbish bags. But of course, if the first part is simple, the second part will certainly not be. We began by kicking around the bin bags. This in turn involved uncovering sights and smells that should never be seen or smelled…….

By this point the BFF was disgusted and very much scarred. I was laughing hysterically. The ridiculousness of the situation was too much.

We decided to widen the search, we stepped outside the cage. Low and behold, there was the battery! Outside of the cage, quite a distance away from where the phone and back cover had landed. Again, – that phone had one hell of a fall!

We gathered ourselves together and tried to leave as discreetly as possible. We weren’t exactly successful. At least two people had witnessed the whole fiasco. One of them went back up the steps at the same time as us, and continued to cross Pont d’Iéna just as we did. There is no escape from watchful eyes.

Anyway, I put all three parts back together, held down the power button and – wait for it – the lil’ trooper turned right on. The date and time were out of whack, but that soon cleared up. Once again my phone had survived against the odds.

And while kicking over garbage bags on the banks of the Seine is not how anyone plans (or hopes) to spend their afternoon Paris, I’m not completely sorry it happened. It was definitely one for the memory books. And beside, a weekend with the BFF wouldn’t be complete without some kind of drama. Luckily for us, our drama is usually the kind to make us laugh for a long, long, long time afterwards.

Til Next Time,

Lie on the Walls,

But Ditch the Phones

Outsmarted By A Train Station

The trouble with train stations is that they often have more than one exit. So taking the first exit you see, often means ending up not all where you want to be. I thought I was starting to understand this. But no.

Saturday the 10th of February 2018. Another point on the line tracing my descent into utter foolishness. Or maybe its an ascent, and I’m working my way up to utter foolishness? Whatever the case, all I know is I spent one unnecessary hour milling around Val D’Europe train station.

*milling = freezing my a$$ off and regretting that morning’s decision to forego wooly tights.

On the other side of the station my friend was doing the same. Except she was wearing jeans – clever (ish) gal 😉

It was, of course, raining (woohoo Paris). But maybe it was a good thing. Otherwise I might have been foolish enough to try walk to her Airbnb. It turned out to be in a part of town I have been to, and so walking there would have been new level disaster.

I should mention that this whole situation could have been avoided had I have had data or even decent network connection. Having neither, it was not until I walked to the nearby shopping centre and connected to Wi-Fi that I realised our blunder.

Being the fools we are, we had planned to meet at the station but never specified which side. I assumed one side and she assumed the other. They say assumption is the cause of all chaos, and they are not wrong!

The other lessons learned were:

  • When making arrangement be specific! Do not assume.
  • For goodness sake’s gal, sort out your data package!

And while my toes were positively numb by the time we met, Rosé and dancing soon brought back the feeling. Our farcical meeting was the beginning of an even more senseless night. But you know, the senseless nights are often the best.



Thank you to the boy with the car who drove us home. We very well might have slept in the snow otherwise.

Much much love and more to Meganne for taking off my shoes and helping me to bed. I owe you garlic bread.

Til Next Time,

Embrace the Foolishness

La Sécurité et les Bonhommes de Neige

Last week Paris became a winter wonderland. Just like the one I had hoped for at Christmas. And so, Tuesday the 6th of February became a snow day and a park day! Just as the snow would disrupt the buses and  the RER (causing absolute mayhem and treks to and from work), it also left the park a little topsy turvy……

Firstly, the not so fun side of topsy turvy.

No Mickey Show.

No Dumbo.

No Maze.


No Big Thunder Mountain ( meaning, apart from a couple of boutiques and restaurants, Frontierland became a wasteland).




No Parade ( you know it’s serious when there’s no Parade).

The ice cream parlor in Fantasyland wasn’t open either. ( It’s been closed for months, but it’s still a bummer )


But it wasn’t all bad. Bella Notte still had star-shaped pizza and garlic bread ( GARLIC BREAD ).


And the snow brought out the creative side in many Cast Members.

Party hat or Unicorn horn?
“What happened to your name badge?” “Well………”

Do you wanna build a snow man?


Heck yeah!!


90 minute wait to see Snow White, No line at all for this lil cutie!


Better balance than me


La Sécurité is, as all good Cast Members will know, the most important of Disney’s four keys. This has never been so apparent as it was on Tuesday.

Warning signs everywhere.

ft Sleeping Beauty’s Castle



Stairs – the enemy



And I mean everywhere.





Wouldn’t want to slip while picking up some ears now, would we?

To be fair, people are very silly. And this silliness is multiplied when they come to Disneyland.



So filling the place with signs highlighting the risk of slipping was not without reason.

When you fail to follow your own advice


I have no doubt that people still managed to slip.

What a Trooper
Annette’s is worth the risk of falling

So there you have it, snow days at Disneyland Paris – snowmen and signs.

Til Next Time

Lau xx

Grime is Good

Belleville. Any search for ‘unusual/quirky/alternative things to do in Paris’ will undoubtedly pull up references to this gem nestled in the 20tharrondissment.

With its ever-growing collection of street art, and unpolished edges Belleville offers another view of the city. And while not completely under the radar, it has yet to attract throngs of tourists, souvenir stands and all the rest. As such this neighbourhood makes for a perfect Sunday morning stroll. 071

First impressions can say a lot. Belleville’s certainly does. Take Metro line 2/11 to Belleville and step above ground to be greeted by a neighbourhood boldly standing apart from the Paris of postcards.


There are no elegant buildings here, the café s don’t look like cafés and a flurry of languages mingle as one. The vibe is edgy, even a little dodgy and shifty – a place I maybe be wouldn’t want to wander through in the late evening.


Not far from Boulevard De Belleville lies a street that would pass right under your nose were its not for its abundance of graffiti works and murals. Viola Rue de Denoyez.




It is filled with colour, old and new pieces. While I was there some artists were at work, adding new voices to this hub of expression and ideas.




From Rue de Denoyez I walked up Rue de Belleville, changing course and taking side streets whenever something caught my eye (A Lot).



Along every street and around every corner lies some quirky little creation.




Place de Fréhel is another focal point of Belleville’s street art story.






My wander brought me to the look-out point that sits above Parc de Belleville. Another treasure in the this city of many, and to my mind a spot not to be missed. As ever in this neighbourhood, it overflows with thought-provoking images and colours.


And then of course the view. They say Paris always shines brightest when someone is watching and I’m beginning to see the truth in this. Seeing Paris’ most praised buildings from afar is always something special. Especially the Eiffel Tour which in my opinion is always looks best from a distance. basking in the glow of its oh-so intimate city. By all means, this quiet look-out point was an oasis of calm on a misty Sunday morning.


This neighbourhood has an energy that is tangible. It is as if you can feeling it growing as you walk through. In terms of the street art, the changes and evolutions happen right before your eyes. This neighbourhood is exciting and vibrant, with just enough grit and grime under it’s nails to give it a pulse.


Belleville – another page of the intricate story that is Paris, and one worth checking out.

Til Next Time

Embrace the Grime

Lau xx


*Spoiler: They’re all worth checking out 😉


Film, Oriental Couscous and Some Dudes

Tuesday 23rd January 2018.

My objective for the day was to find a roll of film for my camera.

The universe had other ideas….

 I thought I was getting the hang of finding places and reading maps, but it would seem I was mistaken.  I found a film-selling shop online and took a screenshot of its position on the map. 10 minute walk from Hôtel de Ville. Simple.

Not simple. The main streets marked on my (Google) map, were Rue de Rivoli and Rue des Archives. Rue de Rivoli is quite a long street and I walked along it, up and down – at least twice! The same for Rue des Archives. I wandered down side streets, back tracked and went round and round in circles. It was a nice wander and I saw lots of cool places and quirky stores (like Fleux – I wanna buy everything!). I also came across l’eglise St-Paul-St-Louis, a very serene, very calm place that I hope to return to. But I failed to find my destination, or anywhere selling film (why is it so difficult to find?)


 All that circling meant a pitstop was needed. An Auchan-bought-couscous-on-a-park-bench kind of pit stop. My kind of pit stop 😉

But again the universe had other ideas, it was time for a lesson in the language of B-A-C-K Back Off!

It went a little like this:

Me: *Sitting on bench, eating couscous, pondering the whereabouts of that dang shop*

Some Dude: *does not know me/plays no role in my life/ has no connection with me*

“Pourqoui tu manges ici toute seule?”

 Me: *sky high eye roll/ internal screaming/cursing men and park benches everywhere*

“Pourqoui pas?” It’s a free city man!

Some Dude: *underestimates how much  I like my Auchan quality oriental couscous*

 Tells me I should go eat pizza with him instead.

 Not even an invitation or suggestion, a direction, a command – “Viens manger un pizza avec moi.”


*Rejects his ahem ‘offer’*

“Non, ça va”

Why are you still here?! Why are you here at all?!?!

Some Dude:

*unable to imagine the possibility of a stranger not wanting to eat with him*

*accuses me of not liking pizza*

 “Tu aimes pas des Pizza?!”

 Me: *continues to eat couscous (I really do like couscous)*

“J’aime le couscous.”

Me: *decides to follow the ‘If you ignore it, it will go away tactic’*

Some Dude: *huffs, puffs, mumbles about pizza, looks hurt, eventually leaves*

Me: *Also leaves, finishes couscous at home* One girl and her Auchan-bought-oriental couscous can only take so much.

Where Some Dude and others like him get their brazen confidence I truly do not know. (I mean, accusing me of not liking pizza! Are you for real?!)But I do know that Some Dudes are everywhere, and so no matter where you go in this wide world you risk encountering one. Thus my friends, you too will learn the language of B-A-C-K Back Off!


*update: It’s Tuesday 30 January 2018, and today I succeeded in finding film. In a pretty little store called  Lomography , with super friendly and helpful staff. And all the strangers I came across today were nice, not creepy at all. The Universe works in mysterious ways y’all.*
Til Next Time
Lau xx