Photos of Paris
The French love their demonstrations. During my time in Paris in 2003, there were several large protests against the Iraq war at the time. You could see that the protestors’ general theme was anti-American.
It got a little dangerous of times. I remember at one stage people spotted an American flag in a window along the protest route. The found stones/pebbles and were trying to throw them up a few stories, to break that window.
I remember looking down one side street, and it was a wall of protest police at the end of it. In the end, though, it was generally a peaceful gathering.
I spent about nine months in Paris in 2003 on an internship in a small French software development company. I enjoyed carrying around my Canon film SLR with me, and probably had the backpack with me on most walks around the city.
Most of these photos are scans, since the originals were prints.
The year itself was an eyeopener for me (after spending a year studying in Paris a year before that). I found myself renting a studio apartment in a a building for “young workers and interns”. For whatever reasons, I was still growing up then – I was shy and didn’t reach out to people. Some weeks the only conversations I had were with my slightly irritated grumpy boss. I think if I were in that situation now I have so many more skills to deal with it positively.
The pay for this internship was €303 per month, which included a lunch voucher for each weekday. The rent with breakfast and dinner was around €400. My parents kept supporting me to cover the gap. There wasn’t much money, which was a great thing. My time was therefore spent going out, taking long walks, and enjoying the city for what it offered.
As a city, there was lots for me to see in Paris. Part of the good side of these photos is that I had to pluck up the courage a little to take them, as the people knew they were being photoed.
Chinese new year
This was a colourful event. What made it more interesting to me was that it was cold and miserable!
Gaël was an interesting lad. He was a young worker, living probably on the same floor as me in the highrise in Paris. His job was to maintain wind organs. He took me along to some of these places, like Hôtel national des Invalides. It was a real treat for me, because I was getting to see the roofs and private staircases and galleries that were not open to the public.
Gaël was a French man from the Loire area. He was up for speaking French to many of us foreigners, so he helped me with my French language a lot, just speaking at high speed to me. He introduced me to whiskey and some classical music. Funny lad, but very generous with his time and interest.
Summer in Paris
I moved to Paris in early Springtime. Whatever the reasons I didn’t settle in too well to my internship job (although I did see it through until that August). Summer was an upturn for me that year for sure. It gave me the chance to go out and explore, we had good fun, cheap wine, and late nights.