October 27, 2010
Elite's Ksenia Mezenina
I arrived on Sunday and the driver picked me up from the airport and dropped me off at a
very beautiful building where I am supposed to live for the next little while. I came in, went
through one door, then a little nice courtyard, then another door, and there I saw these long...
high... stairs!!! And I had to get to the last floor.
Thank God there was an elevator - one of
those old ones with a door you open yourself. I opened the door, tried to get inside
and realized I had to stand really - like really - close to the wall to get inside with
my bag. This was the smallest elevator I have ever seen! Ever!
The apartment is really cute and big! To my surprise each girl has her own room! That's
a big deal, especially for Europe! Wow! Full kitchen with dishwasher and all appliances, nice
bathroom, TV in the room, a big living room. Very impressive. Except the internet here is really
bad! I can only go online at the agency, catch wi-fi at home (but it disappears every
two minutes) or find by chance a café with wi-fi, but there aren't many of those. Even
Starbucks' wi-fi is weird! Today, I found an internet café, but you can't use your own
computer and the place is not very pleasant.
Something that is awesome is we have a cat in our apartment! Her
name is City, just like the name of the agency. They found her and brought her here to live. She
is adorable. She has an attitude but is kind enough to come to you and let you pet her.
Once I got to Paris it started raining, so another Russian model - Anastasiya, who is my neighbor - and I waited for the rain to stop and went for a walk. We
decided to go to District 5 (5e arrondissement), boul Saint-Germain, to the Pathéon, Bastille Square, the Latin District and a bunch of beautiful little streets.
When it got darker we saw the Eiffel Tower from afar and on the way back we came out towards Notre Dame,
which was a nice surprise.
There are a few weird things in this city: to go to the bathroom in McDonalds,
you had to pay one Euro. To go to the bathroom in Starbucks, you have to take your receipt,
punch in a special key code, and only then can you open the door. To get out of the
bathroom, you have to find a special button, otherwise the door won't open... amusing, eh?
Also, you know how Paris is famous for all those cafés having tables outside on the
walkway? Well, those tables and chairs are still out, full of people chilling there in +5, +10°C!
You know why? Because they have special heating lamps, to keep the customers
warm! Love it!
On Monday I went to meet my agency and get further directions from them. City is located near Champs-Élysée and is so spacious and beautiful, with a lot of big rooms, very
tall ceilings and gorgeous to-die-for crown moldings! Everyone was extremely nice. We went to
get a French phone for another new girl - Martha - and me, and a metro pass. We walked to Champs-&Yeacute;lysée, saw The Arc de Triomphe, passed by Ladurée (but I didn't have time to get my macaroons).
Afterwards, we went back to the agency and I got my portfolio organized for Paris. They told
me that I would have to develop my book here, so I went to meet a photographer (who was
Canadian) with whom I might be shooting a beauty creative. The space was next
to the Eiffel Tower, so I went to visit her, did a few photos and walked towards Place des Invalides. It is so so beautiful there! The architecture in this city just blows me away.
After that, I sat down at the café on the corner. It was
beautiful since I could see a bit of the Eiffel Tower, people were walking by and it was
heated. Plus they had free wi-fi. I was hoping to have lunch and read a French magazine - at
least try to read it. I ate there quickly while talking on skype with
my grandma, then went to another casting with a Milano agency.
This was the day when I felt simply stupid at least 20 times! Why? Not because I was
trying to speak French and couldn't understand what Parisians were saying, but because I travelled
a lot around the city, and every time I would come out from the 'metro' I would get lost. First,
every metro stop has a bunch of exits on different streets. Second, when you finally get outside,
although I have a map and I can see where to go, I never know if I have to go right or left. And I
chose right over left every time it was supposed to be the opposite, and vice versa...
On Tuesday I went back to the agency where I was told that I would have a few creatives in the next few days, so my book would be more "Paris."
After visitng the agency, I decided to go to Montmartre and enjoy Paris from the top! I forgot why I loved Montmartre initially, but I was reminded why today. When you come out
from the metro 'blanche', you see Moulin Rouge and then you have to walk all the way to the
top of the hill, through these cute tiny streets with a bunch of cute shops! After, you come out to
a little square where all the Parisian artists are gathered selling beautiful
paintings. There are cafés all around the square, and looooads of tourists, which didn't bother
me. From there you go around the corner and this breathtaking view of Paris opens up in front of
you. You turn around and there is Sacré-Coeur. I checked it out inside, took few pictures of
the panorama, then sat down on the stairs of the Basilica. From there I watched people,
enjoying the sunshine, listening to musicians and taking pictures. Then, an old man started
playing 'Belle' from the Notre Dame de Paris musical on the violin. It was so beautiful! Afterwards
he played 'Kalinka-Malinka,' some other French songs and a waltz. I was getting hungry but I
didn't want to leave, so I decided to go quickly grab a glass of wine and a crêpe! I
brought it all back to the steps of Sacré-Coeur and continued watching the street performances and listening to beautiful music, while enjoying the sun and the view.
Voilà! These are my adventures in Paris so far. I will keep you updated... just wish me luck, please!
Ksenia Mezenina is an Elite model, currently with City in Paris.