Jan 1, 2024
I'm not doing a good job of tackling my jet lag, and it didn't help that last night was New Year's Eve. I didn't have any plans (really the theme of the new year) so I couldn't have predicted what happened.
I met up with a friend I hadn't seen in 8+ years! Originally from Germany, she went to high school with us for one year and now lives in Ireland. She was visiting Paris for the weekend, so we got crepes and walked around looking at all the Christmas lights and real estate windows.
She left for a friend's party and I decided to take myself up to Chez Dylan, a restaurant owned by some family friends, where they were in full party mode! No room for me to sit (I wasn't looking for food anyway), they let me sit at the bar and people watch for the next several hours!
The tables were packed and I heard every language under the sun, including a few I didn't recognize. I ran out at 9pm to grab a burger from the Five Guys in Gare du Nord (keeping on trend with the decidedly un-French food, I know, we'll get there). We toasted at 11pm with the girl behind the bar who was celebrating New Year's in the Ukraine. At midnight I went to call my mom, six hours behind, and the table of Germans got up and started dancing! Everybody got a glass of champagne.
When the dinner service ended, the friends my age took me with them to a house party in the suburbs. If you look closely, the karaoke in that moment was Don't Speak by No Doubt. And if that wasn't enough, around 3am we went back to Paris and descended into a nightclub that I was severely underdressed for in my wool sweater and boots. Hey, I left the house at 2pm for crêpes with no intention of ending up underground listening to techno at 5am but there's a first time for everything.
Honorable mentions include the French guy I met who traveled all over South America painting murals for his job, the pilot from Bordeaux now living in Paris, and the student from London currently living in Bordeaux. I told him he was the fourth person from Bordeaux I'd met in one day, and he told me I was the fourth person in the club he'd met from LA. I'm seeing a trend.
I left my friends still dancing at 6:30, hell bent on going back to my own bed (although I'm sure their couch is lovely and French). My uber driver asked where my accent was from and then proceeded to point out all the monuments we passed on our way home, giving me a grand tour through the empty streets of Paris. When he dropped me off, I could hear the birds waking up.
Cheers to my friends in LA who were a whopping 9 hours behind, I almost made it to your New Year too.