Exploring the 13th

I thought the pressure of blogging would be a great way to inspire myself to make the most of my weekends in this beautiful city. However, today I ended up doing exactly what I do every Saturday – namely shopping and eating. Oh well, baby steps I guess!

At least I conducted these activities in the 13th arrondissement, a part of Paris that still feels relatively new to me, despite being so close to Cite Universitaire. The 13th is known as Paris’ Chinatown and parts of it really do feel like another country (like if China and Vietnam had a baby with excellent taste in food).

Danlu and, in a a surprise twist, Kwame, both needed to do some shopping for Chinese ingredients, so we went to Tang Frères, a large and chaotic Chinese supermarket, which one of my guidebooks touts as “the most famous Asian supermarket” in Paris. Woah. I managed to walk out with just one box of mochi, but Kwame stayed in there for over an hour and in fact we never saw him again afterwards… (Kwame, are you alive?)

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Avenue d’Ivry dressed up for Chinese New Year



Near the entrance to Tang Frères

Danlu and I finished our day by eating some delicious fried spring rolls and pho with four (?) different types of meat, before stumbling upon what is now my favorite Monoprix in Paris (which is kind of a big deal).

I think this semester I have really opened my eyes to the shopping possibilities available in the area just outside Cite U (which sounds really silly, but it is such a relief to find something like a 24-hour pharmacy or a supermarket that is open on Sundays – it just makes life a little easier). Today was a good reminder that it is always worthwhile to spend a little extra time exploring (as it usually results in tasty food!).


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