Thursday, 28 April 2016

Positive Thinking

Recently life had been getting me down a little bit from the emotional realisation that in a few short weeks I shall be out of formal education and in the big wide world to the stress of the final exams I will hopefully ever have to take it has been a tumultuous few weeks. However today on a little wander I had to go and treat myself to a cheeky coffee I decided something. There’s only so much that we can change. I am a great believer in fate and I happen to believe that everything happens for a reason but something today changed ever so slightly for me. After struggling with my mood and various other issues over the past few months I’ve decided to make a concerted effort to be more positive. CBT or cognitive behaviour therapy is all about changing the way you think about certain situations which could and several books that use the teachings of the founders of this philosophy have been helping me recently. My personal motto now thanks to a book I read to try and help me to sleep better is that “Thoughts aren’t facts.” This really struck me as such an obvious but helpful phrase to remember in times of stress and anxiety. Before a recent exam that I was particularly worried about I kept repeated it over and over to myself to quash the feeling that I was going to fail. Surprisingly it worked! I walked out of the exam feeling like I had given it my best shot.

Positive thinking may sound like a naff idea to many; in fact all of this self-help stuff has always riled my more cynical side but using these kinds of ideas in your everyday life can help you for the better. As a modern languages student I think that you need quite a lot of positive thinking particularly when you live abroad because every day you can find yourself in situations where your confidence is knocked from the man on the till in the supermarket replying to you in English as soon as you open your mouth to the daily culture shock one encounters when you realise folks on the continent can’t queue. I’ve decided not to let these little knocks to my confidence stop me from feeling happy about myself and to make the most of the short time I have left being a student. 

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Asian Food In Paris

Revising for exams at home the same time that Masterchef and The Great British Bake Off Crème de la Crème are back on our televisions is not exactly conducive for keen concentration on my work. However I have decided to channel this energy into something useful! A cheeky guide to my favourite Asian restaurants in Paris. This may seem like a crazy suggestion; surely everyone wants to eat French food when they come to Paris? However when my Mum and I visited Paris together to view my first ever flat we decided that you don’t always have to eat French food in France after finding an incredible authentic tapas bar. In fact you can find some of the best multicultural cuisine in the world in Paris.
My first recommendation I basically a recommendation for an entire street. Rue Saint Anne is the heart of the Japanese quarter in Paris and you can get some of the best ramen I have ever tasted there. My personal favourites are Sapporo for Katsu curry at the counter while you watch the chefs perfect their broth and Aki bakery for a yuzu éclair which is the perfect mix of French and Japanese culinary skills. It never hurts to pop further down the road to the supermarket where you can get tens of different varieties of instant noodles and exotic vegetables.
Next we head to Korea for a chilled out restaurant that is soon becoming my go to place for relaxed dining. I recently went for my anniversary meal and I can say that we were definitely not disappointed with the quality of the food. They specialise in Korean Fried Chicken which we had with sides of rice topped with kimchi and nori as well as well-crafted cocktails. I was torn between the Nice Legs and the Thug Life, who can resist names like them? At the top of Rue Saint Denis this establishment is unassuming but pumps out some of the most amazing food I have ever had in such a wonderful atmosphere I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Finally I’d like to recommend a place that I can’t actually remember the name of! Situated on Rue Bayen in the 17th arrondissement this restaurant does some of the best Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwiches of crusty French baguettes filled with pickled carrot, ginger and gorgeous beef or chicken). The dangerous thing about this place is that is it so damn reasonable and happens to be next door to my boyfriend’s apartment which makes it so tempting to just order in for dinner instead of cooking!
Now my taste buds are tingling after conjuring up the memories of these delicacies I’m going to have to go and have a few dozen cups of tea to quench my cravings!