Interview: Olga Ai talks Paris

Friday, October 16

Paris is an incredible city. It's one of those that can't leave you indifferent - when you board your flight, expect to either fall in love with it or hate it with every cell of your body. What do people that actually moved to Paris think of it now? I'm gonna be exploring this topic in a series of interviews, and the first person to answer my questions is Olga Ai.

Where are you from and how old are you? When and why did you move to Paris?
I'm 22 years old and I was born in the Siberian city of Tomsk where I lived for 10 years until my family and I moved from cold Russian Taiga to rainy St. Petersburg. I spent the last 1.5 years up in the air somewhere between St. Petersburg and Paris, but I'm proudly calling myself a full-time Parisian for already 8 months - I moved to the capital of France on the 1st of February 2015 to be together with my beloved boyfriend who I'm dating for 7 years now.
How well do you speak French and how/where did you learn it?
I can't really tell what my level is since I've never passed any exams, but I'd define it as conversational. However it's constantly improving, cause I'm studying in French and that means practice-practice-practice which eventually leads to the daily expansion of my vocabulary. I attended French courses for a year in St. Petersburg but they weren't very effective, so I pretty much started learning the language for real already after moving to Paris.
What do you do in Paris?
I wish I could say I'm eating croissants, watching the Eiffel Tower and drinking wine, but unfortunately I can't. Monday to Friday from 9.45AM to 6.30PM I'm in the uni where I'm getting my master's degree in Mathematical Modeling & Simulation.
What was it like - to move to a foreign country? How quickly did you adapt?
I didn't really pack and go, it was a long process and a conscious choice and therefore I can't say there was any sort of "adaptation". I lived in two different countries at once for two years, and then I just got myself one more home.
Name 3 things that you love Paris for:
I love everything about Paris cause I do still feel like a tourist here - for example, I always take a quick snap of the Eiffel Tower when I pass it by. But I think what I love the most, is the vast cultural program the city has to offer and the fact that's it's adapted to the needs of its citizens (there are bikes and parks everywhere). And I love the food!
Name your 3 favorite places to go to in Paris:
La Défense - little NYC in the heart of Paris. Hôtel de Ville - one building I can stare at for hours. And Jardin du Luxembourg - my very own time machine, just like in Midnight in Paris.
Where do you wanna go / what do you wanna try the most this month?
There are so many things happening all over town every weekend that it's very difficult to pick just one. I wanna go here and there, do this and also that... But at the moment I really wanna go see ballet or listen to opera, visit lovely Parisian suburbs and also the Picasso Museum.
Photos: @OlgaAi



  1. Самая жизнелюбивая и обаятельная парижанка, которую я знаю! Спасибо за интервью, Olga Ai. И спасибо интервьюеру за раскрытие такого характера)

    1. Арина, спасибо за комментарий! :) Да, проводить время с Олей - одно удовольствие, как и следить за её душевными историями под фото в Инста; сразу заряжаешься энергией и позитивными эмоциями! :)


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