Bonjour mes amis!
It is time for an update on my next segment of my Paris Adventure.
Firstly and most importantly, I have finally found a job!!! I am a nanny for a Finnish Family (yes, this is bad for my French) but I was getting so desperate that I needed a job ASAP. They are a lovely family who live in the 16th arrondissement which is a really nice area of Paris near the parks etc. The house is HUGE… actually it’s rather small but by Paris standards it’s big! Like maybe the size of my bottom storey at my house in Martinsville.
Anyway so they pay is not great but I need to just get past it and realise that I am not here to make money, I am here to learn French so I need to not worry.
So I am looking forward to having a bit of routine and a reason for existing here. I was getting so sick of being a tourist. I may sound like a brat but there are only so many things you can see and so much walking you can do here in Paris.
I am so grateful for my time here, however, there are times where it would be very easy for me to say (especially in the last few days) that I just want to go home and back to what I know.
The fact that the man at the Ice Cream Shop served my ice cream in the WRONG way and not how New Zealand Natural at Tuggerah/Cold Rock would do it, should not bring someone to tears but I guess this is the joy of living away from everyone and everything you love. I knew it would be difficult especially at first but I know that if I don’t stick it out and push on then I will look back and regret it.
In saying that, I have also had some great days. I have made quite a few friends and have joined lots of ‘groups’. I have never known myself to be so extroverted but I’m sure this is just because I am in unfamiliar territory. You sort of have to put yourself out there when you know no one! None of my friends are French, which is terrible for my French but they are just damn rude. haha… They aren’t rude in the way that everyone says they are, the ones I have had encounters with lovely people (such as the grocer at my local ‘epicerie’) who are exceptionally helpful and love helping me out with my french but when it comes to making friends with girls my own age then that is a different story. They don’t have time for foreigners such as myself and won’t even give me the time of day when I try to start up conversation. Yes I admit, I wouldn’t want to have a conversation with an Asian with terrible English on City Rail either but it has made me see these people in a whole new light now I am one of them!
I have also made an oath with myself to be nice as pie to visitors when i return home and go to Regen or church. Actually anywhere really, I will be including people left, right and centre. There is nothing worse than being that person in the room who knows no one yet no one will come and chat or even attempt to make you feel included. Stef and I know this feeling as “Mr Cellophane” and that has been my middle name at a lot of social events here in Paris. Usually, it turns out alright as I will go and interrupt someone’s conversation before I throw myself overboard (I have mainly socialised on boats on the Seine which is quite convenient for this awkward times). For anyone who has read the book ‘Almost French’ by Sarah Turnbull, I can confirm that the majority of that book is accurate for an Australian living in Paris. I am by no means a ‘big drinker’, however, in comparison to the French I’m an alcoholic. Although, where the French lack in their drinking they make up for in their smoking. It is absolutely terrible. You see a girl who looks to be like a ‘good girl’ and she pulls out her packet of Marlboros and starts chuffing away while she sips on her espresso. Who under the age of 50 even drinks espresso’s anyway??? It’s like they just all conform to what is ‘cool’ or whatever which I suppose is true in all cultures. I’m sure us Australians have our own cliché type cultural conformities.
The weather in Paris is quite stifling at the moment. I absolutely love it hot but feel ripped off that there is no beach to go and cool off. Not sure if I have mentioned or if any of you know about “Paris Plage”, but it is not a substantial substitute! When I first arrived in Paris I thought it was a cool little novelty, now after my time here and after becoming Australia’s number one advocate I think of it as very superficial and silly. For those that don’t know, “plage” means beach and this is where there is sand placed on the banks of the Seine with umbrellas and deck chairs and people lay out and pretend they are lying on Cathos or Lakes. You would think that the tourist would flock to this cause its a quaint idea but actually it’s the Parisians that are actually sucked into this novelty which I find quite weird. Not to mention that you can’t even swim in the filthy Seine anyway so you just get that horrible feeling of sweat and sand after ‘laying out’ (Hawaiian girls talking the lingo).
I have slowly learnt to love the place where I am living and I’m sure after a few months I feel more and more at home and will learn to stop comparing everything single detail to Australia. Yes I am biased but it truly is the best place in the world to live. I feel like one of those patriotic Americans but I now know what it feels like to love your country. Speaking of my country, when do I get to find out who is leading us? I went out of my way to visit the embassy here to make my vote count but apparently Parliament is ‘hung’ whatever that means!
Anyway much love to you all from your ‘correspondant parisienne’