Thursday, November 18, 2010

8 tiny weeks in, adjusted to tiny Paris life?

I only have 2 chairs, so when there's 3 for tea someone has to perch on the stairs.
I met some French people!
Friends of friends, who are all lovely and hopefully I can keep in touch with. Failed completely (again) at speaking french, although not completely my fault as I distinctly remember one of them trying to get me to talk in french and then peeing himself laughing at my 'really funny' accent. Confidence fairly shattered, thanks for that. Anyway, so now I've been to a house party/pre-drinks down in Boucicault, and had a dance somewhere aound the Tour Montparnasse. And I've eaten my way through the treats my friend Alex brought over from Scotland- Tunnocks Teacakes, Caramel Wafers, Hobnobs and Chocolae Digestives. And I've run out of teabags!! But it's ok, only 3 more days then I can stock up in London. The shopping list is growing since I had a cheese-on-toast craving that only cheddar will satisfy, and then I remembered about Marmite...

Anything else to add? I've also had a fever, recovered, bought stamps, and bought a French film that I'm off to watch now. 'Huit Femmes', it's by the same director as 'Potiche' and I enjoyed that last week even though I missed a lot of the jokes and 99% of the words. Oh also, this week I came joint first in a pub quiz, with Laura and Olivia. Go Nannies!

A bientot!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The last weeks have (again) been quite eventful, hence another packed update.

The kids had 2 weeks of holidays, so it's quite nice now they're back at school 4 days a week I don't have to think up activities for whole days, just remember to get them to and from school/babygym/swimming/calligraphy at the right times with the appropriate bags.
Someone scoffed at me yesterday for being tired after a shift- he obviously has never looked after 3 and 5 year old boys who, within half an hour while putting their shoes and coats on to go out, cried 6 times between them. Most of the fuss was because 3 year old wanted to stand on the chair to unlock the door, but I said he had to move the chair as it was blocking the door to get to the bathroom, coats and shoes that we needed. Hence tantrums 1, 2 and 3, for each time he explained what he wanted and I explained why it wasn't possible and he realised I was a horrible chair-moving monster. When finally ready to leave, football and bottles of water in my bag and all gloves on, 5 year old decides to jump up and unlock the door ahead of his brother. (Tantrum 4.) Numbers 5 and 6, one each, happen when I lock it again and sit down with my back against the door. No-one gets to go to the park unil the crying has ceased!

But after an hour and a half in the park they were little angels again and I had a hundred kisses before bedtime, and a story read to me in English. Happy days.

In my long weekends I feel like I've been fairly adventurous with Paris, exploring a bit more.
Things to add to the list of non-typically-touristy things I have done in Paris
1. Watching an all-french tennis match at Bercy stadium in the first round of the BNP Paribas Masters
2. Going to an exhibition at the Cinemateque Francaise (for free thanks to a friend), in French, about hair in cinema.
3. Seeing 'Potiche' - a French film in French, on a discount night at a cinema in the 13th
4. Browsing and buying books for 2euros at a sale at the American Library
5. Browsing the shops at La Defense- the biggest shopping centre in the world. At least that's what it felt like.

Tourist list tick-offs:
1. Chatting over a 6euro cappucino at Les Deux Magots,  Saint Germain. Had to do it once!

I've also found a pub! The first place that feels like a pub and not a bar, somewhere you can sit in a jumper with a pint and not feel like a scruff. Handily, it's on my street just up past the Pantheon, has a Scottish barman, shows tennis and rugby, and plays great music. Unfortunately, it's 6euro for a pint. Can't have everything...

So another Friday night is here and it should be fun- I'm going to meet Alex (a good friend from art school in Glasgow) who's in town visiting her French friends, and attempt to coordinate meeting up with other au pairs and couchsurfers and people we've met between us all on nights out. It might work, might not.

And seeing as it's getting hideously close to Christmas, I've booked my flights and am looking forward to 2 whole weeks at home in December! Don't know if the French do mince pies?