Stupid title to emphasize the sheer stupidity of how long it took for my cheap, Calgarian umbrella to break. Hint: it didn’t take long. I threw it in a garbage can in frustration and used my scarf to keep my bangs dry for the rest of the walk home. Needless to say, I bought a new umbrella shortly after. It’s classy and black. It has a fancy curved handle and I feel that if I really needed to sail skyward, it could carry me wherever I please in a jiffy à la Mary Poppins. The crazy part is that I bought it at the Monoprix… which is a small grocery store that sells things at relatively inexpensive prices. So somehow a grocery store umbrella is making me feel like an absolute queen. And the difference in quality is remarkably better than my old parapluie (this one can handle a gust of wind).
I saw and experience some pretty poetic things today, so here’s a list of lovely happenings.
This song ^ is how I feel today.
AND I will be seeing Hozier in concert at the end of November when I finally meet my internet au pair pal Claire, of www.clairetheaupair.tumblr.com in person!!!
Life is strange and life is nice and today the sky looked like it was made of metal popcorn.
Last night (and this morning) was Nuit Blanch. I went with some other gals from Au Pair Paris. We started with wine and snacks along the Seine, and happily we chose a spot where a man was playing a trombone under a bridge. It was absolute poetry. It began to rain so we took refuge under a bridge and then took to the museums. We made our way through the giant line outside Hotel de Ville to see the installation, which was mindblowing, obviously. A salt maze covering the floor of a beautiful room with a chandelier. And the design on the floor had been done all by hand. After that, we headed over to the Latin Quarter to find (hopefully) food. By this time it was late and we were starving and nowhere was serving coffee or food. Finally, we ended up in a “New York Karaoke and Pizza Bar” that was still serving. We didn’t sing, but we did eat pizza. And it was perfect. The rest of the Night we spent around the Panthéon and saw some interesting film installations. I hit a point around 3am where I knew it was time to go. I had wanted to do the whole 12 hours, and see the sun rise, but decided to take a Night Bus home. Apparently, not all buses are night buses, so my plans were quickly foiled. I google mapped the distance from the apartment, and it was going to take me 1 hour and 14 minutes to walk. So I did. And it was very Owen Wilson-y at times, and very scary at others. And then after a better-than-mediocre-but-not-amazing Nuit Blanch experience, my night ended with typical Paris being its typical, lovely self, and giving me a 4am friend. We were walking in the same direction along the Seine. There weren’t a lot of people around, and the nervous vibes were flowing. She looked about my age, maybe older. I was glad to be walking near someone else. I ended up asking if she’d been doing Nuit Blanch activities as well-she had-and we ended up continuing the talk until we reached the 8ieme arrondissement, where, coincidentally, we both live. It rained on us on the walk home, but she complimented my French-speaking abilities and we talked about Paris and school and she was wonderful. We exchanged numbers, and parted ways.
Kind of one of those nights where everything just lined up perfectly. And there was rain. And we did strange things and went to quirky places. And we had our thoughts provoked by film installations! It was all so lovely and I’m glad I went. Glad I’m in Paris, even if it’s occasionally lonely and very cold right now.
Hilarity ensued today when the littlest girl I look after tried to explain something to me. We were sitting at the dinner table, eating our desserts. She tried very hard, but I just wasn’t grasping whatever she was trying to tell me. She quickly became frustrated and exclaimed that “tu comprends RIEN.” My first reaction was to laugh. This made her even more frustrated and she yelled “C’EST PAS DRÔLE,” to which I replied, still laughing, “Yes it is. C’est très drôle.” And then she started laughing too. And we both laughed about the fact that there are things that we will never be able to say to each other. It gets extra funny when I try to explain why she’s not allowed to do something, or why something she did was bad, because my vocabulary is limited. And sometimes there are key verbs that I need to say, and I just don’t know them. So I have to act out the thing. Or if that is not appropriate, I have to say it in English, or attempt explain it in French. It’s a mess. And it’s funny. And you can love a child without always knowing how to communicate with them. Who would have thought that was possible?
It is with great sadness that I report the loss of my title as THE QUEEN OF BACK TO SCHOOL. Today was my first day of my obligatory french classes. I’m still a total idiot at the metro, so my feet are my primary means of transportation. I left the apartment at 7h15… for my 8h class… but about 8 minutes into my walk I realized I had left my student card at home, and unlike my high school student cards, this student card was also my timetable. So like… classroom number and building because the school has two locations. I RAN back home to get it. Climbed the 5 flights of stairs, shed my leather jacket, grabbed my card and I was off again. By this time it was… I forget. But I was going to be LATE. And I was a sweaty mess from running. It was after running a great deal more that I realized that I was on the right street, but I had gone in the WRONG DIRECTION. I was 20 minutes away from the school à pied… and it was 7h51. Of course, I had the typical lateness anxiety, but there was also the distinct fear of not knowing the culture of french schools and their treatment of lateness. In Canada, I would know what to expect. It wouldn’t be the end of the world, I would apologize and assure the teacher, good-naturedly that it would not happen again. And it wouldn’t. Here, I was terrified that that wasn’t going to fly, and I was going to be publicly shamed/detested for the year/not allowed to enter the room. I was on the verge of tears when a lady who was sweeping the sidewalk outside her restaurant asked me if I was okay. I explained, panting and half-crying, that I was going to be en retard for my first day of school, and I had just sprinted for 10 minutes in the wrong direction down the right street. I asked her where I could find a taxi. She pointed, and I ran. My taxi driver was nice, but I think my distress made him nervous. I fogged up the back seat window with my sweatiness. The taxi ride was only 6 euros. And then I walked into school, cool as a cucumber, alongside ANOTHER GIRL who was also 5 minutes late. Basically just a series of ridiculous events that were all completely my fault. And I probably only half-learned the lesson that needs to be learned, because it all ended up being completely fine.
The other reason I can’t be THE QUEEN OF BACK TO SCHOOL anymore, is that my outfit was totally subpar. In theory, it was okay, maybe even kind of cool, but it wasn’t a perfect first-day ensemble. Also SWEATY. So sweaty. Ugh. I used to be so good at planning the perfect back to school outfit (the trick is to look great, but not fantastic, on the first day, and then to look FANTASTIC on the second day). I also used to leave so early that being late literally COULD NOT happen. But alas, now I’m a mess who can’t dress, and a clementine who can’t leave-on-time. Ha! Awful rhymes!
Can you tell that I didn’t get much sleep last night? Because I didn’t. I woke up every hour for no apparent reason. And I got up this morning with the sorest of necks. Tonight better be better.
Please don’t fear for my sanity, friends/family/readers. I am fine and tired, and forever adoring Paris. Although I find that the more sleep-deprived and grumpy I am, the smellier the city becomes…