Sunday, 12 September 2010

Awkard Times From Paris...

I'm here! Writing from my room in Paris, on the Left Bank. This is so strange, I don't even have anything to say. The family I am staying with and will be working for are really nice, but I have a sense of forboding about this week. My French is a hundred times worse than I thought and so is my sense of direction. I ended up trying to buy a metro ticket from an airline company and then wasted an hour going up and down in various lifts because for some reason not all the lifts go to all the levels at Gare Du Nord: Train Station for Psychics.

In one of my lift adventures, me and this very old man who was chain-smoking got talking because quite frankly, when you are nose to nose with someone for that amount of time and being bounced up and down and laughed at by cruel locals (one of whom I'm sure shouted 'sweaty' at me, he said 'grasse' or maybe 'greasy' with a French accent?) you either strike up a conversation or let the humiliation rise up and drown you in a tsunami of transport-related shame.

I say we got talking, I mean he spoke to me in French and I answered 'non', 'pardon' and 'je sais pas' etc trying to sound as French as possible until he said 'You are English too? For you it must be very confusing.' I think he meant the lift system, not life, although life does confuse English people too, namely this English person. A few questions I have are:

Why am I here? What am I doing? And why did I pack sixty hair bobbles but no travel adapter???

I need the toilet DESPERATELY and I want a brew and I want to brush my teeth (yes, in that order) but I crept out of my room a minute ago and all is quiet, so has everyone gone to bed? My bedroom has a glass door by the way, oh and the bathroom doesn't have a lock on it, but I assume the universe is just making sure I have enough opportunity in life to be stared at by young children whilst showering and/or walk in on an elderly French relative having 'le merde'.

There was a random door shut in the hall, does this mean 'YOU SHALL NOT PASS' or have they shut the door because they think I am sleeping? This is too much uncomfortableness for me to bear, I think I will just go to bed unsatisfied and hope I don't wet the bed or anything. Oh god what if I randomly wet the bed? What if I am like a dog and the change of environment instils a subconcious sense of traumatic anxiety in me and it manifests itself in the form of soaked sheets? Soaked French sheets! Soaked Parisian sheets!

In case you were wondering, Paris is lovely, exceedingly historical and inspiring blah blah blah I HAVE NO IDEA. I came from St Michel to here and I was so sweaty from carrying my world weight champion luggage that I daren't look up in case somebody else yelled 'GRASSE/GROSS/GRASS/GREEZY/' or whatever they yelled.

Did I mention I got lost in London, walked to Camden instead of St Pancras from Euston, so I'm looking forward to taking the kids to school tomorrow! I'm sure I'll find it no probs, and if I can't find it, I'll just ask someone for directions in my impeccable French, non?

On the plus side, I am in Paris!!!!

Just heard the unmistakable clinks of washing up, I'm going to go for it.


  1. lmao. I think this exactly how every first-time au pair feels.

  2. Thanks for commenting! When I look back on this day it seems so long ago, makes me feel nervous about starting the whole au pair business again in two weeks!

  3. Hello again, not sure why I posted that under chimpy instead of Lewis. Wooops.

    But yeah, I was feeling exactly the same way the evening before I commented. Even now I feel awkward walking around in my room if it's late because the floor creaks and I feel like everyone's going to wake up and it'll be my fault D:

    Well at least it seems this new family you're with are nicer than the old ones! I've been with my family for about 2 and a half weeks now. Starting to get into a bit of a nice rhythm... which just means I'm waiting for the next thing I'm going to fuck up. Hurrah!

  4. The floor creaking thing used to get me with my first family, it is so difficult living with the family. I'm glad I don't anymore, well done for managing it, I couldn't do more than a month in the end!

  5. Oh you changed families after a month? Weren't they pissed?

  6. I don't know I didn't ask! Serves them right for being nobheads.

  7. Lollll

    You can email here if you want :) chimpy at (I wasn't able to find a contact link on here?)