Tuesday, 14 September 2010

The Green Man Has Fallen

The Green Man has no power here in Paris, he is a figure to be ignored, ridiculed, hated even, but never taken seriously. I have always been a strong advocate of the Green Man, choosing to wait at a crossing for thirty minutes even when I am late and there are no cars on the horizon. Once you have decided to wait for the Green Man, it's like you have resigned yourself to fate, you don't have to try and cross in between cars or make any decisions about running in front of slow cars. You don't even feel stupid for waiting at the crossing when there are clearly no cars because you are Waiting For The Green Man. You can relax and feel confident, knowing all your decisions are in the hands of the Green Man.

But it is not so in Paris!! He wields no power on these tree-lined avenues! I have known Green Men who shone proudly, encouraging young children and sometimes baby rabbits to skip across their crossing with confidence, because they knew no car would dare to cross them, 'Not on my watch!' they would say.

Alas, there are no such Green Men in Paris. Motorcycles and cars rev in the face of the Green Man's authority and they roar across in the manner of Mad Max extras. English au pairs are forced to hop on and off the pavement like scolded morris dancers, clutching at the little hands of their two charges, who look at their au pair incredulously and say 'Do not cross! There are cars!'

'Well the cars should show some fucking respect and stop at the fucking Green Man!' I want to scream.

But I don't, I don't.

Apart from the Green Man fiasco, today went o.k. Except I didn't know I had to take the children to school in the morning, but after being woke up at quarter past eight and told that I must, I now know. The children knew the way which was excellent as I had no idea and by some miracle I found my way back home!

I didn't know what to do with myself then. I was faced with a whole day with nothing to do and something told me that as I was in Paris I should not nap like my brain was begging me to, but go forth and explore.

I walked to the Eiffel Tower because I could see it, much in the same way you can see the Radio City Tower in Liverpool from most places, so even if you are lost in Aigberth, Walton or Toxteth, you can find your way back to the centre. Of course the Radio City Tower is slightly more crap than the Eiffel Tower which, after visiting it this morning, I can say is not crap at all.

I didn't go up it though, I thought 'one step at a time, remember what happens when you try to do things? Bad things happen.'

I also had to be back for lunch, which was slices of cucumber. After I'd finished, the dad was like 'You have finished?!' and it turns out the cucumber was only the beginning bit of lunch, but by then it was too late because I had washed up my plate like a FOOL so I had to pretend I wasn't hungry. I may sound like an idiot, but bear in mind last night for dinner we just had shredded carrot with balsamic vinegar and when offered more I said 'No, no', thinking 'Better save something for the main!' and then I went to bed hungry and confused because there was no main.

So, with all this cucumber and carrot and walking I should hopefully be a Thin Person when I come home.

I took some pictures of the Eiffel Tower and also a Bride and Groom, because I saw a a pair. And a building covered in grass because I saw on of those too and it's not often that you do.


  1. oh tabs! the story about the main course! what a tease. that story is surely one of the nightmares of au pairing that you can only imagine in books and films but that came true for you haha! loving reading your blog chum!and great pics! the bride pic caught my eye! what camera are you using?
    goodluck, enjoy and go for it! DO get lost and explore, never know where it might take you, but do be safe!!! you will be pleased to know i have too, applied for au pair world haha lets hope a family likes me, i need to get out of this place! and see the sights!
    so here is a tune to make you happy and nostalgic, this tune makes me feel like im standing on the steps in eden. ok so it wont let me post the link but youtube - tensnake - coma cat!!!! such an ibiza anthem!!! <3

  2. Yeah, the number of times as an exchange student or just a guest in another world of food culture, I know exactly what this point-of-no-return an hunger is. And now that I might go au paring in Paris this summer, I am afraid, and almost certain, that it will happen again..

  3. Well, at least there are nice restaurants in Paris to escape to! Thanks for commenting!