Thursday, 31 March 2011
I think I have body dysmorphia, but the opposite kind that anorexics get. When I look in the mirror I see a thinner version of the real me. I see someone who can squeeze into size six jeggings when in reality even my fat arms wouldn't fit in them.
After a lot of huffing and puffing around in Clare's wardrobe, I still have NOTHING to wear on Saturday. I know it's the experience that counts and not what you wear but still... ARGHHHHH! I was going to go shopping tomorrow morning to get some shoes, but I didn't get paid so NICE ONE. Guess I'll just go to London in my bare feet, because all of my shoes are fucked apart from my big brown boots and I can't wear my big bloody brown boots on Saturday can I?!
Oh fuck off, I don't care if everyone has bigger problems than me. I have no clean clothes and no shoes and no money. Just sent the mum of the family a text. Not a rude text, but I did tell her I NEEDED my wages today and I'm supposed to get paid on the last day of the month. I feel bad asking for my wages because I'm such a shit au pair, but how else can I buy all the mojitos I need?
It is an established fact now that I am Shit Au Pair, but it kind of works in my favour. Last week I made a quiche and the mum of the family text me saying 'Congratulations on your quiche! It was great!' and then she text me saying 'Congratulations for your little house! It is great!' when me and the little boy made a little house out of lego and we left it in the middle of the living room because we were (I was) so proud of it.
The sad thing is I can just imagine her complaining to her work colleague over lunch: 'She is just so Shit at everything. I don't know what to do.' and her work colleague will have said 'Why don't you try positive reinforcement? You know, praise her all the time and build her confidence.' The next thing you know I am being congratulated for remembering to defrost meat. No really, I got a text saying 'I saw you took meat out of the freezer for tomorrow lunch, well done, this is great!'
But life is so much easier when people think you are stupid, they don't expect as much from you and you can get away with things because it's not your fault- you are stupid. On Wednesday the mum gave me a bit of a telling off, but a nice one. She just said that when things go wrong I must tell her straight away. Like the cake for instance that was supposed to be for the oldest girl's school and I cut into it to take some slices for the after school gouter. She said that she had to run round Paris at half ten at night looking for a shop that was open so she could buy eggs to make more cake. She said 'I know it's my fault because I did not leave a note and if there is no note you will eat it. I don't care if you eat it but please you must tell me so I can make another one.'
I couldn't be arsed explaining that I didn't eat half a giant chocolate cake, that someone else had made, myself. I think it's best if they think I'm a greedy cake-stealing idiot, that way they won't be too disappointed when I inevitably fuck up or eat something I'm not supposed to. Hmm. She's not replied to my text. Maybe she is running around Paris trying to find a cash machine. I should be so lucky. I won't get my wages until tomorrow night now, by which time it will be too late to put the money- Fuck. Just got a text from her:
Yes I will. (I asked her if she could leave the money for me in the morning.)
The cleaner is coming tomorrow please can you tidy the children's bedrooms and the toy cupboard so you can play with toys in the holidays. Also do well the bed because there is a lot of dust.
Hmm. The only snag in her master plan is that I am going shopping tomorrow to buy some shoes for Saturday.
Wednesday, 30 March 2011
Still, if Claire could travel from Manchester to spend just one night in Paris with me and Lauren, then the least I could do was not cut her one night short.
We had planned to go for tea somewhere around Bastille, but we got sidelined on the way from the metro. I can't remember the name of the first place we went in but I need to find out because most of the cocktails were 5,50 euros in Happy Hour, which lasted until 9pm. Lauren recommended the Mojito In Love which we all loved and I think that's why we got hooked on mojitos. Between us we had eighteen. I don't know if that's excessive or not- there were three of us. Do English girls really drink too much? Six cocktails each doesn't seem a lot to me.
Anyway, after our lovely Mojitos In Love we went to Charlotte Bar. (If you click on the link by the way, make sure you turn your sound off, unless you want the Black Eyed Peas 'I Gotta Feeling' blaring out at you and I'm sure you don't- assuming you're not nine years old or a Bad Idiot.) Me and Lauren have been there before and je l'aime. It's small and red and they play RnB and Hip Hop really, really loud. Charlotte Bar's Happy Hour was until 10pm, so we had more mojitos and then the boss suspiciously sent us over a shot each, which I'm pretty sure they added to the bill, the sly bastards, but nothing can tarnish Charlotte Bar for me. It's FUN. (10 Rue de Lappe.)
After Charlotte Bar the Carbohydrate Monster- that creature who lives inside the Very Drunk and who will inevitably rear his chubby head towards the end of the night, asking for kebabs and chips covered in an array of disgusting sauces, finally unleashed its fury upon us and we stumbled into a restaurant, hungry for CARBS and LOTS OF THEM. We went to Bar Bat, the Corsican restaurant that we went to with Jess and her boyfriend when they were here a couple of months ago. I wasn't eating that night (I'd already had my tea; I wasn't just refusing to eat like an Anorexic) but Jess and her boyfriend's food looked nice and Oh My Goodness- I don't know if it was because we were wasted but the food was amazing.
It was really hearty and delicious, a cross between French provencal cooking and Italian food. (In my opinion, but then I think Supernoodles are nice, so you decide how much you value my opinion.) Claire had veal, Lauren had lamb and I had lasagne that had big pieces of lamb in it. At first we weren't going to get more drinks because we thought we were too drunk- Lauren thought she had lost her ablitiy to read French. But then we realised the menu was all in Corsican and that's why Lauren couldn't read it, so we ordered dishes that we didn't entirely understand, plus more mojitos. We were the last people in there but far from chasing us out with their Corisan menus, they gave us a free round of mojitos (and they really were free this time).
After the meal we got a taxi back to Lauren's and enjoyed some prop-related humour that only the Very Drunk appreciate.
In the end, I got a good five hours sleep and today I didn't have a hangover, so it just proves that you should put Good Times above everything. In this spirit, I have decided that I am definitely going to my cousin's wedding in Serbia, even if I have to eat alphabet cake decorations all month. They're nice anyway.
And another thing...
only two sleeps...
Monday, 28 March 2011
I knew this would happen, I go for one jog and I think it gives me license to eat five times my own body weight because I 'exercise'. Today in the family's fridge there was a home-made chocolate cake so I took some for the kids' gouter after school and ate 'a little bit' myself. It was really nice. When the eleven year old got home, I saw her rummaging around in the cupbards for some gouter and, knowing how much she likes chocolate, I said 'There's chocolate cake in the fridge!' thinking she'd be really pleased. Instead her eyes widened in horror. "No! That's for school!"
I tried to keep my face from showing any expression. But she knew. She looked at my face and she knew what her big, fat, greedy au pair had done. I had eaten half the chocolate cake her and her mum had made to sell at the school bake sale. She looked on the verge of tears so I offered to make another one, but there was nothing in the house to make cakes with. I suggested we put it on a smaller plate and make it look like it hadn't been half-eaten, but she was having none of it.
Damn me and my greedy ways. Still, I am going for another jog tomorrow morning.
I found out about an hour ago that tomorrow, mine and Lauren's friend Claire is coming for the night! She has recklessly made a last minute booking to come and see us for one night. I am so excited and surprised! She said she wants to eat macaroons and drink Champagne under the Eiffel Tower, which sounds excellent, but unfortunately I only have three euros, so my Paris friend Clare has said she will re-open my tab, seeing as I get paid on Thursday.
Hmm. She only gets paid in fifty euro notes so she will have to lend me fifty, which means when I get paid I will have to pay back the following:
- Amo: 100 euros
- Clare: 50 euros
- Kat: 71 euros
- Paris Transport People: 50 euros (I hope, I can't really understand the letters they keep sending me and '150 euros' seems to be repeated a lot, in red writing, but I think is in case I don't pay the initial fifty euros soon.)
So that leaves me with... 329 euros.
With this money I must:
- pay some of my credit card off
- have the biggest, bestest night out ever at Mulletover on Saturday night
- Stock up on on English Things... tea bags, cake ingredients, make-up, facial stuff, cheap Easter eggs, Creme Eggs, hair conditioner etc
- Get my hair cut. This really is a neccessity as my hair is taking over my face and I look like someone who practices 'white magic' in their spare time
- Get eyebrows threaded... but I supppose I could pluck them myself
- Buy some appropriate running gear
- Book flights to Serbia.
Do you know what the scary thing is? What the hell would I do if I was still working for Family Thirft and getting 40 euros a week? Why am I so bad with money?
Oh well. To be honest I don't really give a shit. I'll just get more money from somewhere. Or I won't... who cares? I won't even remember next month, I'll just remember the EXCELLENT FUN I had.
Last Friday was my last ever French lesson. I decided that I would rather have the money to spend on Activities and I can't be arsed with getting up early. I can't do it. But actually, because the weather has been so nice recently, I found it really easy to get up on Friday and we got our 'reports' back and I wasn't doing as badly as I thought; I almost wish I wasn't quitting. But I needed to pay them 389 euros for the term and I have five, so I had to put an arrête to my French lessons.
Still, every cloud... no more getting up at 7am to sit through two hours of grammar I don't understand and won't remember ten minutes later. Plus, I was only going to two out of three lessons, less if I was hungover, so I was basically throwing one hundred and fifty euros straight in the bin.
Still, the Speaking French Dream really has died and gone to Life Plan Heaven, just like Storytelling (people won't pay you to tell them stories, apparently) and the See-Through Toaster I invented. I say 'invented' I mean I thought 'Someone should make a see-through toaster! I'll be rich now!'. This dream died on my first day with Family Decent, upon entering their kitchen and seeing a See-Through Toaster sitting on their worktop...
I have decided that instead of lying in bed until 11.20, giving me precisely five minutes to leap out of bed swearing, pull on a pair of leggings and run down the road to the little boy's school, only to be greeted by the disapproving glares of the Serious Nannies waiting at the school gates, all of whom have clearly been up for hours cooking Duck Casserole and thinking of new ways to discipline children; I am going to start JOGGING.
I will get out and about! I will get up early! I will be awake for more time than I am asleep! I will feel the new day's air on my skin and see the morning sun glint off the surface of the lake as a swan glides over the glittering water... More importantly, I will be able to wear frilly crop tops in Ibiza!
Yes, I am definitely going to Ibiza, Hannah and Kat paid the deposit for me so all I have to do now is pay them back then save up for flights and then pay for the actual holiday and then save up a ridiculous amount of spending money... I definitely made the right decision quitting my French lessons.
But I can still try and learn French, I do have the Michel Thomas lessons on my laptop that I never listen to. I've never got past the first five minutes though, where a woman warns you in RP English about Michel's radical new technique. This is actually what she says:
"...you may be a little surprised at first... but after a few minutes, you'll become excited by Michel's totally new approach..."
Sounds a but suspicious to me. It makes me feel like Michel is going to burst in to my room and do something indescribably weird to me with his French penis. Maybe that's it, maybe that is his 'new approach' to teaching French- having crazy sex with people and afterwards you are able to say things like 'Bend me over the hotplate' and 'Please do not put the aubergine in there.'
I could even listen to Michel Thomas whilst jogging, but that kind of productivity sickens me. I think for now I'll just concentrate on the jogging. I went with this girl I met at the park called Ali who has just got a new job in the area. Ali said she's going to go jogging every Monday, Tuesday and Friday. I'm going to go with her. I feel all determined and productive. Mind you, I've felt like this once before- when I got up early to go jogging round the docks in Liverpool last June. That was the last time I went jogging, so you can understand if the Heard-It-All-Before-Me is a bit cynical of Newly-Enthused-Me. Hmm. Is it normal to have conversations with different versions of yourself?
Anyway, before we call my sanity into question, I would like to know who found my blog by typing 'i had sex with a girl while she was puking' into Google.
Saturday, 26 March 2011
I have got the five year old in bed asleep, but the girls are just chilling out, drinking herbal tea, reading, having a chat about Katy Perry...
Mind you, if I was a kid and I knew that my twenty one year old babysitter would just be eating cake and looking at cool stuff on the internet, I wouldn't want to go to bed either. It's a good job they don't know what I actually do when I babysit- watch all their DVDs and eat Nutella out of the jar with a spoon.
Hmm... how can I make them go to bed? I've tried saying 'Go to bed' and they didn't, so now I'm all out of ideas. I think I'll just eat some more cake and then I'll tell them again. I want them to fuck off so I can watch Despicable Me and eat the sweets I brought. I can't eat any more of the cake because it hadn't been started when the mum left, so they will know exactly how much I have eaten. (Ah... Non-Started Food, that old enemy of the Greedy Au Pair.)
I wonder if Super Au Pair ever had this problem when babysitting? Probably not, she was Super Au Pair after all. The eleven year old has been sending her messgaes through my Facebook. Her profile is private but I can see that her profile picture is her crouched down, surrounded by wild snow leopards. Probably in Tanzania where she is helping all those orphans, bloody do-gooder. Not only she is a charity worker/action hero, but the eight year old has a passport photo of Super Au Pair on her desk and she is what non-bitter people might call 'stunning'. She has no make-up on and she's not smiling yet she still looks a bit like Jessica Alba. Many a Scouse bouncer has declared that my passport photo looks like Myra Hindley.
YES. The eight year just put herself to bed. Excellent. I'm not so bothered about the eleven year old, she is nearly twelve after all. When I was twelve I was snorting coke off the wheely bins at the back of Lidl, probably...
No, but I did have an apple Hooch when I was ten. That's pretty hardcore. Do you remember Hooch? Alcopops for tots? Mind you, I'd rather have had a Marc Jacobs bag than a bottle of Hooch. The two girls have them (MJ bags, not alcopops) and the five year old told me the other day as we walked past a man in white trousers who waved: 'He the friend de my dad. He have a bag, it Marc Jacobs.' He also points at people wearing American Apparel hoodies and says 'American Apparel!'
The sad thing is I really wanted to impress him so I said 'I have an American Apparel leotard!' but he didn't understand what a leotard was. After much miming he now thinks I have an invisible box that I carry in front of my torso, but he does think I bought it from American Apparel.
In reality, I have this to get me through the day:
Cammomile tea and alphabet cake decorations. Still, I'm spelling as I'm breakfasting! You can't do that with a sausage. The cake decorations were a bit of a find actually, I dicovered them at the back of my drawer a couple of days ago and the joy was overwhelming. Thank the stars I got paid for doing extra babysitting last night. Amo Facebooked me saying 'Coming into Paris on Sat, we could go for a picnic, I'll buy the food.'
How did she know? How did she know I would have no money and more importantly, why is she offering to buy me food when I still owe her about one hundred euros? If I was any of my friends I would drop me like a dead weight. I wonder why they keep me around. Am I some sort of- SHIT, speaking of friends I am going to be very, very fucking late in a minute. Need to meet Clare, Amy and co at my metro soon. I better have a shower... haha, only joking- I'll just slick some mascara on and find a tea-stained top to wear.
Now this has nothing to do with the tragedy that is in the news at the moment, I'm talking generally now, but one thing that really makes me fucking angry is when people suggest that by wearing skimpy clothing or being drunk, girls are 'asking to be raped'. I've even heard this opinion expressed by one of my friends.
If I want to get very drunk and walk down the street in a thong, then that doesn't give someone 'the right' to rape me. Instead of everyone saying girls should cover themselves up and stop getting drunk and stop being flirty... how about... and I know this is pretty radical now but bear with me... how about men just DON'T FUCKING RAPE PEOPLE?
Thursday, 24 March 2011
I turned my room upside down, trying not to panic. Then the desperation kicked in and I started chucking everything onto my bed, looking behind my fridge and under the wardrobe. The furniture in my room is falling to pieces anyway but after last night everything is all slanted and precarious and one kick away from falling down after I shoved and pulled everything away from the walls in search of my Mulletover ticket.
That morning I had taken my bin out and put it in the big communal bin at the end of the corridor. That memory of me picking up an empty envelope kept coming back to me and in my mind I could only visualise the back of it. Did I even look at the front? Why was this memory coming back to me? I had a horrible feeling I knew why.
I knew I had to go and look in the bin, otherwise I'd always wonder if I'd thrown a weekend away for the sake of not checking. When I'd put my bag of rubbish in the communal bin it had been the only one in there and I hoped it still would be. I went to the bin and couldn't really see much because it was so dark, but I saw the shape of what looked like my rubbish bag sitting on the top, so I pulled it out and took it into the corridor.
In the light it was blue and mine was black. I realised it would have been easier for me if my bin bag had been the only blue one rather than one of many black bags. Was I really prepared to look through thirty other people's black bin bags before I got to mine, to maybe discover that my ticket wasn't even in there? I decided to check my room one last time before I delved in.
Two minutes later, I found it at the back of my Drawer Of Important Things, poking through the back of the drawer because it is a piece of shit and is falling to pieces. I wonder what would have happened if it had completely slipped out of the back and I never thought to pull the drawers out. Would I have really looked through everyone else's rubbish and then not gone to London next Saturday?
I dread to think. But it's ok, I have it now. It is in a little holiday wallet thing along with my passport in my top drawer. (I'm writing that on here in case I forget where I've put it again.) Can't believe I am going to London next Saturday for the Mulletover 7th Birthday!
The sad thing is, soon it will have come and gone, like everything. I can't get over this feeling at the moment. But every time I think 'Oh this really good thing will be over soon' I'm proved right when it ends. I know it's morbid but in the same that a really good weekend has soon arrived and fucked off again, so my youth will soon be bloody over and before you know it I'll be an old wrinkly woman telling my reflection 'I told you it would be over soon!'
And don't tell me I'm being ridiculous because I'm only 21, because everyone who turns 21 ends up dead or old.
Cheers, thanks, have a nice life.
On the bright side.... Tunisian man is back!!!! And so is his bountiful, free internet!!!
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
I’ve said before that people are like places. When Rachel, Rosie and Jen came to stay we were the place that Paris was visiting (and I think a lot of Parisiens wished they’d never gone) and so it was last weekend: when me and Kat put on our matching rave stripes (otherwise known as our Adidas jackets) we became a place where ravers go for a good time, a place that never shuts, that always plays good music. At about four am, as me Kat, Mikee, Amy, Anna and El jumped up and down and got very sweaty, Kat said to me that she felt we could have been anywhere and that’s what I mean about the place thing. People might travel the world over but they always take themselves with them- they are essentially a place within a space.
Anyway, if we were the place then the space on Saturday night was La Bellevilloise, a huge building that houses exhibitions, concerts, designer shows and of course, club nights. Apparently there are loads of really nice parts to the building with olive trees and terraces, but the bit we mostly saw was the club downstairs which was all brick and arches, very dingy and perfect for the night.
As an American Person might say, 'it got a little crazy down there'. The crowd kept pushing the speakers over and people were crowd surfing and flinging themselves onto the stage. At first we were right at the front, but just before it got really busy an annoying girl kept being a dick and knocking into me, and not in the spirit of raviness either; in the spirit of nobheadedness. I ended up pouring most of my drink on her and her boyfriend took offence to that. He started banging into me as well, so before I got in to a fight that I would inevitably lose, having the body strength of a small marmot, we moved to the side of the stage and I am pleased to say that I thank that girl very much for being a dick, because it was the best space ever!
We were stood on the edge of the stage, close to the action but far from the mental moshpitting and speaker trashing happening at the front. I took loads and loads of photographs, but they all seem pretty shit and I prefer describing things with words anyway. Saying that...
Here is a video I found on Youtube to give you a better idea of the atmosphere:
After a solid five hours of sweaty, mad dancing, we decided to call it quits. We got the metro home and then a taxi as my metro line is still fucked up, but the journey didn't seem too bad. It was only when I looked at my photos the next day that I realised we had got on the metro at half five and had not reached my building until half six. We took pictures outside because the sun was coming up, but I can't put them on here because there is a famous landmark in the photos that will give away my coordinates to all the murderous stalkers I'm sure I have. It was Mikee and Kat's second sunrise of the weekend, this time on the other side of the North Sea. We shut the curtains to the morning and slept until lunchtime.
We managed to get out for about half two, not too bad I thought. We went straight to the Marais for falafal (queued up at L'as du Falafal, obviously) and for a look round the vintage shops where we all managed to buy something, despite being on a budget. From the Marais we went to meet Lauren and Abi, our other friend who was here for the weekend, at St Michel so the Paris Visitors could have a look at Shakespeare and Company and the Notre Dame and then we went for a meal which was 12 euros for the set menu and actually really nice, although Lauren has been before so it wasn't a random stroke of luck.
On the way home, we stopped off at the Eiffel Tower so Kat and Mikee could see it twinkling in the dark and the next day they went up it while I was work. After lunch we had a picnic on the Champs de Mars and then we had to rush back so I wasn't late picking up the little boy from school. On my way to work I took them to the bus stop and said goodbye and I can't believe that tomorrow it will be almost a week since they arrived.
But it is nothing to be sad about because tomorrow it will also almost be a week until... Mulletover!!
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
I don't know where to begin. It started with a London sunrise. Not for me, but for Kat and Mikee, who started the day with the night before. They went to Fabric on Friday and instead of just having a Really Good Night, they stretched the night into Three Really Good Days, getting home from Fabric with just enough time for a cup of tea before their taxi arrived to take them to St Pancras International. The sunrise saw them out of London and the next day met them in Paris and I was there, exactly like last weekend except slightly more hungover this time, smiling behind the barriers awating my pair of foreign beggars.
Well, not quite beggars, but we all had one hundred euros each and after the Festival of Excessive Spending I enjoyed last weekend, I was worried it wouldn't be enough. It was Paris on the cheap this time, rather than Paris on the Insanely Out of Your Own Budget.
Despite having no sleep, Kat and Mikee pushed on through the day, sweeping the night behind them like a cloak. (A neon ravey cloak with adidas stripes.) We got the bus back to mine so they could drop their stuff off and have a marvel through the windows at the City of Light. Then from mine we went straight up the Arc de Triomphe. They went from the pavements of London to the skies of Paris in the space of a weekend lie-in; that is why I love the Eurostar.
From the Arc de Triomphe we walked all the way down to the Grand Palais where hunger got the better of us and we broke into our precious 100 euros for a crêpe. From there we took the metro to Montmartre, none of that silly taxi business this weekend, just a 3,40€ ticket jeune which you can use on buses, trams and métros all day.
As we climbed up the little streets to the Sacré Cœur we stopped by a streetside farm; the wall with 'I love you' written in a thousand languages; and a little restaurant where you can get a cider or a fruit juice, a galette and then a crêpe for 9,70 €. It did mean we had basically eaten three crêpes in the space of half an hour, but when in France... The restaurant was called Crêperie Brocéliande and it's number 15, Rue des Trois Freres.
At the top of the Sacré Cœur there were people giving away free hugs, but only Mikee went in for a calin gratuit. From Montmarte we walked down to Pigalle and went in Les Deux Moulins, the cafe that Amélie was filmed in.
After a coffee to try and perk us up, we realised a nap was in order if were going to last the night so we went back to mine and tried to get a quick Disco Nap. None of us really slept, but even lying in the dark being quiet worked wonders because we managed to stay out for six hours, which when you remember that Mikee and Kat had come straight from a club Ricky, that's not just me being a Boasty McGee; it is pretty impressive.
The night was so fucking brilliant that it deserves a whole post of it's own and right now I'm going to bed because tomorrow the five year old is having his Mental Mate round for the day. (All kids have a Mental Mate- a little chum who likes to throw heavy objects around the house and who isn't scared of Death By On-coming Truck.) So tomorrow I'll write up the rest of Kat and Mikee's weekend and then I promise I'll get back to moaning and making everyone feel better about their own lives.
Friday, 18 March 2011
Anyway, for continiuity's sake, I will finish regalling you with tales of last weekend, although my heart's not really in it since my mum sent me an email:
Anyway, last Sunday. We got up very late, went to the little bakery cafe again, ordered so much food that the staff were openly laughing at our Obese English Ways, then went to the Marais where Rosie saw Jamel Debbouze who plays Lucien in Amélie and got a picture with him. I won't post the picture because it is the sort of thing that will show up on Google with a link to this blog and then it's only a matter of time before my au pair family ring me saying 'So you fall asleep and eat all our cheese do you?''.
After the Marais we went to Monmarte, walked up to the Sacre Cœur, then walked down to Pigalle and went into Les Deux Moulins, the cafe that Amélie was filmed in. After the Two Windmills we went for another horrible meal. This time I blame Lauren, because she chose it and as she says so herself, she has 'bad luck' choosing restaurants. Rachel sent her food back and the crème brulée was Pas Bon.
On Monday morning they went off to get the Eurostar and I stayed in bed, then went to work. The week had begun.
And now... it's almost over!
I cannot believe how fast time flies, really it terrifies me.
Obviously I am very excited to see Abi and for Kat and Mikee to come tomorrow, but soon they will be gone. Then it is only a couple of weeks until Mulletover but then that will be over. Then before you know it I will be finishing in Paris and the fuck am I going to do then? Recently I've been talking to my Paris friends about staying here for a bit longer, because I have nothing to go back to really. I mean I love London and I want to live there, but all I love really is the social side of it and if I was earning a decent amount I could go back as often as I could for big nights.
I can't go back and live with my mum because she informed me by text that they have moved to a bungalow in the Derbyshire hills. I can't go back to Liverpool because it will be too tragic coming back from Paris just to do the same thing that I was doing before.
I'm no good at making decisions. I don't even know whether to carry on with my French lessons or not. Actually, that question has been answered for me because I need to re-register in the next two weeks and I have no money at all. I have 100 euros to spend this weekend with Kat and Mikee and then I will be poor as a church mouse until April. And even then I will be skint because I still owe Amo money, I owe my mum money, I need to pay my credit card off at least a little bit and I know I will buy lots of shit when I am in London.
Today in French class I told someone how much I get paid and all the other au pairs were shocked because it is so much more than they are getting. How am I so skint? Normally I would smirk to myself and go 'Because of all the Good Times!' but I am in a Mardy Mood at the moment and nothing can cheer me up. Oh no! Kat and Mikee are arriving tomorrow and I am being a miserable bitch!!! I don't have any milk for a brew I think this is what the problem is. I will go to the shop and then see if I can't enthuse myself.
Wednesday, 16 March 2011
However, with Rosie, Jen and Rachel at my side I didn't have to worry about looking like a tourist, because I was a tourist. We just plonked ourselves down and ordered a lot of pastry goods and it was so easy that now I'm worried I'll go in every day and spend even more money that I don't have. But the cakes were so delicious.
We eventually did get ourselves to the Eiffel Tower and it was freezing. We queued up for two hours and didn't stay up there long.
After the Eiffel Tower we got a taxi to Place Monge for somewhere to eat and ended up somewhere not that good, but thankfully no mice this time. 'Come to Paris girls and I'll take you to horrible restaurants!' The food was ok, but not great. When we started the meal we were all quite subdued and quite hungover but by the end we were being very loud and pissing ourselves laughing at nothing. Everyone in the restaurant was snarling us but our volume control seemed to have broken. I did predict that the weekend would be a very drunken, fun and expensive one though.
After the meal we went home (on the metro this time although they took some persuading) and had about twenty minutes to get ready for Georgie's birthday party:
It was quite cheap for drinks and I'm afraid me, Rachel, Rosie and Jen turned into the 'Binge Drinking English Girls' that so many French people seem to be afraid of. But it was fun, it was very fun. It was just like being back at uni, screaming and yelling over the top of each other, offending everybody within earshot and eyesight, having to clutch onto the bar as you order your next drink because you've got Headspin and you can't see properly... ok so maybe English girls drink a bit too much but as Rachel screamed at me across the table when she heard me saying so to someone:
'Stop apologising for you us, you SICK BICTH!'
It seems that being around English girls unaccustomed to the Sensible Drinking Ways Of The French had an intoxicating effect on my friends, because everyone seemed to get very drunk and the next day I received reports of hotels, twin beds and the Metro Home of Shame, the like of which is rarely seen in Paris.
After Cafe des Sports closed at about 3am, everyone got taxis to Le Bleu Note on Rue Mouffetard. They played cantina-stylee music, it was quite cheap and it was free to get in. Excellent. And a man gave me five euros because he saw me fishing around for change at the bar! I will definitely be going again.
We left about half four because we didn't want to waste the day, but when we got back to mine (after yet another taxi ride, this one involving Rachel clawing the back of the driver's head because she insisted he looked like Drake, which became a bit of a theme for the weekend) we didn't go to sleep for a while because me and Rachel enaged in a drunken arguement, drama student-stylee. It went something along the lines of:
Me: Be quiet! The walls are thin! Everyone will hear us!
Rachel: Oh don't hate the player!
Me: I have to live with these people.
Rachel: We were loud in the day and they didn't say anything!
Me: Please be quiet
Rachel: It's your fucking airbed making all the noise!
Me: It's a good airbed.
Rachel: Yeah it's great, so's the sheet...
(Rosie and Rachel laughing because the sheet doesn''t fit.)
Me: I put a blanket on it as well!
Rachel: Oh yeah... the blanket that I found toenails in!
Me: ...Well. Are they still in there?
The scary thing is I only cut my toenails at the family's house with their nailclippers when they are at work, so I don't know who the hell the toenails belong to.
Anyway, what a messy night, just like I knew it would be.
Monday, 14 March 2011
And what a fun-filled place we were!
After enduring a very long queue for metro tickets, the first thing we did was go back to mine so they could drop their shiz off, but we were so late that I ended up throwing the keys at them before running off to pick the girls up from school. After lunch I went to meet them and was quite impressed to find them on the Champs Elyseese, having walked from mine and finding themselves somewhere nice for lunch. But more impressive if not slightly horrifying was the discovery that they were on their second round of 'Bubbly Mojitos', a fifteen euro concoction of mojito and champagne.
I had to leave them after an hour and make the sad journey back to work, and it was with a heavy heart that I performed my abnormally hectic Friday afternoon schedule:
- 3.50pm: picked up the five year old boy from school
- 4.00pm: took him to the eleven year old girl's school so that I could give her her overnight bag and take some of her schoolbooks home for her
- 4.30pm: collect the eight year old and her friend, take them to the friend's house so she could get her horse riding stuff, fight to refrain the eight year old from stripping off in the street because she was worried she wouldn't be have time to get changed
-4.45pm: find the bus stop and get two girls, one boy plus about seven bags onto the already packed bus whilst struggling to fish my Navigo out of my pocket and try and tell Jen my address over the phone because by this point they clearly knew they were going to get very drunk and have to get a taxi back to mine
-5pm: struggle to control the five year old who was having a tantrum and unknowingly kicking a very irate old man in the knees, whilst trying to look out of the window to see if I recognised anywhere, as well as frantically pulling at the girl's horse riding helmet which she had somehow got trapped in the bus seat and there was no removing it, despite the help of three strangers
- 5.25pm: get off the bus and run to the horse riding lessons, then stand in the street taking slow, deep breaths and trying to better organise my bag lady accessories
The evening was less hectic after this, but it still saddened me to know that while I was preparing a delicious dinner of raw radishes followed by plain rice for the children, my three Visitors had moved on to Unisex (which I have never been in but they tell me it was vair vair good) and were on their third or fourth round. I kept telling the kids 'My friends are here today!' but they were unimpressed. The eleven year old said 'I listen yesterday when you say.'
Towards the end of work I texted them to make sure they would be back at mine because they had my key and they announced they were going to get a taxi. I tried to convince them not to get a taxi because they were only three metro stops away but they were having none of it. Despite my misgivings, they managed to get one easily and this I’m afraid is what started them on their Taxi Binge.
My three Visitors are on their way to Gare Du Nord as I type, in a taxi, having agreed to get the metro just three times the entire length of their stay. I have got more taxis this weekend than I have in the entire six months I’ve lived in Paris. Before they came, I was saying to my friend Kayt, ‘I wonder if we’ll do cheap things or if they won’t mind splashing out a bit…’ My question was answered within two hours of them arriving in Paris; I went to find them after I finished working at Friday lunch time and they were sat in a bar on the Champ Élysées, on their third round of fifteen euro cocktails.
After I left them to get back to work, which killed me a little bit inside, they went onto another cocktail bar and then got a taxi back to mine. A taxi, in Paris, after everything I have said about them being impossible to get hold of and driven by people who cannot understand English people trying to pronounce French place names. It was the start of something special…
Oh- I just got all teary. We were singing Moment 4 Life in a taxi at some point and I’m listening to it now and I wish the weekend wasn’t over. When my Visitors arrived I said ‘Oh no you’ll be gone soon’ and I was right, the weekend has gone so fast! I want to do it justice so I’ll write it up properly later for now I’ll just say that I haven’t laughed as hard, drank so much, caused as many scenes or spent money so recklessly (all on barely any sleep and, frankly, with little regard for personal hygiene) since we finished our drama degree last summer. In the words of an extremely posh person exclaiming surprise and amazement- FARQ!
Thursday, 10 March 2011
I finish my French lesson at 10.15, so I should have just enough time to pick up my chums from Gare du Nord at 11am, take them back to mine and then run to pick the girls up for lunch at 12. Godspeed!
In other news, I hope when I finish here in July, if I finish here in July, my last post will be as dramatic as this one:
Notes From The Intern: The End
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
Tuesday, 8 March 2011
Anyway I just thought of it because strange things are happening. The first Strange Thing happened yesterday at lunch time. I got into the house with the little boy and hung our coats up and there were two packets of disposable razors on the side. The little boy said in his weird little mix of English/French and five year old nonsense:
"Dey for you. You take you. Anglais they put them. We no. You put them for you."
I won't write down the whole conversation because it will probably drive you as crazy as me, but basically the little boy was saying the razors were for me because English girls use razors and he mimed shaving his face. Now I know I don't post pictures of my face here, and while it's true that I may have a slight whisper of Dark-Haired Female Syndrome, you are honestly not reading the ramblings of a Bearded Lady.
I laughed and told him that girls don't shave their faces and this is where it gets weird. He thought for a moment, then mimed shaving his legs and armpits and informed me that this is what I shaved. I was so stunned that I said "How do you know!?" and prayed that he wouldn't start mime-shaving his crotch area.
How the fuck does he know this? Is it because he has seen my hairless armpits and told his mum who wisely explained that English girls get rid of their hair 'under there'? The weird thing is, since coming to France, I have been rather lax in this department and many a day I have ventured out of the house sporting stubbly ankles or else I have given my friends a valid reason for questioning the wisdom of me wearing a sleeveless top.
The thing is, I've run out of razors and I really want to take them, but I can't start acting on the instructions a five year old boy. Even I can see that is irresponsible. Where the hell has he got his information from? I can only imagine he has overhead a conversation bewteen his parents, but then why would they be discussing my bodily hair? Anyway, today at lunch time the razor were still there. And the little boy insisted I take them again. I'm not going to take them unless the mum of the family tells me to, but I don't want to bring it up in case she thinks I am trying to steal razors off her. But then again... what if she thinks by not taking them I am politely declining them and gives them to someone else?
Yesterday was a very strange day. As well as the razor incident, when I picked up the eight year old girl from school she asked me to make 22 crêpes for the next day (today)- ten to take to school and twelve for us to eat for dinner. I agreed of course, having less common sense than a hair scrunchie, and found myself making an enormous amount of crêpé mixture. I assumed that it was for her English class or something, because apparently the French don't eat eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, or PANCAKE day as it is known in England.
I made three crêpes and then ran out of time, so I left the mixture out so the mum could finish them off. Obviously I expected her to make seven more, then save the mixture so I could make crêpes for dinner tonight. (They have truly brainwashed me- now I think crêpes are acceptable for dinner, instead of pudding.) But when I took the little boy home for lunch today, there was one rock hard crêpe in a pan and all the mixture had gone. There is no way I am not having pancakes on Pancake Day, but then again, do I really want the mum to think I have gone pancake mad, making about thirty crêpes in two days?
Pancakes and razors aside, something else strange happened yesterday. I went out for Kay's birthday (too many birthdays this month) and on our way to a bar, a man had a heart attack. One minute he was stood up, the next minute he fell sideways and was unconscious. Kay pulled the emergency stop thing but the metro didn't stop until it had reached the next station. Then all the doors were locked. What if we had pulled the emergency break because there was a fire? Anyway, everyone in the carriage just kind of stood around the man, staring at him and discussing whether he was diabetic or if he had a heart attack. Five minutes went by and a conductor came down the carriage asking what the problem was. He had a look at the man and then got on his radio. He chatted away (admittedly he did sound concerned but there was nothing urgent about the situation) for about five more minutes, then eventually they opened the metro doors and some people got off.
We didn't really know what to do so we left, but as we walked away we realised a very long time had gone by and there was still no medical assistance. I hope that man was ok.
Sunday, 6 March 2011
This has cheered me right up, if you have a minute, go on the link below- it is the cutest little horrible thing I've ever read/seen:
And this made me feel better about my own life, for once, instead of everyone saying my shit life makes them feel better about their own:
I walked around the Marais, like I've done many a Sunday, today with Clare and her friend from home who is staying here for a month. We went in the vintage shops and got falafal. I'm supposed to be saving money this month to put into my English bank account to pay off my credit card and to sort Ibiza out. Probably shouldn't have bought the five euro falafal then. Or the three euro cup of tea. Or the four euro slice of cheesecake. Or the twenty six euro leotard from American Apparel...
Next weekend I know I'll spend a lot of money. Rachel, Rosie and Jen are coming for the weekend, I'm soooooo excited! We do have a tendancy to get very drunk and spent lots of money when we're together though, so I really should have been careful this week. Oh well. I'm going to write down a plan for our weekend so I don't crumble under the Host Pressure. And the weekend after I'm having Kat and Mikee to stay and my friend Abi is coming and staying with Lauren, so that will be a big weekend too. How thrilling! Luckily there's loads of stuff going on these next two weeks:
Friday 11th March
What the Funk: Mr Scruff at Nouveau Casino
We are definitely going to this. Tickets are 16 euros in advance but unfortunately I can't use my bank card so looks like I will be paying twenty euros on the door. Get tickets here.
Saturday 19th March
I really want to take Kat and Mikee to Le Batofar, and on the night they come there is a night on called 'Three Years of Attractive Party at Batofar' which, to be honest, sounds a bit weird and I haven't heard of anyone playing it, but I did a little research on YouTube and I'm hoping it will all be like this:
It just says on the website that it's techno, but in Paris they are very keen on 'minimal techno' something that doesn't really rock my boat, so I'll see what Kat and Mikee want to do. If you fancy your chances with the 'Attractive Party' get tickets here.
The other option is Excuse My French at La Bellevilloise. I think a few of my friends are going to this. It's only 15 euros and there's a few acts playing, including UK Hip Hop act Foreign Beggars and Grooverider (drum and bass and maybe jungle... we all know I'm a clowncore hippy at heart so don't take my word for it). If you like grime and drum and bass and shizzle, Get Tickets Here.
Hmm I don't know which to choose, maybe we could go to Excuse My French and then on to the minimal techno mystery at Le Batofar... Exciting though!
|Photo from Planet Paris|
My plan went to shit as usual. I went to the cafe with free Wi-Fi and when I got inside they told me they were closed. So then I walked to another cafe that has free Wi-Fi but I couldn't make it through the door. I suddenly realised that I couldn't do it: I couldn't sit down in case you were supposed to ask at the bar first, I couldn't ask what I was supposed to do because I'm an idiot. I hovered in the doorway for half a second, burst out crying and then ran home to my bed where I lay for the rest of the day crying hysterically at my inability to function in the real world. Drama Queen, moi?
Anyway, happy birthday Kayt!
Friday, 4 March 2011
MBH and PSP often go hand in hand, so I must be careful these next few weeks and remember it's NOT summer and I CAN restrain myself. I've restrained myself rather well these last few months, too well. In fact you might say it's not a case of me restraining myself from the opposite sex but rather the opposite sex refraining themselves from me. Humph.
Yesterday the eight year old girl asked me if I had a boyfriend and it started out as a giggly, fun conversation but then she asked me:
'You no have a boy who have your heart?'
'No!' I laughed
'You never have boy who give you heart?'
'No...' I laughed again, slightly strained this time.
'You no have boy who love?'
'No.' I couldn't force a laugh at this point.
'You never have boy who say you are a beautiful? I love you? You my girlfriend?'
I thought, are you trying to break me little girl!? Do you want me to crumble and admit that the last time I had a boyfriend was when I was doing my SATs (and I don't mean the ones you do in Year Nine)?
She then told me about this boy she kissed in the swimming pool on holiday. Even an eight year old is getting more action than me! She said 'I don't know why I kiss him' and then shrugged her shoulders and I thought 'Ah, we're more alike than you realise little girl. In ten years time, you'll be saying the same thing to your best mate, but it won't be kissing a boy you regret...'
I think this idea everyone has of Frenchmen being randy bastards is a myth, otheriwse surely I would have 'got mine' by now? I've been tricked. If I go home in July without having sexual intercourse with a Frenchman, I will consider this year a failure. Forget the fact that I can't speak French, haven't saved any money and haven't thrown myself into the Parisien Théâtre scene, just let me have sex with a nice Frenchman, preferably from a banlieue, and I can go home and congratulate myself on a job well done.
Thursday, 3 March 2011
I got fucking lost on the way back so after I made it home three hours later, I just lay on my bed staring at the wall until somebody texted me with an invite to dinner.
I went out with Clare and Amy and her three friends visiting from Liverpool. We went to this restaurant that has a cat. The cat cheered me up no end but there was a woman there on her own who was Hogging It. The cat was sat on her lap all night and the woman was feeding it her sea bass. I was so jealous I wanted to storm over and slap her across the head with it (her fish, not the cat). I have conspired to return one day on my own so I can have the cat all by myself. I might sprinkle myself with cat nip as well.
Oh I'm so Pissed Off. How dare he stop me from stealing his internet?
I'm writing this at the family's house where the internet is bountiful. I've had withdrawal symptons from my blog. I've been mentally blogging amazingly witty and insightful posts throughout the day but unfortunately I can't remember them.
What have I done since the last time I blogged? On Tuesday night I went out and got very drunk for no reason, then had to get up at 8am for work and spend the whole day lying on the couch with a splitting headache while the five year old joyfully kneed me in the face and yelled 'I eat you!' down my ear.
Oh fuck off everybody. I'm in a terrible, terrible mood. My money situation is making me want to gouge my own eyes out. I have hundreds of euros hidden in my knicker drawer and I don't need them in my knicker drawer I need them in my FUCKING ENGLISH BANK ACCOUNT so I can pay off my credit card and book Ibiza and get plane tickets to my cousin's wedding in Serbia. I was the one who rallied everyone to go and now they've all booked and it's too late for me. Now I'll never find my Serbian Traveller Husband.
Arghhhhhhhh I fucking hate French banks! And English banks! I'm reading A Week In December by Sebastian Faulks and there's a character in it who is a hedge fund manager and he's a millionaire, but when you think about it, all he has is hypothetical bets. People with speculated make-believe money are millionaires and here I am with wads of hard cash and I'm penniless, because Royal Bank of Scotland keep charging me for Who Knows What and I'm powerless to stop the Ibiza dream and my cousin's wedding from slipping away...
Fuck Fuck Fuck.
I've been reading the Time Out Guidebook that my mum's friend left me. It's so full of things to do that I'm paralysed with choice and I can't bring myself to do anything.
Why can't my life in Paris be like Funny Face? I want to go dancing round Montmatre in leggings and skipping around parks in a beautiful wedding dress! Mind you, I guess Audrey Hepburn had a wash once in a while, and I bet she didn't stomp around with a face like thunder and a jumper stained with crêpe batter.