We went to Le Souk for my Birthday Meal, a Moroccan restaurant in the 11th (metro stop: Bastille). It was really lovely- most of us ordered the massive tagines which were served still bubbling hot with metal plates of fluffy semolina to share, Beth had the cous cous which came as three seperate dishes- meat, cous cous and the sweet sauce that tasted like almonds and apricots. To be fair it was quite expensive, about eighteen euros for a tagine, and I know you can get good North African food for a lot cheaper in Paris... But it was my birthday and that's where I wanted to go.
We didn't go out afterwards as I had to be in work at half eight the next morning and everyone was pretty tired, but there was a bit of excitement when, on our way to the metro, Kayt and Emma spotted French actor Romain Duris on his motorbike. He pulled up outside an apartment block and it's just possible that we now know where he lives....
On Friday night we went to Nouveau Casino. We had to buy champagne for our pre-drinking because I didn't have a corkscrew and despite my insistence, nobody was up for doing shots of the rakija that I brought back from Serbia. I guess champagne is nicer than something that is 90% alcohol, even if we bought the cheapest champagne from my corner shop (it still would have cost at least forty quid in England I reckon).
It was a really brilliant night, the music was good and the people there were really nice and normal, I love Nouvea Casino actually, even though it is eleven euros for the smallest mojito in the world.
We got in about six am, slept until half two, then got up and went straight to the little bakery café near me where I took Rachel, Rosie and Jen when they came. I had a citron meringuée (lemon meringue pie y'all), Beth had cheesecake and Lauren had a pistachio macaron.
As we'd had cake for breakfast we decided to have cocktails for dinner, so we went to Bastille for Happy Hour, where a lot of bars make their drinks half price. We went to Charlotte's Bar first for mojitos, then we went to that place that I can never remember the name of, for their Mojito In Love, which is a mojito made with raspberries and is 5 euros during happy hour.
From Bastille we went to Place Monge for tea and I can't remember the name of the restaurant, but it was nice. Sorry this is a rubbish blog isn't it? Not very imformative. I'll ask Lauren if she can remember the name of the mojito bar and the restaurant.
Anyway, all in all it was a lovely weekend, although I had my 'room inspection' on the Monday, and the mum of the family told me the landlady was really pedantic and that I had to have all my stuff packed away and the room cleaned top to bottom. This was hanging over me because how can I pack up a room and clean it when I still have a week to live there and I have two friends to stay?
On Sunday we went round the Marais, got falafal and met up with Lauren's French friend Abby who I'm hoping will be my friend next year...
We went to Montmarte, got ice cream and walked up to the Sacré Coeur. They had a sign inside for confessions and I really got this overwhelming urge to confess. I'm not really religious but once a Catholic, always a secret guilty Catholic, and all these terrible thoughts rose up inside me and I felt guilty about all the horrible, stupid things I have ever done and continue to do...
But then I realised, I haven't 'confessed' to a priest since I made my First Confession when I was like, what? Seven years old? If I had to confess to an old Catholic man everything I have done since then that God might think was a bit dickheady, I would be there for hours and I would probably have to use lots of words that old Catholic priests don't hear very often.
So, I didn't confess. I'm not sure I believe in God anyway. I've been praying for him to turn me into a fairy since I was about five years old and here I am, seventeen years later, still human-sized with no wings on my back.
On Sunday night we went out for the lovliest meal ever and Lauren Rockerfeller paid for everyone because she finally closed her French bank account and was left with loads of euros. We had foie gras, which I've never had before. I've decided I love it- it's like meat and butter made a baby together, albeit by force feeding geese, so that's another thing I need to confess- I eat food that is CRUEL and NASTY to geese.
On Monday I took the five year old with me to the Eiffel Tower and we met up with Lauren and Beth, who he LOVED, a LOT.
(Even though I got a bitchy message from the mum later that night saying 'It's not that I don't trust you but I want to know if my child is going to be mixing with people I don't know'. She didn't complain when I had to take him to my place for two hours on Tuesday night while Beth was here! And, let's be honest, she might say she trusts me but I have no idea why. She has never seen any proof of my indentity, she doesn't know anything about me and for all she knows I could be wanted in England for Flashing and Being a Public Nuisance, which is not as far-fetched as it seems...)
We chatted on the grass while the five year old went around collecting dirty bottle tops and in the space of half an hour he had collected over sixty, just in the little area we were sat in. When I said goodbye to Lauren, I got a bit teary. Goodbyes are the blight of my life at the moment.
When we said goodbye to my friends the five year old said "You envoi me carte avec you photo!" and made them promise. He made me promise as well and I joked "Why do you want a photo of me? You know what I look like." He went all quiet and said something in French. Lauren said it was "I won't remember you."
Anyway, I told him I was staying in Paris so that perhaps he could see me next year and he actually punched the air and went 'Yessss'. I was surprised.
"Do you want to see me again?"
"Ben yes, because you nice avec me!"
So, if I'm not Super Au Pair, maybe I can settle for Nice Au Pair?
That night was supposed to be my room inspection. My room was not ready and thankfully the mum of the family rang me up and said 'You can have one more night, but it has to be perfect.' Then Beth told me they had lost the bathroom key. It doesn't sound like a big deal now but at the time all I could think was how much stuff I had to sort out and how much angry shouting was going to aimed at me when people realised I hadn't done all the stuff I was meant to do.
Beth sat on my laptop Facebooking and politely pretended that I wasn't lying face-down on the bed, going GGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRHHHHHHHHGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHH.
THANK THE STARS AND MOON for Kayt and Amy and Mairie, who came round and took matters in hand. Kayt sorted and packed up my clothes and Amy fixed everything that was broken, even the curtain rail I pulled down and the blinds, and I even found my bathroom key, hidden in a tangle of gold chains.
All I had to do was clean the room... So on Tuesday morning I got up at 6am, waved Beth off and started the Deep Clean. All I managed to do was wipe down the table and then I was late for work, so I left everything as it was with a Heavy Heart.
The mum looked into my eyes and said "Is your room perfect? She will look behind everything, it must be clean. Is it ready?"
"Yes." I lied, smiling in what I hoped was a sincere way.
Well, I'm very tired all of a sudden, but it does get more exciting than whether I cleaned my room or not, honest. On Wednesday I got into a fight with a self-confessed rapist and I told him I was going to shit in his hat and he took off his hat and gave it to me. I will explain tomorrow!