Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Snazz and Scuffles: Part 4

I'll pick up where I left off- is that the phrase? Left off doesn't sound right somehow... How can you leave something off? Unless it's a kitchen appliance.

ANYWAY- I believe the last image I gave you was the rather alarming one of me struggling in the arms of huge Monster Bouncer who mans the door at Le Longhop and who I have had a couple of sharp words with in the past. As regular readers will know, The Bouncer is Left Bank Manc's Natural Enemy and Ancient Foe.

(Oooh did I really just refer myself in the third person? Yes, she did, folks, yes she did.)

As I struggled to prise his arms apart, I told Monster Bouncer what I thought of him. Unfortunately I can't yet pull off saying 'You're a massive nobhead, kindly release me from your vice-like grip' in French, so I had to make do with saying 'You are not nice! Don't touch me, you are nasty!'

When I finally managed to escape, me, Amy and Olivia ran and hid in another part of the dancefloor and thankfully Monster Bouncer wandered off, in search of other females to drag back to his moster's lair. Olivia's Drunk Friends kept disappearing for 'air' and 'a sit down'- they clearly needed to go home. They were both staying at Olivia's but me and Amy (rather selfishly) persuaded Olivia to give them her key so she could stay out with us. One of them had sobered up a bit anyway.

By this point the Sober Three were actually feeling a little less than sober, despite only having two drinks. (I would like to excuse myself by saying that there must have been alcohol leftover in our system from the night before, otherwise I can offer no explanation for the level of drunkeness we reached after just two pints of beer.) We were just starting to enjoy ourselves and Amy had started chatting to a dashing Parisien lawyer, no really, he was dashing- he had one of those flouncy scarves on tucked into the neckline of his shirt.

We bid a fond farewell to Olivia's pals and started dancing with Dashing Lawyer and his friends, one of whom was a plastic surgeon. We felt quite pleased with ourselves for managing to meet respectable, charming men for once, especially in a shit hole like Le Violin Dingue. Olivia saw a very tall boy in Geek glasses who she said was 'just her type' so me and her disco-danced over to him inconspiciously. (Yes, it is possible to disco dance inconspiciously. Just don't point your hands in the air so violently.)

He noticed Olivia. They got chatting. It was all going so well... and then who should spoil the party but Monster Bouncer? Out of nowhere he was suddenly looming behind us and he grabbed me and Olivia, this time bending us both over and pretending to thurst his you know what into our you know wheres.

The indignity of it all!

We literally could not wriggle free. It was awful. At first we were laughing a bit, but then everyone on the dancefloor kind of cleared away from us... 'Let's leave that Mammoth Rapist to do his job' they seemed to be saying with their awkward facial expressions. I looked to Olivia's tall boy in Geek glasses. He seemed like the kind of boy who read poetry in cemetries.

"Do something!" I implored him.

He pushed his glasses up and looked in to the face of Monster Bouncer. I thought he was going to run away, but credit where it's due (ooh what a horrible clichéd phrase, sorry) he stepped up and demanded that the Monster Bouncer 'release us'.

Much to Olivia's and my relief, Monster Bouncer did release us. Then he stepped closer to Geek Glasses... and that was enough for the poor boy- he quickly disappeared into the crowd, as did me and Olivia. We found Amy with her Dashing Lawyer and his friends and we spent the rest of the night dancing and chatting, whilst keeping a beady out for the return of Monster Bouncer.

At about 5am, Dashing Lawyer announced that he and his friends were leaving and Amy, of course, decided they would probably be having a Brilliant After-Party, so we left with them. Dashing Lawyer had checked some library books into the cloakroom (we didn't ask) so we waited around the bar. There was a very drunk, swaying man with a hideous cardigan tied round his shoulders. For some reason he fixed his glassy eyes on Olivia and started calling her horrible names. Olivia got upset and to make ammends I took her by the hand and marched over to him. I couldn't think of one word in French, so I decided to start insulting him in English, at least Olivia would understand and it might give her some closure. I let out a torrent of insults, I can't remember exactly what I said but it was something along the lines of:

"Who knitted that jumper? Yer nan? Your jeans are shit, you've got crap shoes and you can't even stand up. You're a SHOW."

Unfortunately, his friends could speak English and one of them, the most Beautiful Man we had ever seen, said in a very reasonable voice "Why are you being so mean to my friend, girls?"

I explained how he had insulted Olivia and made her feel like shit and he listened thoughtfully. Then he pulled Olivia to one side and apologised for his friend. His sincerity was undeniable. As was his Gallic Beauty. MMM. Amy's Dashing Lawyer and his Charming Friends came back from the cloakroom, so we all went upstairs, also accompanied by Beautiful Man and his gang of pals which unfortunately included Hideous Cardigan Man, but we let him stagger about a few yards behind him.

Amy was on her After-Party Mission. I think she needs to seek professional help, it is not normal to be so obsessed with After-Parties. She asked Dashing Lawyer if he was having one, but he said he lived with a housemate he didn't know very well, so he couldn't have everyone back. His Charming Friends were staying in a hotel as they were visitng from Lyon, so that was a no-go. Amy's only hope was Olivia, who lives in a studio, but a spacious studio. She agreed, but only so she could get Beautiful Man back to hers...

We were incredulous. For once we had managed to entice Decent, actually quite Beautiful, Parisien men back to an after-party. Nearly all of them had those little scarves on, worn with Proper Coats. We had met men who wore Proper Coats! As we skipped down the road, the cold night air ruffled our hair and I knew it was the Winds of Change...

But.

Did you think you had stumbled across somebody else's blog by mistake? Somebody who doesn't end every night out with a drunken disagreement or a near rape/tear-gassing? If you did, let me put your mind at rest- you're not reading the wrong blog. The night ended in a Street Brawl. Obviously.

I still have no idea how it happened. One minute we were a big happy gang of Northern girls and scarf-wearing Parisiens; the next minute, we heard scuffling and yelling behind us, so we turned around to see that Amy's Dashing Laywer and Olivia's Beautiful Man were fighting. Well, I say 'fighting', they were kind of chasing each other around and trying to hit each other, it didn't look too serious. A couple of the Lawyer's Charming Friends tried to break up the fight, but they ended up getting into a fight with two of Beautiful Man's Friends.

It was all very tiresome. Me, Amy and Olivia stood in the cold with our arms folded, waiting impatiently for the fighting to stop so we could continue on our way, but the fighting didn't stop, it got worse. Two guys and a girl walked past and the girl went crrrazy, yelling that someobody should call the police. Us Northern girls, thinking of nothing but the After-Party I'm afraid, thought this was a bit extreme, but before we could stop her, she'd called the police.

I didn't think there was any need for the police to come, but I was slightly annoyed that we had to wait around in the street for no reason. Just as I was starting to think that maybe we wouldn't get our After-Party after all, Beautiful Man managed to actually hit Dashing Layer and he fell to the floor, then he started kicking him in the stomach.

We ran forward instinctively to intervene, but the two sets of friends got there first. It was like West Side Story. I wanted to sing "Boy, boy, crazy boy. Get cool boy"* but I didn't, because at that moment the police really did turn up. They walked towards the scene of Mass Street Brawl quite casually, perhaps they could tell from a mile off that these boys in flouncy scarves wouldn't be any trouble. Before the police got too close, everyone dispersed down the street and me, Amy and Olivia had about four seconds to decide who we were going to go after.

Amy wanted Dashing Lawyer. Olivia wanted Beautiful Man. I just kind of wanted to dance around singing the soundtrack to West Side Story, but I thought I better follow Amy as she was supposed to be staying at mine. By the time we'd decided what to do, Beautiful Man was gone so Olivia said she would walk home. It was the opposite direction to us, so we said goodbye and let her go alone, which was despicable of us really. No, let me take that back. It was despicable of Amy, everything that happened that weekend was her fault and her's alone.

So, we walked to the nightbus with Dashing Lawyer (he was upset because he'd lost his library books in the fight), then I can't really tell you what happened next because Amy might get embarrsassed. But let's just say, three of us got a taxi, and only one got out on my street.

I had four hours sleep, then got up and dragged myself to work at the restaurant. Mercifully it was quiet all day, but I felt ill and dizzy all day- it seemed as though I was looking at the world through glasses with Vaseline smeared around the edges. Amy rolled in to the restaurant about 3pm, a look of utter agony on her face from the boots she'd borrowed from me, the boots that are strictly for 'one drink' nights or sit down meals.

I gave her my keys and she hobbled home.

When I finally, finally finished work, I couldn't wait to hear all the hideous seedy details. Let's just say- lovely sweet guy, gorgeous appartment, then, come morning BAM he turned into a complete and utter nobhead, a sulky spoilt brat because he couldn't have his own way.

So. Phew. I can't believe I have only just finished telling you about the weekend Amy was here, although techically she was here for seven days. She went back exactly a week ago today.

Aww. It was lovely having her here. Even though she made every night out Ridiculous. The good news is, she really misses Paris and she is seriously considering coming back for good! She is going to save some money up and look for a Proper Job, as she doesn't want to be an au pair or an intern again. Amy made me think twice about moving back to England, because she says since she has been home, things have taken a turn for the Shitter and she really misses Paris, a lot.

Hmm.

I really want to finish this off now as I am ready for my bed, but tomorrow I will do another post rounding up everything I have done this past week, which unfortunately includes chasing away a man who was wanking behind us on the street.

Oh, and...

I found my passport!!! It was inside my bedsheets for Some Reason!!! YESS!!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Snazz and Scuffles: Part 3

I'm down to my last teabag. Grim, very grim. But let me get back to describing last weekend...

On Saturday me and Amy went to Angelina's for hot chocolate. We drank our deliciously thick chocolat chaud (seriously, it doesn't pour from the jug; it creeps through the air slowly and folds itself into your cup) and sat back, feeling very Grand and Proper in our decadent surroundings. In the faded opulence of Angelina's, with it's wall-length mirrors edged with gold-leaf frames, we felt far away from the Hideous and Somewhat Confused events of the night before...

That is until our Hangovers crept over us like two little green goblins, slowly making their way through the maze of white tableclothes, silently stepping over well-heeled feet until they reached our table...

"I think I'd like to sit outside." Amy said slowly.

Ten minutes had gone by without either of us saying a word. We were too hungover to think, let alone talk. I suddenly noticed that Amy's face was grey.

"Let's pay." I suggested.

From Angelina's we stumbled across the road to Tuileries, but we didn't even make it to a bench. We slumped down on the stone steps and stayed there until the cold air blew away the edges of our Hangovers and we regained the Art of Conversation.

We decided that our initial plan of Happy Hour Mojitos at L'an Ver du Decor would have to be abandoned, as neither of us could stomach more alcohol. And yet. Olivia said she had two friends staying for the night and I really wanted Amy to meet Olivia (as they are both from Liverpool), so we agreed that we'd go out for one drink and then have an early night.

After a two hour disco nap, we woke up feeling a lot better. I even mustered the energy to put some wedges on and Amy borrowed my high heeled ankle boots, which are the most uncomfortable shoes in the world but we figured she'd be fine in them for 'one drink'.

We met up with Olivia and her two friends. I'd assumed they were from Liverpool, but it became apparent they were not scousers when one of them said to me "Oh, you're Northern! How cute." They were very, very drunk and me, Olivia and Amy were quite Smug in our sobriety. It was nice to be the sober ones for change.

We walked around the Marais looking for a bar where 'we could dance' and Olivia's friends got more and more impatient. They both live in France, but not in Paris, and they were not prepared for the massive amounts of walking involved in a typical Parisien night out. I had a stroke of genius and remembered that Saturday is 'RnB night' at Le Longhop. Me and Amy were a little bit hesitant after what happened the last couple of times we went there, but Olivia's friends were mollified by the promise of some good old, cheesy RnB music, so off we trotted to Le Longhop.

I worried that we wouldn't get in, because I still couldn't find my passport and the last time we tried to go none of us had any ID and they wouldn't let us in, even though most people in our group were aged 25 and over. Luckily, it wasn't the Nobhead Bouncer that we fought with last time, it was a Reasonable Bloke who let us all in with a nod and a smile.

We got in and got some drinks (it's about five euros for a pint which is really cheap for Paris) and surprisingly, the place was packed. The DJ has changed since last time we went and the music was quite good, if you happen to like Shit RnB, which I do. A lot. We danced to the music and watched with amusement as Olivia's two very drunk friends cosied up with some very unattractive men. One of them was wearing a black silk shirt.

Oh, looking back, we were being so Annoyingly Smug and Superior, it almost serves us right for what happened later...

Le Longhop closed at 1.30am and none of us were ready to go home, so we decided on Le Violin Dingue again, just because it was close and we knew it was open late. After a tense time in the queue when we thought Olivia's mates might not get in because they were so drunk, we made it inside and went down into the cave so we could all have a dance. We got another pint and me and Amy got our Second Wind.

At one point I went to the toilets on my own and I wish somebody else had come with me, just so they too could have witnessed the horror I saw in the queue. I was at the back of the queue behind two girls and the girl next to me was doing this weird squatting and shuffling about thing. I glanced down and realised I could see her bare thighs. Girls in Paris don't go out with Naked Legs. Then came the sound of somebody weeing, but it wasn't coming from inside the locked cubicle, oh no. The girl next to me in the queue was weeing, onto the floor.

At least I thought she was weeing onto the floor- when she finished she produced a pint glass from inbetween her legs, it was brimming with what looked like frothy beer, but it was obviously her URINE. The whole time she'd been weeing, I'd been catching her friend's eye and laughing. Her friend went into the toilet and when she came out Weeing Girl went in after her. I thought she must be going in there to do a few lines of coke or something, after all, I'd just seen her produce an entire pint of wee, surely she couldn't squeeze anymore out?

She said to me in French: 'Don't stand near the door and listen!'

Unfortunately the sound of her POOING was too loud for me to ignore. When she came out I gingerly went in behind her and Thank The Lord, there weren't any disgusting telltale signs of her recent activities- no smells or skiddage. I've never talked about poo on this blog before. Sorry if you were eating something.

Anyway, after I witnessed a girl weeing into a pint glass (she left it on the side of the sink and I hope against hope that nobody mistook it for an untouched beer) I went back to the dancefloor and joined Olivia and Amy. Amy pointed out a massive monster of a man.

"That's the nobhead bouncer that wouldn't let us in to Le Longhop last time!'

So it was. I was sorry I'd lost my passport, because the last thing I'd said to him was "Next time I see you, I'm going to slap you across the face with my ID for not believing how old I am."

He saw us pointing at him and assumed, as most men do, that because we were looking at him we must fancy him, so he made his way through the crowd, grabbed us and started to dance with us. When I say 'grabbed' I mean he literally got all three of us in his arms and bounced us about and there was NOTHING we could do about it. It was terrifying. He is so fucking strong, we were trying to wriggle away from him but we couldn't. He was like an extra in a cheesy 1960s movie set in Ancient Times; I felt like we were three Slavegirls and he was a Cyclops, determined to carry us off to his lair and ravage us.

Olivia and Amy managed to wriggle away but I was stuck with him. Somehow I managed to say to him in French "You didn't let me in to Le Longhop because I didn't have my passport, and I'm 22 years old!" He looked all surprised and said it wasn't him and I almost believed him until Amy popped up next to me and said:

"It fucking was him!"

Oh shit I'm going to be late for my au pair job, I'll finish this tonight when I get back.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Snazz and Scuffles: Part 2

Oh la la! This post has been a long time coming.

Before I start, I need to address a few mistakes in my other post. First of all, I said the bar we went to last weekend was called Le Violin Dinde. Then Kayt corrected me and said it is called Le Violin Dingue. I then changed it and added a little comment saying "Oh dear! I called it 'The Meat Violin' instead of 'The Crazy Violin'! Silly me!"

But I wasn't being silly, I was being ridiculously thick, because dinde means turkey, not meat, (I was thinking of viande, which is, erm, in no way similar apart from the fact that it assonates with the end of dinde, although there's a strong chance that I'm pronouncing it completely wrong) so I had in fact called it 'The Turkey Violin' and I didn't even realise because my French is so fucking TERRIBLE.

Also, Le Violin Dingue is nowhere near Chatelet, I must have been drunker than I thought. In fact, I can't really remember a lot of the night, I started telling you last time how me and Amy were considering getting on the back of two scooters with two French boys... (Boys is definitely the right word- we made them show us their I.D and one of them was born in the nineties, the NINETIES! I know, I know. It's done now. Stop looking at me like that.)

As far as I can recall, one of them wanted me to try his helmet on and dance around in it, which I'm happy to say I didn't do; even in my Drunken State I knew that squishing my head into a helmet would be most unbecoming. I wanted to leave because it was about four in the morning and it was past our bedtime, but Amy was convinced we were about to be invited back to The Best After-Party of Our Lives...

From out of nowhere came two Horrible Men who were jeering at me and Amy and saying the most ungentlemenly things. I wasn't too worried at first because we were with two guys, but then one of them tried to push Amy against a wall and one of the Scooter Boys turned to me and said "You need to go home and get these men away from us."

I was absolutely furious. He was acting as if me and Amy had called the men over, as if were asking for it. Oh, that phrase I hate above all others- 'asking for it', not actually spoken, but insinuated, which was good enough for me. I saw red. I exploded. I might have called him a wanker in Greek just so they couldn't understand me and so the two Horrible Men would think we were Greek and stop treating us like 'slaggy English girls'. Somehow me and Amy managed to push the Horrible Men away and walked off to find the night bus.

Honestly, that is how I remember it happening...

However, the next day when we were telling Kayt about our night, when it came to this part of the story Amy interrupted me with howling laughter and said "That's not what happened at all!"

Bemused, I listened to her side of events, which are slightly different to mine. In a Left Bank Manc First, I got Amy to write down her recollections of the event and I am going to share them with you, just to prove I am not a Corrupt and Biased Blogger:

LBM has tried to sell Saturday night as if she was unwillingly dragged kicking and screaming into a series of ridiculous events. This is not the case. At all.
(Also I would like to preface this guest entry with – yes, I am Northern and yes I did have eyelash extensions and sleep with roller in but I am NOT an extra from desperate scousewives. I am a normal colour and can read and write. LBM was not painting a very pretty picture of me.)

So…. we were in the middle of lots of fun and I had it in my head that the longer we were out the longer the fun would continue. This kind of thinking has gotten me into trouble before (see tear gassing incident).

But instead of leaving to get the N11 (old faithful nightbus) as we SHOULD have we followed the scooter boy who seemed to be interested in bedding both LBM and I. I promise this is not why we followed him. LBM and I are close. Just not that close.

I just thought he might have a nice apartment and we could ride around Paris on a scooter. Earlier in the night he had confessed to having homes in both Chelsea and St Tropez (the less naïve amongst you are now sighing and holding your head in your hands) but I believed him and wanted to see how many square feet he had.

Upon leaving the ‘meat violin’ we hovered around the scooter boys and I am afraid my brain went into overdrive as I replayed the Paris episode of The Hills in my head only me and LBM had replaced the glamorous Americans with our drunk northern selves.

I was adamant we were going back with them for a party and offered the half drunk Evian bottle of red wine in my handbag as my contribution.

At this point some men who definitely did not have houses in Chelsea and St Tropez approached us and started to undo their pants. It was here that it all went horribly wrong.

Scooter boy gallantly stepped in and told the men that we were his girlfriends and not to approach us with their genitals. He did this as he was putting his scooter helmet on and it seemed to be this gesture that caused LBM to become apoplectic.

‘He’s just going to fuck off on his scooter and leave us and he’s telling us to go away! Go on then dickhead, fuck off on your scooter. ‘

He wasn’t. He was telling us not to engage in conversation with the men as it would only encourage them and it could end badly for both of us.

So of course LBM then turned her attention to the men attempting to flash us.

‘And you can just fuck off, you’re disgusting. Je suis Grecque ! Tejgdhvijlisddjgvg!’
 (Fake Greek, LBM likes to speak ‘fluent’ nonsense to all of our would be attackers and pass it off as other languages for some reason)

It continued in this same vein for about twenty minutes by which point the scooter boys looked more scared of us than the sex offenders. She then got it into her head that I was siding with the scooter boy in attempt to go home with him for a ‘party’. Understandably she was very angry at me for this. I had no intention of having a ‘party’ with him. (Let’s just say there were some age issues) I just thought it would be a good idea to keep the men who didn’t want to assault us in good, protective spirits so we weren’t left alone in the street with two would-be rapists. The more I tried to explain this to her, the more furious she became until it got to the point where I wanted to put my own face through a window rather than listen to her anymore.

To make matters worse we had now alienated the only people who were offering to prevent us being raped.

I decided this was a good time to leave (as did the scooter boys, funnily enough) and managed to drag LBM down the street before we ended up arrested or dead or trafficked into Senegal and forced to drive cars across the border. Things like this do happen, I’ve seen Panorama.

We argued all the way down
Rue St
Jacques, all the way across the river, all the way to the bus stop. We then stopped arguing because I noticed LBM was silently crying. I felt awful then as I thought it was because she thought I hadn’t defended her in our ‘mass brawl’ (mass exaggeration if you ask me) but no.

She had lost her scarf.

So the night culminated in a lost scarf and ham crisps in bed.

I really miss Paris.

Well well well. Rather put your own face through a window eh, Amy? I don't know what night out you went on, but it wasn't the same one as me. You have made the Scooter Boys look like normal, slightly valiant, nice guys and you have made me look like a swearing, aggressive horrible cow who pretends to be Greek and speaks in nonsense. In fact, the whole thing makes look suspiciously like a bit of a Dickhead. That can't be right...

Complete fabrication, every last word. We were being attacked by hundreds of Horrible Men and I fought them all off with my karate moves- that is what I think you meant to say, Amy.

I've just realised, I didn't explain the title of these posts. 'Scuffles' is because there were lots of scuffles, obviously, and 'snazz' is because Amy said 'Pure Snazz' so much that we all started to say it. I can't believe all the snazzy scuffles happened a week ago, I've still got Saturday night to tell you about... Stay tuned for Part 3. If you can be arsed.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Snazz and Scuffles: Part 1

'Part 1?' you might be asking, 'Who is this egomaniac who thinks her weekend is soooo exciting that people will want to read about it in instalments?'

I am assuming that is a rhetorical question, readers.

Enough questions, Amy is sat on my bed reading a magazine as I type and I need to finish this blog post before she gets through the end of 'Fifty Things Men Say Women Should Do To Make Them Good At Sex' (She's reading some out to me and it's made me never want to have sex again, not if I have to 'wear cowboy boots, naked' or 'treat the penis like an ice-cream'. It's not 1999 and your penis is not an ice cream, no matter how much I wished it was.)

So. I'll start at the beginning...

Me and Kayt collected Amy off the Roissy-Bus on Thursday night. It was so exciting and lovely, the shops were glittering with Christmas illuminations and our favourite Scouser was back in the City of Light. (You could tell she'd been back in Liverpool for a few months, because she had eyelash-extensions in and when we all went to bed at Kayt's, Amy went to sleep with a roller in her fringe.)


The first night we all stayed at Kayt's, because she has a real studio with a mezzanine and a double bed and a door separating her bathroom from her kitchen, but she had friends from uni staying, so for Friday and Saturday Amy was my 'house guest', although it's not a house is it? It's basically a kitchen with a bed and a shower in the corner (which is my excuse for eating so much, because how can you control yourself when you LIVE in a kitchen?).

I was a bit worried about how we were going to handle the 'shower situation' but we got around the problem by not washing. Well, one of us did, the other showered while the dirty one was at work. I won't tell you who is who, but erm, Amy doesn't work in Paris anymore...

On Friday night Kayt and her friends had tickets for something and me and Amy, being skint, decided to have a cheap night out on our own. We drank two bottles of Vieux Pape, the cheapest, most hatest red wine in France, then we went out and met Chloe, who was my current family's au pair last year. She was here for the weekend because she misses Paris, obviously, and also to see the kids again. (Yes, the kids that I now work with, keep up.)

We went to a bar called Le Fifth (or something like that) on Rue Mouffetard, which was quite nice, but after one drink we decided to go somewhere where we could 'have a dance'. Chloe's French friend Julliette suggested Le Violin Dinde* (The Crazy Violin) which is a really touristy bar/cave club near Châtelet. None of us were really overly-excited but we were all skint and no better ideas, so we ended up trip-trapping across the city to get there.

Once we got inside, Chloe got talking to some Americans who complained that it wasn't 'popping'. "Do you know where it's popping?" they asked us. I had no idea what they were talking about, but I assumed they wanted to go to a club with Proper Music, so I wrote down the address of Nouveau Casino. I felt all Smug and Knowledgeable, until they asked us why we weren't going there too.

"We, erm, can't afford it." was our answer.

But we had a good time anyway! Dowstairs in the cave was a lot livelier and they were playing music we could dance to- indie/RnB etc. The drinks weren't too expensive and we got shots bought for us by two gentleman who took a liking to Chloe. Unfortunately they thought that as they had bought tequila, they were entitled to ask us if we were 'shaven or waxed' so we said a few sharp words to them and took to the dancefloor.

I know I say this a lot but men really are awful aren't they?

Me and Amy got chatting to someone who insisted he could get us both back to his apartment for a threesome. He said 'If you come back with me I will pay you a hundred euros each if you don't both climax.'

Well, we couldn't lose really could we?

We found that statement so amusing that we decided to stick around a bit longer, just for the Laughs and Jokes. Chloe and Juliette decided to leave about 3am and me and Amy really, really should have left with them. But we didn't. We stayed until our new mate was leaving and then Amy made us follow him out of the club to see if he was having 'an after-party'. This is why I blame Amy for everything, because she is obsessed with after-parties. She always want the night to go on and on, even if you have gone late-night shopping at H&M, you have to drag her back from asking the shop assistants if are having an after-party after the shop closes.

So. Outside we were chatting with Our New Mate and his two friends, and we saw they had scooters. SCOOTERS! It is every girl's dream to ride around Paris on the back of a mysterious dark-haired man's scooter...

Ok Amy didn't realise it was going to take me this long, so I'll finish this later tonight.

*Kayt just informed that it's called Le Violin Dingue, Le Violin Dinde means 'The Meat Violin' which as Amy just said, 'sounds like a really vile euphemism'

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Return of the Ridiculousness

I'm so sorry I haven't written on here for a week, I think it's the longest time I've ever gone without posting anything! I have so much to write about, but I need to do it tomorrow when I have more time, so I can sit down properly and tell you the whole sorry story.

It's all Amy's fault. I've worked out she is the reason we did so many Ridiculous Things last year on nights out (getting tear-gassed, narrowly escaping gang rape by the river, sitting on park benches drinking wine instead of going into bars like Normal People...) because so far this year (academic year, I mean) I haven't done anything too Ridiculous, but Amy is here for a week and so far we have been the cause of a mass brawl in the street, had a dispute with two boys on scooters and one of us had a one night stand, I won't tell you who but it certainly wasn't me because, as regular readers will know, about seven months ago I took a Vow Of Celibacy in an effort to limit the amount of Ridiculous Things I was getting up to.

Other fabulous things that have happened since Amy has come to visit:

-I put my watch in the washing machine
-I left my favourite (only) scarf in a club
-My laptop is fuuuucked
-I lost my passport. Yep. Don't talk to me about it, looks like I'll be going home for Christmas crouched down between two crates of Camembert in the back of a lorry.

On the plus side, Amy brought me Dairy Milk, Haribo sweets, Maryland cookies, English magazines, an advent calender and she even smuggled in some Tesco Extra Special Pork and Red Onion Sausages. I've eaten all the chocolate, sweets and biscuits (and most of Kayt's), but the sausages are in my freezer; I can eat them on Christams Day if I really do get stuck here because I lost my FUCKING PASSPORT.

Anyway.

In preparation for my amazingly detailed account of the Ridiculous Weekend we have just enjoyed, you should read these posts about Le Longhop, because that is where we went on Saturday and let's just say that the past came back to haunt us...

Ghetto Princesses Part 1-
We instigated an aggressive dance-off and made some new friends

Ghetto Princesses Part 2-
Our 'new friends' stopped us from being gang-raped and one of us was tear-gassed. No, really

Villette Sonique-
The bouncer of Le Longhop wouldn't let us in and we got into a little dispute... unfortunately said bouncer featured very heavily in our night out yesterday/this morning


I'm really Paranoid now that everybody has lost interest because I haven't posted for so long, but I'll write the first part of my Ridiculous Weekend tomorrow morning, in the Time Window I have between teaching and waitressing. Please read it... I've lost or broken every single thing I own of value, you have to feel soz for me and don't stop reading.

Ok?

Ok.


Monday, 14 November 2011

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Once my aunty called my mum up and said: "What I like about LBM* is, she doesn't feel sorry for herself."

Me and mum** took this as a huge compliment and a sure indicator that I was Well-Balanced and Adjusted, until my mum said suddenly, "What have you got to feel sorry for yourself for?"

Then we were quite offended, because now we were wondering if my aunty was in fact suggesting I was a Special Person who smiled bravely whilst struggling to cope with life using the insufficient mental capacity assigned at birth...

My point is, I never used to be a moany, whingy bitch.

So.


Reasons To Be Cheerful:


My room is tidy!

I have booked my flights home for Christmas!

Amy is coming on Wednesday and Chloe is coming at the weekend!
(Although, I might not get to see her because she is mainly coming to see her old au pair family, i.e. my au pair family.

I have thirty followers on my blog!

I paid back Julia and I gave Amo half her money!
(Although, I ended up borrowing seventeen more euros off her and I somehow now owe Kayt fifteen euros as well.)

ALSO

I am currently In Talks with myself as to whether I can make it to London for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day (all the Best People know NYD is the new NYE.) Fingers, toes and fairy wings crossed.

On the downside I hacked away at my fringe on Saturday night and I now look like someone who has been given a job at McDonald's as part of their 'Capability Equality Act'.

Now it's off to my Stupid Fucking Restaurant Job. Big smiles everyone!

*Do I really have to tell you, yet again, that when I write 'LBM' I am just substituting it for my real name, which nobody can ever discover or I will explode like Rumpelstiltskin?

**If anyone read 'me and mum' and thought 'Oh dear, that really should be mum and I'; then I would kindly ask you to STOP READING MY BLOG, maybe go out and make some friends, find a hobby, start living your life...

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Give Me A Sign.

Amo is staying over later, I have finally dragged her away from her beloved Disneyland for the night, on the premise that I will give her back the 100 euros I owe her. What she doesn't know is that I am planning on getting her really drunk and then asking her if I can give her just half of the money this week, as I need the other half for cocktails tonight. Am I a terrible person?

Yes.

But I have Big Problems when it comes to money, it has always been a Mystery to me; I nearly didn't go out on Thursday because I realised I couldn't really afford it and Kayt said "How can you not afford to go out? You have a full time job" and I had no answer to give her. As a consequence I was forced to go out against my will and spend the money I should really be giving to Amo...

Although, I am being More Careful these days. I only bought one drink on Thursday and then we went home on the night bus. We were going to pay 12 euros to get into Nouveau Casino but on our way there from UFO -a strange little dive on Rue Oberkampf where they project 'erotic thrillers' from the 1960s onto the wall, to a soundtrack of reggae and ska, played by a man who looked suspiciously like Jimmy Saville- we decided to get a Subway, which landed us in the middle of a bizare disagreement between the Sandwich Artist who was holding the fort on all his lonesome and had locked the door to stop more people coming in, and four Police Officers who demanded to know why he had locked the door...

Seriously though, I am really trying my BESTEST to be Super Careful because not only do I owe Amo money; I still owe Julia thirty euros for my We Love Art ticket AND I still owe Clare money from last June AND then there is my friend who lent me the money to put down as a deposit for Ibiza...

Oh dear, I've just realised I am a Massive Dickhead.

But enough about my idiotic Financial Situation, the least I can do for Amo is tidy up my room- since Laura stayed last weekend it has gotten even worse. It's so messy that I've not been in my room since Thursday morning, I've been out all day at my two jobs and then stayed both nights at Kayt's. I couldn't bear to sit amongst piles of dirty clothes and dirty dishes and bits of paper and broken hangers and bottles of hairspray and scruffy make-up brushes and old magazines and bras and books and wet towels and bits of fluff and huge knots of tangled-up Electrical Things... ARGH.

RIGHT.

I'm going to get started on it now.

No more distractions.

Once I've finished I'll feel so much better, then I can concentrate on Organising My Life, which chiefly involves booking my flights home for Christmas. I've decided that flying is my only option, even though I don't really trust myself to fly alone after the disaster in Ibiza. But I only have four days and I want to spend as little of that time as possible travelling. The restaurant said I could have from the 20th to the 26th off, which I was pleasantly surprised and excited about until I remembered that I have to work my au pair job until the 23rd. So that means I can fly home on the 23rd and fly back to Paris on Boxing Day.

I can't believe I am going through with this. I honestly thought I would just quit the resto job if it meant only having two full days off at Christmas, but the fact that I am really skint with the waitressing wages makes not having the waitressing wages a scary prospect...

There's some Good News though:

I'm getting New Year's Eve off!!

I really, really hope I can go to London, but we'll have to see, I might have to be in work the next day and everyone is going out on New Year's Day rather than NYE, so I'll need at least three days off. Ooh, exciting prospects though! If I can't go to London then Abby and Julia said I'm welcome wherever they're going in Paris.

GOOD TIMES.

And at the same time... very very bad times, back in England. I can't believe I am writing all this trivial shit on my blog about money and tidying, because I had some Bad News this week and it makes everything seem... stupid. Sad and stupid and ridiculous.

But you just have to carry on as if everything is normal and not think about it too much.

Carry on, carry on...

Try to think about the future.

Although, actually, don't bother. You might never get there. In some ways I'm worrying that I'm doing the wrong thing. Why should I bother with this Stupid Fucking Waitressing Job, shouldn't I just spend as much time with my family and friends as I want to over Christmas, rather than worrying about money and the future?

I've not booked anything yet anyway, so let's just see what I decide. I'm going to wait for a Sign. I like Signs. Somebody give me a Sign, but make sure it's the one I'm looking for.

Oh God. 'Someone Like You' is drifting through my open window. Excuse me while I go and slit my wrists.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Crying and Consuming: Part 2

I believe I was talking about a narrow staircase, filled with flowers...

We finally reached the top floor and piled into the apartment that belonged to one of the guys we had made friends with, don't ask me which one because I don't know- I can barely remember what they looked like, except they all had dark hair. I can remember the girl they were with however, because she was covered in open sores and scars. She had done 'special make-up' for Halloween, even though Halloween had been over for nearly a week. In fact, now that I think about it, I don't think the girl was their friend at all, I think she was a stray that they'd/we'd picked up at Le Truskel...

Anyway.

The apartment was quite nice, at least it was a 'real apartment' and not a chambre de bonne (bedroom with a shower and a hotplate inside) or a 'studio' (large bedroom with a shower, a toilet and hotplate in it) like most people I know seem to live in. There were even separate rooms, about five of them! And there was a corridor between the rooms! Me and- I want to say Olivia, but I can't really remember- went into the toilet together at one point and the ceiling was unexpectedly really high. There were shelves going right up to the ceiling and they were full of cycling and hiking gear: massive rucksacks and helmets and Stuff. It was a bit trippy, because while Olivia (or whoever it was) was having a wee (ooh, too much information?), I was looking at the 'gear' and thinking 'Where can you go hiking in Paris?'

Everyone was sat in the living room, drinking, chatting, listening to music etc, and I was sat on the floor with Julia. I wasn't really part of the conversation, I'd kind of zoned out and was having a silent, drunken conversation in my head. (Probably discussing my new shoes with myself.) I glanced around the room and for the first time since we'd entered the apartment, I noticed there was a framed print on the wall of Gustav Klimt's 'Mother and Child'.

If you don't know what it is, it's this:






















Me and my mum always say that we are the 'Mother and Child' in this painting- when I was born I had the same hair as the baby in the painting and I think that the Mother's face and colouring bears more than a little resemblance to my mum's. But regardless of whether we actually look (looked I mean, I'm not a baby anymore, unfortunately) anything like the 'Mother and Child' or not, whenever I see this painting it reminds me of my mum. It's a popular painting and lots of people have prints of it hung on their walls, but you don't expect to see it hanging in a stranger's apartment that you go back to for an impromptu after-party. It took me a little by surprise and perhaps that's why I, er, reacted the way I did.

I'd had quite a lot to drink, remember.

I'd also had a Bad Week.

Plus, I've been feeling really homesick lately. It comes and goes in great, sad waves that start in the stomach, making you ache with something you can't put your finger on... you wonder if you are hungry, then you wonder if you are tired, then you realise what it is you are aching for... The wave spreads from your stomach, tightening your chest as it moves up your throat, choking you, then suddenly you are trying to stop it escaping through your tear ducts...

Well I was drunk and I couldn't stop it.

I burst into tears upon seeing the painting and the tears wouldn't stop coming. I honestly tried to stop crying, but I couldn't. Julia let me cry into her hair so to stifle the noise, butI still made a Big Scene. I remember the guy sat next to me said half-heartedly"Don't cry..." but none of them knew what to do. I didn't care though, my mind was far away, on the people that really matter to me, and I wasn't worrying about four random strangers (that would be the three guys and Halloween Girl, not Olivia, Julia and Laura), one of whom lived in a strange building filled with potted plants.

I don't think anyone has ever cried so inappropriately. Olivia asked Julia "What's she crying for?"

I felt bad then because, as I mentioned in the previous post, Olivia has very recently checked-in to Heartbreak Hotel and we were supposed to be cheering her up. Lauren even told her I was the best person to be around when you are newly single, because I am, in Lauren's words, a 'boyfriend-hater extraordinaire.'

Well, my floods of tears didn't really cheer Olivia up, in fact because I was crying she started crying as well and then I tried to make amends for crying for no reason. I tried to look at Olivia through my tear-filled eyes as I struggled to say, between the choked sobs that I was forcing back down my throat:

"I...I've g-ggot... nothing t-tto... c-cry...a-a-a-about...you-you're...the one...with... some-something... t-to... c-cry... about!"

Oh dear.

I think it was shortly after that that we left, but I don't remember being sad as we left. In fact I don't remember anything at all. I do remember standing outside a hotel while Olivia and Julia went in to ask for a taxi. Laura saw that they had set up for breakfast.

"Go in and steal us a croissant." she said.

I went in, keeping my head down, and grabbed two croissants, then I walked straight back out again. Victory was ours. Olivia and Julia joined us outside with a message from the guy on reception. I thought it was going to something aggressive about croissants, but in fact he'd just written down his name and telephone number for Laura, who he must have fallen in love with her whilst watching her having a fag outside the window, eating her stolen Continental Breakfast.

The taxi arrived. First it dropped Olivia and Julia off, then... then I fell into a deep sleep. I was having dreams and everything, about being late for work and throwing caramel shots in people's eyes, then all of a sudden the taxi had stopped and he was telling us to get out. I looked around and had no idea where we were, so I repeated the name of my street. He just kept pointing and saying "C'est la! C'est la!"

For some reason, we took his word for it and Laura paid for our journey on her card. It was almost forty euros, so fuck knows where he'd driven us. We got out of the taxi and Laura said: "Shit, I was proper asleep then!"

I don't think it is a Good Thing that both of us fell asleep in the taxi, but luckily for us the taxi driver had actually dropped us off near my street, so we only had a five minute walk and then we were riding the elevator to my horrible, messy bedroom. We both put on our new pyjamas and as we climbed into bed, the light outside my window was the petrol blue that proceeds a winter's sunrise.

The next day we met Kayt for 'brunch' (is it still brunch at half three in the afternoon?) at the Rose Bakery, near Pigalle, which is a lovely English-themed bakery and restaurant that only uses organic, free range, locally-sourced blah blah blah. It's fucking Well Dear and you always have to queue to get a table, but it's Worth It. I had Bacon, Mushrooms, Eggs and Tomatoes which came with huge slices of toasted baguette and chunky, sweet marmalade. I also had a pot of rooibios tea and all in all, my 'brunch' nearly cost me twenty euros, but I've lived in Paris for long enough now that it doesn't seem that extortionate...



















After the Rose Bakery, Laura got her train home and me and Kayt ate an absolutely shocking amount of English chocolate, plus tortilla chops with a tub of cream cheese and slices of chorizo... Seriously, I am going to try and control my Feeding Habits, especially as Ibiza 2012 is already booked.

I'm very excited for that obviously, but it also means more things to pay for. Still, I feel a lot happier this week, the restaurant has been going better and I have Ibiza 2012 to look forward to...

Now I'm going to see how many cups of tea I can fit in before I have to go to my au pair job, I have to leave in fifteen minutes...

Monday, 7 November 2011

Crying and Consuming: Part 1

I've just found a weird French flyer that has 'Adrian' scrawled on the back of it, along with a mobile number. It wasn't for me, it was for Laura, who happens to have a boyfriend living in Belgium. (No, he's not Belgiumese, he's actually an English guy that she met whilst working in St Tropez this summer: he was flipping burgers on an English campsite, she was cleaning caravans- what could be more riveria chic than that?)

For a moment or two I had no idea where the flyer came from or who 'Adrian' was, but then I got Total Recall and the whole drunken night came flooding back to me. I have since made myself a cup of tea and I'm now getting settled in my bed, because I think this is going to be a long one...

Let's start at the beginning.

On Saturday I got up at 9.30am and went to my au pair job, in a foul mood because I resented working yet another Saturday. I took the eight year old and the baby to the park, but it had been raining and everything was wet, so the kids couldn't play on anything and we had to come home after half an hour, even though the mum told me not to come back for at least an hour.

When we got back I curled the eight year old's hair with my curling tongs. It took about forty minutes and when I'd finished, she said she didn't even like it. I know she secretly loved it though, because she couldn't stop marvelling at herself in the mirror; pouting and tossing her curls about.

After lunch her little mate came round and we did 'choreography' which basically means the eight year old and her friend sit on the bed and yell Danse! Danse! at me and I have to dance to the Black Eyed Peas while they watch me, smirking. I was dancing for them for about an hour, struggling to think of new moves and wondering how many more Katy Perry songs I could bear to listen to, when finally, finally the baby's nanny arrived about 3pm and she said I could go- I was freeee to start my weekend.

I had an hour long Disco Nap and then Olivia rang me to discuss The Plan for her birthday drinks that evening. I suggested Le China near Bastille- we went there last May and I fell in love with the place, it's a bit pricey but I thought it would be ok for everyone as we were celebrating and it is 'lush', as Kayt would say.

Plans made, I met up with Kayt and Laura for a quick trip to H&M. Laura was down for the night from Amiens, which is a couple of hours away from Paris. When she moved away from Paris last year I thought we would never get to see her, but she's come to Paris so many times since we all came back in September that it's like she still lives here.

Oh my God, I have just realised I am telling everybody about my life in the most excruiatingly minute detail, I'm so sorry, it's just that I have such a shit memory, and writing my blog really feels like I am writing in my diary- I want to capture everything for Future Reference... You know what? You could stop reading at any point, so don't be bitching about me being boring.

Anyway, we went on a little shopping trip... Since getting paid from the restaurant I have been uncharacteristically sensible about my spending habits, but I was feeling ever so slightly miserable on Saturday and as much as it pains me to admit me this about myself, Consuming makes me feel GOOD.

I bought a coat, a pair of shoes, some tights and some really cute pyjamas. Actually, it doesn't sound like a lot now that I've written it down and I really needed a new coat and it was 50% off. Just for Crystal, here is a picture of the shoes, but I'm not even sure if I like them anymore:















They look a bit cheap, but I was just desperate for some new 'going out shoes' and these are black, they're quite high and they're really comfortable. Tick, tick, tick. Nobody will look at them in dark clubs anyway. And they look really nice with my new camel coat...

After the shopping spree me, Kayt and Laura ate a disgusting amount of filled pasta and pesto in my little Cinderella room and got ready to go out. Well, me and Laura did, but Kayt had to go and babysit. I'd like to say that because I knew Laura was staying, I tidied and cleaned my room... but I didn't. It was and still is absolutely disgusting, I half feel sorry for Laura and I half don't really care, because I am a very Selfish and Lazy Girl.

Anyway, we went to Olivia's for pre-drinks and on the way I bought a bag of Haribo Ours d'or (gummy bears) because when I am feeling A Bit Miserable I can't walk past food I like and not CONSUME IT and I like Ours d'or A LOT. I thought everyone would be up for gummy bears, but I ended up eating almost the entire bag by myself and I felt a bit sick. Also I drank quite a lot. We were at Olivia's remember, Ms Mixologist. She made us Espresso Martinis and Mojitos, plus there was a lot of wine.

There was also her mum, who was visiting from England and was lovely. She was drinking and chatting with us and Abby said it was weird drinking with somebody's mum, because French parents don't realise that their children drink to the extent that they do. She said her mum and dad think that she only drinks alchohol with meals! How weird is that? Last Wednesday afternoon me and Abby went out for 'a coffee' and we got a glass of wine instead which then turned into a bottle of wine back at mine... we were drunk and arguing about spaghetti carbonara before I bet her mum and dad had even sat down for their dinner.

I digress, a lot...

There was six of us that went out. We headed to Le China at about half eleven and it was absolutely rammed. We had to go downstairs in the club bit and they don't make all the nice cocktails down there. We waited for agesss to get served and I think me and Laura were the only ones who liked our cocktails. Maybe it was because they were too busy, but they just weren't nice. Last time we went I had one of the best cocktails I've ever had ('The Cointreaupolitan', made with fresh sage) and there was a really calm, elegant atmosphere, but it was just ghastly on Saturday night, simply ghastly.

I felt really guilty for bringing everyone there but honestly, it can be a really special place. I think the best time to go would be early on a Friday night, when it's quiet. Apparently the food is really, really good.

Anyway, we cut our losses and got on the metro to Le Truskel. I can't exactly remember why we decided to go there, but I do remember getting a ham and cheese crêpe on the journey... We also lost one of our number on the way there, as Abby decided to go home, I think she had uni work to do or something.

Le Truskel is basically a glorified 'celtic pub'/Indie club. It's a bit scrubby but it's fun.

HOWEVER. We did get approached by a lot of horrible, horrible men. It started at the bar when I was pinning up my hair, a man wearing a Pretentious Scarf pointed at me and said: "Why do you put your hair in shape? Nobody cares! It's so late!"

I had no fucking idea what he was talking about, so Julia asked him if he wanted her to translate for him and he got all huffy.

"I lived in London for six months, I speak fluent English!"

Yep, ok, I'll just continue to put my hair in shape then...

After Prententious Scarf Man, we got hounded by a whole gang of Horrible Men at once who were all mates with each other. Maybe they met at a Woman Abusing Conference. By this point, I was at that stage of Drunkeness where I decide I must lie about my Ethnic Origins and I told everyone we were Swedish so that they wouldn't try and talk English to us. We quickly tried to give outselves 'Swedish names' but we only managed Ulrika and Erika before we ran out of ideas. After a lot of gibberish talking (which is an Excellent way to convince drunk people you are Swedish or Greek, I have done it a lot in Paris and I would highly reccommend it if people won't leave you alone because they want to speak English to you) we finally got rid of the Horrible Men, only to be approached by a gang of Not As Horrible Men.

These men had heard us yelling and hollering so they knew we spoke English, but we just wouldn't admit it. We decided to all give ourselves different nationalities, I don't remember most of them but Julia was a Russian girl called Natasha and I was, obviously, a Romany Traveller called Esme. The brilliant part of the plan was that we pretended I was ashamed of my real name, which was Esmerelda, because it was so obviously Romany Traveller, so I made everyone call me Esme and not tell anyone I was a Romany Traveller, but of course they let the cat out of the bag...

Anyway, it all gets a bit hazy. Everyone left to go for a smoke and I kept the table. One of the Not-So Horrible Men actually turned out to be pretty Horrible and because I wasn't touching his arm whilst laughing coquettishly in his face and saying things like 'Ha ha that is so charming', he started to say things like "All your friends have a sense of humour, you have no sense of humour. You are horrible, men will be horrible to you, you deserve it." Obviously I didn't understand a word he was saying because he was talking in English and Esme only speaks Romanian, but his friends were really embarrassed and they dragged him away.

I went downstairs to wait for the girls and lo and behold, Pretentious Scarf Man popped up out of whatever arsehole he'd been lurking about in, wanting to apologise but also to try and make me look like a dick at the same time, in that way that men do. "You over-reacted, I was only being friendly, I'm sorry." I am sounding like a real man-hater in this post... oh well.

After the girls had finished their fags in the disgusting, windowless 'smoking room', we moved onto the dance floor. It was very crowded and a lot of people were pushing into each other and knocking drinks over. One guy barged into Olivia and knocked her drink all over her, so in retalliation and annoyance she threw her shot at him. Unfortunately it went directly into his eye and he Flipped Out. There was a lot of shuffling around, trying to remain in the middle of him and Olivia and then thankfully he stalked off somewhere, rubbing his eye and making a big deal out of nothing.

Come on you aggy bastard, some people do shots through their eye on a regular basis, we've basically given you a shot for free!

After the Drama we had some good dancing times and then, somehow, we appeared to have made friends with a group of Not Weird Men, one of whom kept showing me photos of his wife and his little boy, so there was definitely a refreshing lack of the threatening/sinister behaviour that I've come to associate with the lovely gentlemen of Paris.

The club closed. We were outside talking to the three Not Weird Men and then suddenly ShotEye pounced on us from the shadows, shouting at Olivia and generally being an Aggy Bastard. Olivia said to him very seriously "Who cut your hair? I'll get them for you." I had never heard that one before Olivia said it and now it's one of my favourite Scouse sayings. (It means you have shit hair, he did have quite shit hair.)

The Not Weird Men, plus their Not Weird Female Friend, tried to intervene and before I knew what was happening, we were all walking back to a party at a random apartment which was 'just around the corner'. ShotEye followed us for quite a long way and we had to keep stopping and yelling at him. We were all venting our man-hating anger on him and eventually he skulked off with his shit hair.

The next thing I can remember is... creeping through a dark courtyard filled with flowers. I can remember whispering "Whose are all these flowers?"

I have a really weird impression of the building and the feeling of the place- it seems like I'm looking back at an old photo, or it could be a faded scene from one of my earliest memories, those moments you can't really remember but you can recall the feeling of them.

The courtyard was filled with pots and troughs of flowers and then we walked into a tiled hallway that was also filled with flowers. We were led up a narrow, winding staircase and there were pots of flowers on each step for the first couple of flights of stairs and then they gradually disappeared. I can't remember what flowers they were.

I'm so tired all of a sudden, I feel sick, I'm going to finish this tomorrow afternoon. Good night!

Time Window

Work at the restaurant wasn't too bad today! It was absolutely dead and I was on the bar for the first time, so I was just making drinks and polishing cutlery- it was Excellent. Also, the shift manager was an English guy who is really nice and the only other person working was the Danish girl and we got on fine today, although I pleasantly asked her how her party went (that I wasn't invited to) and it transpires that she invited Aggressive Australian Chef. Maybe they have shagged or something.

Anyway, I have a little Time Window so I thought I'd do a quick blog. How busy am I?? I have 'windows of time' now, whereas before I started this Stupid Fucking Waitressing Job I had wide open plains of time, I had meadows and forests and oceans of time and all I did with them was sleep and look at pictures of really obese people on the internet...

Nowadays I am extremely busy. I'm completely swamped, darling. Today I've worked in the restaurant, I'll be doing my au pair job later and this morning I had my Drama Lesson Thing. It went quite well today, although I was only assisting the lesson really. The French actress who was teaching had to keep yelling at the kids in French to make them behave, even though there is supposed to be No French in the class at all. I don't know what's going to happen when it comes to teaching them on my own, but in a way I'm looking forward to it; even though they are quite naughty and a bit loony, I like the class a lot. Today some of the boys sang an English song that they learnt in school last year and it was the Best Thing ever, seeing them so excited and having fun and learning at the same time. I really would consider being a teacher if I didn't think I'd be so crap at it. Also if schools didn't start so early.

After the lesson the French teacher asked me if I wanted to 'grab a coffee' although of course for me that means tea, because the taste of coffee makes my taste buds want to run away and hide in a dark corner, shuddering. (They never actually do of course, but then again I rarely subject them to the taste of coffee, because I don't care much for it myself. I only make them taste coffee when there is coffee cake on offer, or chocolate-covered coffee beans that look exactly like chocolate-covered nuts.)

The French actress/teacher is really lovely and the good thing is she thinks it's rubbish that I've lived here for over a year and I don't speak French, so she frequently talks to me in French, as she says it's the only way I'll learn. She has an eleven year son and she asked me if I'd be available for babysitting sometimes AND she said she'll pass on my details to her friends if they want an English teacher. So she might throw some work my way, plus it's good to speak French with her. She said that the best way to learn another language is to get a boyfriend who doesn't speak English, which people have told me time and time again, but I can hardly put an announcement in the FUSAC can I?

Wanted: French man for Sexy Times and Conversation. Must not speak English. If you can understand this announcement, you are not a suitable candidate.

She said "I know some Nice French Boys, I will introduce you."

People say this to me so often in Paris that I have stopped believing them. It's really weird, whether they are French or English, as soon as they find out I am single, people say "I know some Nice Boys! I will introduce you."

As if I will take any Nice Boy and that they will take me just because we are both single. Can you imagine how awful it would be if I actually went on a blind date? I can barely hold a conversation with my co-workers, who I have known for almost a month now and who all speak English. What would I say to someone I don't know, in French? Oh God, I am cringing just thinking about it.

Oh shit, I have to go to work now, but later I will write about the weekend- I know there are millions and millions of avid readers out there who are just desperate to know how I spent my weekend.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Commenters and Followers

Ahem.

That was me clearing my throat in preparation for the Big Speech I am about to deliver:

I would just like to say a big Thank You to everyone who has commented on my blog recently. I don't know why, but all of a sudden I am getting quite a lot of comments and I am Loving It. Also, I would like to say MERCI BEAUCOUP to my 27 Followers, because even though 27 is quite a small number compared with other, bigger numbers (28, 29 and 30 to name but a few), I am grateful that anyone at all likes my blog enough to 'follow' it. It gives me Thrills.

So that was my Big Speech.

Now I am going to get in bed with a book and a cup of tea, because I've got that Drama Class Thing in the morning and I have to be up very, very early. But tomorrow I will tell you all about my weekend- I bought some new shoes, Olivia threw a shot of caramel vodka in someone's eye and at 6.30am this morning I was in a random Parisien apartment, crying because I missed my mum.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Good News and Bad News

Bad news and good news.

The Bad News is that this week my friend Anna left Paris, for good. She decided on the spur of the moment to go to Australia for a year, as you do. (Is it 'on' the spur, or 'in' the spur? What is a 'spur'? I'm assuming it's not the same as those metal things cowboys have on the side of their boots...) Ah Anna. You are quite mad but I will miss you. Who else would come out with me on a Friday to see some dubstep music and then not come home until Sunday morning, on a TGV from Lyon, with nothing but the clothes on our backs and an amusing anecdote to share?

(If you don't know what I'm talking about readers, then I don't think I can bring myself to tell you.)

So, another friend leaves Paris. I thought enough people left last year.

But that brings me onto my Good News, because Amy is coming back for a visit in two weeks! Yey! We are probably going to drink cheap wine and eat Chinese food on benches in the street like the good old days of last year!!

Ah, but I have more Bad News. I found out my friend Jen from home, who went to Australia for six months on a work placement, has been offered a permanent job there and is going back in a few weeks. She is going to be there for at least two years and I won't get a chance to see her before she goes. Sad times.

Ok, let me think of some more Good News to cheer myself up... I got paid from my restaurant job this week and I have managed to not spend any of it yet! Well, I've spent thirty euros but those who know my Wiley Ways with money will know that this is very restrained and responsible of me!!

Talking of the 'resto' (if you don't know, this is the short word for 'restaurant' in French and as it's handy for texting I use it quite a lot), my manager asked to have 'a chat' with me yesterday. She said that the last week has gone really well, but before that she wasn't sure if she was going to keep me on because I was so diabolical. She asked me why I thought things were going a lot better suddenly.

"Because the restaurant's been quieter, I suppose." was my honest answer.

It's true- the restaurant hasn't been as crazy recently, so there hasn't been as many things to Fuck Up.

Unfortunately, it seems we spoke too soon, because today it was really busy again and I got all flustered: I put an order through the till wrong; I mixed up some table numbers; and I forgot to 'Follow Suite' which means a couple of tables had to wait for ageessss for their next course... The French Shift Manager was charging around swearing at me and bitching about me to the other staff, which made me loose my focus even more. I've realised that I Fuck Up the worst when I'm working with this particular French Shift Manager, because she just yells random things to me all day and I get very, very confused and also the anger and resentment kind of bubbles up inside me like hot acid, burning away all my common sense and reason...

When we had our 'little chat' yesterday, the manager said that I also need to make myself 'part of the team'. I read between the lines:

"Does everyone think I'm really rude?"

"...No." she said, "They just... they just think you are quite shy. It's horrible being the person at work that no one speaks to and sooner or later everyone will just stop trying."

I tried really hard today to say 'hello' to everyone and to ask them if they were looking forward to the weekend, all that Boring, Personable Crap that I have no interest in because why would I want to chat to people who clearly aren't arsed about chatting to me? I'm not offended, I don't give a shit if they like me or not, but I just resent forcing my false-friendliness onto people who would clearly prefer it if I just wasn't there; I don't know if I'm being paranoid or not, but I get the feeling some of the other staff don't like me very much.

Anyway, I'm making an effort so we'll see. The Danish Girl who I actually thought was quite nice invited everyone to her house-warming party today, everyone apart from me, and it was really awakward because I was part of the conversation and then I had to kind of politely divert my attention elsewhere when she started discussing her party. Why didn't she just wait until after I had gone? Why didn't she invite everyone individually, on the sly?

Oh god. I feel like a really Bad Gimp. I feel like I have a really awful personality and everyone who meets me wishes they hadn't. At first, I comforted myself by thinking 'Well, I've got lots of friends and I know I'm not a Weirdo' but actually, when I think about it, I always make bad impressions: when I started a new Secondary School; when I started Sixth Form College and my friends weren't in any of my classes and we didn't have any of the same Free Periods; even when I started Uni... I don't have any social skills. I have the charisma of a cotton wool pad. Less even, because I'm looking at one right now and there's just something about it, so soft and spherical, I bet it has no problems getting on with my other toiletries. I bet it goes raving with my blusher brush and my tweezers, I bet it has a holiday to Ibiza booked with my eyelash-curlers.

Oh and also in my 'little chat', I discovered that I will only have four days off for Christmas. FOUR DAYS. I was kind of expecting something like this, but I assumed I would quit if it came down to it. However, I really need the money. If I keep this job up all year I could pay off my credit card and pay off my overdraft and I can move to London debt-free. (Let's not mention the £18,000 Student Loan, please.)

Four days for Christmas though? Father Christmas better bring me something really good. And speaking of Santa, baby, the girls taped their Christmas Wish Lists to their bedroom door last night. The eleven year old wants a Longchamp bag and a pair of Ugg boots (she already has a grey pair and a beige pair) and the eight year old wants her own bedroom and a Blackberry. I was planning on getting them bath bombs from Lush, so... let's see how well that goes down.

Tonight, when I was washing the eight year old's hair in the bath, she took a good, long look at my face.

"Why you have something here, here, here and here?"

She was pointing at mosquito bites on my face. YES on my face. They are not only on my face, they are also all over my neck, my chest and my shoulders. I look like a Diseased Girl. The worst thing is, I'm pretty sure it's only one mosquito who has been hiding in my room for three days. I can't find him anywhere but then I keep waking up, half-asleep, to a buzz buzzzzzz sound in my ear. The scariest thing is I'm pretty sure mosquitos don't buzz, so I could be harbouring some sort of exotic, buzzing, biting insect that is super dangerous and hard to get rid of.

I tried to explain this to the little girl, but she didn't really get it. To change the subject, I took my hair out of the bobble and showed her how curly my hair was. She loves it. I really think I am onto something with this curly hair thing. French girls seem to really admire curly hair for some reason. She was cooing and going 'So nice! So good! You do this to your hair all the time, ok?"

As I put it back into a ponytail, she glanced at my armpits and I know this is probably Too Much Information, but I may or may not have neglected them for a couple of days. I put my arms down quicly but it was too late. She smirked.

"You no have boyfriend?"

'Here we go,' I thought, 'This will be just like last year, when the eight year old kept asking me why nobody loved me until I was nearly in tears.'

"No." I said.
"Why?"
"I don't want one."
"You don't want one?!" she looked amazed.
"I'm busy. I have a lot of friends... I'm very busy."
"What's 'busy'?"
"It means I have lots of things to do."
"So? You don't want boyfriend?"
"I don't have time, I'm busy."

No matter how much I tried to justify myself, I could tell she wasn't impressed by my answer.

"Maybe you dirty. You dirty so you don't have boyfriend!"

The scary thing is, I think she's right.

So. The Good News is... Amy is coming in two weeks.

The Bad News is... i'm dirty, everybody at the restaurant hates me, two of my friends are moving to Australia, I can only have four days off for Christmas and there is a small, flying monster hiding somewhere in my room...

Oh and I'm working my au pair job again tomorrow. Instead of 'one Saturday every two months', it's worked out more like 'one Saturday every two weeks'.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

A Year Ago Today...

I just looked back on my blog out of interest to see if I posted anything on this date last year, and it just so happened to be my first day back after a Really Fun week in England. I hadn't started my new job yet, or met Kayt, Amy, Georgie, Clare, Emma, Mairi, Laura or Anne. I hadn't even seen the place that would become my home for the next nine months...

I'm no longer home, I'm back in Paris, the city where people feed me grated carrot and UHT milk. Later I am meeting my new employer and she is taking me to my new 'place'. I say place because I have no idea if it will be a hole or a nice little bedsit... I had a dream last night that my old family wouldn't let me have my stuff back. I have no idea how this whole thing is going to go down, but I guess 'que sera, que sera'. 

How weird about the dream, because they didn't let me have my stuff back at first and then when they eventually did let me have it, they brought it down stairs for me in a suspicious bin bag.