Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Paris Reunion

Put your hand up if you've been a bit of a Slack Alice recently.

I know you can't see, but believe me when I say that my hand is stretched high into the air*, because I know I haven't been blogging enough of late. I used to think I was a Massive Gimp for writing a new blog post almost every day, but in the past few weeks I've learnt that if I don't write about things as soon as they happen, then I completely forget what happened. I have the memory of a very senile goldfish who, as a young and happening goldfish, was hit on the head with a stool in a bar fight and his brain was never the same after that.

So, I'm struggling to remember what it is I wanted to tell you about. I guess I never told you how the 'Paris Reunion' went, so I'll start with that.

(I should mention, for people who have just started my blog, that the 'reunion' consisted of girls I was friends with last year, when I rolled ten au pairs deep and there was always someone to go and eat cake with... Most of us met in the local park where we took 'our' kids after school and for at least an hour every day, we got to shoo the kids away, sit on a bench eating their after-school snacks whilst discussing someone's latest sexual encounter in salicious detail. Ah, the glory days of yore! But being an expat means you often make friends with gypsy-hearted, flighty types and after one year, our little gang dispersed to Madrid, Germany, North France, Liverpool and London. Still, we'll always have Paris...)

It was brilliant, of course, but for me the entire weekend was slightly overshadowed by the dark presence of Work- I had to work Saturday night and Sunday night. On Saturday night I finished at 1am, so I thought the girls could come and meet me and then we could all go to Favela Chic. The girls came about eleven and then left because it was so busy and because they wanted to get to Favela Chic early. It was a horrible night at work and I was really pissed off when I found out everyone had left. By the time I finished, I was ready to storm home, but Julia, who showed up on her own just after everyone had left, had been waiting for me at the bar for an hour.

I frantically slapped some my make-up on and tried to sort my hair out in the Staff Toilets and then me and Julia went to meet everyone else. They had arrived at Favela Chic to discover it was closed. (Apparently a few Parisien clubs close in January, because they stay open in August... What's so difficult about staying open all year-round?)

"HA!" I said, when I found out.

I was really sulky, for no real reason other than a customer at work had suddenly switched to English- after I'd been struggling to speak to him and his party of THIRTY FIVE rowdy people in French all night- and said:

"Ok, I have no idea what you're saying. In English please?"

Everytime someone fails to understand my French, it feels like they've kicked me in the face with a steel-capped boot on. I feel really, really terrible about the whole 'language thing' at the moment. Like really terrible. It's like a weight pulling at my stomach, dragging me down constantly.

Anyway, by the time me and Julia got to Le Truskel and met up with everyone else, I'd cheered up a bit. We drank a lot of alcohol and shouted quite a lot. I think we may have even sung a rendition of 'Someone Like You' but I can't remember. Clare spent all night chatting to a very attractive Frenchman, only for him to tell her as they were about to leave together: "I have a girlfriend, but it's ok, I have cheated on her five times in the past three years." Needless to say, they didn't end up leaving together after that.

When Le Truskel closed at 4am, me and Amy concocted a Cunning Plan- we weren't ready to go home yet, so we got a taxi back to mine and tried to get into one of those suspicious, exclusive-looking clubs on my street.

We gave ourselves a pep talk as we walked up to the club next door to my building. 'We look GREAT, we've got our I.D, we're managing to walk SOBER... Why wouldn't they let us in!?"

Soon we were stood in front of the grim-faced bouncer, looking up at his huge, suited chest. He looked straight ahead as if we weren't even there. A woman stumbled out of the club and started saying something to him in French, scowling and grimacing the whole time. I'm not being bitter, but I thought she was a man in a dress, because her face was so broad and square, and her make-up was so badly applied, but Amy swears it was a woman. As the woman/man in a dress swayed around the doorway, I heard music from inside the club for the first time ever- they have got the most effectively soundproofed doors in existence. The music was shit, like someone had pressed the 'House Music Demo' button on a child's keyboard.

When the horrid woman/man in a dress finally tottered back inside, I cleared my throat and said 'Bonsoir' to the bouncer. He looked down, as if noticing us for the first time. He was silent, so I asked him if we could go inside.

"Who invited you?" he asked.

(The conversation was in French, but like always, once I'm sober I can only remember the English meaning of what was said.)

"Oh... we have to be invited?" I said, "I didn't know... I live next door, can't we just come in?"

"Non." he said.

Oh, it was awful! There's nothing like the hot shame of being refused entry into a club. I don't know why we bothered, I knew it would be a private members club, and now I'll have to stumble past that bastard every time I come home from a night out.

Luckily, Amy spotted that the kebab shop at the end of my street was open. It's never open when I walk past- it was an Early Morning Miracle!

But then the man in the kebab shop was a nobhead as well! He kept saying that he'd run out of everything, I reckon because he didn't want to serve us for Some Reason. When we made it clear that we weren't leaving without something hot and meaty wrapped in pitta bread, he made us a really weird lamb kofta thing with potatoes and spinach. I would like to say that I will never patron his shitty kebab shop ever again, but if I'm drunk and it's open, I know I'll be back in there, pleading with him for the privilege of giving him my money in exchange for something loosely translated as 'Mystery Meat'...

Why are people such Massive Dickheads?

Anyway, in hindsight it was a good job the night didn't end with an over-priced champagne binge, in a Private-Members club frequented by masculine women who like Shit Music. It's funny because unbeknownst to us, Laura and Olivia had exactly the same idea- after Le Truskel, they stayed out until 9am, drinking in 'wee little bars' around where Olivia lives. If only we had known!

The next day we went for brunch at the Open Cafe, which is a famous gay bar in the Marais. The food was really nice, but Kayt found a long, dark hair in hers, so it's up to you if you want to take my recommendation or not.

After brunch we went for cake and tea at 'The Doormouse In The Teapot', or:

The cake looked delicious, but I didn't actually have any myself- by the time we'd queued up to get a table, I had to go to work. I had a little sob before I left, because I knew it would be the last time I saw Mairi and Clare for a long time. Mairi flew back to Madrid that night and Clare went home the next day.I can't imagine Mairi in Madrid, skipping around eating tapas and teaching tiny Spanish children how to paint... I'm hoping our next reunion will be in Madrid.

As for Clare, she really didn't want to leave Paris. Her and Amy make me wonder if I'm doing the right thing leaving Paris, because they miss it so much... Clare skyped me and Amy as soon as she got back to England. She was hammered and she was crying her eyes out. She had just got out of the bath and she kept flashing her boobs at us, on purpose. As my laptop microphone is broken for Some Reason, Clare couldn't hear us, but we could hear her. We could hear a simultaneous Skype conversation she was having and she was wailing:

"I'm up-upset... because... all my fr-fr-friends... live in Paaaaariiiis!!"

Oh Clare! I miss you and your Special Ways.

Clare is rather difficult to explain to people, but I'll try... You know that Posh Person Confidence some people have? Well Clare has it in ridiculous abundance: she came to Paris in a Real Fur Coat she's recently acquired and wherever we went people would stare and gasp. Clare was oblivious, refusing to believe that anyone would look twice at her Real Fur Coat. It got to the point where a man at Place de Clichy starting pointing and running after us, hollering like Tarzan as he mimed swinging from branch to branch. I'm not quite sure what Tarzan has to do with fur coats, but at first I thought he was taking the mick out of my Horrible Coat because it makes me look slightly like a gorilla. Kayt and Amy assured me that he was chasing after Clare, because she had a Real Fur Coat on, but Clare shook her head.

"Don't be silly, darlings." she said, striding on oblivious as a grown man danced about like a gorilla behind her.

That is what I mean by her Special Ways.

Ooh, talking of my Horrible Coat, now that all the girls have seen it, I can finally post a picture for you (Crystal)!

Ok, here it is....

Drum roll please...


Feel free to leave nasty comments. I don't care a jot, darling- I'm above all insults and jokes. I've been swanning around in it for almost an entire month now and I LOVE it. It's so warm and in my head I can tell myself I'm Kate Hudson in 'Almost Famous'. I don't care if from afar it gives me the silhouette of a shaggy bear. Amy says I look like a Seventies Superstar in it, so take THAT all you Afghan-haters.

Oh my god. If you think my Horrible Coat is bad, wait until you see what I have lined up for my purchase... Do you remember when I wrote a post about how I wanted a full-length, hooded, cloak?


Stay tuned is all I'm saying.

*Don't believe a word I say, I'm actually using both hands to type. I suppose I could take a break from typing and stretch my hand into the air, just for the sake of Legitimacy, but frankly I can't be arsed. If my hands leave the keyboard at all during the writing of this post, it will be to reach out for my cup of tea or another coconut macaroon.  But you know the sentiments are there.


  1. LBM, I like your blog so much. Please never stop posting. Bisous, ex-au pair

    1. Aww what a lovely comment to leave! Unless you're joking. Sometimes I get a bit paranoid that the people who 'love' my blog are actually people who hate it and they are really laughing and saying 'She thinks someone loves her blog, what a dick!' But if you are real, then thanks so much, I'll never stop posting if you never stop reading, I'm glad you like my blog and thanks so much for commenting!

  2. Of course they're real it's great. Who goes on a blog to say it's good if they mean it's shit?

    1. I don't know Kayt, nobheads? I know I'm being a bit para though, thanks for commenting chum :)

  3. When I first saw your coat, I started loling like a mad woman because the first thing that popped into my mind was Hagrid from Harry Potter. I'm still loling (Hagrid's in my head), but hey -- if it does the job all the more power to you and your coat. Love it though!

    I remembered your post awhile ago about jumping the turnstiles in the métro. I see Parians do it with SO much flair and ease. I tried this about 2 months ago at La Défense during morning rush hour, while I was wearing a skirt. NOT a pretty sight. Let's just say I ended up buying a métro ticket...

    1. I love Hagrid A LOT.
      Thanks for commenting, thanks for reading, and I hope you were wearing underwear when you tried to jump the metro...

  4. No-one would read your blog if they hated it. I love your posts - keep them coming, as they keep me entertained at work! Grrr - hate how blokes think girls who are out drinking with their mates are obviously up for anything. I've got a posh mate too - you should hate her but you somehow don't. Love the coat - keep on wearing it and let it show your individuality! Thanks for taking the time to write such long and funny posts.

    1. Thank you so much for commenting! I agree with the blokes comment, it is especially true in Paris, takes some getting used to for English girls I think. Keep reading xx

  5. Dear LBM and commenters, yes, I am very real and serious! Also I don't think I've ever randomly commented on a blog before (I'm not from the generation still scared of computers though, just worrying about scary brain research teams identifying me via the Internet to do something randomly horrible to me)(welcome to club paranoid btw!)So you should feel proud and happy ;) And say hi to Paris for me please, I miss it. Bisous, ex-au pair

    1. Ok I believe you are real, I'll say Hi to Paris for you, bizz.

  6. Just to reiterate what everyone else is saying, I love reading about your mishaps and adventures. I can't believe I'm going to mention this because I feel *slightly* stalkerish for admitting this. But I've been rocking with your blog since damn near the beginning. So, there you go - a dedicated reader.

  7. Also piping up to say that i love your blog! I was originally in Paris to work as an au pair and now I've been here for 13 years. I'm wondering how it happened? Just wanted to mention to you that the private members clubs are usually sex clubs. Seriously. That sweet bouncer did you a huge favor.

    1. Haha I knew it would be something dodgy, oh well, close call then. Thirteen years? Wow. Paris is a seductive city I suppose, thanks so much for commenting and for reading!

  8. I read your blog too! I found it by chance looking for some info about au pair's job (I'm planning to move to paris next year and work for a while as an au pair too!) and since then I've never stop reading it...your way of writing is so fresh, funny and I found myself laughing all by myself in front of my lap more than once!! I travel to Paris a lot, at least once a month and I love to read about the places i've been too, it makes me feel less homesick :)
    keep writing please!
    Lucia, Italy

    p.s Le loir dans la theiere is such an awesome place for a tea and their cakes are orgasmic!! you should totally go back and have one :)

  9. I am getting slightl big headed with all these compliments now, thank you very much for taking the time to read my blog and comment on it.

    p.s I might even go this weekend, the lemon meringues looked YUM.

  10. Hey! Sorry for this delayed comment/word of thanks for the coat pic. I took a blogging hiatus while in Canada and am just catching up on my favourite blogs today.

    The coat is really not that bad (now that i have a visual to go on). That said, I personally could not pull it off because I'd look like a tiny leprechuan eskimo, but I'm sure it looks great on you!

  11. Well look who's popular! they're right though, but I think you should get that photo of you as actual Hagrid, beard and all, up here to compliment the coat. And get to Madrid, pronto! xx