Thursday, 16 February 2012

Strange Friday

O.k. Let's see how long I can suffer the Onscreen Keyboard for.

Right. I WILL DO THIS! I need determination. I need patience. I also need a plan to stick to so I don't go off on crazy tangents. I need some sort of structure...

So. First I want to tell you about last Friday, then I'll quickly fill you in on everything I've been wanting to blog about this week: house parties, late night car journeys, tarot card readings, my war with a Mystery Neighbour, my upcoming trip to England... Hopefully then I will finally be able to relax and stop feeling as though there's some mammoth task that lies unfinished, the incompletion of which makes me uneasy and causes me to compose imaginary blog posts in my mind constantly, whether I'm riding the metro to work, or lying in bed and drifting into dreams.

Wow that was a long sentence. Hey big boy, got any more clauses you want to show me?

O.k. I'm going to focus now...

Friday was a strange day and night.

After school I normally take the eight year old to the park and she plays with her friend Caroline, while I sit on a stone bench in the cold, texting and Twitter-ing and Facebook-ing and Whats App-ing to my heart's content. However for some reason, probably because of the snow, the park was closed this Friday. I was secretly really pleased because it was bitterly cold and I just wanted to get back to the family's big, warm house. But the eight year old and her mate Caroline had other ideas.

Caroline said we could go back to her place to play, because she only lives two seconds away from the park. Caroline's nounou seemed hesitant and asked Caroline to run upstairs and ask her dad if it was all right. She came back down a few minutes later, out of breath and excited. She jabbered on to her nounou in French and I managed to decipher that the dad had said the eight year old could come in and play, as long as her au pair stayed outside.

"I'm not waiting outside!" I almost yelled, furious that yet another parent of one of the eight year old's friends* didn't want me in their home.

The eight year old looked crushed and the stupid thing is I almost agreed to wait outside in the snow, just so she could play with her friend for half an hour. But then Caroline's nounou spoke up, in English which surprised me:

"She can't wait outside Caroline, it's too cold."

And also fucking weird and rude, I wanted to add.

Caroline then said that her dad hadn't said I had to wait inside; he'd said that I could come in, as long as I was happy to speak to Caroline's nounou. Did he think I was forcing my eight year old into his apartment just so I would have the priceless opportunity of striking up a conversation with him? Presumably we'd mostly be discussing ways of alienating and offending people.

My eight year old and Caroline then bounded up the stairs before we could stop them, but me and Caroline's nounou exchanged uneasy looks.

"It is complicated with her father." she said, unnecessarily.

By the time we'd reached their floor, the girls were already in the apartment. The door was wide open and I could see the girls hovering in the doorway and hear a man shouting angrily. He was basically telling Caroline that he was trying to work and that she couldn't invite people back to the apartment when he'd specifically told her no. So Caroline had clearly been bullshitting us all then.

Finally the eight year old and Caroline disappeared into the apartment and the nounou followed them with Caroline's little sister. But I hadn't understand everything that had been said, was I allowed in the apartment or not? I dithered about in the hallway with the door wide open, until the dad suddenly started yelling about the door being open. Caroline came to shut the door and beckoned me in. I had half-decided to stay in the hallway on my own for half an hour just to avoid feeling like an imposition, but then I heard an angry-sounding dog barking and snarling on the stairs, so I dashed inside quickly and Caroline shut the door.

Before I even had a chance to look around, Caroline's nounou hushered me into a small room and shut the door behind us. Inside the room were Caroline's sister and her little brother, who looked about three years old. He had the cutest little face I have ever, ever seen. The nounou told me that she is trying to teach them English, so I asked them a few questions like 'What's your name?' 'How old are you?' etc etc. They had no idea what I was talking about but they did sing me a song that went 'Blaerghblaufleaur. Clean white seets! Clean white seets!'

The little boy was so smiley and curious, he kept pointing at things in the room and asking me to say what colour it was in English. I could not believe how beautiful and lovely and CUTE this child was. I seriously considered sneaking back in the middle of the night and stealing him. It's not fair, his parents obviously don't need him, they've got two kids already and they're so busy all the time, I'd probably be doing them a favour...

The little sister however, was a Tantrum Kid, she was screaming and crying the whole time. But it wasn't really her fault. The bedroom was completely bare, all the toys were tidied away into a cupboard and when she tried to open it, the nounou told her off.

"The parents say it must be tidy at all times." she told me.

In the absence of toys, the kids were allowed to sit on little chairs. The nounou sat on the bed and she gave me a little chair to sit on as well. Obviously the kids were bored and they kept trying to wriggle around and lie across their chairs upside down, but the nounou kept making them 'sit up properly' and that's when the tantrum started.

I couldn't fucking wait to get out of there, but I did wish I could take the little boy with me. You don't understand how cute he was and this is coming from a girl who, since working as an au pair for a year and half, has decided that she doesn't want to have any children.

On my way out of the apartment, I saw the dad for the first time, even though I'd heard already him shouting. He was sitting at his desk surrounded by paperwork, listening to someone on the phone and looking all stressed. He looked up as I walked past and said 'Au revoir'. I didn't say it back, bastard. How has he managed to make three cute (one good-natured) and adorable children?

Anyway, that was my Weird Afternoon. I don't have time now to tell you about the Strange Night that followed, but all you need to know is I went to Showcase to see Brodinksi and Fake Blood, it was so rammed that we almost got crushed to death in a brick tunnel and then, right at the end of the night I got my Blackberry stolen.

I miss my phone A LOT.

Tonight I'm meeting up with my aunty and uncle for a drink as they're in Paris for a few days, then I'm going round to Kayt's because she's going to New York on Saturday for two weeks, I'm so jealous. But not too jealous, because on Saturday I'm going to England for a weeek!! My French is so bad that I'd completely got mixed up: my au pair family don't want me to go on holiday with at all; the mum was telling me to put the dates in my diary so that while they're skiing, I can go back to England. Ooops.

But also yey for me!! It wasn't even that expensive considering how last minute everything was, but I'm getting slightly panicky now because when I worked out my finances at the beginning of this month, I did not reckon on buying a new Blackberry (I didn't have insurance and I can't live without it), getting my laptop fixed and sorting Crumbly Tooth out.

Still. England here I come!

(Sorry these posts are so rushed and shit by the way, when I get my laptop sorted I'll get the blog back on track.)

*If you don't remember last time one of the eight year old's friend's parents didn't want me in their house, which resulted in me being assaulted by a mute Labrodor, then read The Dog Incident.


  1. I just got some emergency dental work done on the NHS, for £17, which I think is the standard charge! Call the NHS hotline number and they'll put you through to the dental ppl who'll be able to schedule you an appointment. You might have to lie and say your tooth crumbled more recently than it actually did, but it's worth trying as dental work in France is so costly!
    Good luck!

  2. It's great that you're going to England. At least you get an unexpected break from the family and the kids. Yay, no? YAY.

    Just read, "The Dog Incident" post. You had my dying. And the English woman was a bitch for that.

    So, I so wanted to cry earlier today. I went to the store and I needed to return or get reimboursed because I was essentially lied to about the product I bought. I went there and all of a sudden the woman who gave me the product has amnesia today. She doesn't remember me, she didn't give me the product to buy, "C'est pas possible; c'est pas moi" etc. The security guard joined our exchange and then he got the manager (who was a complete fucking asshole - seriously). And I'm managing this in broken French (which I'm still very proud of -- yay moi). He's speaking broken English to me telling me, oh no exchanging no reimbursing, etc.

    I wanted to stab him and his employees; shove a pair of scissors up his ass. Shit, I really wanted to cry and my eyes started tearing up when I was waiting for the métro because I know his ass was calling me all types of names because a friend of his and some other customers were turning back to look at me. And some customers were saying random words in English behind me. Bitches.

    I just had this vision of me à la Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Going back, insulting him, cursing him in French and English and knocking over a few aisles and calmly walking out the store with my shades on and dissapearing into the sunlight.

    I hope your tooth gets better! And I hope you don't mind my side bits!

  3. I remember the nounou subculture of Paris well. We lived in a posh suburb and so the kids were ALWAYS with a nounou and I wondered how much the parents ever saw their own kids. Made me also wonder why the hell people have kids if they give them to a nanny to raise anyway?

    Happy for you that you get to go back to England for a bit! And fingers crossed you get your tooth sorted out and the Blackberry situation too....if someone stole my phone, I'd be a wreck.

    Can't wait to hear more!