Monday, 23 April 2012

Foreign Beggars

I tidied my room!!

I hoovered and EVERYTHING! I borrowed the Mystery Hoover that lives in the shared bathroom on the corridor, I'm sure they won't mind, whoever it belongs to... Maybe it was put there by The Universe just for me to use. Or maybe it belongs to the Bavarian lady next door who uses it occasionally... I guess we'll never know.

Anyway! Life is good again! Now I can actually spend time just being in my room- blogging, curling my hair, drawing pictures of myself in cloaks- rather than sleeping all the time because the ugly sight of such a huge pile of washing up leaning against my shower made my eyes sad and confused.

I have a lorra lorra* things to tell you so let's get cracking, shall we work backwards?

We shall.

Today (being Sunday- just because it's past midnight does not mean it's Monday morning yet, please Lord) was productive... I tidied my room, think I might have mentioned that already. Also bought hot cross buns, crumpets and shortbread biscuits from Marks and Spencer. The thrills just don't stop coming.

Saturday was all babies and beats, new people and new places...

The day got off to a bad start- I wasn't sure if my au pair family needed me or not so I didn't set my alarm. Then I slept until 3pm, when I was woken up by my phone ringing- it was the au pair mum calling to see where I was... She'd sent me a text message at 1pm telling me to be at their house for 2.30pm... Whoops.

I could tell she was pissed off when I got to the house, but it's not really my fault. I'm fed up of never knowing when I'm supposed to be working. If I wanted to be at someone's beck and call I'd be a geisha.

Anyway, in the end it wasn't too bad- I just had to look after the baby for a couple of hours. (You know what? He's actually two years old now so I'm going to stop calling him 'the baby'. Let's call him The Toddler instead.) We mostly fed chocolate biscuits to two dollies and The Toddler was amazed because my dolly actually ate her biscuits! Every time he looked away, he'd turn back round to see she'd taken another big bite, until she'd gotten through a whole packet of mini Prince biscuits... This made him really annoyed at his dolly because she wasn't eating her biscuits, so I took over and sure enough, her biscuits soon disappeared as well. What can I say? I'm just good with dollies.

When I finished work I was still deciding what to do- I'd been invited on a 'work night out' by people at the resto for the first time ever (not the restaurant reject anymore... possibly...) Julia wanted to go to Rex Club- apparently if you knew the secret password you could get in for free- plus Foreign Beggars were playing at La Machine. Last year I saw Foreign Beggars for the first time at Excuse My French at La Bellevilloise and I remember how much crazy energy there was, on the stage and in the crowd- people were trashing the speakers and thrashing into each other, getting sweaty and getting carried away by the performances on stage.

Georgie is pals with one of the MCs in Foreign Beggars and he'd invited her out for drinks before the Foreign Beggars gig and to see a 'musical comedy show' by an Italian pianist with his aunty, who lives in Paris. Georgie invited me along too but we arrived too late to see the show, which was a bit embarrassing as MC's aunty is friends with the pianist and afterwards we all went out for dinner together.

(I really wish I'd gone to the show, in case there's any piano enthusiasts reading, it's on at Theatre Petit Hebertot and he's supposed to be a brilliant pianist as well as being very funny. It's also suitable for kids too. Click here for more information.)

First we went to a pizzeria round the corner for drinks (and a couple of slices of pizza) and then we went to an AMAZING Turkish restaurant called SeƧ in the 17th (18 rue Jouffroy d'Abbans, metro station: Rome).  It's MC's aunty's favourite restaurant and she kept ordering food for us to make sure we tasted the 'best dishes'. There were lots of mezze-style dips and thin, spicy Turkish pizzas called lahmacun made with mince meat which we squeezed lemons onto and ate with our hands, folded up like sandwiches. Then I had bagdat kebab which consisted of very tender chunks of lamb in a mint and aubergine sauce and Georgie had musaka which, judging by all the oil that was still bubbling on top when it was served, must have been ridiculously bad for you but it tasted ridiculously good...

Do I sound like a twat ? I'm not very comfortable talking about things that I actually enjoy- I find it much easier to slag everything off and be miserable and I know everyone prefers my blog when I'm having a shit time, fucking everything up and moaning...


I can't complain about last night- it was one of those fun, unexpected nights that happen in Paris every once in a while, were you don't plan anything and you discover new restaurants and bars and chat to people you never thought you'd meet. MC and his aunty were really lovely. His aunty is one of those people who I could listen to for hours, she speaks about seven languages and has lived all over the world. When we were in the Turkish restaurant a man came in selling flowers and MC's aunty introduced him to us, she's spent some time chatting to him and she found out his story- he's a recently come to Paris as a refugee from Bangladesh, where he trained as a surgeon. He spent thousands and thousands of euros getting here (hidden in boats and trucks) and now he works selling flowers to people in bars and restaurants.

I felt a stupid and dull compared with everyone else. Three people over the course of the night asked me what I did for a living and when I said 'Oh, I just work in a restaurant and I look after children...' I was met with frowns and/or awkward smiles.

Georgie said I should tell everyone I'm a writer, but I can't lie to people. I write. Does that make me a writer? I don't know. I'm a dreamer, baby.. Maybe that should be my answer from now on to the dreaded 'What do you do?' question. (It's all right when I'm in England, because I can say 'I live in Paris' but you can't get away with saying that to people when you're actually in Paris.)

After the meal in what might become my new favourite restaurant, MC went off for a nap before the gig and me and Georgie went for more drinks with his aunty in her local bar. It was full of rowdy LADs from the South of France, drinking shots and 'metres of beer' and telling us how unfriendly they thought everyone in Paris was. When it was time to go to La Machine me and Georgie gave MCs aunty heartfelt hugs and promised we'd meet up again. I really hope we do.

Once we got to La Machine, MC kindly gave us backstage wristbands. (I had to smirk a little bit as we walked calmly up the same stairs that one year ago I'd taken two at a time as the bouncer chased after me yelling Mademoiselle! Madmoiselle!! Ha. What's in the past can fucking stay there.) On our way to the backstage area MC got mobbed and I mean Mobbed- the crowd was all riled up and crazy, so excited to see him, so determined to get close...  I wonder if all their fans are like that?

When Foreign Beggars came on stage, me and Georgie went into the crowd to watch them, to experience it properly, but we couldn't stay out there for the whole set because we kept getting squashed against the wall by sweaty men with no shirts on...

I didn't think the atmosphere would be the same as it was at La Bellvilloise, because La Machine is such a big venue, but it was just as electric. The air was charged. People were crowd surfing, sitting on shoulders, moshing with their eyes closed, their faces scrunched up with concentration and complete bliss, thrashing their heads like they were going to hurt themselves...

Me and Georgie went backstage again when we felt we were going to get crushed to death and we watched the rest of the set from the back of the stage. Yeah, I was one of those people that lurks around behind the DJ, bopping about trying to look like they belong in the group of hanger-ons, even though they have nothing to do with anything whatsoever... Don't worry, I won't do it again.

I had such a fun night, here's a video from the gig I found on Youtube:

And with that I bid you adieu.

I do sound like a twat, don't I?

*I was going to to explain the cultural reference of this for my (two) French readers but... can't be arsed. Google 'Cilla Black Blind Date'.


  1. There is a free Ting Tings show this Wednesday.

    I am too old and frail and cynical to be crushed and crowded by unbroken youthful enthusiastic people, but it will probably be fun.

    1. Ha! I might check it out, although I too dislike being crushed and crowded by enthusiastic people! Thanks for reading and thanks for commenting- I love comments x

  2. I'm not French and I don't get the lorra lorra thing! Obviously I understand the sentence but still..... love from an Aussie in Scotland

    1. Cilla Black used to present a TV show called Blind Date and she has a Scouse accent so when she says 'a lot of' it sounds like 'lorra' and she used to say 'We'r going to have a lorra lorra laughs...' Ha I don't suppose that clears anything up much. Thanks for commenting and thanks for reading! x

  3. Hi LeftBanc.
    You're my new music guru. Do you happen know what foreign beggars song that is you've posted? x

    1. Are you being sarcastic? I feel like you are a musical hipster scathing at my lack of musical knowledge and trying to catch me out...

    2. Haha, no, I'm serious! I'm really jealous of all the gigs you get to go to. AND knowing the MCs (and their aunts) makes me even more jealous.
      Also I missed out the 'Manc' in your name and misspelt 'Bank'. I'm giving a terrible first impression!

    3. Ha don't worry, just me being paranoid... I tried to work out what track it is on the video but have no idea, I think it's a pretty new one... Thanks for commenting, sorry if I scared you with my cynical questions!

  4. Are you staying in Paris next year?

    1. I don't know... Who's asking?