Thursday, 31 May 2012

Strawberries

Panic panic. Jen arrives tonight and once again my room is a disgusting hovel. I have just over two hours before I need to leave for work but I thought I'd try and squeeze in a quick blog post, as I won't have any time to blog when Jen is here. Originally it was supposed to be Jen, Rosie and Rachel, like last year when the came and wreaked havoc on the streets of Paris- demanding taxis and cocktails, in very loud voices, every second of every day they were here. Ah it was so fun. But this time Rachel can't come because of work and Rosie has been sick, so even though she booked her tickets and everything, she decided yesterday that she really can't make it.

But Jen is still coming, yey!

She might turn round and go straight back to England if I don't tidy up my room. I'm not sure what the plans are this weekend, I feel a lot of Host Pressure. Plus Ricky said him and his work buddies want to go raving this weekend so I need to find something good. Which reminds me: I never told you what happened on Friday, after my tragic outburst of madness...

(Things got  a bit depressing on Friday didn't they? I really think I had sunstroke, as I felt a bit drunk whilst typing but hadn't had any alcohol at that point. SIDEBAR, Georgie told me that she got those numbers for Dubstep DJ two years ago and so they could be out of date by now... but that's all I'm going to say on the matter. Subject closed. D'accord?)

After I wrote my miserable little blog post about not having Magic Lady Parts and always being covered in Sudocrem or whatever I was moaning about, Olivia rang me and told me we were going out. So instead of drinking the bottle of wine on my own, with a DVD, which probably would have led to some sort of abusive pasta consumption, I put my make-up on and took said bottle to Olivia's.

When I arrived, Olivia pointed out that we could still go and see Dubstep DJ play, because it made sense that the numbers were really old and the last two times it happened it had all been down to Chance and Fate, so perhaps it was always supposed to be like that?

I know what you're thinking: 'Let it go, girl. Stop being a Mental.'

Well luckily, I thought the same thing and decided it would be a Terrible Idea to turn up, so I banished all thoughts from my head and concentrated on having a drink and a chat with Olivia. The plan was to drink the wine and then go out for more drinks somewhere nearby. We were chatting for so long that we didn't notice the night flying away from us, until it was one in the morning. The only reason we went out when we did was because at about half one, my phone rang. It was an English number that I didn't recognise.

I kind of thought that maybe it was You Know Who.

(Yes, Voldemort.)

(No.)

But it was Ricky! As in Kat and Ricky who I always talk about, Kat my lovely London rave princess and her boyfriend who we met in Ibiza two years ago and have since integrated ourselves into his Rave Team and in the case of Kat, into his bed and now into his flat. (I mean that they live together, not that she is hiding in his airing cupboard.)

I knew Ricky was coming to Paris for a few weeks to film the tennis, but he said he would be too busy working to go out. However, as it was their first night in Paris, Ricky and some of the LADs he was working with decided to go out drinking.

"We're on the strip." he told me.

The strip? Images of LADs on tour, strutting down the Champs-Élysées eating kebabs and swigging from open beer cans flashed into my head.

"There isn't a strip in Paris!" I said.

"We're at somewhere called Bastille." he yelled. There was a lot of noise in the background.

I twigged.

"Ok, I think I know where you are..."

There are actually two places in Paris that could be likened to the sort of 'strip' you'd find on a package holiday to some hot Mediterranean island somewhere: the Greek quarter in St Michel, where cobbled streets are lined with kebab shops and cheap restaurants, with waiters positioned outside trying to hustle in tourists; and Rue de Lappe at Bastille, also a narrow, cobbled street; full of cocktails bars, tourists and scallies.

Obviously they were on Rue de Lappe as Ricky said they were at Bastille, which is about a five minute walk from where Olivia lives. I told Olivia that we were going to meet Ricky on 'the strip' as he called it. I think we've lived in Paris for too long, because we thought it was hilarious.

"It's not the Costa del Sol!" Olivia said.

When we actually got to Rue de Lappe however, we looked at each other in amazement. We've actually been drinking at Bastille a couple of times, but rarely down that little cobbled street where all the tourists and scallies go. It was a lot busier than I expected it to be- there were gangs of guys in Smelly Charver coats stood against the walls, eyeing up the American/German/Spanish female tourists tripping about in their kitten heels. (English girls don't wear kitten heels.) Nicky Minaj and David Guetta songs were blasting out of every bar, as well as the sounds of cheering and singing.

"It's Costa del Paris." Olivia whispered in awe.*

Ricky sent me a text to say they were somewhere called Bar des Familles. We soon found it- a teeny tiny place PACKED with people, all jumping about and yelling, with girls dancing on the bar. It didn't look like there was room for anyone else. When we tried to enter, the bouncer pointed inside and told us there was no more room.

"But our friends are in there." I said.

He stepped aside and shrugged his shoulders.

"If you want to be crushed to death..." he was probably thinking.

We fought our way inside. Instantly we felt ice and water showering down on us- the barmen were throwing crushed ice at everyone and I could already see that a few of the girls were soaked through. We crouched down, screaming. We definitely had not come prepared for that. We made our way back outside, almost crawling like we were under attack.  (Our hair and make-up was under serious attack from all the flying ice.) After two minutes of fighting our way into the middle of the bar, we fought our way back out again and I texted Ricky from outside, telling us to meet us at the door.

Five minutes Ricky appeared, his t-shirt damp from all the sweat and crushed ice flying around inside.

"It's gash in there, full of strawberries." he said.

Ha ha.

It was so weird seeing Ricky in Paris! I can't really imagine any of the Rave Team being in Paris (apart from Kat, who came last year), to me they are fixed in London, forever, apart from the one time in the year when they go to Ibiza. I've been worried that when Ricky comes to Paris he'll think all the clubs and music are shit, so I was really surprised to see him in somewhere like Bar des Familles. He'd just gone along with the guys that he works with though.

It was such a funny night, I was really worried about how Ricky and his work friends were going to survive in Paris, because I'm just not used to seeing LADs in France. They were proper cockney geezers, drinking pint after pint and chatting to every expat they bumped into. Me and Olivia tried to catch up with them, ordering tequila shots and mojitos, but I just didn't feel very drunk. Recently I feel like I've been drinking ten gins in a row and still not getting drunk- I don't want to turn into one of those Alcohol Machines who sit quietly in the corner, knocking back drinks until closing time, when they stand up, sighing, to help all their drunk friends get home, having spent two hundred quid on booze yet enjoying none of the side effects...

We managed to drag everyone out of Bar des Familles and took them to another bar further down the street, where a huge fight broke out and one of Ricky's friends got in the middle of it, pulling people aside and trying to calm them down by talking to them... in English. It was funny but me and Olivia were a bit worried. The guys were a bit nonplussed I think, because they obviously think they can look after themselves but... I don't know... Paris can be proper, proper dodgy and people don't really get wasted. I was torn between wanting to get drunk with them and feeling uneasy for them.

Soon that bar closed, so me and Olivia took them to a bar we like to call Peter Stringfellow's, because it's decor reminds me of an 'upmarket' strip bar. We went there a few weeks ago when Olivia's sister was here and I can't believe I forgot to tell you the story... Olivia lost a diamond out of her ring and we looked everywhere for it, but it was quite small and the bar was so dark that we gave up, hoping the cleaner might find it in the morning. The next day Olivia's sister couldn't find her necklace either, which had a massive strawberry on it, and she was gutted because it was her favourite thing in the world.

For Some Reason I decided I would be the one to call up the club and ask if they'd found a strawberry necklace and a tiny diamond. At first my French was fine and I explained that we'd been in the club the night before, but then I started asking her if she'd found a cuillère, avec une fraise...


The woman on the phone sounded a bit surprised so I kept repeating it, until Olivia realised what I was saying and told me my mistake- necklace is collier, cuillère means spoon. Dickhead. So basically this was our conversation...

"Hello, I was in your bar last night and I'd like to ask you... have you found a spoon?"
"A spoon?"
"Yes, a spoon. A spoon with a strawberry on it."
"A spoon with a strawberry on it?"
"Yes a spoon with a strawberry on it. A spoon. A NECKLACE!"
"A necklace?"
"Yes."
"Sorry no, we haven't found a necklace."
"Ok, thanks. Also, have you found a tiny, tiny diamond?"
"Er..."
"A tiny, tiny diamond, all on his own?"
"...No."
"Ok, thank you very much."

Anyway, I've been wanting to tell you about the spoon story for ages, even though now I've written it down it seems like it might be one of those things where 'you had to be there'. Going back to last Friday...

We took Ricky and the LADs to Peter Stringfellow's and all of a sudden... I was drunk. Disgustingly drunk. I kept trying to put my head on the table because I had Head Spin, but Olivia was pinching me until I sat up. She took me home. Apparently as we walked home I was saying "I'm worried about the boys... how are they going to get home?" and I could barely stand up. Also Olivia told me I tried to start a fight with someone on the street who was shouting things at us... But I won't believe that for a second. Doesn't sound like me, does it? 

But, just in case it is true, I've decided I'm going to stop drinking. After Jen's visit. And after Kat and her sister come next week. But then I am going to stop drinking alcohol because I'm just a massive dickhead, basically, even more so when I'm drunk. Also I spend too much money on alcohol and I want a flat(ter) belly for Ibiza and I'm not going to change what I eat or do any exercise, so it looks like my alcohol consumption is the thing to change. 


Right. Shit. Really need to tidy my room now. 


Before I go, I just want to vent about something. On the 21st June, there is a massive We Love Art (Creators Project) rave on at the Grand Palais and Jamie XX and Caribou are playing and it will be SO GOOD but... for Some Reason... they are being massive nobheads about tickets. You can't just buy tickets, oh no. They are releasing the tickets little by little, and to get the tickets you have to constantly check the websites, because every day (or every other day or whatever, I'm not really sure) they post questions and you have to answer the question to get tickets. But the question is only online for five minutes and not everyone who answers it in time will get tickets. I don't think I've explained that very well, but I'm so confused. I've not been on the website a lot because I've been working so much, but Georgie and Julia have been trying every chance they get and they haven't succeeded either... It's so fucking annoying. 


Bal Blanc/Ball Wank.


I'm beginning to think maybe it's not worth the bother. It would be a good rave, but judging by the means of getting tickets, it might be full of strawberries, as Ricky would say.

Ok I really need to tidy my room now. I can't wait to see Jen! I don't know what to do this weekend though. Bonobo is playing on Saturday but tickets are about 30 euros I think and I promised Jen we'd have a cheap weekend. Hmm. Anyway... BYE.

*Oh all right, so she might not have actually whispered it in awe, but she definitely said it and I've already used the phrase 'Olivia said' once so... We're all down for a bit of poetic license here, aren't we?

18 comments:

  1. You were shouting ET QUOI, ET QUOI and clicking your fingers at them in your fabulous I'm-drunk-and-now-I'm-ghetto way.

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    1. I'm blocking out the memory, I'm blocking it all out... No no no I definitely was not clicking...

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  2. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, shall we delete that and pretend it never happened?

    yes!

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  3. I'm glad you didn't go to the gig, his number probably did change but you're clearly too cool for him anyway! Am I a moron for not knowing what strawberry means? Are all the kids saying this these days? Talking of kids, I couldn't have coped with that bar with the ice either oh là là, trop vielle moi!

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    1. Ha I don't think a lot of people are saying it, it wouldn't surprise me if Ricky made it up, so don't worry, you're not trop vielle. It doesn't mean you're old if you don't like ice being thrown at you, it just means you care about your hair and make-up and you care about not looking like a wet rat in public. Thanks for the comment! x

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  4. Something for Sunday...?! TC x
    http://www.crazyjack.fr/agenda/opening-housy-after-party-1580/

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    1. Ah that looked really good, I had to work on Sunday unfortunately as could of done with a day of 'staying on it' after the night I had on Saturday. Thanks for the tips, keep them coming please x

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  5. Take a place for the reverie festival ! I will keep trying to have tickets for Bal Blanc but at least there's a great night that you can pay for here :
    http://www.digitick.com/reverie-soiree-electro-ile-de-france-css4-digitick-pg5-rg2623.html
    Also great posts (I was a little late and you made my morning at work :)

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    1. OH MY GOD Seth Troxler is playing on my birthday, the 7th July, I'm going to get tickets for it now!!!

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  6. YES ! I'm so glad !

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    1. I've got two tickets for the Saturday, have you got yours already or do you want one of mine?

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    2. I got mine as soon as I heard of the festival and the line up ! Thank you, but I can ask Eduardo I think he wants to come too, if you want ?
      Bisous !

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    3. It's ok, Kayt is going to take my other ticket. Concrete is on the next day we should go there afterwards and make it a MASSIVE WEEKEND!

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  7. Hi! I've just found your blog and think it's great. I'm 19, currently looking to become an au pair in Paris and i'm also from Manchester! I was just wondering if you could give me some tips on a couple of things. I only signed up to an au pair website yesterday and so far i've had 6 applications from families. I've gone through them and looked into the areas that they've said they live in etc and decided to reply to one of them so far. Is it ok to write to another one at the same time saying i'm interested? Also, with the one i've replied to, we're going to arrange to talk on skype before the end of the week, do you have any ideas as to what i could ask them? I've read some website and they all said the standard things like asking about the kids etc, which is fine but i'm one of those awkward people that gets nervous just talking on the phone, so i'm scared of screwing this up. They didn't mention what kind of pay i'd be getting in their message, when would be an appropriate time to bring it up if they don't do it first? I read your tips about not accepting anything less than 80 euros a week, what do i say if they suggest a figure less than that, without being rude? Sorry this is so long! I'd be really grateful if you could help, i'm going through all your posts atm they're really useful and funny (and honest!). Lots of love, Lucy :) x

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    1. Hi, I'm glad you like my blog. In my section on 'Soon To Be An Au Pair' or 'Thinking of Being an Au Pair' I can't remember which one, I list all the questions you should ask a prospective au pair family, don't be scared to ask questions, I know talking about money can be awkward but it's not rude at all, as long as you don't start the convo with HOW MUCH YOU GONNA GIVE ME THEN.

      If they suggest a figure less than 80 euros, tell them that you know the average wage is 80 euros a week, and that you are a bit worried about how you will manage on less than that, so would they be willing to negotiate the wages? This isn't greedy it's just honest, if they say 'no' then weigh up how many hours you'll be doing etc and any benefits they'll be giving you, metro pass, french lessons etc

      It's fine to contact more than one family! You should do this in fact, as you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket.! x

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    2. Thanks alot for your advice, after talking with a few families i'm starting to get a feel for the whole thing. If it's not too much bother, i was wondering if you could help me with a couple more things: have you worked in the 16th arrondisement and/or do you think it's better to try and find a family as close into the centre as possible? how did you meet people and make friends when you first got to paris? also how did you manage to get a job in a restaurant? do you speak in english or french in it and are there many jobs out there for people that aren't fluent in french? Sorry to bombard you with all this! Thanks again :) x

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    3. Hi Lucy, here are some answers for you:

      The 16th is really posh and quite quiet, it's nice and safe and full of rich people. I have never worked there but I've worked in the 17th and the 15th which are similar areas. As long as you are in an arrondissement I wouldn't worry about being close to the 'centre'(where the centre of Paris is in debatable- some people say St Michel, some people say Chatelet.)

      I met people through the au pairs in Paris group on Facebook, join this when you arrive! Also I met au pairs in the park and through recomendations from friends at home, friend-of-a-friend type things, you know.

      I got a job in a resto by applying for it online, I can't tell you what resto I work for though for obvious reasons. I speak French to the customers, although we sometimes get tourists in who either are English or can speak English, and with the other staff I mostly speak English. I work for an English pub/restaurant and there are lots of English/Irish/Australian bars around Paris that want to hire English-speakers, so you can get a job in one even if you don't speak very good French.

      Hope this helps! x

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  8. Thanks for your advice, you've been really useful! I skyped with a family in the 16th but messed it up a bit due to my nerves. I just forgot everything i was going to ask about the kid etc and couldn't think of anything to talk about. I got an email from them the next day saying they'd chosen another girl (it was between three of us apparently). Anyway, i'm still looking - i've just got to look as it as practice i suppose :S. Anyway thanks again, i'm still enjoying reading your posts! x

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