Last Wednesday, Kat and her sister Sam came to visit me for a couple of days.
(Also Kat came to see her boyfriend Ricky, who was working on the Roland Garros tournament, but I'm going to pretend that she mainly came to see me, because we all know I struggle to deal with the fact that, as much as my friends like me, they like their boyfriends more. Yeah, I said it. I'm a cold-hearted if not slightly autistic boyfriend-hating bitch. Et alors?)
I was so excited to see Kat but I was also a bit worried about what her and her sister would think about staying in my chambre de bonne. I mean, for me, it's perfect- it's in a nice area of Paris, it's free and I don't spend a lot of time in it... But come on, it is weird: I can cook from inside my shower and I brush my teeth in the same sink that I wash my dishes in; I'm one step away from living in a burnt-out caravan with my four ratty-haired, snotty-nosed children. All under the age of 5. Called Windsong, Aurora, Heathcliff and Bee.*
Also I couldn't find an airbed anywhere and as Kat's sister is her older sister by at least ten years and a Proper Grown Up, I didn't think she'd be happy with the top-to-toe treatment that all my other visitors get, whether they like it or not.
Luckily, Kayt very kindly said Kat and Sam could sleep at her place, which has a mezzanine and even a separate bathroom (!) so I didn't have to worry about tidying my room or doing the washing up. Poor Kayt, you're probably thinking. Well, we've been friends for over a year now, so she can't pretend she doesn't know what she signed up for.
I met Kat and Sam off the Roissybus at Opéra and I couldn't believe Kat was in Paris again! It was so long ago that I picked her and Mikee up at Gare du Nord... Ah, memories. But, always making new ones. Kat and Sam dropped their stuff off at Kayt's and then the four of us went to Les Parigots at République for something to eat. Each time I go to Les Parigots I find that they've improved the food somehow, a little tweak here and there, constantly bettering themselves. This time we discovered that the chips that come with the amazing burgers (Kat said it was 'the best burger of her life', but then she was pretty hungry) are crispier and they serve them in paper cones. Cute. Kayt had the lamb which I had a little taste of and it was lovely and I had the duck with risotto, which is so unusually sweet but somehow works. Well, it works for me anyway because I have quite a sweet tooth, but Kayt said it reminded her of rice pudding.
Kat wanted a cheese plate afterwards and I made her get the large one which was completely unnessecary but we did finish it all. Below is a picture of said cheese plate, taken by Kat. For some reason Kayt has her hand placed over my hand which I don't remember and normally I remember people touching me. You know, being a cold-hearted bitch and all. Every human touch sends an icy shudder down my stiffened back.
With two bottles of wine, four mains, a large cheese plate and a tirimasu, the bill came to about thirty euros each I think, which is really reasonable considering the food is so nice. It's lovely atmosphere as well and apparently, according to Georgie, they do an amazing buffet-style brunch on Sundays. My only qualm with Les Parigots is that every time I go, they bring all the dishes out at the same time apart from one, so someone has to wait ages for their food which is a ballache. (Also I can't take Olivia there because one night the waiters did a lock-in with her and her friend Helen and she can't remember if she did anything embarrassing or not, only that she lost her iPhone and was really, really drunk.)
The next day I wasn't working in the resto (yey) so we had the whole day together until 6pm when I had to go to my au pair job. In the morning we went to the Daniel Buren exhibition- 'Monumenta'- at the Grand Palais. The girls all went a few weeks ago when it was Museum Night or whatever it's called, and loads of museums stayed open all night, for free and unfortunately I was working, so I missed out. The girls said the 'Monumenta' exhibition was amazing and Kat also really wanted to go to the Grand Palais, as last time she visited we were all really skint and couldn't afford the entrance fee.
I think the reason the girls were so impressed with the exhibition is because they went at night time- I can imagine how all the lights looked under a black sky (there is a glass roof)... in the day time, however, it wasn't that momentous. It was engaging though, there were some cool mirrors on the floor that reflected the amazing ceiling and it was fun to walk around under all the different coloured lights. We played at being Serious Arty Types for a bit, discussing how each colour made us feel etc etc, but after half an hour we felt as if we'd looked at coloured lights and monochromatic poles for as long as could and left. Here's a photo Kat took:
After the Grand Palais, we walked along the river until I suggested we go to the Marais for lunch. When we got off the metro is was chucking it down, so we ran into the nearest restaurant, one of those expensive ones right near the carousel. The one we chose was a bit pricey, but the food was nice (me and Sam had salad and Kat had risotto with prawns) and we got talking to a nice old lady on the next table who had been brought up half in Paris, half in London.
The rain really fucked up our day. None of us had umbrellas so we had to wait for the downpour to stop before venturing back onto the metro. In a moment of madness, me and Sam suggested that we walk through the Marais, because the rain seemed to be stopping, but as soon as we got too far from the metro to go back, the rain got heavier and heavier until we were completely soaked.
We jumped on the metro at Bastille and went to the Louvre, because Amy told me there was a Marc Jacobs exhibition at Les Arts Décoratifs, which is a little museum inside the Louvre. Well, that's what Amy told me anyway. I have to make a little confession here, I've never been to the Louvre. No, that's not right, I've been to the Louvre many times, but I've never been inside it, because I don't know where the entrance is and there's always so many people spazzing around with rucksacks and maps that I can't be arsed sticking around.
We got off the metro and wandered around the nightmare that is the Carrousel du Louvre (the underground bit with shops and restaurants in) for about fifteen minutes, looking for this fucking museum. I don't know what went wrong but we just couldn't find it, even though Amy gave me quite clear instructions. We'd arranged to meet Caitlin, who is the girlfriend of one of Ricky's friends and is coming to Ibiza with us in August with us, for a coffee, so when she rang to say she was at the Louvre we decided to sack the whole thing off and go for a drink.
By now it had stopped raining, thankfully. I was panicking that Kat and Sam were having the worst trip of their lives- so far I'd gotten them soaked to the bone and then taken them for a tour around an underground shopping centre, full of tourists stocking up on crystal Eiffel Towers and bumbags with 'I LOVE PARIS' emblazoned on them in fluorescent bubble writing. Blergh.
Walking through Tuileries in the sunshine was gorgeous- we found an outdoor cafe next to a beautiful pond I've never noticed before- it has statues surrounding it and long reeds trailing into the water and it's surrounded by trees. We found a dry chair and had a beer, then before long it was time for me to go to work.
For the evening, we'd arranged to meet Ricky for drinks somewhere and Kat and Sam wanted to get dressed up, but I really didn't know where to take them. I know that sounds ridiculous, but when I have visitors my mind goes blank and I feel as if I've never even visited Paris before, never mind lived here for almost two years.
In the end I decided on Pause Cafe, my new favourite restaurant/bar, because it's cheap but nice and it's not far from Rue de Lappe or 'Costa del Paris' as I now call it, so I knew Ricky would be able to find it.
I finished work about 9pm, rushed home to get ready and then... utterly, miserably failed. I couldn't find one clean thing to wear. Kayt texted me asking me where I was and I freaked out. I knew I had to hurry because Kat and Sam were waiting for me but I couldn't find one single thing to wear. All my clothes were lying on the floor, either dirty or creased up. I was being so mental that I couldn't even remember what I'd been wearing that day before I ripped it off in a blind panic, so I just lay face-down on my bed in my underwear, crying hysterically. I seriously think all this going out has fucked with my head and I can't function as a normal person anymore. I ended up meeting Kat, Ricky and Sam at Pause Cafe an hour and a half late, wearing jeans and the one clean top I could find, with flat boots and no eyeliner on.
Kat and Sam looked gorgeous and I felt so shit- I'd ruined their Paris trip by being a scruffy bitch. After half an hour Kayt joined us and we went somewhere else which turned out to be rubbish- a strange little bar that we were enticed into because they were playing reggae and it sounded fun, then as soon as we sat down they started playing shit chart music, whilst the TV hoisted high up close to the ceiling showed a music channel that seemed to be dedicated to urban Jamaican music, although as it was on mute we guessed the genre of the music videos by watching round-bottomed girls shaking their jelly in tiny bikinis, silently gyrating around a Sean Paul-lookalike who was sat on a throne decorated with palm leaves.
We soon called it a night, it was one of those nights that seems to dwindle down to nothing the longer you stay out. I felt bad putting Kat and Sam in a taxi home so early and I wondered if they would look back on their Paris trip as two days of failures. Me and Kayt got to the metro platform only to be told by a man putting up posters that we'd missed the last one by a few seconds. Merde.
Wow, I'm really tired all of a sudden so I'll have to leave it there, more tomorrow.
Good night Windsong!
Good night Aurora!
Good night Heathcliff!
Good night Bee!
Ooh, we're just like The Waltons!
*In all seriousness, if anyone ever accidentally impregnated me four times (imagine if it was the same person each time... what a dickhead) I would actually call my kids those names. They are perfect because I like the wind, I like songs, I like sunsets and sunrises, I love Wuthering Heights and I fucking love bees- they give us honey and candles. In other words, they make life sweet and light. Also they help make beautiful flowers. Also they are furry like teddy bears. Also I like to think fairies keep them in tree-top stables like tiny, airborne horses, but I have no actual proof of this.