I have good news and bad news.
The good news is that today I finally unpacked and tidied my room- it has been a horrible den of messy misery since I got back a week ago and opened my suitcase to let it explode into each corner of the room. Nearly everything I own is now spilling out of my laundry basket and my bed has been rained on quite a lot- I needed to keep the window wide open to prevent dust-induced sneeze attacks- but I can breathe again.
The bad news is that I have fucked up quite spectacularly, or rather my inability to read maps has fucked up things on my behalf...
I know I say this a lot, but MAPS DON'T WORK. I feel like maps are a sick joke that everyone is in on except for me. For example, a map will say that if you turn right off Rue A, then you will come on to Rue B. But then you will spend forty minutes walking the length of Rue A and there will be such street as Rue B. There will be a Rue Z and a Rue R and you will go down these just in case Rue B is hiding behind them, but all you will find is the top of Rue A and you'll be back to where you started, except now you'll be hot and sweaty and angry and on the verge of tears and you will curse maps and anyone who has ever been able to decipher one.
Last week I did a few hours work for Anabelle, the woman who runs the drama classes, handing out flyers outside schools so that we could get parents to sign their kids up for classes before they start next week. The first two mornings were fine and the girl I was working with was really nice. Sometimes it was really quiet and we chatted, and other times we would get a surge of parents, some of whom seemed really interested and asked us a lot of questions about the lessons.
Oh, I was a fool to think that things could stay that way...
On Friday I got really lost and couldn't find the school. There are A LOT of schools in the small area between Montparnasse and Jardin du Luxembourg and all the streets look the same: there are three wide, boulevard-type streets that strike out from a point; and coming off the boulevard-type streets are lots of little streets that criss-cross over each other and sometimes disappear into churches and market places never to be seen again, even if you are counting on that particular little street to lead you to your destination... They are all lined with identical looking boutiques, cafes and schools and it's impossible to remember which streets you've already walked down...
As the clock ticks and you become more desperate you realise that the boulevards, streets and cobbled passageways are a web, and you are being led deep into the centre against your will. In the centre you find yourself, against all logic, standing on one of those wide boulevards, too far away from either end to tell where you are. Either that, or you find yourself at a metro station that you know is about three stops closer to home than the one you got off at. You sink to the floor, the world closes in...
That is my life.
When I got lost on Friday, I called the nice girl I was doing the flyering with and described my location. Luckily, she grew up on those streets and knew exactly where I was. She told me she'd come and get me, but then I got a text from Anabelle- she had come to the school to see how we were doing and saw that neither of us was there. I explained what happened and she told me to just go home because it was now too late. I texted the nice girl to say I was sorry and she said: Don't be for me it is ok : )
So that was shit. But then I did a four hours of flyering on Saturday, outside a town hall where people were signing up for extra-curricular activities, and I made sure I got there ridiculously early so that I'd have time to get lost. (The town hall was really easy to find.) It was really boring and quiet and I got sunburnt on one half of my body, but then I got paid 65 euros which will pay for my phone bill this month. (Haaa joke, already spent it.) All in all, I might have fucked up but it all turned out ok and that was the end of that.
It wasn't the end of it.
That couldn't possibly be the end of it, I had to fuck up just a little bit more...
Anabelle asked me if I would flyer for her again this morning and I said yes without really knowing why. I hate getting up early and I hate standing around giving out flyers, but it sounded like she really needed somebody to do it and after I Fucked Up last week I thought I should probably offer to help her out. This morning was at a different school, in the same web of tricksy turns and cobbles. I got off the metro with ten minutes until I had to be at the school, which I knew was about five minute walk away....
I got so lost that I ended up MILES away, even though I kept asking passers-by for directions; it seemed like each person thought the road I was asking for was in a completely different place. Anabelle kept ringing me and in the end I told her that I had no idea where I was, and that I didn't think I'd find out any time soon.
She was pretty angry... but I've been thinking it over and I think I have a disability, so it wasn't really my fault. Well, not a disability, more of a Learning Difficulty... There is dyslexia for people whose brain can't process letters properly, discalculia (had to google that one) for people whose brain can't process mathematical skills, dyspraxia for people whose brain has problems with controlling movement; and my brain can not process directions and maps. I understand that a map shows Place A and Place B, but how do you get from one place to the other? A map doesn't show you how to get anywhere, it just shows you a picture of what is around you. That is crap. Maps are crap.
Anabelle told me I'll have to go again on Thursday, so my plan is to get there an hour early, giving me plenty of time to walk around asking people for directions.
I feel like I've pissed a lot of people off since I got back to Paris- Anabelle has given my number to a couple of her friends who want private English lessons, which would be brilliant of course because I need the cash now I'm not working in the restaurant, except they keep calling when I'm at work and I haven't had time to get back to them and I know they're getting impatient.
I don't know if I any time to give private lessons, anyway. I'm supposed to be teaching two drama classes a week and now I have a job at a private bilingual school, which I also got through Anabelle. (Hmm, if I was Anabelle I would be pretty annoyed at me too actually.)
I had an interview last Monday and, surprise surprise, got spectacularly lost and had to ring the director of the school and tell her I was going to be late but that I was in the vicinity, somewhere...
Somehow I got the job and I started this week- I'll be doing all day Monday and then Friday morning. I won't be teaching on my own, the idea is that me and one of the other teachers will be like a bilingual team, doing everything together, in both English and French. The kids are so cute, they are all about three years old. There's only ten kids in the whole school.
My first day was ok, apart from the fact that I forgot my purse and my lunch so I just sat in the park feeling sad for an hour. I love the kids and the other teachers are really nice, but so far I haven't had to actually do much teaching. When it starts properly I'm worried the director of the school will think I'm crap. She thinks I did my degree in Drama Teaching, because I was telling her how much 'applied theatre' we did and how I did work experience in a school... She only talks to me in French so perhaps a little bit has got lost in translation... or perhaps I just bullshitted.
I feel like I'm too busy. There's loads of things I have to sort out- getting a social security number, lesson planning, booking flights back for my cousin's wedding, replying to emails and phone messages...
Ok that's it, just thought I'd let out some of the stressy thoughts that are buzzing round at the moment. I've been so busy I've not really thought how I feel about returning to Paris. On Saturday we went to Comptoir Generale and then Favela Chic which was fun if not incredibly sweaty and then Champagne Charlie had an after-party at his lovely apartment in the Marais. I love that we know someone who lives on those narrow, old streets that are normally the home of either Pretentious Hipsters or Old Money, neither of whom would ever invite me in for an after-party.
I feel very negative and quite paranoid. I'm not sure who but I get the feeling somebody I know has fallen out with me and is reading my blog right now, sniggering and being mean.
Also I was trying to grow my eyebrows over the summer but when I got back Ibiza, I saw on the photos that they looked really straight and crap, so I went mad with the tweezers and now they are well-defined but thinner than I wanted them. I am thinking of writing a biography about my eyebrows. Perhaps it will be called 'Sisters, Not Twins.' Or maybe it will be one of those abused-child autobiographies (obviously they will tell me what to write and I'll type it for them, they are only eyebrows) 'Never Good Enough- the tragic tale of two eyebrows who were made to feel shit all their lives by their owner, who tortured them with hot wax, metal tweezers and cotton thread.'
Oh now I feel really sad. I don't mean to make them feel shit, they are my eyebrows and of course I love them no matter what, it's just that I want the best for them.
I only ever wanted what was best for you!!
Ooh! I've just remembered- last week me and Olivia went on set with Champagne Charlie to watch him film a scene and it was really exciting! We stood in front of the monitors and they let us listen on the headphones then, in between scenes, he took us to Catering and we got a free dinner. The food was really nice. I really want to be an actor now, I think Champagne Charlie has reignited the old acting flame, but nobody in their right mind would put my nose on television.