Summer has finally come to Paris!
Unfortunately, all my summer clothes are in England. I can't even wear jeans with sandals because of my Fucked-Up Toe. This morning I finally went to the doctor's, Kayt convinced me that my foot was going to drop off if I carried on self-medicating with salty water. The doctor just said it looks as if the toe is healing (thank you, salty water), and prescribed me some medicine that cost a tenner, that was on top of the twenty three euros I had to pay for the appointment. I'm looking forward to some free healthcare once I move back to England, although I bet in England they would have taken one look at my toe and said:
"Bathe it in salty water and don't come in here wasting my time again. If it turns black and falls off, come back in two weeks."
Once I tried to get a free nose job on the NHS, as my mum is convinced I broke it when I was younger, but the doctor wasn't having any of it- he just listened to me breathe through each nostril individually and then declared that any surgeon would be crazy to operate on it (for free), as it was a 'perfectly nice nose'. It's not a perfectly nice nose at all, but now that I have become a very Wise and Mature Young Lady, I no longer care. There are so many more important things in life to worry about- child soldiers in Africa, Islamaphobia in the UK, nuclear weapons in North Korea...
Last time I was in England I binge-bought magazines and newspapers*- in France I like to live in a news-free bubble of ignorant bliss- and my mind was blown by what is going on in the world! Apparently there is a new pastry on the scene which is a cross between a donut and a croissant ('the cronut')! Also, almond-shaped nails are the new squoval!
It's important to keep up with with current affairs.
I might not be able to wear sandals thanks to my F.U.Toe, but guess what I have been wearing, now that the weather is so nice?
My kimono jacket! I wore it for the first time on Saturday night and haven't taken it off since. Listen, it's hard for me to say the L word but... I think I love my kimono jacket. There, I said it.
On Saturday night I went to a new bar in Pigalle called Bonnie and Clyde. It's just opened- in fact I think it opened the night we were there. Two of Julia's friends from uni were DJing there, although they weren't really DJing so much as choosing songs on iTunes and playing them through the bar's sound system...
They were supposed to be starting quite early so we arrived at about 10pm. When we first walked in, the bar was completely empty and we thought we were in for an awkward night. The staff were just sitting at the bar chatting when we walked in and looked really surprised to see two customers, but they all got up straight away and were really friendly. We got drinks (I think it was five euros for a beer, six for a shot and eight euros for a cocktail) and sat down on some sofas which had been arranged on a stage at the back of the bar. We found out later that the stage is for burlesque shows, although apparently they were inviting any burlesque dancers out there to come and perform for free, so I can't really imagine what type of burlesque shows they will put on... Probably they will just attract a lot of strange exhibitionists who want to take their clothes off in public, to music.
Julia's sister and two of her friends (who are both bilingual, which was an anti-climax as I'd been gearing up for an evening of speaking French) arrived and then finally 'the DJs'. Julia told me that the music was 'rock and roll' so I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was really fun! They played some Northern Soul and 1950s jazz- retro classics that are fun to dance to. The bar eventually filled up but it was never crowded, it felt more like a private party than a club night.
It was open until 6am but I couldn't imagine staying there for more than a few hours... that was before I got drunk. After a few drinks we lost track of time and suddenly it was 5am. Me and Julia got a kebab on the way home (preparing myself for moving back to England) and I fell asleep with my toe rammed in a glass of salty water.
The next day I wore my kimono for the second time for lunch with Kayt, Laura and... Georgie! She was back for a few days, she still has stuff here and there was so much that she'll to come back again to collect it all. I'm getting scared now, about how I'm going to get all my shit back to England...
As usual we left it too late for the Parisian approved 'lunchtime' but we knew Café Charbon would still be serving food, so we went there and had burgers. As it was Sunday they didn't have much on the menu. The burgers were ok, not great. It's hard to tell though, when everybody is hungover and hungry. (I think I like Café Charbon best when they turn it into the smoking area for Nouveau Casino.)
We noticed that at Chez Justine- the newish restaurant opposite- it was not Happy Hour, but Happy Day. It was five euros for a glass of champagne or a cocktail. Champagne for everybody! Oh, Happy Day indeed.
I know I say this about every bar I go and get drunk in, but I liked Chez Justine a lot. The art deco interior is beautiful and they played old school hip hop tunes- perhaps it will take over from Comptoir Général as my new favourite Sunday drinking spot?
Georgie and Laura took themselves home after a couple of coupes, claiming their hangovers had become too horrendous to bear. Me, my kimono and Kayt went to meet TC and OJ for an English pub quiz. We didn't win the quiz but we won shots for the best team name- Slutty Savile Gets Randy in Rio (it had to be Brazil-themed). Jim certainly fixed it for us...
I felt bad, so bad, on Monday morning. I've never gone into the nursery hungover (ok, a couple of times, but not for ages) and I won't be doing it again. The woman who runs the nursery wanted to talk to me about a song I sent her two months ago, or something... Can't remember when my contract runs out for that job, but I hope it's the end of June and not July. I've had enough of teaching toddlers to last me A LIFETIME. They're so cute but there is literally no point delivering 'structured English lessons' to kids who haven't even learnt to speak their own language yet.
Anyway, on Monday night I met Georgie, Laura, Kayt and Georgie's friend Liz- who lives in Paris and is lovely but we never see her- for drinks in Batignolles, an area of Paris that I've heard people say is quite cool and bobo, but I've never been there before. It's like a lovely little village, I can't believe it exists, especially so close to Place de Clichy. Batignolles doesn't feel like part of a big city, yet it does feel very Parisian, with its cafés and outdoor terraces. As we walked back to the metro, Kayt pointed a tiny kebab shop that she said was supposed to do the best Turkish kebabs in Paris. I am definitely going back there before I leave.
Talking of food...
Last night we had Supper Club at Sheger, an Ethiopian restaurant at Republique. At first we thought it was all over before we'd even began, as Ruth had booked the table so long ago (two weeks) that they'd assumed we wouldn't turn up and given our table away... Erm, we did turn up and there was no table for us. Oops. They gave us a free 'Ethiopian cocktail' (made with mint and ginger) because we had to wait in the street for an hour. Luckily it was a cobbled street with a step to sit on, but if it had been raining we'd probably have just left.
After we were finally seated, we had to wait ages for the food, meaning we didn't eat until 11pm (our table had originally been booked for 9pm). But.
When the food arrived, nobody was bothered that we'd had to wait for so long. It was so good, I think it was better than Menelik, the only other Ethiopian restaurant I've eaten at. I really enjoyed Menelik, but I think a big part of that was the novelty of eating from one big, shared pancake and tasting Ethiopian dishes for the first time.
The food at Sheger seemed fresher and the dishes we ordered (which were all served on one big pancake, shared between four people, if you've never had Ethiopian food before) each tasted distinctly different. It might be my favourite Supper Club restaurant so far. At the end of the meal some of us had coffee, which came on a platter with a bowl of incense burning in the middle, a gorgeous-smelling wood burnt to ward off evil spirits. The coffee had such a delicious, smoky taste, but looking back I was smelling the incense as I drank it so it could have been bog standard coffee for all I know.
The food, with half a bottle of wine (we were waiting for a rrreally long time) and a coffee, came to twenty seven euros. I would definitely go again, but not sure if I ever will... less than two months until I leave Paris!
It doesn't seem real. How is it fucking June already?
And why has it just started raining??
*By newspapers I mean... more magazines.