Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Abandoned Paris

I know I keep whinging but... it's too. bloody. hot.

How am I supposed to pack and clean in this heat?

I can barely stand to touch my laptop, my wrists are hot and wet.

I can't do this. I can't type any longer. I was going to do a massive, final blog post but there's no way.

Basically: I'm getting the Eurostar on Wednesday, I don't know how I feel about leaving, here's some more photos I uploaded last week from the 'human zoo'. Me and Julia went back and broke into a different pavilion, it used to be the Tunisian Pavilion (as in Tunisian people lived here and French people would go and stare at them through the railings) but since then it has also been used as a kind of community centre- there were pieces of paper pinned to a bulletin board from 1989, the year I was born. What community lived there? Why did they leave in such a hurry that they didn't even take their phone?



Also, here' some photos from la Petite Ceinture, my favourite place in Paris. I might make the last one my new LBM profile picture, seeing as my current one isn't actually me, if you hadn't already guessed...

That's my bag by the way, in the first photo. There's something about a bag lying on railway tracks that makes my heart stop. It actually makes me feel sick to look at it, I think they did a railway safety campaign a few years ago using similar images, it must have made an impression...

 


This is it, I'm actually leaving. Thanks to everyone who reads my blog. I know I don't have thousands of fans but I can't believe how many I do have. I never thought I would make friends through my blog, or find a job that I stayed at for two years. I want to keep blogging after I leave Paris but not sure if it will be the same. I'll always write anyway, I know sometimes I swear a lot and my grammar veers on the vernacular side and I sometimes tell long-winded, boring stories about getting a scabby nose.... But I have wanted to be a writer since I could write, so if I can't think of anything to blog about perhaps I will start putting up bits of writing.

We'll see.

Sigh. I wanted to my final post to be very poetic and nostalgic, but it's so fucking hot...

To sum up: I wanted to live in Paris- for No Reason- and I did, for three years.

Sep 2010 - July 2013.

So not quite three years, but hey, this is my blog... who's going to argue with me?

I know I'll miss Paris and obviously my friends that are staying here, but I'll also miss the person I thought I could be.

Last weekend I was in a taxi with Julia and her friend from work and we were on our way to Social Club and the taxi driver was letting us smoke in his taxi and was playing loud music for us and chatting away... I wished I really belonged there, in that moment, but it was borrowed.  I can't really speak French and I only have two or three French friends, even after three years.

I always knew I might stay in Paris for more than a year but I thought it would be easy to slip into a Real Life. I don't feel like I have a Real Life in Paris- I live in a chambre de bonne that is provided for me by a family that I work for, as an au pair- no matter how much I pretend I'm not an au pair because it's only two hours a day and I don't live with the family and I worked as a waitress and a teacher as well...

This blog post has ended up sounding really melancholy and I'm not sad at all- I'm excited for Secret Garden Party, then to travel around seeing friends and family...

I have no idea what is going to happen next. I really wish my life were a book, so I could skip to the end, but it isn't, so I'll just have to wait and see.

I won't say this is my last blog post from Paris because it might not be, but just in case it is, let me quickly say what I spent my last few days doing so I'll never forget:

- being pleasantly surprised by Social Club because it wasn't too full and the bouncers were nice
- finally going on la Petite Ceinture with Julia, leaving a srawberry tart for the Romany family that sleep at the secret entrance
- taking Julia to the colonial garden and wandering round the eerie, new build offices where one person was working in one room, then seeing white tents hidden in the bushes, secret experiments?
- going back to la Petite Ceinture with Shayna and walking as far as we could, then trying to escape because we thought two guys were following us. I leapt over the fence but Shayna stayed on top of the fence, refusing to come down, until the two guys caught up with us and helped her down
- meeting Amo for lunch and not getting home until six in the morning, very drunk and slightly embarrassed about spending the night in Chatelet dancing to shit music with 22 year old Australian boys on their hols
- having a water fight with the ten year old and the three year old in the park and going home soaking wet
- walking for hours and hours, along the river, listening to MC Solaar 'La belle et le bad boy' because three years ago I told myself I would learn all the words and my time is almost up...

I know it's cheesy and no French people think it's cool, but here you go anyway, I still love it:





32 comments:

  1. I've only been reading your blog for a few months, but in those few months I'e enjoyed myself immensely and will probably continue to do so even if you aren't writing about my faveorite city. I lived in France for three months a two years ago in grade ten and loved it and cant wait to go back. I found your blog while considering being an au-pair as a year off plan. (I'm doing another year of school instead then taking a year off.) And I did find good info about that but more importantly I found someone entertaining and thoughtful. I will continue to read your blog because if nothing else it has made me feel better about the next few years of my life. It might be hard but at least I can blog about it. Thanks.

    I'll just end that embarrassingly long comment here. Keep writing.

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    1. I'm glad I've made you feel better about the next few years of your life- I think a lot of people worry about making wrong decisions but there's no need to worry really, is there? Like you say, if things turn to shit at least we can blog about it.

      Thanks for your lovely comment, keep reading.

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  2. Wishing you all the best in your new life in England. I'll miss living vicariously through you! Your blog has been one of my favourites for a few years now, and I'm sad that this chapter is ending. Please keep writing and I'll keep reading.

    Bonne continuation, ma belle!

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    1. Merci Crystal- one of my first regular readers!

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  3. The blog must go on!

    Liz

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  4. Just wanted to say how much I empathise with 'miss the person I thought I could be' - it's almost a year since I left Paris, but I still remember feeling exactly the same way. And probably still do.

    I've really enjoyed (and at times envied!) your blog, and ability to write in such an honest and entertaining way about your Parisian escapades. Bravo et bien fait.

    'Scottish au pair' - Kayt's swimming pool sidekick, 2011-12

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    1. Thanks 'Scottish au pair', how strange that you and Kayt got talking about my blog at the swimming pool! I can't believe you left Paris a year ago...

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  5. Awh! I have loved reading your blog. I honestly felt like I was reading a book, scabs included. Thanks for letting me live vicariously through you and your Parisian life. Have the best time back in England because that place is amazing. Thank you for your posts :D

    Best wishes dear!

    http://citizenimages.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks Katie, I know how much you love England and so far I am having an amazing time here, although it hasn't sunk in that I've left Paris yet...

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  6. Do keep writing, we love the blog for you not Paris x Wow, if you were born in 1989, that means people born in 1990 are also legit adults now, how weird is that?

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    1. What's weirder is talking to kids that were born in the year 2000 and they have their own opinions and iPhones and laptops!! Thanks for commenting and for all your comments you started reading!

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  7. Keep on writing, warts and all! I for one would like to see how your life in England turns out. We are happy in France but it doesn`t suit everyone, especially if you find learning French hard.
    A très bientôt!!

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    1. Thanks for commenting, I would also like to see how my life in England turns out!

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  8. Keep writing, PLLLEEEAASSSEE. I check your blog every other day for updates (which probably makes me sound slightly sad, and also begs the question, why have I never just subscribed?!) Anyway, I've been reading since the beginning and you helped me get through a few tough months of au pairing. So please blog about London - I mean, it's pretty much, almost, sort of, as cool as Paris, right? xxx

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    1. WHY have you never subscribed Alice?? Thank you so much for commenting, I hope you enjoy my London blogging, I actually have a sneaky feeling I'm going to like London much more than Paris...

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  9. I love your blog. Your blog helped me in so many ways and I even learned some things about Paris. I hope you enjoy being back home. However keep writing. Your fan from America :)

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    1. Thanks so much for commenting, keep reading, 'my fan from America'.

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  10. Your blog was a savoir in the long boring days of au pairing, it made me feel ok knowing someone else here in the city of Paris was going through the same stuff but brave enough to write about... Keep on being brave. Keep on writing. Keep on being f-ing hilarous too.

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    1. Ha, being an au pair can be so so shit and boring, can't it? Glad I could help and thanks for commenting!

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  11. I've really really enjoyed reading your blog. Thank you so much. I commented earlier this year, in September sometime, thanking you for all your advice as it was pretty much all because of you that I knew what to look for in an au pair job and did end up in Paris last fall. I moved to Berlin in the spring, but I've still been reading every post and it really makes me miss Paris! Especially since we have a friend in common, reading here about experiences that you've shared with her just makes it all seem even more real. Thanks and hope you keep blogging in England!

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    1. Oooh who is the friend in common? I'm a bit jealous that you live in Berlin- I've never even been but everybody tells me how cool it is. Glad my blog was helpful, keep reading and enjoying Berlin!

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  12. Go on you have to keep on writing!

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  13. ive been reading your blog since you stated writing it, it inspired me to go to paris and be an au pair myself, and ive loved reading it maybe even more since being back in england, pleaseeeee keep writing, i love your blog! x

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    1. I can't believe some people actually moved to Paris after being inspired by my blog, that makes me so happy! I will keep writing, keep reading x

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  14. Sad to see you go
    -texas

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  15. Hi there,

    It has been great to read your blog as I am becoming an Au Pair in Paris in October. I have been trying to find out if there is any official documents or processes you need to go through or can you just rock up in Paris and get on with it?

    Any advice you can give would be really, really helpful!

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    1. Are you American or English? English girls can rock up and do what they like, it's a lot more difficult for non-EU citizens- normally you have to get the paperwork sorted before you move, but I know a few American girls who stayed on as students and I even met one American girl who had been living here for years with no paperwork... but she obviously couldn't risk leaving the country or she wouldn't be able to get back in!!

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  16. I have also just moved back to England after 3 years in Paris and I've been reading your blog for most of that time. I understand how you feel about not having a Real Life in Paris, despite being their for 3 years I never managed to get "in" with the Parisians! All the best for your London Real Life :)

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    1. Thank you! It's weird that we've both just moved back after living in Paris for three years. Good luck to you as well in London, it's hard work isn't it??
      LBM

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