Thursday, 4 July 2013

Kayt's Last Weekend in Paris

B has been my Official Roommate for four days now and so far things are going swimmingly. The only thing I was slightly worried about was the possibility that, as two messy people, our cohabitation would turn my Cinderella Room in a crack den of clothes, make-up and mugs with cold dregs of tea in them (because I'm always late and so can't finish my tea, NOT because I don't like tea enough to finish a whole mug). So far though, this prophecy has not come to pass. Today it's looking a little chaotic actually, but I'll give it a quick tidy later... maybe.

The only other problem is that I've just cut my toenails and although I managed to capture nearly all of the cuttings, one of them flew into the air and- I'm 85% sure- landed in B's open suitcase of clothes. If you're reading this B, don't worry. When you get back to England you'll find it and think of me, it will be a comfort. Anyway, there's a 15% chance it just landed on the floor, so try to forget about it.

Look. We can talk about my toenails later, I have some catching up to do. Last weekend was Kayt's last weekend in Paris. It still hasn't sunk in that she's not a fifteen minute metro journey away. I don't think I can go to Place de Clichy or Pigalle ever again, it will be too sad.

On Friday night we went to La Villette Enchantée, the music was amazing. It was the release tour for the new Watergate compilation album. I've heard that German clubs are notoriously difficult to get in to and I wonder if they were trying to recreate the feel of a real Berlin club when they put a stony-faced, power-tripping arsehole on the door. He stared at everyone in the line and kept asking those closest to him: "Ca va? Ca va?"

Kayt thought she wasn't going to get in because she didn't have any ID with her, even though she is 28. I thought he wouldn't let us in because we were with three boys (Kayt's boyfriend, B's Gentleman Friend who I think we're now allowed to call her boyfriend and Kayt's boyfriend's friend who was visiting as well) and he seemed to be turning away guy-heavy groups. It made a nice chance going out with as many boys as we were girls though: Sinister Perverts on the metro refrained from tutting, tongue-clicking and hissing at us like they normally do, much in the same manner you would call over a cat or small dog.

In the end it was completely fine, although the doorman made Kayt and her boyfriend hang back a bit, just to freak them out and make Kayt regret not bringing her passport. Once we got inside, I was actually glad the guy had been so difficult on the door, because the club was about two thirds as full as it could have been, making it pleasantly spacious and jostle-free.

The queue for the toilets was still massive though and there were only two urinals for boys, meaning they had to queue up with the girls if they needed more than a wee. I witnessed a few boys looking at the urinals with horror, asking the bouncer in a quiet voice where they were supposed to go for a Number Two and then having to do the Poo Walk of Shame to the back of the queue. Boys who weed in the urinals weren't even allowed to wash their hands.

Apart from the doorman, the bouncers were actually really nice. At one point, me and Kayt's boyfriend's friend were sat down on a bench and a girl next to us started vomiting on the floor and a little bit on her shiny, silver leggings. Kayt's boyfriend's friend got her a towel from behind the bar and I wiped the sick from her leggings because we are really lovely, conscientious, kind, very kind people. (I thought that the vomit would soak through the thin leggings and then dry and the material would be fused to her skin with dried sick.)

There were some people there, however, who were not so nice. Some guys were pointing and yelling at the girl, being massive dickheads. I told them to shut up or else the bouncer would come over and kick her out and we didn't know where her friends were... Then one of the guys went over and told the bouncer that the girl was being sick. The bouncer came over and told the girl to go to sleep, then told the guys to be quiet. HA. La Villette Enchantée is a bit like a giant greenhouse, a glass structure built on cobbled ground, so perhaps it doesn't matter so much if people are sick, but still... I was really impressed and put him on my Nice Bouncers List (along with Big Dave in Pigalle, who kept Sinister Perverts away while we ate our burgers at three in the morning and the bouncer at La Bellevilloise who chased me round a courtyard yelling at me, but then we made up and became friends 'because it was Christmas'.)

We left just as the metro was starting and it was the worst metro journey ever. Maybe it's because we normally go out for big nights on a Saturday, but I've never gone home after a rave before and been completely surrounded by Normal People going to work. It was awful. The metro was really busy and we were the only people who looked as if we'd been on a night out. What's more, I was the only one changing at Republique and had a horrible ten minutes trip-trapping through crowds of Normal People, trying to find the Line 9.

When I got to the Line 9, a guy sitting next to me on the platform started gagging because he was so thirsty and asked if he could have a sip of my open Coke can. I know what you've been up to, son. Eventually I just gave him the whole can because I'd had enough and when we got on the metro he asked me conspiratorially if I'd been out too. (He used a really colloquial phrase for going out/raving that I haven't heard before, something with the word piste in it, I think. I'll ask Julia what it could have been... unless she's reading this and would like to leave her thoughts in a comment below? SMILEY FACE.) I said yes and we had a little lol and then two more people got on the metro who had clearly been out all night too. The guy I'd given my coke can do was obviously a Social Simon because he got them involved in our We've Been Out and Nobody Else Has secret gang.

"Yeah," yelled one our latest recruits, "I've got  a packet of tissues, he's got a bottle of water, you've got an open can of coke and you (to me) have got nothing!"

The guy with the can of coke was laughing and pointing at me, asking me why I didn't have anything. I laughed as well but it was only when they all got off that I realised it had been fucking coke can in the first place! Then when I got off the metro, ascending to white sky and daylight, I had another thought: Why did we all need tissues and/or a drink anyway?

When I got home, the new gardienne (we finally have one and she's really nice) was taking the bins out and I walked right into her, wild-eyed and edgy. I said 'Bonjour' as if I'd just been for an early morning stroll, in my kimono, in the pouring rain. She had a little white dog with her that chased me down the entry. I must have been fucked because I found myself stroking it and cooing 'hello little doggy, hello little doggy', instead of running away, making sounds of British discontent such as 'oops' 'oh dear' and 'uh oh'.

The next day I went to the Musée Rodin with Kayt, her boyfriend and her boyfriend's friend. Well, we just went in the gardens, because they were free for me (I'm under 26) and a euro for everyone else. People were lying on the grass in the sunshine, so we followed suite and the next thing we knew a very, very angry man wearing comedy, coke-bottle-bottom-glasses leapt out of the bushes, screaming at us to get off the grass. There were signs but they were hidden in the hedges. There was one girl who had her headphones and sunglasses on and I felt so sorry for her when she woke up to see the maniac groundskeeper leaning over her, looking like he was about to punch her. There was another groundskeeper who followed behind the mental one, apologizing to people and explaining in a calm manner that his colleague was just upset because people never saw the signs... Tell him to get some new signs then, the lunatic.

That evening we went to Le Relais de Venice at Porte Malliot with Julia. They just do steak-frites and are famous for their special 'secret' sauce. We queued for an hour (they have different 'sittings', so even if the queue looks big, everyone in it will normally get a table at the same time) but once we were in we got served really quickly. You get a salad, then the steak-frites, then another portion of the steak-frites, for 24 euros.

The woman who makes the secret sauce was also the maître d' and her look was a cross between 'kindly grandma' and 'Dutch brothel madam', her glamorous black dress and heels contrasting with her white hair. All the other waitresses wore old-fashioned French maid uniforms. The whole thing felt very dated and a bit surreal- even the clean, freshly pressed napkins were frayed and threadbare- but non of that mattered because everyone was there solely for the steak in special sauce. I won't spoil the surprise and tell you what's in the sauce but also... I have no idea. It was green, oily and herby, it was nice. (Apparently they now have a branch in Manchester!)

We were going to out afterwards and optimistically agreed to meet up again at 11pm, after a quick nap. But when I woke up at 11pm I knew I couldn't make it out... I went back to bed and didn't wake up until 3pm the following day. It was amazing.

For Kayt's Leaving Drinks we went to, where else, Chez Justine. After some Happy Day cocktails we moved on to Point Ephémère, so we could drink by the canal in the sunshine. Unfortunately the canal was edged by puddles of slurry and sludge, but we sat down anyway, taking care to avoid the dirty pools of horror... Then of course, I stood up to say hello to someone and put my hands and my bag in the muddy slop. Kayt's boyfriend said I could wipe it on the bottom of his jeans, but Kayt didn't hear and was shocked when she saw me casually wiping wet dirt on her boyfriend's trousers, as if he was a living, breathing dish cloth.

On Monday, I stayed over at Kayt's for the Last Time. There was nothing in her room, we didn't even have a sheet to cover us. It was so weird, but not really sad because we'll see each other in a few weeks when I move back to England and... remember how she had to leave early because she had an interview? Well she got the job! I don't think she was sad to leave as she has a new life in Manchester to look forward to- she'll be living with her boyfriend, she has a job and Amy is now in Manchester living with her boyfriend. Now I just need to move there, get a cat and we can begin our new Triple Couple Social Life!


But I will be in Manchester for a bit and I am excited to move back to England. I might be moving back sooner that I thought anyway, because the au pair mum is kicking off and I just can't. Be. Arsed. She wants me to go to the countryside this weekend and I said no, I'm really sorry but it's too short notice and I have plans. Then she said it's a shame and that I've not been able to work hardly any weekends this year...


This is why you shouldn't do anything for other people, ever, because all they remember is the stuff you didn't do for them. She's just focusing on the five or six Saturdays out of the whole year that I've not been able to work. Even now I'm contemplating cancelling all my plans and going to the countryside, what's wrong with me?

It's my birthday this weekend and even though we all know my Birthday Monster died a sad death last year, I still want to do something. I'm thinking La Machine on Saturday (Pearson Sound and Kyle Hall) and then hopefully we can keep the birthday energy going for Concrete on Sunday morning- me and B have still never been. I'm going to go now because this post is really, really, really long but as I have so much stuff to do this week, I'll probably be back soon to procrastinate.

This is for Kayt:


  1. Happy Birthday (a little early)

  2. Hi, just wanted to say I have found your blog so helpful and honest (and bloody funny too!) whilst I'm trying to sort out au pair work in France, thank you! Quick question though, would you say are ok, as long as you make sure you skype/ask as many questions prior to working for a host family? and I have to admit I don't have much experience with children but I am enthusiastic, do you think that's a big hindrance or not? Would be v grateful to hear your view on things!

    1. Aw glad you've found my blog useful! Do you mean I've just typed in aupairworld.COM and it took me to a website called 'Great Au pair' which I've never used... Anyway, I used the first time and although I didn't stay with the family, that was my fault really, because I thought I could live on a really small wage and I didn't ask too many questions about their apartment or living conditions... I don't think you need a lot of experience to do the job- you just have to like kids and be sensible and responsible etc- but a lot of families want to see that you have some experience and they might ask for references... You could ask family friends who have kids to be your references and say you've babysat for them. You don't have to have any professional experience, but most au pairs say they have some experience so you're putting yourself at a disadvantage if you say you don't have any!
      Hope this is helpful,

  3. Ah yes is what I meant, silly me! Thanks a lot that was really helpful, hope you enjoy your last couple of weeks in Paris :)