Archive | September, 2010

Frozen in time..

30 Sep

It is cold here in Paris. Real cold. This time last year (temperature wise) i was in the throws of a lovely, new relationship. Warm is the air when you are falling in love in Paris. Yet this time round, the air feels a little less like a big hug and more like someone hatefully biting my nose off.

I’m really feeling the weight of this winter already, and cozy memories of being besotted by someone new are flooding back to me everywhere i turn.

I don’t need any more help recounting all the romance and magic of last year, so lets hope the cafe proprietors start cranking that heating soon. This single girl will need some respite from the lonely Paris winter ahead.

Cours du soir…evening classes of a different kind.

24 Sep

If your French is as bad as mine, and you are single in Paris, i’m sure you will find it a bit of a challenge getting to know new people at bars. It is certainly not impossible, but the latter contributing factors do create a few hurdles.

I have come up with a little theory though, and believe i have found an excellent way to tell if someone is actually interested in you, or not, straight from the outset. Thus eliminating painful moments spent wondering, and saving your precious time.

It’s quite simple. Speak French.

No matter how bad your French is (and in fact, the worse your French, the better this works) just practice a little bit on your target of the evening – throw in a few giggles, a few ‘comment on dit en francais?’ and just wait to gauge the reaction.

If they switch to speak to you in English after not too long, with little to no regard to your French efforts, then you can pretty much say goodnight.

BUT, if it so happens that they are happy to listen to your French and go as far as to compliment you on how you speak, then ladies you have a player on your hands.

You can be sure that the person in question is interested when they are willing to sit patiently listening to you, taking the time to speak slowly with you, and peppering your confidence with positive reinforcements.

Now a conversation filled with giggles, blushing, patience and many many compliments due to your ‘tres charmant’ accent? Priceless.

You have yourselves a winner.

I would be interested to know if anyone else has thought about this…. and, if there are any males out there…. am i correct?

Sticky situation..

20 Sep

I just thought it should be noted that i am sitting in a cafe and have just spilled coca cola all over myself.

Rather than ask the waiter for a straw, which would have been the intelligent answer, i decided just to dive into it without one. I don’t actually know what the word for ‘straw’ is and it all seemed a bit difficult.

Not as difficult as sitting here with brown shit all over my white t-shirt though as it turns out.

So my lesson for the day is to learn more French, or risk making a fool of myself. Good timing, considering i’m taking my stained t-shirt off to French class now.

Your lesson for the day is, ‘straw’ = ‘une paille’.

Consider it a little gift from me to you.

The Rules.

19 Sep

I am interested to know if the rules of all ‘the games’ are different here in France.

The rules involving relationships, and more specifically, when one considers themselves in a relationship are certainly not what they are at home. (And let it be said that if you kiss a Frenchman on a date, congratulations! You are the proud owner of a shiny new relationship.)

Example. I had no idea that i was in a relationship earlier this year with no name, until a couple of months later he suggested we end it and just be friends. It bewildered me because i thought we were kinda just friends anyway, only i was also ‘kinda’ friends with a few others at that time too. Whoops.

So i’ve learned the rules the hard way (not that it was painful, i just went the long way round) and now i’ve graduated to a more complicated part of the game that i am yet to get a grasp of how to play.

Case in point: I met a friend of Mr No Name’s recently. If you are not familiar with who Mr No Name is, he is the gentleman i have to referred to in the example above. Yes, the Gentleman who does not want to have a relationship with me, but continues to be one of my closest friends here in Paris. A good man he is at that. So, when one meets and becomes enamoured by a friend of the ‘ex’, what happens then??

Tricky.

In Australia, there is a very clearly defined ‘bro’s before hoe’s’ policy.  I’m pretty sure it’s in the constitution. A man would never consider making a move or accepting an advance from the ex of one of his friends. It just wouldn’t be right.

Is it the same here in France?

I’ve the feeling i’ve been outplayed and possibly checkmated.

What is my next move?

Feelin’ funny

10 Sep

I’m feeling a bit out of sorts today. It may just be the move last week. It’s always difficult to move in with new people and to try and adjust to their schedule, their way of life, their way of washing dishes, you get the picture. I’m sure it will pass, but I just hate not feeling relaxed in my own home. When I get in these woe is me moods I generally want to lock myself indoors, but I think tonight, the best antidote is to go out and party the the pity right out of me. We’ll see how this new approach suits me.

I’ve said it a hundred times before i know, but it is really difficult trying to get things together in a city when a) it isn’t your own b) you don’t speak the language (well) and c) you’ve got no money. I just dream of having a harmonious existence here with my own place, with my own things and a job that pays me a real income, and no anxiety about whether all this is futile anyway as who knows how long i wil be able to stay in the country. Most days the thought of returning home does enter my head at some stage, but i only have to open the front door and step into the street to realise that this is where i belong for the time being, however traumatic it appears to be!

There’s a Regina Spektor song that i often listen to when i need to remind myself of how i’m supposed to function.

“This is how it works
You’re young until you’re not
You love until you don’t
You try until you can’t
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath

No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took”

Then i remember to get my shit together and just keep going.

And if i’m honest, i’d probably be complaining of boredom if things were easy!

Field of Dreams

7 Sep

I finally dragged my sorry state back to French classes this week.

Regular readers will be well aware of my initial attempt at learning, whereby i’d taken only two classes before they canceled them completely. Not a good sign.

But, i finally worked up the confidence, the energy and the optimism to get involved again.

And second time round, success!!

I realised how much i’d improved over time, and for the first time, i wasn’t the worst in the class!

So now i’m a convert, i love French classes. I’ve paid for 1 month and i’m hoping to be fluent by the end of September. (Joke. but not.) I’ll do my best and see where i get! At the least i’d like to have a semblance of understanding of what anyone is saying to me, ever.

I’m engaged in the job search at present, and that is difficult enough, without the added frustration of not speaking the language.

But, never say never. I’ll try my hardest and see where i get.

PS – perhaps if i just start telling myself that i DO speak French, rather than continually berating myself for being rubbish, i will. (if you build it, they will come type stuff)

All advice welcome!

Carrot cake

4 Sep

Given the fact that I am currently ‘between houses’, i have spent more than my fair share of time in cafes this week. Well, one cafe in particular as it happens. I came for the wifi, but I stayed for the carrot cake. It’s called ‘Sesame’ right on the canal, near Republique. While the cake is truly amazing, it’s what they do with it – the giant, white lump of cream cheese icing sitting next to it on the plate. It is heaven. I promise.
I just thought it was my duty to spread the word.

Go there. Eat it up. You won’t regret it.