Archive | January, 2011

Icy Cold Service

29 Jan

I finished work a little early last night and so took advantage of the pre-8pm hour to invest further into my chronic laziness. I popped into Picard (a frozen food paradise, for anyone non acquainted). I arrived at 7.55pm and was greeted by a young man who opened the door for me – which struck me as extraordinarily polite and thoughtful for someone employed in a customer service position in France.

I smiled and said thank you. He scowled at me and said i have 5 minutes to get what i want and get out otherwise he will close the doors and i will be locked in all night.

Now i felt like i was back in France.

So, not to piss off the angry young man any more than i already had by simply living and breathing, i quickly bundled up everything i needed in order to not have to cook anything real for the entire weekend, and proceeded to the checkout. Lots of people were busily trying to get out of the shop as fast as myself, so there was a bit of a wait. The angry young man started bellowing again, this time telling us that it shouldn’t be taking so long and that the door will be locking in two minutes. We were to decide which side of the door we would like to be on.

I really wanted to yell out that perhaps if he came over here and sat himself down at the second register then this whole process would get him out of here and home to his miserable life a little faster. God i wish my French was good enough to have yelled that out to him.

I managed to get out just in time, and approached the man with a lovely smile and thanked him for his patience. I read the sign on the door that said PUSH, but when i pushed the door to no avail, the young man gave me an exaggerated eye roll and yelled out “PULL dis donc!”


Lingo for Australia Day

26 Jan

Well, as i am Australian, and it is the national day of our fair land, it would be wrong of me and certainly very un-cliched if i didn’t say G’DAY!!


I am in fact working today which is both very unaustralian of me and also very unfrench. Confusing. In any case I suppose i’ll have to make my way down to Cafe OZ tonight and have a couple of glasses of our national pride to give myself some semblance of an identity – an inebriated one at that.

In the meantime, you must pay your respects to my great nation by learning a little bit of our language…it’s only fair, given that i have made the effort to learn English AND French.

France V Australia

17 Jan

Being freshly back amongst le francais after some delightful ‘Aussie Man’ time at home, i thought i’d take a minute to reflect on some obvious differences between French men and Australian men…

An Aussie man will pay for a woman on a first date, to try to impress them. A Frenchman will only pay for a woman after he has already been suitably impressed.

Aussie men like a girl with a good appetite, as long as she is happy. French men like a girl with a good appetite, as long as she is thin.

If you even so much as make eye contact with a Frenchman on the metro, he will believe that you have fallen in love with him. An Australian would never assume such a thing. That would require analysing.

Australian men want to appear strong, and protect you. Frenchmen want to appear intelligent, and debate you.

A Frenchman will approach you directly if you do make obvious eye contact. An Australian will blush and tell his friends, but won’t have the guts to come near you.

French men believe that it is acceptable to spit and to pick their nose in public. Aussie men DO spit and pick their nose in public but are aware that it is totally unacceptable.

A Frenchman will tell you your arse looks big in those jeans and you could do with losing a few kilos around the middle (yeah i’m looking at you, No Name!) An Aussie man will do no such thing. But he will bitch and moan about it to his mates.

An Aussie man will go to painful lengths not to ogle women in the street, even when their breasts are practically hanging out of their top. A Frenchman will go to painful lengths to ogle you in the street, even when there is absolutely nothing to see.

Aussie men genuinely want to find that one woman to be with for the rest of their lives. French men genuinely want to get married so that it becomes socially acceptable to have an affair.

The Big O

15 Jan

So i’ve just realised that i can’t say ‘je viens’ to someone when i’m on my way to meet them.

Unless of course somehow, throughout the journey, i have managed to arrive at the height of pleasure.


Why hasn’t someone corrected me earlier!!??

Fete de la Clementine

14 Jan

Who’d have thought 4kgs of Clementines would feed so many gypsies?

Wandering though the market this morning, i got a hankering for a couple of clementines to eat on the walk home. I was  unaware that, at this time of year, one cannot buy just ‘a couple’ of clementines. And why would you when you can have a kilo for 1 euro anyway?

I wandered around, discreetly looking for the vendor with the plumpest, juiciest fruit on show, but i must have let my guard down and made eye contact (crucial market error). Before i even knew what had happened, the sheer insistence of a particularly industrious saleswoman saw me walking away with 4 kilos of clementines. (Not to mention 5 punnets of strawberries – i’ve no idea what the hell i’m going to do with those). I’m sure i said i didn’t need so many, but she insisted that i did.

I’m not even sure how much i paid the woman, it all happened so quickly that the moment is a bit of a blur. But nevertheless, i set off, still trying to process what had happened, with my 4 kilo bag wondering how the hell i was going to continue to walk in a straight line. The weight of the bag was threatening to pull out my shoulder from the socket.

But alas, it was not for very long that i was breaking under the weight, it seemed i was now a veritable magnet for gypsies. I don’t recall ever even seeing any gypsies along the boulevard Voltaire, but trust me they are there.

And boy do they love clementines.

So much so that they were really pissed off at me when i only offered them one or two each…. apparently their husbands love them, their kids love them and their neighbours love them too.

At least now i don’t have to worry about googling 20 useful recipes for Clementines – i only have 3 left.

And now i know why you can’t just buy two.

Into The Wild…

13 Jan

Although it was extremely difficult and dangerous, let it be noted that i have escaped from the stronghold of my amazing sunny holiday, and FINALLY, i am back to the cold monotony of my life.

Thank god.

I arrived back in Paris Monday afternoon, after approximately 26 hours sitting next to a fat guy in a puffer jacket (sounds bad, but in reality quite good as he couldn’t even tell i was sleeping on his arm) to a spectacularly cold, rainy outlook. But it was fine, as i had moving house and work to look forward to that very afternoon.

But i shouldn’t be so jaded. At least i have a home now!

So here i am, in my new home (which is wonderful), soaking in the first morning i have to myself since i have been back, and finally reflecting on a wonderful holiday with my wonderful friends and family and kind of questioning what the hell i am doing sitting here, on my bed, in Paris.

Maybe this is the point where i have an Alexander Supertramp revelation and scribble in my notebook ‘happiness only real when shared’.

Let’s hope i don’t accidentally swallow any poisoned coffee while i continue to pontificate the meaning of life….

Gone Fishin’

2 Jan

Literally and metaphorically.

Sorry people, i would have liked to write over this holiday but you know what? I am just having so much god damn FUN, that i just don’t have the want to reflect at the moment!

I was always looking forward to coming back home for this holiday, but secretly, as you do, i felt a lot of anxiety about how i would feel – What it would be like to catch up with everyone again? Would it be overwhelming? Would any friendships have changed? All those questions you try to put out of your mind when you are living a solo existence, far, far away from anything familiar.

But i’ve actually found myself having such a good time i am dreading the thought of getting on the plane again! Last time i came back i couldn’t get back to Paris fast enough, but this time it’s different. And i don’t know what that means…

… yet.