Archive | Expat Adventures RSS feed for this section

I miss you…

19 May

The week leading up to leaving was a very difficult one. For everyone, i hazard a guess.

It was one of the most confusing and stressful times i have been through, both emotionally and physiologically, and it’s unlike me to get myself in such a mess. Before now, i thought that i was actually pretty good at dealing with stress.

It was probably just one of your classic meltdowns.

Making friends now, at the age of (almost!) 30, is still a relatively easy thing to do, despite what others say. The problem is, that most of these people are not wildly inappropriate choices for friends. Rather, they are people you have attracted through the very nature of being who you are. That’s what makes it so hard to say goodbye.

It’s true that the same thing happened when leaving Australia to begin with – leaving people close to you. But the difference is in the conviction that life in my home town had the ability to be re-assumed, just the way it was, whenever i chose to do so.

In Paris, that life will never be the same. Even if i choose to go back (which is seeming rather appealing right now), it’s likely friends there will have moved on, or inherited new lives, ones which don’t have much potential to involve you any more.

And it wasn’t just saying goodbye to people, that was difficult.

I ended up walking around the city saying things like, “it’s the last time i am ever going to wait in line at this boulangerie” or “i can’t believe i am never going to see the sun hit my building like that again”. One of my friends said i was being so dramatic it sounded like i was dying. I even said at one stage that it was the last time i will ever be at a market. I think i just blankly forgot that these things (like food and sunlight) exist outside France.

At the end of it, i just wanted to get my fix of the regular things i knew i would miss – like cooking (too much) dinner with friends, unbuttoning my jeans, and passing out from overeating in front of a movie. Or picnic-ing on the canal and waking up with an arse so bruised it’ll be several days until you can even sit on the couch. Going out with the intention of dancing all night at Le Memphis, yet being too drunk and tired to make it there at the end of dinner. The routine.

I didn’t want to make it any more difficult for people by needing something more than the usual. I didn’t want to put pressure on people to provide me with some kind of idealised version of my reality just for the sake of closure. (Though i will admit to having done this a little, to which i feel a little remorse. ‘No names’ mentioned.)

Anyway, it’s all seemingly gotten under my skin. I guess now it’s just about finding a way to keep it all there, happily living inside me, without having to invest in expensive topical applications and pills to prevent any unwanted side effects. Like loss, or despair.

Lol, i still sound like i’m dying.

In the end, i chose to go. I chose to say goodbye to the city, to friends and (new) family, and to people i came to love. Very much.

So i can only complain so much.

Advertisements

Leaving Las Vegas

4 May

There is an actual reason why i have neglected to write lately.

It’s because i don’t want to see the things needed to be said in print. It makes them become something i have to deal with.

The truth is, i have decided to go back to Australia.

For reals.

I’m not actually sad at all about the decision. I made a choice, i am happy with the choice and i know it’s the right thing for me right now.

Though however sure one is, it doesn’t take away the sick, hollow feeling following me around in my stomach. It’s been there for weeks and i can’t work out what it is exactly.

But you know i’m gonna try and analyse it right!?

Ever since i’ve been here in France, it’s felt like i’ve had these two parallel lives, running simultaneously, only on opposite sides of the world. I never felt like not being in Australia meant that particular life stopped. But now, not being in France makes me realise that there’s a very real chance that this life will stop. The life i’ve made for myself here, well, i’m never going to get that back. I’m never going to be here living the same simple yet complicated existence, never going to have all the same people here at the same time. This life is seemingly over.

I know it’s up to me to keep my friendships alive, which i have no doubt i will try (very hard!) to do, but i just can’t shake the feeling that some of them needed more time. It’s hard to say goodbye to important people in your life, with the possibility that you’ll never share the same city again.

And then there are the people to whom it is too late to say the things you’ve been wanting to say (or perhaps the things that you didn’t realise you wanted to say, until now) because saying them now feels a little futile and pointless.

Right now i have all the time in the world. Work has finished, i’m winding down and trying to get everything ready to leave. But even though i’m on holidays, i find myself unable to relax, even for one minute.

I feel excitement for the move, to be sure, but at this very minute i just feel a huge sense of loss.

Writer’s Block? Me?

21 Apr

I’ve been sitting here in front of a blank screen and a flashing cursor for far too long this morning. I just have no idea what to write! I think there are just too many convoluted thoughts racing through my head that i cannot process one and put it down on the page.

Most people say writing helps then to clarify their thoughts. I think i must be the opposite!

The weather’s changing for the better, and lots of other things are changing too. Whether or not they are for the better i think it’s really too soon to tell!

Stay tuned…..

Sex and This City…

5 Apr

It’s become clear to me that the majority of my readers are pretty much only interested in the state of my love life.

And fair enough. Someone’s got to be i suppose. So thanks Keith, for bringing my lack of ability in attracting Frenchmen to my attention.

The truth is, my poor little heart is being pulled in a million different directions at the moment – north, south, what-have-you. It’s very confusing.

But what i will say is that i’m not sure to be so convinced by the sincerity of Frenchmen to date. That’s not to say that they don’t exist, i hope, it’s just to say that i certainly haven’t run into any…. that are sincere and available!

Not least after this weekend’s novelty of being comically and ardently seduced by No Name at a party, whilst at the very same time, spying him asking other women for their number, repeatedly.

C’est comme ca, for the most part of the time.

When i give someone my heart, i give them the whole thing – which isn’t necessarily wise but it certainly prevents me (most of the time!) from putting it into the wrong hands. And so far, the right hands haven’t come along.

But never fear dear reader (Keith),  it doesn’t stop me from putting some of me into the wrong hands occasionally!

😉

A Farewell to Arms

8 Mar

I’d like to talk about Charlie Sheen.

But i won’t. Not enough room on the INTERNET to talk about all the crazy going on there.

So instead i’ll talk about the other thing currently occupying space in my head, normally reserved for air, EATING.

Oh my good god is living in France in winter is a sheer test of will or what?

All it takes is December, January, February, a little bit of fois gras, some sneaky – still in the fridge as you cut it – cheese eating, a couple of plates of confit du canard, an entire olive baguette on a Sunday afternoon and voila – a new layer of protective fat. Just in time for Spring.

I’ve taken off my jeans and put on my leggings. I am not putting them back on until they no longer look like i’ve sprayed denim directly onto my legs.

It’s official. Poulette is on operation ‘put the cheese down’.

Or maybe operation (no) dessert storm.

Now i could do this the old-fashioned French way and cover every inch of my body in fat reducing creams and stuff my self silly with diet pills, but i’m gonna do this the plain old Anglo-Saxon way and stuff myself full of vegetable for several weeks, while salivating on the window of pattiseries and restaurants all over town.

This is really happening guys.

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.