Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Le Troisième Mois

So when I originally started this blog I had every intention to post bi- or tri- weekly to update people on my more daily adventures, but now this has turned into a monthly post which is sort of like Vogue, but a lot less glamorous. So here I am writing for the 3rd time since I’ve moved to Paris and it is on my 3rd monthaversary of being here.  I wish I had something really thrilling to say like I went skydiving in Interlaken, but no I have stayed here in Paris and enjoyed every minute of it.
The end of October and beginning of November brought numerous things:  Halloween, Les vacances de Toussaints, and the preparation for thanksgiving. For those of you who don’t know, All Saints Day is not only a religious holiday but here in France it is recognized as a national holiday. So naturally, the children get two weeks off of school for it. Instead of having my normal 4 hour days with the kids, I worked all day with them. Going into the two weeks I was a little nervous that they were going to be really annoyed with me or vice versa, but actually the opposite happened.  I accompanied Chloe and Raphael to their activities for the two weeks (one of which being a painting class at the louvre) and we talked about anything and everything. They asked me all about the presidential election and if kids really do egg people’s houses on Halloween night in the US. In return I got to know a lot about them like what music they want to hear me sing and what music they REALLY don’t want me to sing (apparently Justin Beiber’s Baby can even be annoying to a 6 year old girl).  After the two weeks together I can officially say that I feel like a part of their family, just like an older sister. They even bring out the French version of Trivial Pursuit just to make me realize I don’t know everything (Annie and Kate I feel like that is something yall would do to me).
Now being with the kids all the time I was able to tell them what thanksgiving was and what it meant to me. I sort of left out the part where my mom and I sneak into the laundry room to eat all the cake and custard before anyone else could, but I figured they don’t need to know that side of me yet.  While explaining what thanksgiving was for the 23rd time I realized how sad I was that I could not be home to spend it with my family. Normally, we go to Texas to visit my mom’s side of the family and it is a ball. We have HUGE meals and so much fun catching up and making fun of each other. I thought of this so much that I started dreading the week of thanksgiving, but as luck would have it one of my friends, Annie, works for this wonderful family who invited us over for a thanksgiving dinner party. And a party it was. We sat around a big table and eat, drank, and danced ourselves to sleep (literally. We didn’t leave till 5 in the morning). It was absolutely everything I could have hoped for. I got to spend my first adult thanksgiving with new friends and loved every minute of it.
Now it is already the end of November and before I know it my family will be in town for Christmas, which I am thankful for because I could not do another holiday with out them. For people like me who have never been to Paris for Christmas it is a bit of a shock. There were chocolate advent calendars on the shelves before the end of October and now the whole town is decorated for Christmas. While going out with my friends the week before thanksgiving we almost felt as if we were living a fairy tale. The lights are strung on the trees and the Christmas markets are open in the streets and there is something so magical about walking around Paris during this time of year. I cannot wait to spend this holiday with my family so they can hopefully understand what I mean when I say Paris is the most amazing place in the world. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Paris part deux

This week marks my 2nd monthaversary of being in Paris. Looking back on my first two months, I have realized that there is something about Paris that renders me speechless. When I am catching up with people from home or even meeting new people in the city I always get the question: "How do you like Paris?" Honestly, there aren't even words to describe my experience here (and even if there were, I probably couldn't articulate them in an eloquent manner- I would just come off as being PAINFULLY awkward). So for all of those back home: PARIS IS AMAZING. I am fully aware that most of you know how much I already loved Paris, but actually living here has really given me a new perspective on the city.
Here are just a few of the NUMEROUS things I have learned about Paris and myself since living here:
1) The Parisians are NICE. No one can say differently. If you've had a bad experience with a Parisian I am sorry, but there are people like that all over the world. I have met so many genuinely kind people since I've been here. Many helpful people too (especially when i have my panicked "oh no where am I" look on my face).
2)The people from this city are proud to say they come from Paris. Through my classes and meeting Parisians I am constantly told why Paris is so amazing and everything they say is true. This city has so much history and passion behind it. It would be hard to not be proud of something as magical as Paris.
3) I have also learned that what I thought was me speaking French actually sounds like gibberish to most French people. I will start speaking French and people will just automatically start speaking English back to me. It is not a mean gesture, they want to help, but I really need to brush up on my French skills... maybe I should buy Rosetta Stone.
4) Time passes by way too quickly for my liking. I feel like I am constantly turning the page in my calendar and the weeks are just flying by. My friends here and I have decided we need to buckle down and get ready because we do not want to leave Paris with any regrets (that is if we do leave). So naturally we made a bucket list; it is three pages long. I do not want to look back on this year wondering why I didn't completely immerse myself in the culture, what could have been, or regretting that I didn't see everything I wanted to see.
5) I have learned I need to be more confident in myself. This is a big city and it can swallow you whole if you let it. I need to buck up, and learn that making mistakes is okay whether its day to day choices or saying the wrong thing in French, I need to be more confident in my decisions and what I say.
6)On a lighter note I have also learned how to dress properly for the weather. In Paris if it's 50 degrees F you still wear a shirt, a sweater, a scarf, and an overcoat. When it gets colder the layers become more numerous and definitely thicker. Of course I want to use this cold weather as an excuse to go buy more clothes, but that excuse stopped working when I FINALLY realized I am living on an au pair salary.

I am hoping to post more about my daily adventures and random mishaps along the way so I can actually call this a blog and not a monthly life update.