December 23, 2010
no easy task in france. where paperwork reigns supreme. and shortcuts end up being the long way. so when you actually accomplish something you set out to do, it’s cause for celebration. or in my case: sleep!
and so it was meant to be, on my third-week anniversary: i scored a french bank account!!!! this may seem like no big deal to those in the states, where banks pass out free t-shirts and mugs and gift cards just to get you to walk thru the door. no such luck here. in fact it was i who had to woo them. with bank statements. and documents. and letters. and utility bills. and the gorge french model. who did all the talking. while i sat there and looked purty. it was a real reversal of roles.
and then today, i returned alone. to sign papers. and talk about fate. and destiny. and how much control we have ovah either. ya know, just the usual stuff you chat about with your friendly banker. who then hand-delivered me to anotha branch. and told them to be nice to me. the whole experience was downright pleasant, if i may say so myself. not to mention enlightening. i learned that i have no control over when things happen here. they must unfold. in parisian time. not my time. which is now set on their 24-hour clock, btw. taking the girl out of america…
December 22, 2010
had one of those nites. fueled by some old cuban cocktails. we closed the bar down. along with an adorable girl with the cutest pixie cut. she came thisclose. and whispered sweet nothings. well, i vowed to be open to everything this year…did i not?
the late nite was followed by an early morn. altho in fairness, anything before noon is early to me.
December 21, 2010
December 21, 2010
i tried to fight it. even tho technology has effed me ovah time n time again. w/the pocket-dialing. and the botched email forwards. and the late-nite texts. that may or may not have been delivered to the right number. not that i care. months lata. (but i do). even still: i love my technology. telling me what to do. and where to go. and what to buy.
paris, on the otha hand, is not a fan. she doesn’t believe in shortcuts. especially when it comes to her streets. she wants you to get to know her slowly. rue by rue. so buh-bye gps. that nevah knows where i am. or where i’m goin. EVAH. thanks to her mysterious teeny-tiny streets. that cannot be detected by manmade gadgets. but only by woman herself. on foot. or by bicycle. which is so not happening, btw. since i hate those two-wheelers even mo after coming thisclose to getting run ovah by one today. that whole-look-both-ways-before-you-cross-the-street thing? turns out it’s not such a bad rule. my heart stopped. she hit the brakes. just in time. PHEW!
so today, left with no mo options, i did the unthinkable. i bought a map. which i have avoided doing for weeks. hoping to find a way to make my gadgets do the heavy lifting. but alas, no dice. so here we go. back to basics. with a tool that doesn’t need wifi or a charged battery to operate. wooing this city one rue at a time.
December 20, 2010
on my hands n knees. scrubbin floors. dishes. the fridge. the works. cuz i realized: this ain’t no two-week stop on the road to somethin else. i actually live here. whoooooooooa. crazy, right? even crazier? there ain’t no maid! just me. toilin away. as i breathed in the toxic ajax fumes. when things shone like the top of the chrysler building, i ventured out. finally. to do my laundry. i’m happy to report: things went much smoother this go-round. thanks to the lady at the laverie. who hogged all the machines. but explained the buttons. fair trade, i s’pose.
altho now all my clothes smell like weed. thanks to the three frenchie stoners who walked in. SANS LAUNDRY. lit up. INSIDE. and rocked out to nelly’s LA song. talk about surreal. so shout out to my west coast peeps. from the misfits at the laverie. i miss u guys. but oddly enuf, i find myself not missing much else. even the weather. and that’s saying a lot. since i’ve dealt with snow. rain. and crazy winds. all within the last 24 hours.
December 19, 2010
paris is worse than a movie stah. “no photos!” she cries out. every day. even when she looks her best. in fact, especially when she looks her best. so i’ve been forced to go full-on paparazzi style. and not just in the supermarches. and department stores. EVERYWHERE. i’ve decided: tis bettah to beg forgiveness. than ask permission. cuz if it were up to the french i would only have pictures of the eiffel tower and the arc de triomphe. i’ve resigned myself to a life of getting scolded. first at carrefour. then, at le bon marche. and last night. at mama shelter. as i snapped pics in the philippe starck-designed lobby. who knew paris could be so overprotective? when it comes to her macarons? and her cakes? and her hotels? listen, i’m all for having an air of mystery. but c’mon! it’s a macaron! i think it’s cuz she doesn’t want any mo suitors. coming along. and fallin in love with her. once they see her in all her glory.
well here i am, showing you the shiz you’re not supposed to see. cuz i’m a rebel. always have been. always will be. please forgive me, paris. i love you, ma cherie.
December 19, 2010
now i know what it means to walk in a winter wonderland. one boy throwing a snowball at anotha. a girl opening her mouth to catch some flakes. and me, debating whether or not to remove my poor frigid right hand from the warmth of my new glove so i can record it all. whatevah, my hand has all spring to warm up. and fingerless gloves, by the way, are so not the answer to my prayers. neither is this new gps i bought. that i thought would keep me on the straight and narrow. but nope. still walkin in circles. perhaps it is my destiny.
sometimes it’s nice to know where i’m goin. sans maps. or hopstop. or crappy gadgets. that spit you out. onto scary side streets. that girls should not walk down. alone. at night. or evah. so i took a lil walk in the hood today. a stroll you might say. i’m learning to slow my roll. just a tad. so i can spot things like this.
December 19, 2010
especially where multiple-choice tests are concerned.
they said beginners don’t need placement tests. and i said, excusez-moi, madame, but i ain’t no beginner. i’m an advanced beginner thankyouverymuch! she begrudgingly handed me the way-too-long document. but when all was said and done, anotha assessor had to acquiesce: you know a lil french. i told you so! i told you so! and i guarantee that i woulda been in intermediate if i could have included all the dirty words i know. which i’m sure will be more valuable than learning to say: lea etudie a la bibliotheque. so i’m now able to blow way too much money to learn french with otha peeps who know just enuf to get into trouble. weeeee! weeee!
on anotha note: i’m so ovah being asked if i’m married. which is a very popular question ovah here. when you apply for a monoprix valued customer club card. or make small talk with a cabbie on the way home. or register for ADVANCED beginner french class. it’s not that i mind answering the q (even tho it’s soooo nobody’s business). it’s that i have to answer with: non, je suis celibataire. i mean, c’mon! there’s gotta be a bettah way to say single!