attention aux trottinettes!

by - 8:30 AM

mot du jour: trottinette[trɔtinɛt] scooter. 

I've said it before and I'll mention it again, so bear with me: this isn't my first time living in Paris. Two years ago my study abroad experience was completely different: I lived in a bourgeoise apartment with a typical (read: harsh) Parisian woman  and her 13 year-old daughter just entering puberty. We didn't have much in common besides our infrequent conversations debating which "it" bag was better: the sequined Vanessa Bruno sequin tote or the signature Marc by Marc bag. I was intrigued by her life, in awkward transition from child to teenager: her walls were plastered with posters of Robert Pattinson but she still rode her trusty trottinette to school every morning. Really Amelie, you ride a scooter to school? 

[Note:] In fifth grade, the Razor scooter trend hit my middle school, hard. Overnight, all the cool kids were rolling up to school on their new wheels, folding them up and proudly toting them down the halls for all the world to see. If you were walking to school, you were completely lame. Being the overprotected only-child of parents who didn't love me believe in hundred-dollar scooters, I was deprived of this experience. To say I've fully recovered would be a lie: I still feel a twinge of jealousy when I see one.

As an au pair, my life seems to revolve around all things child-related, and I began to notice how many children rode their trottinettes to school, both young and old! Working with a family of four boys is no different: they store their fleet but the front door for easy access; most mornings that means I have the pleasure of chasing after them while they dart, Frogger-style, through the busy sidewalks.

Yet, the stress isn't over once we reach school unharmed, with all our limbs intact. Oh no, there is still the question of storage. At the main entrance to school stands four giant wooden crates that house the children's scooters. Place them strategically: in seven hours you'll be digging to pull each from a tangled mess of steel handlebars. Ooof. 

While the Razor-scooter trend has come and gone in the States, it has found a permanent place in the hearts of Parisian school children who welcome the challenge of flying down cobblestone sidewalks without falling, while my heart races all along the way. 


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  1. He he he , i'm sorry I know I should not laugh, but it is because it is so true!! a sigh of relief that somewhere in the world there or others also battling the Razor scooter war! I am not alone...except I wonder if you have the same "extras" as here...J- board, roller skates, and the normal imagine if we all had 4 vehicles each to choose from...have a lovely week..the battle continues. ps...bribe them to find their own scooter in the decide if it should be bon bons, stickers or works for a little while... Colette

  2. This is all the rage among kids in London at the moment as well! We were there for the weekend and my husband and I commented how thankful we are that they haven't invaded New York (yet? again?).


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