la rentree has come and gone, which means most au pairs in Paris are back to work! Happy Wednesday to my fellow enfant-guarders. Here's hoping you avoid any possible crises and that you not have the responsibility of watching over a child like Wednesday Addams.
Something about the change of seasons and arrival of fall makes me feel new. The air is crisper now and the leaves are changing colors, making Paris even more beautiful. Sweater weather is upon us my friends! Scarves, cozy knits and cuddling are all I'm interested in. So go find someone who makes you laugh and play this music for them on a Sunday afternoon.
1. talking to myself//chiddy bang
2. islands//the xx
3.always on my mind//phantom planet
4.drumming//florence + the machine
5. 'til it's over//mike bloom
6. it just is//rilo kiley
7. little talks//of monsters and med
8. r u mine?//the arctic monkeys
9. two weeks//grizzly bear
10. a decade under the influence//taking back sunday
The internet is amazing for so many things. This adorable snapshot (seconded, by one Jenna Carter herself) may be ThePerfect Way to ask anyone for anything. Seriously, just replace girlfriend with whatever you're in need of and I guarantee success. Just make sure that's a gluten free crust, please.
It is a day like any other. It is a Friday afternoon waiting in the line at Starbucks. It is a Monday morning at the post office. It is a quick coffee with a friend on Thursday before school lets out.
I ask for the check. I could really use a napkin. I need some stamps.
I do not forget to use "vous" nor do I forget to invert the verb + subject, as I have been taught to. Inverse over inflection, when asking a question.*
Maybe it's my makeup or my denim shorts that tip you off. It's probably my accent and my order that lead you to realize that I am also an "Americano." No matter how hard I try, it will be obvious: in the past 9 months my hair has physically rejected bottles and bottles of chestnut brown hair dye, a la française. My hairs have collectively decided that they will not be disguised. I cannot pull of ankle boots, I cannot fit into skinny jeans, I cannot smoke a cigarette without looking stupid: I am not French.
I understand that when you realize these things, you think it would just be easier to respond to me in English.
The thing is, I used to live in America. Then I moved to a French-speaking country. I live here -- I have a french address, a french bank account and a carte Navigo. Those may not seem like important things to you, but they mean that I am established here, that I am not a visitor. There is a reason I moved to Paris and it wasn't to speak English. I like your culture, your language and your history. Why won't you let me participate?
I understand l'argot and I employ verlan any chance I get. I realize when it is appropriate to use "prenne" rather than "prends" and I know the difference between "serai" and "vais être." So when you respond to me in English, I will continue to speak to you in French. If you find my accent cute or charming, get in line. I've dated French boys who have no problem understanding me. I can successfully hold phone conversations with customer service officials, tele-marketers and anyone else who calls. I understand everything Kyan says on Bref. Boom.
I'm a customer, patron, someone in need, and that need is to become fluent. Maybe you want to practice your own English. That's cool. I've got a 0-6, let's have language exchange sometime. Sometime off the clock.
*I like the sound of that, so I am officially copyrighting it's usage. Cool.
French breakfasts can get boring after awhile, so when the urge for omelettes and pancakes hit I headed down the street to my favorite place for a taste of home. Coffee Parisien has the best range of diner-style food (get your omelettes and burgers here) but offer other yummy classics with a twist: chicken tandoori, avocado + grapefruit salad, raspberry pancakes... Plus, being the only nacho-serving restaurant within 800m from my apartment earns the mega-points on lazy Sunday afternoons.
The American History major in me is obsessed with these Presidential-time line placemats. Order something that needs ketchup: Heinz in a glass bottle is something you can't find everyday.
I'm not the only one obsessed--they've expanded to three locations: 4, rue Princesse - Paris 75006 - 01 43 54 18 18
7, rue Gustave Courbet - Paris 75016 - 01 45 53 17 17
46, rue de Sablonville - Neuilly Sur Seine 92200 - 01 46 37 13 13
As born-and-breed East Coaster, Hershey Park, Pennsylvania was my ultimate paradise. Every summer, my parents and I would drive north in pursuit of an amusement park adventure and delicious chocolate. For twenty years of my life, I walked the earth considering Hershey Symphony candy bars to be the most perfect in all the land.
This naivety was quickly rejected the minute I tasted a Kinder Bueno bar, courtesy of a metro vending machine. Europe has plenty to offer in the way of chocolate, seeing as they own all of Belgium and whatnot, and Kinder has to be the absolute best.
Au pairs, take note: if you want happy kids, you need to know which Kinder is best. Your cheat sheet can be found below.
1. Bueno: this one lives up to its' name. Take your pick between dark or white chocolate--they're both amazing.
2. Maxi: milk & chocolate in the most literal sense. Don't fool yourself by breaking off a piece, it's impossible not to devour an entire bar.
3. Surprise: these eggs come with a plastic toy inside, which seriously cuts down on the amount of chocolate you get, but kids don't seem to notice.
4. Happy Hippo: the best of both worlds, you get a frosting-filled cookie dipped in chocolate and sprinkles. Animal shaped foods get bonus points with everyone under the age of 7.
5. Joy: these are the weirdest of the bunch and most delicious. Dig out the chocolate crunchies from a pot of white chocolate. The perfect blend of fun and yum.