deuces, 2012. { part 1 }

by - 12:23 PM

The last weeks in December inspire reflection on the past year: what we'll remember, what we'll do differently and how we've changed.

350-something days ago, I left behind my parents, my dear Simba cat, amazing friends, and a beautiful life to become an au pair in Paris. With a false sense of security in my French minor, I embarked on a new life in the city of lights where I would soon learn that ten years of American-taught French had not prepared me to speak French in France.

In the basement of an Anglophone church, I met the girls who became my best friends. {Almost} every Thursday afternoon at 14h, we would gather around baked-goods and tea to discuss how insane living in France was. Intro questions of, "how many kids do you have," and "what arrondissement are you in," soon morphed into deeper, meaningful conversations. As newbies, we figured out how to successful respond to text messages in French, confidently answer the home phone, learned bus routes and how to coordinate weekend schedules.

With these girls I learned that tea with milk is actually quite good, that 'heaps' can be added to any phrase, that check/mate is the best metro game and that American accents are really harsh-sounding. Despite my awkward sense of humor, constant tardiness and shopping addiction, I found girls who understand and loved me for my strange vocabulary and tendance to slip into a ghetto accent.

In February, I walked into a surreal apartment not knowing a soul and walked out with a life. That apartment would set the scene for many, many exciting events. Lesson #1: Slicing limes is best left to other people. Lesson #2: Don't think tiny cups mean you can drink twice as much. Seemingly overnight I had found my niche, all while overlooking the Eiffel Tower. There is nothing more comforting than having a team of Americans on your side while you battle the awkward sea of French dating culture.

Lesson #3: The South of France is still cold in April. Bring socks. Spending my 23rd birthday in Saint Tropez was a beautiful time that I will always cherish. A word to the wise (and poor-traveled), you will find no beach there, but there are tons of Bridget Bardot posters. Summer in Paris was brutally hot. Americans, you will never miss anything more than air-conditioning during the months of July and August. Lesson #4: Get yourself a damn fan.

Cheers to the many months of adventures: museum exhibitions, vintage shopping, bar-hopping, picnic lunches, countless café allongées, flirty drinks and a panicked Ryanair flight or two. Life in Europe has been confusing, sometimes depressing, but always interesting. 

Bref--
I will always know which direction I need to take to get home on the line 9 thanks to an over-the-top rap video set at Pont de Sèvres.
I will always type a space before any exclamation point or question mark, à la française.
I will never go into a movie without first reading the plot summary. {Les Infidèles + Paperboy are the worst films of 2012.}
I will always check lebonbon before I make definite plans.
I will always grab a copy of A Nous when I leave the metro.
I will always recommend Les Etages for a first date. Bring your friends.

xoxo.

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3 comments

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  2. Wow, can I just say that those friends you met in the church who accompanied you to Les Etages and then tactfully left just at the right moment sound like amazing people. LOVE this post you beautiful lady.

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  3. Wow, can I just say that those friends who accompanied you to Les Etages and then tactfully left just at the right moment sound like AWESOME people. Love this post you beautiful lady!

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