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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Funny and/or interesting things that have happened this/last week:

1) L has the varicelle, aka chicken pox. On Wednesday, I was asked to give her a "shower" instead of a bath. So our bathtub has a detachable shower head, I undressed her and turned on the shower head. I turned around to get something off the counter. In those couple minutes, the shower head flipped itself over (or Lflipped it) and I turn around to water spraying directly in my face. It also sprayed L, who is afraid of the shower head. So afraid, in fact, she peed herself, without a diaper. T thought this was absoultely hilarious and started chanting "Haha! You're wet! Haha! You're wet!" I made him go to his room.

2) I spent most of yesterday with Antoine. He made me Syrian spinach (His Dad is Syrian), which was spinach a la branche with garlic, steak hachee, and lemon juice. It was really good. Spinach is one of my favorite foods, and I almost never eat it here.

3) I went to the doctor on Thursday. The whole process took only an hour, and cost me only 50 euros, some of which I will get back because I think I have social security. Score.

4) The clocks changed last night.

5) I finally have a full weekend off, for Easter. Its also F's first communion, and I hope to make Challah bread. If they get sketched out by the fact that its Jewish, I'll call it braided brioche...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Oral Fixation

Yesterday, L, who barely can communicate, walked over to the drawer with her bib, pulled it out, and walked over to her high chair and tried to get in it, all before I even started cooking. Before this, she also tried to eat dishwasher detergent. In the past, she has eaten dirt, and eats everything that looks remotely like food on the ground.

I will say though, her obsession with eating is really adorable, it gets annoying, like say, when I'm cutting raw potatoes that she definitely cant eat, and she keeps screaming until I feed her...but usually, pretty cute.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I skipped class and took a nap. Oops.

I also made myself some tortillas, with those I made French fajitas. French because my salsa disappeared so I had to improvise with cream fraische (f you spelling) and what I assume is cheese mixed with red peppers, then chicken and shallots, because there were only two onions left. But the tortillas were subliiiiiimmmmee, or at least acceptable. I think maybe they came out better last time, but it could have been the salsa.

At some point I plan to go upstairs and clean the kids rooms, but Im feeling pretty lazy.

Oh, I cut my hair on Wednesday, by myself. I trimmed up my bangs and snipped some off the end, so its a little more even. No one noticed, so I think thats a good thing.

Only like a month until my next triiipppp!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Passive Agressive

Soooo, I'm in a difficult position. Thus far, I have had to work at least one night every weekend (including the Sunday when USA played Canada, the final one). Yesterday, I was told that I would have this weekend off-fantastic.

Tonight, I was asked if I have plans on Saturday. Okay. No, I don't have plans, but what je voudrais, is to have TWO full nights and TWO full days completely free to do, well, whatever I want. I know there's a contract out there that I signed agreeing to this, but I really don't think its fair to not let me have a single FULL weekend free. On top of this, several friends might be in town, and its one of the Au Pair's last weekends. Literally, every other au pair girl can do whatever whenever.

I'm really not sure what to do, but I feel like after a little bit of time this is really going to piss me off.

The worst part? I genuinely like these people, and I think they feel bad asking me to do this stuff, but it would be nice if I could at least get PAID extra to stay in on the weekends. In fact, as I'm writing this, I'm starting to feel more pissed off, and more panicky. I already work Thursday night (but really, I dont care, I'd be home anyway.) Tonight, I was cleaning up the kitchen, and they were asking me about what night I had plans, and I know S could tell I was unhappy, because I spent about 10 minutes cleaning out the drain (which really, had been bothering me for a few days) but she commented that I was really taking time to clean it...

I just dont know what to do.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cou cou! (Currently my favorite word in French). So Happy Ides of March! (see-Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare). I mentioned it at the breakfast table, and no one knew what I was talking about, so whatever.

So the trains werent running yesterday. I was already in Paris, but Ailie walked about 8 kilometres to Poissy to find that THERE WERE NO TRAINS. This sucked for me, because the car that I was driving was at the Villenes sur Seine train station, past Poissy.

According to the French, there was an "aggression," or mugging, involving several youths and a train worker. I guess he asked for their tickets and they jumped him. Im not entirely sure why this shut down the entire train system 15 miles outside of Paris, but it did. Anyway, Ghad to pick up Ailie and I from the RER in Saint Germain en Laye, which Im sure, was a huge inconvenience.

Saint Patricks Day is on Wednesday, and Im trying to make something festive for the children. Right now, its looking like Sugar cookies and green sprinkles.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I pulled a muscle. Actually, several muscles. My entire right shoulder/spine is really sore. How did that happen? Probably had something to do with lugging 13 + kg (30 lbs) of baby up and down the stairs everyday. I've been trying to get the kids to walk on my back, but they dont like it as much as I thought they would. When I asked T, he responded with "No! I dont like!" Just like when I ask him to get in the bath he says, "No! I dont want!" In fact, his favorite English word seems to be "No."

I'm going to try to go shopping today.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Its Friday, and I babysit tonight, and tomorrow night. Im missing out on a kick ass night in Paris Im sure, but theres not much I can do.

A second ago, as I was doing some good old fashioned American FB stalking, I had a thought go through my head.

What the hell am I doing?

Its easy for me, sometimes, to forget about other places/friends/lives that Ive had. Instead, I create my own little world, and I find it very difficult to remember details from the other ones. For example, Ive only been in France for about 6 weeks? Yet I can hardly remember what I was doing right before I came out here. It feels like the United States is another lifetime away...On that note, I have no idea what things will be like when I go back to the United States. Im wondering how my life would be if I had stayed there.

But really, what am I doing in France?

I dont speak the language, I know very little about the culture, yet here I am; a French resident, a LEGAL French resident. Im trying to get my OWN cell phone contract, in my name! I dont even have that in the United States! Ive been on dates with French boys, and I can easily navigate French public transit, hell, I even drive on French roads!

I think Im beginning to forget who I am.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Also, I popped a blood vessel in my eye. I think it looks bad ass.
So, I went to the cell phone store, again, this time with S and A. I could make a long story short, and let you all know that I am still sans plan and avec shit phone, but thats no fun.

Literally carved an hour out of the day, and S took me to Art de Vivre to finally obtain my new phone. Things looked good, we had a good plan found, we had a new phone found, I could keep my old number.

The reason Im still avec shit phone?

THE FREAKING COMPUTER WAS DOWN. Really France? I would expect this from Argentina, but not from you, while I pay six dollars for a drink, just as much for a cafe au lait, and god knows how much on random food purchases, not to mention its like 60 euros to fill up a car...

Yeah, so now I have to go back tomorrow for the FOURTH time.

(I just listened to Amarte duele three times.......ok four. Im sorry the following lyrics-"solo pon tus labios sobre mi espalda," is just the sexiest lyrics ever. I know Im really new into this French thing, but I just cant imagine that French has shit on it.)

So I went over to Antoine's pretty sweet apartment in Paris last night. He was going to make me dinner or something, but I forgot to mention that I had already eaten dinner. (This is good, actually, I had a baguette, cheese, and apricot jam for lunch/dinner. And by baguette, I mean at least 10 inches of it, I thought I was going to throw up.) Anyway it was good to get out of the house, especially because I have to work both Friday and Saturday! Anyway, we talked about differences between French and North American culture, and I noted that hes "so French," but also that engineers as a species, are all the same. He was really nice about my French though, and helped me with pronunciation, and very enthusiastically let me know when I did it right. I learned, cutting off is "faire la queue du poisson" (spelling doesnt count for me in French yet), and "faire la course' is going grocery shopping!

Another funny Spanish encounter. Ailie and I were on the bus, talking in English, as per usual. These French guys on our left, lean over and say in Spanish to this girl, who may or may not have been Austrian, "Comprendes que dicen?" Which means, do you understand what theyre saying, referring to us.

Im beginning to think of Spanish as a super power.

Monday, March 8, 2010

I think maybe second stage of culture shock is kicking in. Or maybe its post vacay blues. All I know is, its Monday, and Im exhausted!

Saturday, March 6, 2010


"Was that your first American?" "You can be my exotic American travel partner!"
"And then I left my key in the mens bathroom" "Ailie, itll be okay if you just brush your hair!" "But dont you want to practice your Spanish?"
"Just did." "God, I hope our sandwiches make it through security" "Hotdogging through Europe" "You dont get a ticket, you were rude!" "Sorry, I just speak French," "Moi aussi!"

Sorry for that. Needless to say, Spain was a good time. After an irritatingly long 8 hours of travel, we arrived at our hostel that was conveniently located to downtown and various historic locations. Although we arrived after 11, we decided to take a tour of Madrid and look for a retaurant or something.

What we found were three American girls, walking around looking for a place to get a drink. We tagged along with them and ended up getting a drink at a bar in Sol (I wont say what nationality, because its kind of embarassing). Anyway, came back home relatively early and fell asleep in our room which, at that point was empty.

On Wednesday, we woke up at a reasonable time and breakfasted on coffee (and croissant for Ailie). Feeling motivated, we walked out to El Paseo del Prado, in hopes of entering for free. We realized that we had to wait until 6 PM, so we wandered off towards Reina Sofia. We went in and it was pretty exciting, I got to see all of these Spanish paintings that Ive been studying since I was 14, including Guernica.

Im not sure how much of an "art" person I am. I feel like there are people out there that can just stare at something, and really appreciate it. I can only truly appreciate it if I understand at least some part of background. In other words, Art has to have context for me to consider it worth seeing. The propaganda, etc from the Spanish Civil war was really interesting to see. All that history I learned however long ago started stirring, and I was able to remember and fill in the gaps.

After the Reina Sofia, we traveled back to the hostel and went up to the terrace to enjoy the sun. We met some Americans, two 19 year olds from California who were doing 3 months traveling, and a guy from New Orleans who was taking just a few weeks. They were good people, and we went out with them that night. (There was some key issues, and possible sexual abuse, but thats not really important-just should note that no one got hurt....)

Thursday was a little more questionable. But we did still walk Madrid and the weather was absoultely perfect. We got groceries and made dinner. Somewhere in this mix, we met a couple Argentines that were studying in Barcelona, and ended up going out with them that night. In the process, we ran into some Erasmus kids we had met a few days before, and tagged along with them to some bar.

Friday we walked around and bought post cards, doing the tourist thing. We found Eli, Gabe, and Chris in the common room and made our sandwiches for our trip home. It sucks to say good bye to these amazing people, but c'est la vie.

Didnt actually eat at any Spanish restaurants, due to lack of fundage. We did however buy some chorizo and rice for about 3 euros, and made that last for FOUR MEALS. Yeah, we kicked Spains comida ass!

I did though come home to find the grandparents having a little fete with a tiny slice left of some sort of gateau. I had french cake, french cheese, french baguette, and a glass of french milk. I was disgusted with myself.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tried to get out of my shit prepaid plan an attempted to get a contract with my portable provider. Two trips and many paperwork later I was unsuccessful. I need to get documentation from my employers, apparently. I found this irritating.

After unsuccessful cell phone trip, went to Paris and Ailie triumphantly found a handbag for Madrid (which is today). Found a bar with a cheap happy hour and settled in for a pint or two. At one point this North African guy comes up to us (Morrocco, actually). And attempts to talk to us. As he opens his mouth to say hello, HIS TOOTH FALLS OUT. Ailie and I see this, and I start laughing hysterically. Nonetheless, the guy continues to try conversation while surreptisiously searching for his tooth, on the floor of the bar. Ailie and I start to talk amongst ourselves, to try and give this guy the hint that we arent interesting, and finally, he successfuly is able to replace his tooth.

Ran into Yves on the RER. He was babysitting his friends nephew, who was about 13. In the 20 minutes on the train together, Artur (13 year old) has a new love for English/Spanish

Going to Espana in like an hour and a half.