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Thursday, October 27, 2005

meet me in the alley

I like to get lost.

To find somewhere I haven't been. To find an area that's authentically Parisian, far from he fanny packs and camera flashes of tourists.

Down the streets where older men sit in suits smoking and drinking at four in the afternoon. Where women stop into cafes for a coffee and a sugar-laden pastry, their legs crossed under pencil skirts, as they guiltlessly slide their forks into their mouths.

Down the streets where the apartments are old and gothic and for a second you believe you should be in love, or atleast in black and white.

Down the streets where the men selling fruit yell at one another, their aprons tied sloppily around their waists.

Down the streets where you make eye contact and smile at a woman in a small salon, well made up, giggling furiously as a she gets a foot massage.

Down the street where the chocolate shops make you think of art, and an older woman in a Chanel jacket points out which ones she'd like, telling the salesperson she wants only dark chocolate.

That's when I feel I'm happy to be here. When I'm not feeding myself sights I've seen too many times, crawling through stores jammed with foreigners and cheap clothing. I came for the romance, the tradition, the beauty, and the Paris that inspired writers and artists for years.

The Eiffel tower, Notre Dame, and the Arc de Triomphe still make me sing, but it's the back streets that make my heart beat.


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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

pray for a happy ending

At times I feel I'm watching my life as a movie, watching patiently as the scenes unfold.

I'm the lead who moved to Paris, a young woman with blonde hair, bad habits, and a broken heart. I'd like to think of myself as Amelie, but this is a different film. We're not in Montmartre, we're in the 16th arrondissement and I'm an au pair.

Sometimes being here feels unreal.

I felt the plot of my film thicken when the brother of my ex-boyfriend showed up in Paris. He sleeps in my bed and yet it is innocent. A friendship forms. It is comfortable and easy. Still, in watching the film you wonder if something will come of it.

Life in Paris goes on. Faces become more familiar, the kids grow to like me, I grow to love them, and I get to know most the staff at the local grocery store. Even things I onced hated become pleasant.

And then all of a sudden people from my past start showing up. A friend from highschool is coming to Paris on Friday. He's going to spend four nights with me. Last night my Columbian friend called. I hadn't seen him since I first arrived, and the familiarity of his voice through the phone stunned me. Then today, on the metro, a young woman climbed on, another Columbian I met three summers ago and have not seen since.

I felt strange all day, and not having work, wandered the city dazed. Sometime in the evening, when I was about to head home from dinner, I decided to see a movie instead.

I walked up the street to the movie theater when someone called my name. I turned to see a man with dark unruly hair, a large hat, a cigarette and a smile, sitting casually on the side of an entrance to a parking lot. Too relaxed and happy to be a Parisian, it took me a second to register him. The pizza man. Father of the ex and his brother.

I knew that the whole family had come up to Paris, but hadn't expected to see them. This morning I thought how strange it would be to come across them accidentally. I wanted to see them, but I wasn't sure if I could handle seeing a face I grieved over.

We talked, updated on each others lives, and he told me that both his sons were just about to come out of a movie. We waited, and then out they walked: the two tall, dark haired brothers, both grinning at the sight of me.

I'd thought so much about seeing his face that it was strange to see the reality of it. I felt no pang in my heart, no weakness, and only comfort in seeing his smile. His smile lets you know immediately that he's a good person. I'll always love him for that.

I kissed cheeks, said hello, asked about the movie, wished them a good stay, and then went to hunt down a movie of my own.

But I couldn't see a movie after that. I had to walk it out. I walked fast, confused, thoughts dancing through me. Past the restaurants, bars, and old men with eyes for young women. I walked in and out of shops, confusing salespeople by walking in, not even looking at anything, and then walking out.

What happens now in the movie? Does she go get drunk? Does she run after them? Does she walk out into the street and get hit by a car?

No. She, I, took the metro home, not knowing where else to take myself. Thinking about familiar faces. About the meaning of all of this. About where I want to take this film.

While I was thinking about this a young man got into my metro car. Another face I knew. Not someone I've spoken to, but a man with a serious, interesting face, a mixed race, who wears a suit but also a backpack, that I had already spent a long metro ride observing.

What does it all mean?

The lead gets off the metro, walks out into the street, past the Patisserie, into the apartment building, and walks up the stairs that lead to her room. She doesn't turn on the stairway lights. She walks quickly in the dark, trying to make sense of her thoughts.

It must be a good movie, because I have no idea how it all ends.


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Sunday, October 23, 2005

sunday for a sinner

While all the faithful French Catholics of the 16th arrondissement take off to church Sunday morning, I lie in bed, my head pounding and my body sore.

Last night I sat with Harold on the edge of the Seine, our legs dangling close to the water, a bottle of wine between us. Boats of tourists passed by, making waves in the Seine, their arms going up in waves as well. "It's funny," he said, "if any of these people passed us in the street they wouldn't say hello."

We had started to go bar hunting when we decided to stop into a small shop and buy the cheapest bottle of wine instead. After a bottle and a half of wine over dinner at my place, we weren't ready to stop there, or pay twice the price of a bottle for one glass in a swanky set up. So there we were, on the Seine, a bottle of wine wrapped in a plastic bag being passed between us.

Back in the busy streets I taught him what a body slam was. And amongst the tourists and bars, we ran at each other at full force, smacked chests, and I flew smack onto the ground. Strangers gave worried looks as I sat on the ground laughing.

Not long after, I ran out of a bar we were in to buy my friend rolling papers. As I ran I slipped on my heel and fell once more. I got up from the sidewalk to see a whole restaurant full of tourists staring right at me. I brushed myself off, smiled, and told them all I was okay.

So that's why my body is sore and my head is pounding.

It was two in the afternoon when I finally decided to face the sunlight.

And even under that irritable pain that a hangover leaves in the back of your mind and the pit of your stomach, today's beauty stunned me.

I walked along the Seine for a couple of hours, the sun pouring down on the city for the first time in days. I let autumn leaves break under my feet. I stopped and stared down at the water, the sun dancing on its surface. I let myself get lost in some unknown streets and riffled through some book stands.

Sunday's are beautiful in Paris. Everything but cafes, restaurants and cinemas close down for the day, and everyone is out walking. Cafes are full of people stopping for coffee, talk and a cigarette. Everyone is at ease, their long fall jackets hanging open, scarves wrapped around their necks, their arms wrapped around their lovers.

Even for a sinner with an aching head, it's a good day to be in Paris.


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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

a day in the life of an au pair

5:30 AM
Alarm goes off. I cringe. I woke up several times during the night and slept very little. I drag my ass out of bed, boil some water in a pot for tea, eat a few pieces of bread smothered in jam, and turn on some jumpy blues music. After downing my tea I dance into the shower, and proceed to get dressed for the day.

7:15 AM
I lock my door and head for the metro dressed as comfortably as possible. On the metro a man stares at me as I keep closing and opening my eyes, doing my best not to fall asleep.

7:50 AM
Three metro rides later, I arrive ten minutes early for my French class, making an effort not to be the girl who's always late. I'm already the girl who bought the wrong text book and knows nothing about Canadian politics.

I spend most of the class time yawning, but force myself to participate as much as possible. Somehow everyone knows French grammar better than I do. The girl beside me works for a family with an asshole father, doesn't have a shower in her apartment, and is going back to Germany as soon as she can.

10:00 AM
Back on the metro. Another au pair tells me she works only the evenings, never has to cook or clean, and makes around the same amount of money as I do. She was going to a dance lesson, and I was going back to make lunch for the kids. Not that I'm complaining or anything...

11:30 AM
After buying a baguette I stand outside the school doors with all the other au pairs, nannies, and mothers. Eventually the doors open and we shuffle into the courtyard to collect our children.

12:00 PM
Back at the apartment the kids play with plastic ponies while I prepare lunch. I add cheese and ham to a pre-made pizza, throw it in the oven, make a salad and cut up some carrots and apples. I empty the dishwasher and set the table. Lunch is difficult because the kids keep leaving their seats. The girl climbs the stairs as she eats her pizza and I try and talk her into sitting down. Listening is not her forte.

After lunch I clean up, help them tidy their rooms for the cleaning lady, and lock up the apartment.

1:15 PM
We skip to school. First we all hold hands and skip, then we skip alone, then we hold hands again. The young girl decides what we do. Next we hop. I gladly make a fool of myself, because the kids are smiling, and I'm enjoying myself as much as they are. Once at school they kiss my cheeks and I have a few hours to myself. I go buy some fruit at the discount grocery store, then go back to my apartment where I listen to music and take a much needed nap.

4:15 PM
I run up the stairs to the family's apartment, trying to wake up, and grab cookies and water for the kids. I say hello to the sweet Portugese cleaning lady and run out the door.

4:30 PM
I'm outside the school doors again. There are more of us waiting this time. All the mothers are immaculately dressed, well coordinated in their trench coats, neck scarves, designer purses and beautiful shoes. We all hold the French after school snack: something bread and chocolate. I carry chocolate cookies, some cary pain au chocolats, some carry paninis toasted with Nutella, and others carry baguette with thick chunks of chocolate pushed inside.

Eventually I collect the kids, and we head to the park, my body now saddled with two backpacks, three jackets, a bag of cookies and my own purse.

I sit under a grey sky for an hour and a half in the park, watching as the kids run around and play. I speak to another au pair. We laugh and complain about life. The boy gets in a fight and cries when his face is scratched.

6:00 PM
Back in the apartment I help the boy start his homework, then listen to the girl do her reading. When she's finished I go to the kitchen to prepare dinner.

I fry chicken in olive oil with onions, garlic, herbes de provences and cherry tomatoes. I boil big bowed pasta and add tomato sauce. I make a green salad with green beans and a balsamic vinaigrette, and set the table with a baguette and grated cheese. Bon appetit. The kids eat only the pasta and make faces at the delcious chicken. More for me.

7:15 PM
Bath time. I read Cinderalla to the young girl as she takes hers, making sure I show her every picture before turning the page. She takes in each image with a focused expression on her face. I scream out voices and scramble words I can't pronounce. We finish the story in her bedroom while the boy takes his bath, and end with a requested tickle session. "What does tickle mean? You want me to what?" I say, tickling her as she roars.

Parents come home. They are happy with the dinner left for them. Their children are fed, clean, and happy. I take off back to my apartment, where I get a couple of phone calls that warm my heart.

Tonight I'll go to bed early. Tomorrow is a longer, more demanding day. I want to make sure I can handle it.

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Monday, October 17, 2005

the day i was born

Nineteen years ago today, my mom lay confused as doctors slit open her stomach, which she could not feel, and the most beautiful baby in the world came out.

Maybe not the most beautiful, as I was covered in blood and trying out my lungs, but she accepted me as hers and took me home anyways.

From then on I was the baby of the family. With two older brothers, I was the little sister, the female, and the spoiled little one. But they loved me, they all did, and they put up with me through tantrums and through my pink and purple phase.

Life has been good to me. I have a family full of individuals, strong characters who never tried to pull off the normal family stunt. It isn't rare to find my whole family in the kitchen at four in the morning. My dad will be coming home from work, my brother Mike coming home from a party, my brother Bren up reading, my mom waking up for the day, and me eating cereal because I can't sleep and felt hungry.

But I haven't always been good to myself. Adolescence brought on the typical woes. My boobs took too long to show up. My skin broke out. Parties made me nervous. All of a sudden everyone I knew was experimenting-with everything-and I wasn't ready. It was then that I started never being good enough for myself.

When I was 16 I slid a lady pink razor across my wrist but stopped at the sight of blood. When I was 17 I moved to Ireland, took up a fight against my body, lost too much weight, and gained a problem they say never goes away.

But then I turned 18. My whole life I wanted to be 18. I just liked something about the number. When I was 18 I grew to like myself again, I grew to love myself. Finally I could really love others again, because I was comfortable in my skin. In one journal entry, I finished by writing: "I am fucking fabulous." That's when you know you're doing better.

And as of today, I'm 19. And I actually do feel different.

I woke up this morning and danced on my bed. Threw my arms up in the air.

I took most of the day to myself, other than a few errands for the family, and walked taller than ever. I tied my hair back, pinned my bangs out of my face, and looked out at what the world had to offer me. The awkward teenage weight seemed to lift off me. Strangers smiled at me. French women were polite towards me. Men that weren't total sleaze bags even turned their heads.

When you feel good it shows.

And I saw the Paris I've been looking for. Felt the romance. Watched the leaves fall off trees. Relished in being able to go into stores of my favourite French clothing lines.

Tomorrow my week of work and early mornings begin. But I'm going to make an effort to keep this feeling.

I'm 19.


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Saturday, October 15, 2005

they call me anonymous

In cities you’re anonymous.

You’re another body jammed in the metro, another face in the supermarket, another set of legs walking down the street. You can walk for miles before anyone even looks at you.

But these days, there are a few people who know my face. The man who works at the Patisserie gives me a big smile when I enter, his soft face and round cheeks warmer than any other Parisian's. Without asking he wraps up a baguette for me, and we laugh over the fact that he knows my daily routine. The other day I came later, and he told me he’d wondered where I was.

I often cross other au pairs and nannies in the street, and we exchange smiles and a “Bonjour,” our faces now familiar to one another.

The other day I climbed down the steps to the metro in the Latin Quarter, where one of the ticket sellers asked me where I’d been. “I thought you’d changed metro stops, and gone to St.Michel!” I met this man months ago when he let Aimee and I pass through for free, and ever since he’s remembered my face.

But even better than being remembered, is seeing a face you remember well. A friend has arrived in Paris.

Yesterday I climbed up the steps to the Sacre Coeur, the white domed church that overlooks all of Paris, to meet my friend from the South, my favorite waiter, and the brother of my summer love. I couldn’t see him at first, my eyes darting around all the tourists. And all of a sudden he came running at me. “Sorry, I was waiting, and then I had to pee, so I ran all the way down to the bottom and then back up again,” was the first thing he said to me, trying to catch his breath. I love this guy.

We caught up over a glass of white wine, and then took off through the sex shop lined streets that surround the Moulin Rouge. “Should we go see a movie?” I asked, as we passed several XXX cinemas.

On a whim we took off to his aunts apartment, several metros away, and stopped in for a drink. His aunt is an incredible artist. She paints portraits using vivid colors and patterns that bring life to faces and landscapes. Event the coffee table in the sitting room was painted in several colors, with two tubes of paint painted on the surface, so realistic I had to touch. We drank a couple of glasses of Pastis, a liquorish flavored liquor, for an aperitif, and sat comfortably in her bohemian living room. After several games of marbles with her five-year-old son, we thanked her and took off again.

We walked through the bar filled streets that lead to place de la Bastille, where an angel stands lit up on a pillar in the centre, and jumped on another metro.

Dinner was in my favorite Japanese restaurant, hidden in a small street in the Latin Quarter. And after introducing my friend to raw fish, he introduced me to the active cinema that is the Rock Horror Picture Show. I’ve never been to a movie where actors on stage pretend to have an orgy in their underwear.

He slept at my apartment since he’s out in the suburbs, and although we had to share my bed, it was comfortable and easy. This guy’s like an older brother. I even woke up to him smacking my arm then throwing his pillow on my head.

My head is held higher these days. I’ve regained my confidence, and I’m getting comfortable. It’s hard starting out in a new city. Being anonymous. Being invisible. But one day I walked into the Patisserie and the man remembered me. And that's all it took to remember I was somebody.

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Friday, October 14, 2005

forever young

Dad, ignore the numbers, you'll never grow old. Have a beautiful birthday. I love you. Thanks for loving me too.

my fantastic father

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

just a spoonful of sugar

Okay, okay, it's getting a lot better.

The kids weren't delivered by Satan, and Paris isn't the depths of hell.

It's just all taken some adjusting. I'm not used to a job that is so demanding on so many levels, or this city, or a new outlook on a culture I thought I knew so well. I may know a lot about the French culture, but Paris isn't France. It's a common saying that there's Paris, and then there's the rest of France.

And so now I'm covering up a bit more. My midriff is making less of a scene on the streets of Paris. I'm keeping my wardrobe as simple and comfortable as possible, so I can run after children while looking somewhat kept. I may not be a woman of the 16th, but I'm an au pair who makes an effort by combing her hair...most mornings.

I'm having fun with the kids too. Yesterday when I picked them up from school, the boy waved at me from the school windows before getting outside, I waved back with a big smile, and he came out jumping with joy. Instead of yelling at them for acts of immaturity, I join in. I let them get dirty, and get get dirty myself.

Today in the park we made Barbies fly. Unfortunately one got stuck high up in the tree. A young black man, with a handsome face, and a Parisian cool attitude, came to the rescue. "You shouldn't be throwing them up there," he said, in his nonchalent manner. "But we're making Barbies fly!" I protested. He just looked at me. I stopped trying to be cool in elementary school. I thanked him and he gave me a French "No worries," before heading back to his posse.

Another thing I'm working on is getting the kids to stop hitting each other. I hate violence, and one always cries. Today it all started with a whip of her skipping rope and then a smack from his stick. She got a cut, and cried. I took his stick away, took her skipping rope away, and told them they would be returned once they listened to me. She wouldn't listen. All she wanted was the skipping rope. She cried and hollered. I held it high above my head, and told her that all she had to do was listen for two seconds and it would be returned. She kept crying. I left the room. Eventually she came to me, leaned on me, starting kissing my arms, and biggest shock of all, listened. "You understand, oui ou non? We don't hit." "Oui."

I'm starting to get the love and respect I'm looking for. Mostly due to the fact that I'm getting more sleep and learning to be patient. Learning what makes them cry and what makes them smile.

I'm making an effort to feel good here. And it's starting to work.

I'm remembering how to be adapatable. To a new life. To a new country. Or my matress last night, which would not lie flat and stayed curved as I attempted to crawl into bed. In the end I had a nice head rest. Hey, you work with what your given.

au pair in the park
le bricolage!

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Sunday, October 09, 2005

smile, you're alive.

Weekends are freedom.

After a week of running around like the headless chickens that used to grace our markets in the South of France, there's nothing like waking up on a Saturday, eating breakfast, and then crawling back into bed.

Down the hall the smell of cooked breakfasts fill the air every weekend. As I take my trip to the bathroom, I inhale deeply, let my mind flow back to my childhood, and find comfort in such a familiar smell. It doesn't matter that I'm having cereal, because one of my senses is enjoying something better.

But there's nothing better than Saturday. Than waking up in a city, knowing there are a million things you could do, and choosing which one to take on. This Saturday was fiac! the modern art museum.

It took me about half an hour to find the entrance, as I walked around with an older woman from Venice, who had slicked black hair, fluorescent eyeshadow, white face make-up, bright red lipstick, and retro shades. She rolled her words, and we spoke to each other casually as we made our way around the impossibly large building.

Inside was fantastic. Modern art excites me. The artists are brilliant, expressing themselves in the most absurd and unheard of ways. Sometimes you need to hear the logic behind a piece to realize how clever they really are. Or sometimes it's the sheer simplicity of a piece. I loved a chair, on which was painted "Imagine a naked woman sitting on this." Because you did.

Later on I found myself in the trendy store Colette, where Karolina Kurkova, a well known model, was signing magazines. It's strange how the world of fashion, which once seemed so unreal, has such a presence in my life these days. From volunteering at fashion week, to hearing my boss talk about her big shot friends, this surreal world is pressed right up against my face. And I can't tell if I like it as much.

After rehydrating in the water bar, I walked around until my legs ached, then took myself home.

This afternoon I walked down the street to the Patisserie, to indulge in my Sunday writing excercise. Every Sunday my mom in Vancouver, my friend Karyna in Montreal and I indulge in a certain food and write about it. We then send each other the experiences. Today, was an almond croissant, and I'll share it with you, because it was damn good:

I just made love to an almond croissant. We skipped the small talk. I picked it up from the local Patisserie, and held tight all the way home. Should we do it in the park? No, no, I wanted it in my apartment, lying on a plate, and enjoyed in privacy. I could barely contain myself. As I crossed the street the weight in my hand whispered to my taste buds the pleasure that was to come. It was so much heavier than a plain croissant, it’s body full of rich filling, it’s outside smothered in slivered almonds and icing sugar. We took the stairs, if only to prolong the excitement. Once we were back in the apartment I undressed it from it’s paper packaging. I set it out on a plate, grabbed a knife, and took it to my bed. I opened it up, the soft, buttery, marzipan filling exposed. I cut off pieces and sent them into my mouth. Every bite was better than the last. Every taste exploded in my mouth. I tried to push away other thoughts and focus all my attention on my pastry. Eventually I finished every bit of its long body, the sweetness still lingering on my tongue. It’s gone now. We never said goodbye. But I know we’ll meet again.

And there it was. Beautiful. I balanced it out by taking on a yoga class across the city, where I found my body and mind in harmony again.

The weeks here may be stressful, but the weekends are often blissful, and I remember why I came here in the first place.

au secours

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Friday, October 07, 2005

beyond the eiffel tower

A young man sits across from me with styled dark hair and a black blazer. His eyes flicker. His face is handsome, young, and very French.

"What do you want to drink?" He asks. "What are you having?" "A coke." He answers. I pause. Weren't we going out "for drinks"? I was looking forward to having my head float around a bit.

He explains to me that he doesn't drink. That he quit smoking a few years ago. That he eats only healthy food-no Mcdonalds-because he is an athlete and likes to keep a clear conscience. He is a photographer's assistant, but is also heavily into sports, mostly rugby.

I order a vodka tonic. It doesn't seem appropriate to order my usual straight vodka or whiskey tonight.

It was another Parisian dissapointment. Didn't all French men drink, smoke, and seduce women with the raise of an eyebrow?

I met this young man one day when I was walking along the Seine. He ran across the street to speak to me, and as he pleased me, we exchanged numbers and planned to meet again.

This could be it, I thought. My first Parisian fling. Someone that could excite me.

But there was nothing there, as we sat in the bar, talking about all the subjects your supposed to, his eyes flickering as he sipped his Coca Cola. I love men who make me laugh, who chain smoke, who drink too much, who are random and hard to understand.

I also love traditional French culture. Long meals, an appreciation of good food, a love for everything rich, sexual and romantic.

But I work for a family who orders pizza hut. Who prepares frozen foods. Who doesn't embrace me or kiss my cheeks.

The Paris I dreamt of is being overcome by a city slick reality. "Paris is not the rest of France," the young man tells me. "You're meant for France though, aren't you?" He says, after I've gone over all my interest and passions. "Yes..I thought so..I think so."

For a while I was letting Paris drain me. One child's scream after another. One more trip to the discount grocery store. One more trip in the crammed metro.

But it's up to me what I make of it. Even a bad day, that starts at 7:30 in the morning with three metro trips to a French class, can be made good if you want it to.

And god, I want it to.

So I make good meals. I enjoy them if no one else does. I'm planning different activities I want to take on, sights I want to see, tastes I want to touch my tongue. I'm making conversation with strangers. I'm keeping my mind open. And I'm taking very deep breaths.

I choose my own reality.

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

another one bites the dust

We stood outside the metro, arms wrapped around each other, as tears made their way down my cheeks.

The fall air was cold, leaves blew under our feet, and passerbys glanced twice at the girl who cried as she hugged her friend goodbye.

I didn't want to let go. I kept thinking how the only person in Paris who loved me was leaving. That after this it was back to my Parisian reality, where I'm lucky to get a smile from the woman at the Patisserie.

Aimee came back to Paris and spent just under a week here. We took advantage of our time together, talking, remembering, walking around the city, and most importantly listening to each other. Aimee has been travelling around Europe on a bus tour on her own, and we're both familiar with being thrown into a new culture and feeling a little lost. We both needed a good friend and a real conversation to remind us our feet were still planted on the ground.

I wish I could've given her more of my love and energy. But these days I'm drained. I seem to always be working, running from place to place, and trying to get the kids to calm down. French classes have begun, and I'm late even when I leave the house at 7:30 in the mroning. Today I worked from 9:30am to 11pm. There's nothing left in me. And the cold air is sinking right through my fall jacket.

But it was great to play tourist. Paris is much more beautiful if you're a tourist: relaxed, happy, taking it all in, and going to all the right places. It seems that as soon as it becomes familiar and you have chores to do, you become slightly blinded. So for a few days I wiped off my Parisian grimace, stretched my lips into a smile, and walked around the city speaking loudly in my native tongue.

We laughed, we sang, and in the end I cried.

We let the rain run right through us. We went out off little sleep and charged ourselves with coffee breaks. It was good. She's gone now, but the memories aren't.

rain in Paris
First day out it pissed Parisian rain.
the devil eats japanese
So we went out for Japanese.
drink up
Then got drunk.
bar in the latin quarter
Then went to a bar where the sex symbol in the black t-shirt played the Doors for me as we kicked back drinks and made fun of older men from Liverpool.
triumphantly at the arc
We went to the Arc de Triomphe twice, but never went up due to weather and wallet conditions. You mean you have to pay to go up? I'm too cold anyways.
halloween at euro disney
But it was worth paying for Euro Disney, where even French men that make their way into your photographs look like Disney characters.
honey i shrunk the audience
And you only go to the 3D show just so you can pimp the shades.
it's a small world
Or go on rides that make you feel like you're on acid.
final feast
I made us a final feast for her last night: salade nicoise and salade roquefort. It fuelled us for our trip to the top of the Eiffel tower afterwards.
saying goodbye with champagne
And then we pre-celebrated my 19th birthday, climbing on an empty docked tour boat that was still blasting 80s music, wrapping ourselves in a fleece blanket and popping open a bottle of champagne. We thought we might get kicked off, but the guides that passed us gave us big smiles and said "We're in Paris."