French ‘Society’.

Saturday night was incredible! Lauren and I went thinking it was going to be some form of sit down dinner pretty much just with the family.  It turned out to be a big party and buffet with over 90 people, to celebrate the dad’s birthday!  Jessie, Lauren and I hung out most of the night and it was the lovely.  The food was mostly catered and very yummy.  We met the kids who Jessie looks after and they were gorgeous! The younger one was insanely active though!  We talked to quite a few of the family’s friends about what we were doing in Paris.  It was really nice to have just casual conversation in french.  Twas intriguing to see lots of regular parisian adults; what they wore, how they acted etc.  Fabulous people watching fodder! We stayed till about 12 then went for a quick drink in a nearby bar before Lauren and I got the metro back to mine, encountering some less than pleasant french boys along the way 🙁

On Sunday I went round to Molly’s at about 11.30 and we had such a relaxing Sunday! First we went to the market at Bastille (my first Paris market!).  It was so colourful and bustly!  Worth going to just for the atmosphere, even if you have no intention of spending money.  Once we’d wandered around and Molly had bought lots of organic veggies, we found a cafe in the sun by place de la bastille and had coffee while reading the sunday observer and discussing blogs among other things!  She invited me for brunch so went went back to hers and had yummy scrambled eggs with salmon, toasted baguette, salad, cheese and home made strawberry and banana smoothies.  I really need to get myself a blender asap so I can make my own! Later we went for a wander round the Marais and mooched in some of the clothes shops.. and I didn’t get home till like half seven.  By that time I was happily tired and had a cosy evening with cups of Tea! :p

This morning I had psyched myself up to go and give my bank man hell for my bank card STILL not arriving! So I get downstairs and check my mail, and the slip from the post man (for a registered letter from the bank) that I’ve been waiting for for over 2 weeks is finally there!  So that scuppers my plans for today as I can’t go and collect it till tomorrow.  I also recieved a letter back from the caf (housing benefit) people asking for some more documents, which is good cos it means they’ve recieved my application, especially as I wasn’t expecting to hear from them for another 2 weeks.

This does mean that I now have nothing to do today, which gives me time to get some writing done: mainly my french journal which I’m really starting to fall behind on!

I’m starting the babysitting tonight! So so nervous.  I don’t know if the kids will like me or if it will be difficult with the language barrier or what exactly I’m sposed to do?! Argh!  But all I can do is take it as it comes.  I am excited at the same time :p

Au Revoir! xx

I’ve been in Paris a whooooooole month!

So I’ve survived a month.  What’s infurating is that I still don’t feel settled and so many things still haven’t been sorted out.  But I know it will come.

Yesterday was eventful..! I met up with Jessie in the morning and we went down to the Tuilleries to meet all the other english teaching people for a big picnic meet up thing.  Lauren came along later and it was awesome to see her again! Twas a really nice day just meeting people and sitting out in the sun.

In the evening I had a meal with the english teachers from my school.  It wasn’t at all what I was expecting.  In the end it was only two of the teachers cos the rest couldn’t make it which was a bit dissapointing.  But we had a very traditional french meal of bread, cheese, wine and grapes! Twas rather yummy. 

The conversation was intriguing.  I feel like I can’t go into too much detail because I would be typing for a very long time but it was bizaare.  I was very impressed by how opinionated they were and how passionate for certain causes they seem to be.  For example, they told me how each year the french government create a number of immigrants that they aim to dispell from the country each year and for 2008 it was 23000 and something.  Aparently there are often cases of people, even their pupils, turning 18 and the police finding any excuse to arrest them and deport them.  Some of the teachers aparently have some sort of scheme where they try to help these people.  It’s obviously something I know very little about at the moment, but what I’ve heard so far does sound shocking.  I definately want to find out more and perhaps hear other sides of the story?

Also, the things we are taught about french culture, i.e. that their way of dealing with immigration is to try and irradicate any differences and make everyone the same, whereas in England we tend to embrace the differences and allow them to enrich us as a nation, I think is pretty true.  There seems to be no consideration of the arguement that even though relgious or cultural actions or signs may seem strange to you if they are not you’re own, they are still valid and acceptable to some extent.  In England I don’t think you could just dismiss something as being wrong without at least considering the cultural or relgious reasoning behind it.  In France they seem more inclined to alienate something without question if it isn’t the exact norm.  That’s what I’ve found anyway.  We shall see.  It may well depend a lot too on age, class and experience/upbringing?

I had a good time though and it was definately an eye opener to lots of issues and arguments to think about!

I got the bus home after the meal cos both the teachers said the stop just outside went straight to where I live.  I’ve now realised that the buses are fab!  O was saying that he hasn’t taken a taxi in years because the night buses here are so safe and efficient.  I’ve had a look into it and they do seem really good, if I can get used to them!  Will make it alot easier/cheaper to get home after a night out! Oh french public transport! <3

Tonight Lauren and I are going to Jessie’s host family’s for dinner.  Am rather excited, not sure why! Tis just nice meeting more people.. and feeling the family vibes will do me good I think 🙂

Au Revoir! xx