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September 2006

August 2006

We'll always have the Time Warp in Paris

Since moving to Paris I've made some pretty amazing friends from all over the world. They've become my second /third family here. Next week, two of our friends will be leaving to open the next chapeter of their lives in the United States.  There's a phenomenon that happens when you live abroad, you seek out what is familiar to you. Be it simply going to the supermarket to buy a 4 euros tub of peanut butter or learning where you can find double stuffed oreos(at the Bon Marché) just to have that little peice of home.   

French Skippy vs. American Jif

See how the 4 euro tub sizes up to a regular tub of American PB. :)

And as ex-pats find comfort in the little things that remind them of home, they some how find each other even if it's just in passing as a nod on the train or an encounter over coffee. For example, just the other day during our weekly knitting night an American gentleman came and sat near us to find shelter from the pouring rain. He sat there a few minutes listening to us giggle and chat and finally turned and asked "So, what are you all studying here?" One of us responds, "We're not, we live here." He asked again the same question looking around, "So, what are you studying again?" We looked at one another and in unison and responded "We live here." He smiled and said he did too.  We proceeded to have a mini conversation (he's was heading to Shawnee, Kansas which is 5 minutes from where I grew up in Olathe, Kansas!) like many ex-pats do and off he went with his empty espresso cup. 

Last night, we had dinner at a friend's apt and then ventured into the city to ride the Bateau Mouche or as we call them the Fly Boat together to celebrate doing something you could only do in Paris.  Later that evening we caught a Frenchified showing of the Rocky Horror Picture show in the only theater in France that has the license to show the film.  We sang the Time Warp, laughed,  danced our hearts out, sang asshole (brad) and slut (Janet) and were weirdly seduced by Tim Curry's Frank N. Furter. The show left us happy, drenched with water (we're the ones under an umbrella) with rice in our bras and shoes, thinking, "only in Paris..." and I thought, "only with my friends".

There's some kind of magnetic attraction ex-pats have on one another.  I'm grateful for it because I've met some pretty amazing people that way. Internet and blogging has changed the way I meet people. I've got blog friends from all over the world that sometimes know more about me from reading my blog than my real life friends do.  One of my oldest blog friends signed, "Blog friends forever" and it made me smile from cheek to cheek.   But now I'm faced with the parting of good, real life  friends.  My husband and I know we've made friends for life with these guys and with the ease of the Internet and long distance telephone we'll be in touch in no time. As easy keeping in touch has become I'll really miss having my friend just across the Place d'Italie and my husband will miss his neighborhood buddy that he could go and drink beers with up on the Buttes aux Cailles.  This isn't goodbye but a bientôt because soon we'll be pulling up to your street in Madison, honking away ready to go grab some 'merican burgers and beer. So,  Bon voyage, friends... We'll miss you but we're only a hop, skip and a plane trip away. We won't be strangers, ya hear?! 

Being a domestic goddess

I'm not good at housework. Case in point:

I come home from knitting with friends to an empty apt. My husband hasn't returned from work and the cat is no where to be found. I flip the light on in the kitchen and am welcomed by a huge mound of dishes.  I've been ignoring the dishes for the last week thinking each time I pass that I'll take care of that later. I open the cupboard to take down and glass and see that we don't have anymore glasses left. They are all in the sink. Dirty.

I really hate doing the dishes.

Last night, With my spidey peripheral vision I see my husband smirks at the dishes and says nothing as his makes his dinner tartines. In passing I mention, "Oh, I"ll get to that tomorrow".  He laughs. "On a un lave vaiselle maintenant, Cherie".  I sigh, "I know, Je sais!"  Crazy as it is I'm just not used to it yet. We've gone so long without one that I've become accustomed  to having a mound of dishes in the sink. I know that is totally backwards.

So, tonight in less than 2 minutes flat I loaded almost all the dishes we own into our dishwasher (one of the only normal sized appliances we own) and off it went.  Maybe I should have rinsed them first? Oh well.

Now I just need to find an automatic way to mop the floors. Any ideas?

Friday evening chez nous

Paris is empty. During the month of August the city empties itself of its habitants as Aôut is the month of Les Grandes Vacances.   We haven't gone on vacation in August in several years because we like having Paris all to ourselves.  The metros are empty. The streets are not crowded. The terrasse of our favorite resto always has a place for us. August is our month to really enjoy Paris.  As I type this, my husband is on his way home, stopping in at the grocery store (where there are no longer any lines) to pick up some crackers and coke for me. I've been sick to my stomach the last week and the only thing that seems appetizing are crackers.

Maybe we'll take in a movie tonight or go for a walk. The Avenue Italie has been deserted of its habitual traffic jams and makes for pleasant night walking.  All I know is that I like these weekends in August as Paris is still Paris but without all the Parisians.  I guess you'd have to live here to know what I mean, it's truly is genial!