Thursday, September 20, 2012

{there's a pistol & a crystal, underneath my pillow}


things i've learned (or re-learned) in Paris:
jealousy & insecurity looks flattering on no one.
comparison is the thief of joy. (as is social media).
the people that look like they are truly enjoying themselves are the ones with more baguettes and less baggage. (i mean this literally, but i think the symbolism is also very strong).
i need to slow down and breathe easy.
people need people.
you can say a lot more by talking a lot less.
why when we don't understand something, is it our instinctual tendency to nod 'yes' emphatically?
i really love long walks.
i should read more.
i may have the most random brained thoughts in the world, next to tyler workman.
(i.e.- are monks allowed to masturbate? this changes everything!)
young asians and grannie germans are equally the worst tourists,
second to americans.
90% of people are so grumpy on vacation- what a bummer.
everyone actually does smoke here. i saw a women nursing AND smoking at the same time. what.
coming from someone who enjoys a smoke: is it possible the French haven't heard that it's actually really bad for you?
i would kill for a gluten free beer.
(not really, it's a figure of speech).
i may however punch a baby if i have to eat another meal made of rice cakes.
i wish i could eat crepes. they look & smell like french quesadillas- and anyone who knows me, knows i can't say no to a quesadilla.
it never hurts to have a small flashlight in your purse (thanks Mom & Boyscouts of America).
fresh red currants and figs are extraordinary. eat some.
i would like to buy a red vespa. 
i'm still bummed that jeff johnson's got stolen at APU.

things i've gotten to incidentally experience: 
i currently reside on the same street where Amelie was filmed in it's entirety. 
(i overheard a tour guide say this outside my window yesterday)
i stumbled upon a home of Vincent VanGogh while trying to figure out what street i was on.
i met some street musicians & had lunch with them.
their music was really really good.
i understood nothing they talked about, but i laughed when they did- 
the way a small child does during a movie when they couldn't possibly have understood the joke.
i've run the Sacre Coeur steps twice now.
down twice, up once each time -aka- 1050 steps in total.
(i've felt like i was going to die both times).
i feel like ann monson would be proud of me.

i've almost applied to the Moulin Rouge twice.
then i realized i do not know how to say, "are you hiring?" in French.
then while translating it i realized i would have to translate my resume to French.
this seems exhausting.
and then i would not be able to understand them,
or sing in French,
and i think my boobs are too big.
these girls are like mosquito bites on trunks for legs.

i'm surprised how much French i can understand after only a month.
i'm still pretty terrible at trying to speak it.
this is my current method:
i write out phrases/locations i may need during the day in my notebook.
i try to speak to a kind looking stranger.
when they do not understand,
i show them what i've written in French.
i've learned two things: my handwriting style is hard for the French to read.
pictures and basic symbols work best.
so in my best 2nd grade handwriting & basic drawings, i am able to successfully communicate.
(see below example)

(yes, i AM an artist).
this one had a sweet ol lady almost doubled over in laughter.
she literally slapped her knee (baguette in hand).
then, as if by her understanding my drawing bestowed some magical power over me to suddenly be fluent in French, she began speaking and waving her hands sooo fast,
communicating what i deduced was basically: stay straight, go over the bridge, it's on your right.
i found it.

the sweetest ugandan woman makes my bed every morning,
usually i'm still in it.
at which point i decide i should probably get up and get dressed.
after a few days when i was able to explain to her that my best friend lives in uganda right now,
she started hugging me & bouncing up & down, tears filling her eyes.
(see above: people need people). 
i can hear her singing in the halls in the afternoon,
she is my favorite. 

there is this beautiful children bookstore on the corner by my house.
i stop in there every other day or so & read a book cover to cover,
and by that i mean- look at the pictures.
the woman probably thinks i'm either expecting or insane, 
as i never buy anything but sigh & smile a lot.
they have the little prince, in french. it's beautiful. 

whoever invented eating disorders and self help books, 
has clearly never been to Europe. 
forget summer camp- 
send your daughters here for a month, no a week even!
i mean, these men/boys. good grief.
following you around, taking your picture,
buying you drinks and meals and flowers and scarves.
one guy promised to straight buy me the eiffel tower if i'd have dinner with him.
(i politely declined, although i wonder what the market value is for the eiffel tower right now..)
did i say good grief?
it's like a civilized construction zone.
i'm telling you- low self esteem solution is a european getaway.
after a few weeks, you'll literally believe them when they call you Miss America & Lady Gaga.
women don't have those 'eyes' here either. 
girlfriends- you know what 'eyes' i'm talking about.
everyone just does what they want,
and here's the best part: NO ONE GIVES A FUCK!
it's truly wonderful. 

on that note, i'm off to eat cold mashed potatoes & drink wine in bed with the window open, 
in french lingerie.

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