February 22, 2008

Papillons sociaux

Posted in Babysitting, Daily life, Food, Les français, Visitors tagged , , , , at 12:46 am by Lauren

In slow times, I lament not having more news to share. But in busy times like now, I don’t have any time to share the news! I’m stealing a few moments while Allen and Elizabeth sleep in the other room, before I too go to bed.

Last Thursday, after my presque perfect day, I woke in the late morning to let my landlord in to fix something. Once he’d finished I realized it was lunch time, and I called Mimi to see if she wanted to get sushi as we’d talked about a few nights before. My timing was right, and I met her at her place at one. We headed to her favorite sushi restaurant, which turned out to be deserving of such distinction. I had miso soup, cucumber roll, tuna roll, and salmon avocado roll. It was on the verge of being too much food, but wasn’t that expensive with the lunch menu prices. I normally dislike miso soup – because apparently I’ve never had it prepared well. It was delicious!

No big events Friday, but I babysat in the evening for Mimi and Jack. As usual, Allen and I watched a movie.

Saturday, on the other hand, was a big night. Allen and I went out “for Valentine’s Day.” Through an entirely unplanned (and decided unsappy) turn of events, Valentine’s Day happens to be the day we got back together five years ago. I guess that worked out. We took a walk to Bercy Village and ate at a cute restaurant there.

Our restaurant experience started out a little shakily when the host hospitably greeted me in English. I know that speaking to me in English is an expression of dashing the stereotype of the inpitoyable, merciless Frenchman mocking the hapless English speaker – yes, he was trying to be nice. But I want to practice my French! So I practiced my French look of displeasure instead, and he got the hint and switched to French with over-the-top comments about how of course we speak French so well we must live in Paris, and there’s something about us that’s very French, but par contre we would have to order wine to be really French. Two years of teaching and six months in Paris, and I can achieve that kind of response with a look. My parents might argue that I’ve been practicing that look my whole life. Beware The Look.

Dinner itself was very good, and if I can locate the card we took from the restaurant, I’ll post the name here. Allen and I spent the whole meal having very serious discussions, which indicates to me that perhaps we should talk more. (Sometimes I like to check and see if Allen is reading this. He’s not, by the way.)

Sunday was another day of adventure – how many days in a row can we actually do something before I drop over dead from the novelty of it all? After so many days of sleeping too late and coming home for a quiet night in, it’s a shock to the system. But we bravely went out on Sunday to meet Antoine and Typhaine at the Canal St. Martin. I’d wanted to visit it since the last time I was in Paris, with my mom and Sara. (It’s just that we didn’t realize we wanted to visit it until the day we were leaving!) We had lunch along the canal, with decent food and awful service – the two of them were commenting on it, “This isn’t McDo! They could at least bring us some water!” We spoke in English this time, and I think we wore Antoine out! After lunch we walked back down the canal and to the Musee des Arts et Metiers, which is free and very interesting if you have not just eaten a big meal. Actually it is interesting even with a full stomach, but we should have had coffee after lunch. Antoine was trying out all of the comfortable leather couches, and halfway through, we all had to call it quits. The museum is attached to a church which is now home to a display of automobiles and planes. I posted a picture of a plane in the church on Gallery Schmanz. The museum is also home to the third cast of the Statue of Liberty (one in New York, one on the Seine, and one in the museum; obviously the latter two are much smaller) and a small exhibit on its creation. Currently, there’s an exposition (paying, I think) on Benjamin Franklin’s time in Paris, but we didn’t see it.

Surely that was all the excitement for the week. But no! Monday started a new week with a bang, with dinner at our landlord’s apartment right after we got home from work. Roger and his wife Sandy were very hospitable, and we ended up chatting (and laughing) with them until after midnight! They had some amazing stories, including one about adopting their two Native American sons from Canada and having to flee the country before legislation was passed the next day that would detain them all at the border and derail the process.

Tuesday the non-stop action continued when Elizabeth arrived to stay five days. Hoorah! She made us dinner, so we’re going to give her a medal and an honorary membership to our family of two. Then we all watched the Darjeeling Limited.

And that has been our week! It’s been so whirlwind we might be fooled into thinking we were back to our DC ways. (But there was no cat-sitting, no furniture assembly…must be Paris.) Stay tuned for the exciting adventure of applying for my carte de sejour so I can stay in this beautiful city!



  1. Sara Stroman said,

    The novelty of Paris will never wear off for me either, so keep it coming!

  2. Sara Stroman said,

    Oh and I wish I were there with you and Elizabeth for five days!!!

  3. I like the way you write ..Its really different and interesting … keep the momentum going ..I hope tis will really going to help me in future..
    brilliant. .

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