– Thomas Jefferson
After navigating the underground with a suitcase the weight of a baby elephant, being barged about by the most unendearing of Londoners, I boarded the already delayed coach to Paris. The highlights of the journey included catching two Jigglypuffs, and the child who discussed at length the logistics of the Eurotunnel and the possible drowning of the whole bus. But eventually I spied the Eiffel Tower and Disney castle on the horizon.
I was greeted by host family at the bus station, and having never been to Paris, my host mum gave me my own tour as we drove through the centre of the city towards Chaville. I resisted giving a little squeal as we drove past the Eiffel Tower. However, squeal was given on realisation that the Eiffel tower can be seen from my bedroom window.
After spending the first day settling in, learning my way around, and honing my sporting skills playing tennis in the garden, it was time to venture into Paris. With tickets coming out of my ears, I navigated the Paris metro (which seems to involve almost as much walking as it does being on a train) to pop up at the Louvre. After enjoying watching the multitude of people waving their arms round attempting to get the perfect photo of them ‘touching’ the tip of the pyramid, I saw the Arc de Triumphe, the Paris opera house, bought some much needed throat sweets, and had a sit down in the Jardin des Tuileries. True to form, I found a boulangerie and indulged in some quiche and coffee, sitting outside and watching the world go by in true Parisian style, before heading to Notre Dame. After an evening of discovering just how entertaining snapchats filters are for a 7 year old (finally, I understand the need to turn your face into a giant raspberry), I spent the next day chilling around the house.
My feet having just about recovered from Wednesday’s 24,346 steps, I headed to the Eiffel Tower when I sat in the sun and indulged in some reading. I then headed to Boneshaker Donuts to sample a maple bacon donut before exploring the Grand Palais area. Once again I was 1 hour early to collect Romane from her activities because as yet I had not fully put my trust in Parisian public transport.
Once I had succeeded in trying to coax a 7 year old into showering in dressing in double time, we bundled into the car and headed off to the grandparents in La Baule for the weekend to switch children for the coming week. Saturday consisted of a slap-up meal on the beach, playing in the sea, napping on the sand and a seafood feast. I successfully achieved a tan and am now sure that anything I set my mind to is absolutely possible. Sunday we went shopping in La Baule, a beautiful french seaside town, had Sunday lunch as a family, and returned to Paris (this time with a different child and enough french books to keep me going for months).
Although I have spent a lot of this week drinking in the sheer beauty of Paris, it has also included a little bit of work. I’ve only had Romane during my working week, making for an easy start. She is super independent meaning the morning routine is more about overseeing than being actively involved. I’ve been greatly entertained by her trying on every pair of shoes I brought, complete with model poses.
So there we have it, week one as an Aupair in Paris complete.
First week in numbers:
- 71032 steps (too many of which were in low heeled boots).
- 13 hours spent in online queue. Subsequently, 2 Cursed child tickets purchased.
- 10+ people with clipboards I have told I don’t speak English to. I have almost perfected the french pronunciation of ‘non’.
- 8 starfishes accidentally (probably) murdered by my host children.
- 6 major Paris landmarks visited.
- 5 pages of Harry Potter a l’ecole des sorciers read.
- 4 new foods tried.
- 2 major lessons learnt; do not cross a Megabus driver, and that a green pedestrian light does not guarantee a car will stop.
- 1 swim in the sea.
- 1 cold battled through.
- 1 million cheese based calories consumed.
- 0 host child meltdowns.