Paris Chapter II: the salmon incident.

We live and learn.

This week commenced with possibly my worst experience as an aupair yet, which is a bold statement.

After dropping Anatole at his activities, I spent the morning exploring Versailles. I gazed in awe of the stunning Chateau exterior and, although I am dying to explore inside, settled on exploring the town for the time being. By lunchtime I had worked up quite the appetite and hopped on the bus back to Chaville. Back at home, my host mum and I set to raiding the freezer for lunch, settling for salmon, spinach, and rice. This is where I made my crucial mistake. Somewhere in the Franglais speaking part of my brain, I failed to comprehend being asked if I wanted it raw or cooked.

I don’t even like sushi, yet being the bumbling Brit I am, I adorned a stiff upper lip and soldiered on through. One whole salmon fillet later and I was equal parts proud, relieved, and somewhat repulsed. Henceforth I will be concentrating harder on what is being said in French as I’m not sure I will ever forget the slimy fishy feeling of a whole raw salmon fillet. Naturally my attendance to lunch at home has drastically decreased.

Tuesday I finally met another Au Pair! I’m quickly deciding the Parisian metro is not my favourite mode of transport, often involving as much time walking as it does on the train, and multiple ambiguous exits. Combine this with my lack of French mobile and meeting people in central Paris can get tricky. Yet after one very confused phonecall about how we were both outside H&M on Rue Rivolli, and unsurprisingly concluding there were multiple H&Ms, I met Sally. In true Parisian style we sat in the street and indulged in a Croque Madame and some day drinking (strangely I didn’t opt for the salmon tartare), before wandering half of Paris for a patisserie.

Wednesday I explored the Le Marais area of Paris, enjoying some vintage shopping, giant marshmallows, and hopping through archways to find yet more fabulous architecture and sights to behold. Thursday I made the rookie error of trekking across Paris for a bakery that was recommended to me, only to find it was closed. Yet it wasn’t an entirely wasted morning as I got to enjoy the canal and find a shop where one can buy guns and balaclavas. The afternoon was spent portraying a cultured individual at the Musee d’Orsay (which is not the ideal place to discover your shoes are squeaky.

Having Paris on your doorstep you feel you need to make the most of every minute, however pacing yourself is key to being an Au Pair. It’s wonderful to have so much free time in the day to go galavanting in the city, but coming home and trying to match the energy of two children in the afternoon can take it’s toll. Sometimes you need to remind yourself it’s ok to not explore for a day. Thus friday was a rather lazy day; catching up on some online French lessons, writing this, and, of course, some all important Netflix time. After seeing my family off for the weekend, I headed straight to the shop for a Pizza and a bottle of wine!

Saturday saw my first night out in Paris. I met some wonderful girls and felt truly Parisian with my baguette, cheese, and wine on the banks of the Seine. Sunday, therefore, consisted of the three N’s; Netflix, nuggets, and napping.


My second week in numbers:

  • 85,315 steps (once again I felt compelled to do most of my exploring the day I wore heeled boots).
  • major lessons learnt; importance of museum appropriate shoes, stop wearing heeled boots, I don’t like raw salmon.
  • 14 episodes of Gilmore Girls…
  • 3 pages of Harry Potter completed since week one.
  • french films watched. enjoyed.
  • 1 weekend survived home alone.
  • 1 broken shoe.
  • Alcohol units: somewhere in the thousands.

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