As much as I am continually charmed by the life in France, some things lag behind. For example, to complete most bureaucratic tasks (banking, visas, health insurance), a secretary hands me a blank piece of paper to put my request in writing. Most secretaries have a desk piled-high with said requests. Hmm.
Peeling paint and spiderwebs are often a part of the decor.
Our old washing machine has been bust for months now. I’ve been begging my husband to ditch it. However, there is only one issue; it is also our only counter space. How I long for one of those stainless steel and granite American-style kitchens with a French-doored refrigerator and a freezer larger than a shoebox!
Finally, the other night I was brushing my teeth on my way to bed. Not only to find a worm on the bathroom floor. Of all the things that could come off the street and into our humble bathroom, a measly little worm is the least of our troubles. But it doesn’t mean I want to have my bare feet in the proximity of an unannounced worm.
Old world charm, first world woes.
Happy 2012! I apologize for being a bit absent. Since I last wrote, there was a wedding, a trip to New York, a honeymoon holiday in Nice, and many trips to the Prefacture de Police. As of today, I have my residence permit, which means I will be bureaucracy-free for the next 9 months! (Unless I decide to apply for a bank account, a library card, a masters program, leave my apartment. Wait a minute…) I wish I could celebrate by torching the rainforest of paperwork I have accumulated the last few months while singing ‘J’ai Deux Amours’ at the top of my lungs. But alas, from now on I need to adopt the ‘French touch’ of maintaining a color coordinated bureaucracy binder.
Paris is cooling down. Although my style integrates fairly well, I’m inevitably challenged to layer gracefully. I’ve noticed on the streets, many women deal with either a ‘doudoune’, a duvet of a jacket or carefully calculated cashmere layers. Me, I have a few chunky long, wool sweaters that I wear under either a camel jacket or my wool vintage herringbone blazer. However, this recently backfired. Case in point, on a quick trip to the local health insurance office, after I taking a number, I was quickly ushered by the hostess to a chair because I was mistaken as being ‘enceinte’ or with child. Bundling up should not be mistaken for a bundle of joy. “EXCUSEZ-MOI!!!” I gasped. “JE SUIS PAS ENCEINTE!!!” The hostess was just as mortified as I was. (Take that, bitch!) Half-hearted apology unaccepted, I walked out of there forever mortified. Maybe it is time to swear off my dear chunky knits. Maybe it is time to lay off the fromage. And maybe an Hermes Kelly Bag would certainly solve all of my problems…