Archive of ‘Francophile’ category

Paris Journal #2


France map

Here’s another look into my life when I was living in Paris.  Just another awkward moment while living abroad…

September 28, 2004

Yesterday morning was funny when I went for my doctor’s appointment to get my Carte de Séjour (the visa that allowed me to stay in Paris for a year.)  I had to have an X-ray taken for some odd reason in order to be deemed healthy to live here.  So, I was asked to take off everything from the waist up.  Not too much of a problem, but then the nurse asked me to follow her to the X-ray room…without a gown!  So there I was, fully exposed from the waist up, and I had to just walk on through the office and another room to get to the machine!  A male doctor is in there just staring at me–how awkward!  I guess the gowns that you get in the states don’t exist here in good ole’ Paris!  Note to self:  Don’t wear tight pants to the doctor next time.  I was just thankful I hadn’t worn a dress!  Quelle horreur!!

Hopefully my misfortune will help another poor soul when they find themselves living abroad in France or at least give you something to laugh about!  And I must add, in France, boobs are boobs.  They’re just another beautiful part of the body and they’re everywhere.  They’re in paintings, statues, and exposed on the beaches. Every woman has them and no one cares if they see them. So, no worries!

Paris Quotes



America is my country.  Paris is my hometown.
Gertrude Stein

A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of life.
Thomas Jefferson 

You know, I sometimes think, how is anyone ever gonna come up with a book, or a painting, or a symphony, or a sculpture that can compete with a great city. You can’t. Because you look around and every street, every boulevard, is its own special art form and when you think that in the cold, violent, meaningless universe that Paris exists,–these lights. I mean come on, there’s nothing happening on Jupiter or Neptune, but from way out in space you can see these lights, the cafés, people drinking and singing. For all we know, Paris is the hottest spot in the universe.
Owen Wilson in Midnight in Paris 

Ajoutez deux lettres à Paris : c’est le paradis.
~ Jules Renard


To err is human.  To loaf is Parisian.
~ Victor Hugo

The whole of Paris is a vast university of Art, Literature and Music… it is worth anyone’s while to dally here for years. Paris is a seminar, a post-graduate course in everything.
~ James Thurber

What an immense impression Paris made upon me. It is the most extraordinary place in the world!
~ Charles Dickens

I could spend my whole life watching the Seine flow by. It is a poem of Paris.
~ Blaise Cendrars


In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.
~ Mark Twain

When good Americans die, they go to Paris.
~ Oscar Wilde

The best of America drifts to Paris. The American in Paris is the best American. It is more fun for an intelligent person to live in an intelligent country. France has the only two things toward which we drift as we grow older—intelligence and good manners.
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

That Paris exists and anyone could choose to live anywhere else in the world will always be a mystery to me.
~ Marion Cotillard in MIdnight in Paris



Photo credits:,,,

First days in Paris: A journal entry

shabbychictoureiffelSo, the other day, I started reading back through some of my journals that I wrote during the time I was living in Paris as an aupair.  I thought I would post some of the funnier excerpts as an American trying to figure out things in France.

August 28, 2004

“I was so excited to dry and Chi my hair after living in the Alps for a couple months.  However, as my luck would have it, a disaster befell me!  I started to use my straightener and was amazed at how hot it started getting.  It was really working well!  But…when I brought it up to do my bangs…well, they fell out and crumpled into a pile on the counter!!  Oh le drame!  On top of that, my Chi melted and fell apart!  Mon pauvre cheveux! Lesson #1:  Make sure to use the right converter. I guess that’s the first and last time I’ll have sleek and straightened hair while living in Paris.  God, please help my bangs to grow back soon.  Merci beaucoup.”

Unfortunately, the hair drama continued the next day…

“I am sitting under a weird lamp right now with color on my hair as I journal.  I had been walking around looking for a place to have my hair cut and highlighted-not a hard place to find in Paris.  I meandered into a Salon de Coiffeur while I was lost.  (Side note: getting lost is a common theme for me lately.)  At least they were able to do highlights or as the French say “les mèches.”  I’m not sure how it will turn out because I realized after walking in here that I am very limited in my French hair terminology!  One thing weird about French salons is that they don’t automatically put conditioner in your hair.  In fact, you have to pay extra for that!  Either that, or they took advantage of a naive American girl.”  

(A little note:  My hair turned out…uh…decent.  Although a little on the orange side.  I decided to embrace it; however, as this was only the beginning of a crazy new adventure.  Thankfully, they didn’t say much about my bangs.)