Sunday, April 29, 2012

Speaking of toilets...

We had a Saturday lunch today (flowers + chocolates in hand) with some friends of ours and the subject of kids came up. (They have a 9 month old and a 2 1/2 year old).

Standard Maternity Leave is 16 weeks for a 1st child.  3-6 weeks prenatal and the remaining weeks for postnatal (Leave is longer for each additional child). When women go back to work children generally either  go to a nounou (nanny) or go to the crèche (daycare) until 3 yrs when they can go to maternelle (preschool). They must be potty trained BEFORE they go to preschool which means it is generally done during the child's time at the crèche. But in typical fashion, France has a polite way to say this, which no one told KB about. This was the short and misunderstood conversation I had with his mother:
Paris Mom: Il devrait déja être propre à 2 ans ou il ne sera plus accepter à la creche.  He should already be clean by 2 or they won't allow him to come back to daycare.

KB: Il a l'air déja propre. He seems clean to me.  

Friday, April 27, 2012

Guess what we got?!

It is not a dog.  Not a mini hold-in-your-hand-and/or-purse-style-Paris Hilton or Parisian-accessory dog.  I've seen that - like this girl in Italy in 2007 with not 1 but 3 accessory dogs.

No we did not get a dog.
WE got a mini-bus!AND a book store.
Should we talk about why this is exciting?

1.  The mini-bus is adorable.

We have yet to figure out it's purpose, it seems to zig-zag around our quartier back and forth along the streets, taking little old ladies for a 10 minute ride up the street, only to come back down the next and drop them off a block away at their old lady friend's apartments.  BUT the mini bus is electric and makes no noise.  And it is the size of a And good thing we have a small bus to transport us, otherwise we would have to walk a whole 7 minutes to get public transport!

2.  And then there is the book store.

The bookstore is good for multiple reasons, but mainly
    a.  Proof that people can read things that don't come through their electronic device, AND
    b.  the fact that it is across from the local college (middle school) and is still standing (with no grafitti, key marks, etc.) after 6 months is clear proof of civilization/a miracle.

See our neighborhood is made up of Arab immigrants, Africans, French Starter Families (1-2 kids), and Single, White Young Professionals.  Who sometimes seem uncivilized by their:
  •      Total inability to walk 5 steps and throw their wrappers/food/packaging of any kind in the trash
  •      Local hooligans inability to not tag or key things in the middle of the night. And of course the classic, 
  •      I am French and therefore cannot pick up after my dog AND must take particular delight in the fact it is  going to ruin some tall/unobservant person's 300 euro shoes.
But we have a bookstore
with books and big clean glass windows
AND an electric mini-bus!
so we MUST be moving along the evolutional chain. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012


(Someone should have told the candidates that in order to move on to the next round, their photo  had to have a dark blue background.)

I was hoping something exciting would happen
but nothing did
and 4 hours later,
     they are still talking over each other
          about nothing.

Monday, April 16, 2012

More miscellaneous meat products...

Friday night's apéro (short for aperitive: drinks & appetizers before dinner) - turned into dinner aperatoire - which means we stayed longer and they kept bringing apetizers

which meant the arrival of the heavies ...
(cue villanous music) duh duh duh
... miscellaneous meat products

surrounded by andouille

b's good friend who refuses to eat any cheese because it smells too strong - eats these meat products. 
I can't explain that one.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sundays are for...

 early morning hikes

Taking your sword to the Boulanger...
... for some grand cakes.

Picking up some fish at the Poissonnière for Sunday lunch.

 ... and no meal is complete without some cheese from the Fromager.

And, if you happen to be a guest, you better stop by the Fleuriste to pick up something for your hosts.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Things I have gotten used to:

My neighborhood homeless guy - I was quite perturbed when someone else was in his spot today, sitting exactly as he does and looking overactors-anonymous forlorn instead of saying "Bonjour" like my guy does.

The Brazilian transvestites who also shop at my Primeur (pree-meuur).

I have become particular about my bread. Big surprise, I know. 

Scarves:  The ultimate in unpredictable-weather and chic-accessory wear no longer makes me feel like I am choking.  

Spooning in the metro:  this morning there was a metro with doors open and 4 people standing in front of it not willing to back themselves in.  I looked at that metro, only 85% full (as evidenced by the breathing room) and immediately thought about those 4 people:  amateurs. Then I promptly turned around and stepped into the 6 inches of extra space. 

Complete fail of the week:
Coffee and Honey Smacks for breakfast (the fact that I actually bought Honey Smacks speaks volumes)
Watching Dawson's Creek. They show 5 episodes one after the other. 
Dubbed in French.
Maybe I should say that again to scare myself straight.
I watched Dawson's Creek. 

Good points: 

Word of the week:  Scouts (pronounced scoots):  because it is silly and fun to call these kids scoots.  Skuuuutes. 
This is them in the RER (city train - not te be confused with the metro)  

This week's shocker:

A HUGE advertisement in the metro for extra-marital dating website - targeted at women.  Classy! And fully living up to France's poly-amourous reputation. Thanks DSK and my middle school French textbook!
Ok so not so much of a shocker.

(I am sure they must have taken out anything in the wedding vows pertaining to loyalty/fidelity.  But it is the beginning of wedding season, so I'll confirm that over the next couple months).

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Through a window...

Musée Carnavalet (karn a val eh)
Through the window of a school of arts