31 May 2010

Babysitting, repatriation, denial, lack of euchre players.

I wrote this blog entry by hand while babysitting. Don’t worry, the baby was asleep and it was 11:00 at night:

Since Lawrence went to sleep I have been spending my time reading one of the thousands of old books sitting in perfectly messy piles around this very chic Parisian flat on boulevard St. Germain. The family who lives here treats me very well. The dad is a Midwestern American just like me, the mom is French. Lawrence, while he understands everything I say to him in English, only responds to me in French. Sandra, the mom, is very laid back and sweet and asked me to come with her and Lawrence to their house in Normandy for a week in August. Nothing is for sure yet, but I hope it all works out!

Apart from my sporadic babysitting gigs, the atmosphere is slowly changing in Paris. The streets are significantly more packed with tourists—none of which seem to know how to use sunscreen, which is evident from their farmer’s tans. Most importantly, the people who have become some of my closest friends over the past eight months have begun their slow repatriation to the good ol’ U.S. of A.

Me, I think I’ve adequately stated that I’m not ready to deal with that yet. Actually, I’m in some serious denial that this whirlwind of a year will ever end, mostly because I haven’t even taken the massive step of buying a plane ticket home. From watching my friends wrapping up their Parisian adventure, I have learned that I must accept the fact that there are things in this city that I won’t be able to do before I leave, but that’s okay because I’ve got three months left and I’m sure I’ll be back someday soon!

The beginning of summer weather and the toll of eight months in a foreign country has also shown me the things that I miss about home (besides family and friends which I hope is obvious). I miss being able to print unlimited amounts of personal documents at GVSU computer labs, having all of my own belongings (which are currently boxed up in my mom’s basement), private transportation (only because of the recent accumulation of unpleasant stenches on hot days in the métro and a lack of ventilation), being around people who know how to play euchre, being able to see stars at night (or any non man-made form of nature for that matter. Sorry Paris, but square-shaped trees and imported farm crops on the Champs Elysées is not going to cut it), and barbeques.

A plus!


  1. Wait a minute - you're leaving?

    I've been an RSS reader of yours for a few months... My wife and I moved to Paris in september, and I looked for blogs about cool stuff to do in the city. Yours has been a favorite for awhile. I've never gone to the actual site before, which I guess is why I never knew that you were only here temporarily.

    Well, boo. Don't go back! Where else will I learn about good restaurants, cool shops and other Parisian oddities? Where else will you find such inexpensive Nutella, or crepes sold on a street corner?

    In any case, thank you for keeping such a great blog over the last few months. You've made a difference to at least one expat's experience in Paris! Your writing is much appreciated.

  2. Don't worry Oh the Huge Manatee....she will be there a while longer. I am in the know...as her mom who has a basement full of her stuff. You have a couple more months of Courtney's wit and insight...which I also find fascinating..:)

  3. It's always good to hear that people enjoy my writing. I love to share both my amusing and not-so-amusing moments with you! I will probably be in Paris until the end of the summer. Well said, Mommy dearest.

  4. I entered this site by chance, but I found very interesting. A greeting to all the people who visit this page.