I was a lot less nervous/emotional/terrified leaving home (and Benoir) for the second time. Maybe that’s because 4-5 months of lingual faux-pas, double-entendres and the occasional bike theft in Padova have made me more resilient and (almost) immune to embarrassment – or maybe it’s because I know Paris quite well and have friends living here already…
Either way, I was looking forward to coming here.
As the easy jet flight from Bristol descended into Charles De Gaulle airport, I felt ready to embrace the next step of my adventure; ma nouvelle vie parisienne. That is until the plane (literally 100m off the ground) very suddenly took a sharp, sudden turn to the upper right. I was gripped with panic as images of us being crashed into the Eiffel Tower flashed through my head – was this some sort of follow-up terrorist attack?! I can’t die here, not now! I haven’t become a successful banker or mastered Mandarin!
All turned out ok though, apparently we were too close to the plane in front. I looked like a nugget.
After a few days spent at my friend Owain’s (thank you again!) I found and moved into a beautiful studio in Montmartre, about 100m from the Sacré Coeur. I absolutely love it despite it being très cher. I have also been introduced to a fab pub quiz in Bastille every Sunday night (merci encore Owain!) I was convinced by Debbie to split a bottle of wine with her the night before my first day at Sagem, only for us to go on and win shots at the end too. C’est la vie eh. We seem to be on a bit of a roll and all won half pints last week too. Hope this continues…
I am now very used to my daily commute to Argenteuil, picking up a croissant on the way and later strolling home, baguette under arm, beret perched on head. I am absorbing the culture like a sponge. That is something I really love about working here, I am now a commuter, a native. I feel that important parisian sense of superiority as I board the 7:20 metro to St Lazare in my suit – noone on there knows I frequently mix up the numbers for the French emergency services and the IT help desk… For all they know I am a young, successful, multi-lingual business woman… A woman who would definitely never answer a colleague’s question: “As-tu un petit ami?” with “ouais, les pommes de terre sont bons aujourd’hui!”
Ah well, mistakes happen, I’m here to learn after all!
(PS. Padovians, I am kidding, Padova was fabuleux 😉 )
(PPS. Am taking bookings for Paris holidays chez moi in March, contactez-moi if you fancy a weekend of booze, baguettes and berets)