Monday, September 29, 2008

Je suis a Paris

After a week in lovely Colmar, France, I am back in good old Paris enjoying the temperate climate.  On Sunday, September 21st, I arrived at my new home in Colmar.  The entire week was pretty miserable as it was super cold. I brought a winter coat with me, but didn't want to break it out quite yet as I don't want to get too used to it. So, I had to go out and buy a brand new lighter coat to keep the cold out.  Brrr!  The house where I'm staying has another girl to help with the household duties, although I don't think its entirely necessary.  Oh wait, I should say, I didn't think it could be entirely necessary.  We are watching a nine year old boy, that couldn't be too hard, right?  Absolutely wrong I am!  The boy is a nightmare.  I should probably add that the family is rich....let me back track and describe this family.

Les "Bourbons" as I will call them, are a married couple, but the wife lives in Paris.  Mr. Bourbon owns two houses (or apartments, people don't live in houses in Paris) one for himself and his travels to town and one for his wife.  The wife is a 31 year old Brazilian and has a petit-ami.  AKA a boyfriend.  She isn't allowed, or more like, she doesn't ever come to Colmar.  I don't think Dad minds, but there seems to be a continuous competition between Mom and Dad with pauvre Francois and the boy in return has become a spoiled Yu-Gi-Oh lovin' brat!  

So, back in Colmar, we, the au pairs, are at the beck and call of this little boy.  He doesn't pick up after himself and isn't forced to.  Doesn't do his homework alone, and isn't forced to.  There are many things this child doesn't have to do, including, wiping his ass.  I'm serious!  He knows how to do it, but if his father is around, he requests it to be done by him.  Ugh!  So because petit Francois gets away with murder.  And over the course of one week, I have had CDs thrown at me when I told the boy HE MUST do his homework and a book thrown at me the very next day for telling him HE MUST get out of bed to go to school. 

Needless to say, I don't like the job.  The other girl doesn't either, but because she is Belarussian and wants desperately to get her legal working papers, she will put up with it. The question for me is, do I want to put up with it?  I could care less about being a legal French worker.  I'm an American with two degrees, I can work wherever.  I know the economy is bad right now, but I'm not too worried about finding work.  So the question is this: Do I stay and endure this horrific situation, or do I pack up and leave.  If I stick with the former, I don't spend much of my own money. Lovely, I don't like to spend money anyway.  The latter: I wouldn't come home right away, I would travel to Eastern Europe for a few weeks and then come home.  What a predicament huh? The Eastern Europe option is looking pretty good because it isn't high season anymore and its cheaper over there.  France is not cheap. As much as I'd love to travel around this country because I speak the language better, it is not financially feasible. I'm going to stick it out for at least a month and then we'll see.  

For now, I will enjoy Paris. Check out this picture of what is outside the window where I'm staying.  That's right! Le Tour Eiffel!  I guess I should mention that I'm staying with my boss from Hy-Vee's nephew.  He's an interesting individual and he thinks he's French now because he's lived here for 3 years now.  C'est la vie I guess!

A bientot mes amis...til next time!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The other day on the bus

I spent one of my last evenings out with Jason and we went to the new fancy Power & Light District. We had dinner at Flying Saucer where they have
130 beers on tap (my kind of place). Then we went to Lucky Strike which I guess is supposed to be some high class bowling alley.  It was a nice place, but way to yuppie for me. I like my bowling alleys grungy.  When we left, the circus was getting out at the Sprint Center and I was like, "take me to the circus Jason."
 Well, that didn't happen so we
 went to "The Zoo" instead.  Fancy hole in the wall bar with an awesome juke box.  The rest of the night is history...but that isn't what this is about.

The bus ride is what got me.  It was a dreary wet evening and the bus was crowded with rain drenched riders.  The faces of those riding the bus was that of solitude.  A sea of faces going around and around in their little lives. I don't want to minimize the richness of everyone's lives, but I was saddened to know that as humans we travel in circles of routine.  I thought about my friends and how we love and support each other.  Our lives are entertaining and we truly enjoy each other.  I'm breaking out of the mold of the circle and venturing off to a small town in Northern France called Colmar.  I've left behind my safety net of friends. I've left my grandparents who have always played such an integral part in my life. I've left the boy (I guess man is more appropriate) I met only 6 weeks ago who I was trying hard not to get to close to, but failed miserably at.  Do I need to go to France for 9 months?  I do because we get so wrapped up in the smallness of our lives that we believe are gigantic.  We've got one chance to make our lives worthwhile. Only a hundred years ago, we were not able to move about the planet as we do now.  I only have 2 reasons to stay in Kansas City, my friends and my family.  A third one was making it's way into the picture too.  Re-reading this makes me seem heartless because I have no real reason to go other than not wanting to have that feeling of regret.  But does regret outweigh friends and family?  I'm not sure.  All three things will be with you for life. Regret is the only one that can be avoided. Family and friends will come back once you eliminate the awful feeling that you may one day regret not going after  your dreams. 

 I love my Kansas City, I love my friends, I love my family.  I'm going to France because I know my friends will always be there when I return.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Colmar France

It's Monday, September 8th, 2008.  I'm leaving town in exactly 5 days and the situation is becoming more and more real.  Am I ready for this adventure?  Part of me says, YES! You've been planning on moving to Europe for years. The other part says NO! You like your quaint life in KCMO.  So, regardless of how I feel, regardless of the hyperventilating I'm experiencing more and more frequently, I am going!

If you'd like to know exactly how I feel, go here:  REGRETABLE

A Bientot...I'll keep everyone posted.