Tag Archives: france

365 Days In Paris: Mea Culpa

Dear readers,

Je suis désolée. I’m sorry. I spent some time last week reading my posts from the past two months and realized that, well, I’ve been a complete Debbie Downer lately. This is the supposedly adventurous life of some girl in Paris??? I thought as I clicked through. Sure, the whole Alex fiasco was definitely a dramatic romance, but looking back at my words, I saw how I was missing everything around me. My waking up was in part prompted by a random IM from an acquaintance back in NYC. An older man with whom I’ve always had a guiltily flirtatious rapport with. When I told him I’d been a bit down lately, he almost berated me. “You have to have adventures. You are so free now. You’ll see: later, there will be no time for this type of stuff. You need to just go places and see things.” For a moment this made me depressed. As if I were barreling headfirst towards this place of older age and responsibility, and was already regretting not being more fun right now. But then I saw that he was right. Why do we spend so much of our lives living in the future? Or lingering in the past? Why does it never occur to you to just not think too much about things? (Well, because it’s really hard to do this, but it shouldn’t be.) That day, I made two swift decisions. Keep reading »

365 Days In Paris: St. Valentin

“I think today might be the one day of the year where it’s socially acceptable to get wasted alone,” I wondered aloud as Emily and I walked past some heart-shaped decorations in the window of one of the many anonymous-looking Chinese restaurants lining the streets of Belleville. It was Sunday, Valentine’s Day, and we’d spent the morning in yoga class and were now walking back to the metro together.

“Awww,” she said, consolingly. “Well, I think Valentine’s Day is kind of like New Year’s. Usually a letdown. But totally, you can drink.”

“Maybe I will. Maybe I’ll cook something nice too,” I said, immediately reflecting on the guilty secret that has been my life for the past few weeks: working in bed for most of the day, reluctantly dragging myself out into the cold to find a pathetic dinner of baguette and cheese or yogurt and cereal. It made me remember that I’ve been so lazy lately that I hadn’t bothered to do the dishes after most of these meals, and that my apartment was a complete disaster zone.

We walked on in silence, both ostensibly sad because of the lovers’ holiday. Me, because I’m completely alone. Emily, alone as well because her boyfriend lives in Spain. At that point, it seemed only natural that, yes, I’d cook tonight, and Emily should come over so that we could have a girls’ night, drink some champagne, and feel sorry for ourselves. I felt relief because the thing is, I’ve never had any feelings about V-Day before, but this year felt like a slap in the face because last year, I’d spent it with Alex … Keep reading »

Public Missed Connections In Paris

The city of Paris is allowing people to submit neighborhood-specific missed connections of 160 characters or less through its website. On February 14th, the most beautiful ones will be selected and put up on these announcement boards that are found throughout the city. How romantique! [Paris.fr] Keep reading »

365 Days In Paris: French Automatic Online Dating Dealbreakers

While I was in NYC, a session with my old shrink told me that I really need to—as much as I hate, hate this expression—“put myself out there” more. “It’s not wrong to want to be in a relationship,” Dr. W reasoned. “It’s unhealthy, however, if you just sit at home all the time and do nothing about it.”

Keep reading »

365 Days In Paris: New York, New York

The moment the wheels of the plane touched down at JFK, I felt the comfort of the familiar as I realized that everyone around me was speaking English. I mindlessly zoomed through immigration and got in a cab. I’m sure you know the feeling of coming back home when you’ve been away for a while—it’s weird how natural it is, sort of like nothing’s different, or you never really left. And yet, at the same time, you’re thrown off by out-of-the-blue changes, like how all of a sudden there’s an Apple store in your neighborhood, and a building that was on one block isn’t there anymore, and a high-rise has gone up in the space of four months.

I have to say, being home makes me feel really torn. I’ve been so proud of myself for coping so well in a foreign city outside my comfort zone, but God, it’s nice to just not have to think about the littlest things. Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: France May Not Ban The Burqa After All

  • A committee in France’s Parliament will stop short of recommending a ban on Muslim women wearing burqas at all places in France. Instead, the committee will only suggest body-covering veils be banned in public facilities, like on public transport or in hospitals. Muslim students have already been banned from wearing headscarves in the classroom since 2004. [Wall Street Journal]
  • According to new data from the Guttmacher Institute, teen pregnancy rose three percent from 2005 to 2006. The increase was mostly concentrated among 18- and 19-year-olds. Overall, abortions among teenagers rose one percent as well. [Time]
  • Speaking of teen pregnancy, even though the entire story is completely untrue, Lifetime’s made-for-TV-movie “The Pregnancy Pact,” about a group of teenaged girls who decide to get knocked up together, was the highest-rated among women ages 18 to 34 since 1994. I actually couldn’t watch more than 30 minutes of it before I had to stop! [Variety]

Keep reading »

365 Days In Paris: Social Studies

If you could have your ideal social life, what would that be? Parties every night of the week? Home-oriented with the option to go out? Hanging out at your best friends’ houses?

Creating the tone of your life outside work hours depends on the kind of person you are, but it’s also largely reliant on the city you live in.

It’s taken me a while to realize that cultivating a “normal social life” in Paris can’t rely on my past experiences. Even though I may have grown tired of my going-out habits in New York, I felt engaged in a certain standard culture. In Paris, however, I’ve come to see that I’ve been fighting an uphill battle to tap into what I’ve come to think of as that “standard social culture,” because, duh, the lives of young people here are vastly different. Keep reading »

365 Days In Paris: Just Like Riding A Bike

Sometimes the best thing for a broken heart is to take that heart to the bar and to get it really, really drunk.

I spent most of the past week in bed. It’s not as bad as it sounds—it wasn’t like I was crying every night (or at all), but I was just in a place where I couldn’t get out of my thoughts about me and Alex. I knew it would have been healthier to try and do some wholesome socializing, but I just put my head down, devoted myself to work, and thought about what it means to let someone out of your life. I finally decided to take me and my deep thoughts out when, on Wednesday, Dani called to invite me to get cous cous in the 10th. It sounded mellow and uneventful, so I threw on my boots and a sweatshirt without a second thought.

Little did I know that “getting cous cous” meant going to a lively bar with a group of people and getting wasted … Keep reading »

365 Days In Paris: Love Lost

I’m devastated. And so paralyzed by losing Alex that I can hardly move. I don’t know how I’m supposed to get through my day, and feel as if I’ve almost forgotten how to walk, talk, sleep, eat, or think. Things will get better, I know. But for the moment, I’m really in the thick of it, and kicking myself for knowing I’d likely find myself here in the first place.

The week was quiet after Alex left Paris last Sunday. Later that same evening, I heard from him on IM. He told me he had gotten home safe and had a great time. I tried to keep the conversation going, but he was fairly unresponsive, and remained that way in the following days. I figured he was taking time to digest, and that the best thing to do was to give him some space. But around Thursday, my heart couldn’t take the silence for much longer, and after a public breakdown I had to email him. “We obviously have a significant history,” I wrote. “And the wonderful time we had together last week left me wondering if we’re getting back into it, or if I should expect not to see you again.” Keep reading »

365 Days In Paris: Goodbye For Good?

It all happened so quickly. And was over just as fast.

At 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning, I found myself unexpectedly waiting at the Gare du Nord, my heart beating out of my chest and my head spinning like crazy. It was only 12 hours ago that my ex-love, Alex, had come back into my life, and it took only a fistful of Euros and a three-hour train ride to close the distance—both metaphorical and physical—between us.

Strangely, it had been almost a year since Alex and I saw each other last. We’d struck up a blog romance last year and had such a profound connection that we had crossed the Atlantic a few times to see each other. Keep reading »

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