Tuesday, June 07, 2011

la vie est belle

This is the direct - non-edited email I sent out on march 2, 2001. I found it pretty amusing...like I was kinda funny! What IS funny though is that I was already preparing THIS post:

My Life
I am feeling the need to document what is happeningi n my life because somedays it feels so fleeting. Like yesterday as I was sitting in my kids room wondering about what it will be like for them when they are in their twenties and then remembering my youth and my years in Paris and it all felt so very very far away. And it dawned on me that that was it…that was my youth and I think I made the best of it? I think I grabbed hold and squeezed as much adventure and drama and magic out of it as I possibly could have… Still…the thought left me a bit sad that that was it. And that as much as I know that this is it also – that this is my youth also

Blah blah blah...let's just transport back to that youth...back to where that journey began. When I wrote this email I was 21 years old and had been in Paris for about two months...enjoy!

warning this is a long one!!!!!!

salut mes amies!
so, donc...
think brady bunch theme song

this is the story, of a girl named (insert my name
who went to france 2 months ago
and she never wrote home
to all the people
to tell them all the new things she knows...

let's start with my living arrangements, i live on the
7th floor so in france, that means 8 flights of stairs
because, the first level for the french is our second
floor, or somzthing like that, when you enter the
building it is the R.C. and after that on what would
be our second level it is their first level, make
so yea i live on the 7th which is really the 8th, i
live in a very bougeois area, the 16th arrondissment,
but i live near a very famous shopping street called
rue de passy and there is beaucoup d'argent ici.
but of course it is still really mixed and there are
all types here, i dont mind where i live because it is
a good location metro wise, i can get anywhere pretty
quickly, i walk to my school it takes me like 30
minutes, or less, when i put on my head phones and
walk fast.
my school is alright, but as i am sure it will come as
no surprise, i have already started skipping, like for
example, right now- i am skipping school! i fucking
hate school, all school, its as simple as that, which
brings me to my french progress, i do learn a little
in school, but not really enough to enchant me with
it. I can speak french, like a total foreigner of
course, but its doable for me, when i first got here i
was all shy and shit and thought i would never learn
it and didnt understand anything i heard or read and
now i can read signs in the metro and i understand
what people are talking about and with non frenhc
people i talk alot of french, aka other foreigners
here, cuz they understand and they dont look at me
like i am from mars when i start speaking french, alot
of the french that know english so prefer to talk that
with me, i guess they dont want to hear their precious
language slaughtered by me, but cest la vie, i am
trying damnit!
i can have really good conversations in french when i
can control them (but i guess i am the same in english
huh?) i mean when i can inject the subject matter, i
still default into deer caught in head lights whenever
someone suggests something, and the funny but horrible
because its so easy to do thing that i do, is when
someone wants to do something and i am not sure if i
want to or whatever, i just act like i dont understand
so i have those precious few seconds to figure out how
i feel about it. funny huh? but it is nerve wracking
when you are talking with your friends and then all of
a sudden something is chnaging and someone is coming
or going and asking you to come or go or whatever and
i just turn into miss, "quoi? je ne comprend pas" oh
but when you say that in real french it sounds more
like "quoi, jcomprenpas"
last night i started working on talking really fast
like that, like it is such a problem with all of the
french people i know to like slow it down and seperate
the words for me, thats why it is so much easier with
the foreigners because they had to learn it that way,
but anyways i think the french language works like
that and like it is obligatory to blend all the words
together.okay so enough about that, i guess to sum up,
i am really enjoying learning a new language and i now
feel and know that it is possible to learn a language
when you live in the country and you have like no
choice but to do so...oh and i am also learning how to
curse in hungarian and slovakian.

umm, the toilet where i live is horrible, me and my
freinds call it the turkish toilet, i dont know who
started it and i dont know if the damn toilets like
that originated in turkey or not, but anyways there is
basically no toilet, you stand or for me squat over a
hole in the ground basically and that in itself is not
so horrible, but the damn thing has like not been
cleaned in the past 70 years and it is
horrible!!!!!!!! i hate the toilet!!!!!!!

paris is a very manic city i think, before i came here
all the people that had gone to paris and knew paris
were like, oh it is so crazy there blah blah blah, and
when i got here i was like, what the fuck, this place
isnt crazy!!!! this place is like more laid back than
atlanta, i really thought that french people were just
not acustomed to a fast paced life and that is why
they all think it is so crazy here, including the ones
that live here, but so since i left paris for a week,
i so understand, i went to the south of france near
spain, on the atlantic coast, and anyways for the
first time in two months after like 3 days of being
there, i started getting floods of thoughts and
memories that i just hadnt felt since i left atlanta,
i realized that paris is like fucking sensory
overload, there are soooo many people, and so many
people from all over the place and like everyone is
doing something, everyone has some kind of story or
intensity or quirk or whatever, and there is alot to
do, i feel like the social life here is massive, and
it is like always working eating taking the metro
seeing friends drinking coffee smoking cigarettes,
like that, like always something, like i never sit for
just hours in a day, it is always
"on y vais" always on the move, always on the move,
yet so maybe it just feels that way after you are here
for a while because so much emphasis is put on the
relaxation aspect of life, yea i think thats it. now i
feel like as humans we are like entitled to really
relax and now when i eat to fast i feel as though i
commited a crime for not taking two hours to eat and
the same for coffee, were talking minimum one or two
hours a cup. also the french eat pretty different,
they utilize their forks and knifes to work together
to get the food precisely cut and into the mouth,
whenever i eat around french people i feel like a
damned barbarian, i always wait until others start
eating and then watch, and then attempt it!!!!!! but
strangely enough you can like totally eat with your
elbows on the table ir sittin all funny or anything
like that, the manners are different. the first time i
ate in a french persons home, who was like people my
age and friends and stuff after all the beer and wine
you can say i got a little relaxed and well one hting
led to another i ended up being to relaxed and totally
burped, like really loud and really big- lets just
say, i still dont think the host has recovered from
so theres that and what, oh, doors, keys, public
bathrooms,my personal bathroom, tight pants (its like
illegal to wear baggy pants here), cell phones, bread,
cheese, wine (its not just a cleche), dogs and dog
shit all over the street, tons of people from all over
the world, wind rain snow and sun on the same day, the
hours of the day and the weather are both masculine, i
love imaginging these objects that we have no
masculine or feminin connotation with as masculine or
feminine, beautiful old buildings that after a while
all look the same, bonjour everytime you walk in a
store or anywhere and au revoir whn you leave- very
polite, weird shoes, but good shoes, oh GREAT music,
great hip hop and rai and R&B,  which is different
than americas R&B.it is like this rap, dance singing
stuff and when the french say R&B they say  "air&B",
beautiful things that you stumble upon sometimes like
a bathroom window that you can see a beautiful view of
all the rooftops or when i am on my way home and the
tour eiffle is totally sparkling, or when you find
like your spot in the universe in a cafe in a
neighborhood that you love by a window with a view
thats great for people watching, thats paris you know,
like, most of the time i think life sucks, but then
all the time my life is filled with moments, paris is
a bunch of moments, good and bad,but mainly the
moments are magical.
I have made some great friends and we totally stick
together, me and my foreigner freinds, i have allot of
friends from eastern europe only one american friend
and yes i do have french friends also and i like them
alot also.
that is the most important thing right there, but you
know i love people so much and i feel quite blessed
with the pleasure of  meeting so many kind and
interesting and good and speical people here and in
as far as the polotics, it is pretty different, people
are very aware of the social problems that exists, but
people just kinda go on about their business, there
are huge manifestations (protests) alot of them are
about the north afrcan population here with no papers,
deportation and racism, the police check for national
identity in the subways on a regular basis, they do it
totally based on the way you look, as in, do you look
north african or not. there is alot of mixture of
people here, which to me is my favorite part about
this city, i love talking to so many different people
and finding out peoples opinions on this and that and
stuff like that.
so thats about it for now, sorry so long, hope your
not asleep now!
until next time

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