Wonderfully Real

What a terrible mistake to let go of something wonderful for something real.

Month: February, 2013



First world problems : getting mopey bout the fact that my french & state side friends may never meet. I’ve been waking up in a heat these past couple nights worried about never seeing Ellie again. Suffice it to say I’ve been tempted to text her many a mid night hour but can’t because, let’s face it, best not to be hasty. I suppose I’m scared to know that France will no longer be my backyard. Sounds degrading, but I mean that in the most lovingly way possible. I’ve always considered the many continents a foot step & away because techonology has made it that easy for us, but after this summer I know things won’t be the same. As terrifying as that is, I know I’m being pampered for my adult life & need to get on with it already, but lord knows I can’t leave these people here without feeling lots of torn heart strings, aches & pains.


Already off to a rough start. The sun is out in this grumpy city, putting a smile on foreigners faces & even natives alike. Dubbed Le O’Paris, a play on words in reference to ‘haut’  (high/elevated & pronounced ‘o’), this café overlooks l’est side of Paris. A beautiful view beginning with a deep plunge onto Parc de Belleville  and spanning all the way to Le tour Eiffel. The outside patio has everyone in this quartier out for the day, soaking in perhaps the only Vitamin D available pre-juin. Arguably, all cafes would be ideal work-week wise to get some blogging or studying in, but that sort of defeats the purpose of making dimanche meaningful. Plus, we all need a bit of hustle-bustle in our lives.  You don’t choose this city for it’s calming demeanor (which I have yet to discover) but to be amongst tout le monde.

Madison & I are profiter-ing nonetheless. Scanning the café for a menu, I hear the best words to date on a Sunday : Is that 2 euros for wine…? The answer is : oui. But try talking to the waitress about that at 15h40 in the afternoon. No judgment passed, but like hell if you can grab her attention. A man with his 4-ish year old daughter sitting next to us just ordered a beer, so nothing’s out of the ordinary in this part of the café. Since the red liquid has already begun, I see this blog being quite a bit smaller than the rest.

Attn : This is a week involving lots of background stories about men. You’re welcome. 

The work-week:

Last week’s flow left me in some sort of terrible mood that warranted attention territory. I made sure to keep mental notes in order to maintain composure when answering texts/engaging in social interactions. I spent some time at Ellie’s earlier in the week working through tough copain decisions, but my patience these days for men has been minimal at best. Why not be excited about being single & independent ? Never too much of a Beyonce fan (aside from Diva, because I mean, come’on), the only way I can describe my current mindset is bold female based. In the end things got all sorted out & girl power was able to take over the conversation once again.

Earlier on in the week, I decided to make the soup I’d been preparing several days in advance. Kind of a big deal because I haven’t cooked raw meat in about, let’s say, 5 years. For obvious reasons I had a couple glasses of wine before the chicken part started. I began my preparation by talking to myself. Now, you can do this. You’ve even had a drink for fuckssake. Just pick it up, remove the skin & toss it in. Instead, I made weird faces, demanded my empty kitchen why is it still bleeding ?! yelped & threw it in boiling water.  That’s cooking for you folks. Ellie came by as moral support, or maybe just to see what the big fuss was all about. I won’t lie. I bet it was quite the site to see. At least a good news article could be run with it. GIRL GETS DRUNK IN KITCHEN, HOME ALONE, IN ORDER TO MAKE SOUP. Anyways. After a bottle of wine & hearing Ellie talk a bit about her ex, I thought s’bout time I texted mine. Sans expectations, especially since I’ve been a good girl & never drunk texted him before, je vous jure ! the following hasty message was sent.

I don’t think I told you enough (or ever) that coming to (this city)  was the best decision of my life. Thank you !

And thank you Tuesday for being such a day of belligerence. Of course he didn’t respond with What was I thinking ?!?! I need you back in my life ! Or Oh really ? Well let’s just stay here together than, shall we ? Which I don’t think I would have even wanted. But it goes without saying, ex’s are always a tricky bunch. I’ve never had an ex that I knew I would never see again. Despite all hopeful wishing during the break-up period. With Jack, we have geographical distance on our side. Best & worst ending ever. It is such a scary thing to think about for a girl that thrives on consistency (despite my deepest regards for change). Such a hypocrite, but sometimes I like to think we all are. I can’t imagine not ever seeing someone again in my life. Especially someone that at some point meant so much to me. But maybe that’s what growing up is all about. Figuring out how to be yourself even though you lose so many and so much of others along the way.

I feel as if there needs to be a mention of Valentine’s Day at some point. But I don’t really see how it was much different from the rest. I came home, ate a bit of junk food, had too much wine & went to bed. My only real celebration was buying Furaha & Nia some goodies because it is Valentine’s Day but I got a bit of a scolding from the parents. Something along the lines of being too nice to the girls. Ahh, live a little. Valentine’s Day should also be noted as Charlotte’s 30th birthday. She made a big deal earlier in the year about not liking to tell people her birthday or making a big fuss over it. But again it is her birthday. So I found a rose & a raspberry tart & called it good. Next week’s blog will be more heavily roommate based, but I won’t get into that whole ordeal now because I need to build up my fan-base. And the easiest way to do that is mention more about Les Mens. 

Sadly I’m here to disappoint & say that there was no real male trauma this week. I finally saw Mister Fancy Man again after too many texts & even more bails (on both ends) and that as nice. I’m starting to go back on my word when I said that Mister Fancy Man dodged a bullet with the nice adjective. Poor fellow is sinking deeper & deeper into it’s description & I can’t manage to find myself gaining any interest. Man at Bar 2 is still being a jerk & a half with private messages that range from I guess your bra is mine now to I really want to have drinks with you again. You got to pick which game you’re playing here, son. Mister Twirler also sent me a rather heart-breaking message on Valentine’s Day. Something along the lines of do you remember me ? Would you let me buy you a drink, tea, or hell, hot chocolate tonight ? Poor fellow just can’t seem to get it through his head that despite my culture’s take on portraying every American youth as a whore, I just don’t buy into that scene. Sorry buddy, but no pity sex for you. When I first met him at the Merry-Go-Round with Nia & Furaha, he skated over, mentioned something about me being the babysitter & talked for about a million hours. Or well, for however long I was stuck with him because I couldn’t just walk off with the girls spinning around on some sickly sadistic machine. He brought up the army talk & asked what I thought about it. What sort of conversation starter is that ? Maybe some people have extreme views on the army, but I haven’t spent many of my nights getting all too heated about it, so I just sort of shrugged & said : Bah, meah-hah-meeeeh, baaahbooop. What else is there really to say ? Ultimately I’m really not too bothered by Les Mens ces jours because I’ve been down this road before. Up until about December I had been pre-occupied with one guy entirely, but never managed to work up the nerve to get my feelings out in the air. After a disappointing turn of events pre-vacances, I picked myself up with the start of 2013 by agreeing to men I would have bailed on in the past. Not necessarily living the dream, but I am living. And that’s the most important bit, right ?

The weekend

Friendly Friday began with Madison & I scurrying over for free wine. I’ve been making such an effort to see what type of happy-haps are going on, & by doing so stumbled upon a terrific new thing : le wine-down. Free & open to all, a little cave in the 6th prepares several bottles to share  with a couple accompanying nibblers. When we first arrived, there was a total of 2 people in the place drinking. Hesitant, but also thinking, meeeeeh we walked in. I paraded around with some obnoxious french, starting off by stating facts On est ici pour le wine-down ! followed by what I thought would create witty banter Bah, c’est notre premier fooooois….Of course everyone there was anglophone so all jokes aside, we buckled down & got on with the anglais front. Turns out the one & only girl there knew Constance. Let’s hear it for colleagues ! Take note of the small world connections starting here because the weekend becomes gradually more & more saturated with them.

Boadicea & her friend in town met up with us, but we moved quickly back to chez moi after purchasing 2 bottles of wine for under 20E (normally, quite an easy feat, but we decided to put away our hobo acts & splurge after having been given 2 free glasses). Things got a bit rowdy as our numbers increased : Madison, Boadicea, her friend & then Ellie. I recall dancing being involved, but that may have just been Madison’s Robyn technique she pulled off like no big thing (see minute 1.26 – 1.30). The goal was to meet up with Charly Italiana, so we packed ourselves up after a couple confusing communications & headed off to Pigalle.

I’d been making a point to see Charly Italiana because our schedules this term are really inconvenient for round ups. Last semester we could always find ourselves outside smoking together or shrugged over our laptops in the library. This semester I’m lucky if our paths cross once in 2 weeks. It’s really about time I send a complaint to the directors of this school. Anyways. We got ourselves to the right destination & took over two booths at a relatively mellow bar (or rather, mellow for a vendredi soir). Charly Italiana wasn’t up to her usual self, so we kept things calm on our side & let the typical drunk talks flow. Unfortunately my crew was stationed at the other booth where all the embarrassing stories took place. Madison began climbing over people at one point, which for some reason is always quite hilarious when drunk. The waiters felt no shame in their blatant hatred for us & kept repeating in the most degrading tone, S’il vous plait, MLLE ! But  come’on, we all know the french are no fucking fun. For some reason I was everyone’s idea of a perfect gift that night, so Madison brought out her polka dotted tape twice & wrapped me up. Once before leaving & once at the bar. She was in prime location to turn around & pin me down with her love, & for what it was, that tape was surprisingly strong. Lots of pictures exist somewhere of this great moment. The evidence may or may not make it’s way onto the inter-web. 

Slightly Soûl Saturday, I woke up feverishly at 7am, fretting the place up with my thesis anxiety. I’d been home for an entire 4 hours & already turned on the panic mode. Considering my options, (1) go for a run, (2) listen to calming music, (3) drink tea (4) yoga & heavy breathing, I found myself quickly falling back to sleep again. Thinking too much always does the trick. The overall goal of Slightly Soûl Saturday was to not get terribly wasted & I did a pretty damn good job of sticking to my guns. The girls rode up to GBAR where the music never fails to satisfy all our guilty pleasures. Jay-Z, Destiny’s Child, Kanye West, etc. Mix in a couple of today’s hottest hipsters (i.e. XXYYXX) & you’ve got yourself a jam. I started off feeling a bit out of sorts. For some reason I’ve been playing a heavy victim card these days & feel a bit left out with certain people. We all go through these moments, but people that were good call-ups in the past seem harder to reach or to have moved onto other crowds. I keep getting the feeling that I’m becoming rather bothersome to some of my friends, or they’re getting annoyed about the things I have to say or how I say them. That in turn only seems to make me that much more weird & obnoxious (a natural reaction to pretty much everything). But to get out of those negative feelings, I try to push thoughts aside, grab full glasses of alcohol & chuckle it up with Ellie. We all have our ways. And those ways should include setting silly emotions aside & getting on to the good bits, because at the end of the day moping doesn’t get you anywhere. And my mind has a way of playing tricks on me, so no need to get all mixed up up there.

While at GBAR, Mister Mysterious walked in. I let my jaw drop & heard Aideen say Aw. We’ve lost her !, rightfully so. And off we go with the Mister Mysterious backstory. After vendredi’s seminar, Emile & I were having a bit of a catch up over lunch. We were talking about relationships, a conversation I typically like to avoid because, what do I know ? Mid-conversation, over walked Mister Mysterious. I’ve seen Mister Mysterious a couple times around school & always try to be subtle with my eye movements. He’s just one hell of a looking guy. Almost my type, he has the dark curly hair, dark eyes, & sometimes dark scruff. I know all you girls just sighed right there. He’s not as grungy as I like them, but aren’t I just one picky bitch ? During a pause, I mentioned what a sight I just saw to Emile. For unknown reasons, he told me I wasn’t very exigeant & that my tastes were leading me down a road of unfortunate looking men. For obvious reasons, I concluded Emile was jealous. Always a rational one ! Anyways. I didn’t want Emile to lean in too close during our conversation because he happens to be an exceedingly good looking man with a longterm girlfriend, so didn’t want Mister Mysterious to get any wrong ideas. When we went out for a smoke, Mister Mysterious came by & asked for a light & I couldn’t stop beaming from ear to ear. Emile just rolled his eyes, but that’s what you get for having girl friends. After Emile left to catch his train, I went into the library & sat at the open spot next to Mister Mysterious. Remember when I said that thing about living ? Well, I’m still doing it. So there I was, in a practically empty library, snuggling up to a man I don’t know & probably hasn’t noticed how often our paths cross. I’m mostly okay with that. I shot Emile a text saying I sat my pretty ass right next to Mister Mysterious & his only response was some sort of emotocon. Lame. 

But Slightly Soûl Saturday caused even further rupture in our paths. For such a large city, this place has become disturbingly small. Or maybe fate’s just bored & trying to shake things up a bit. Anyways. Nothing came of the fact that we were both in the same bar & the ladies plans were elsewhere, so off we all went. We ended up at Fab & Valentin’s place for a house party / former Harlem Shake production. It was a predominantly french speaking party so the anglophones huddled in a corner thinking of ways to mess around with the sound system. As if being at a mostly french speaking party wasn’t bad enough (for my own insecure ramblings that I produce at them, not because they’re ever a bad place to be), the entire play list was terrible oldies that no one should ever know, but unfortunately these people did. I snuck into Fab’s room & started loading Where Do You Go by No Mercy. Perhaps I should have taken some band advice, but I waited it out until it seemed that no one would be missing the terrible french music or those singing along were no longer vocal. That never happened, so my shot at being thaaat girl for the night never actually materialized. Valentin was being overthetop weird, but I suppose you only get that way if you’ve got some sort of regret or unsettling feelings about how you’ve acted in the past. Our story started cute, but ended quite abruptly, for no real reason or cause for alarm. I thought things just fizzled & moved on, however every time I see him now he makes a big to-do about why he never got back to me or feels that flirting is still appropriate. Aideen gave me some major ego-boosters as we took the last metro back home together. You played it really cool around Valentin. I can’t believe how awkward he was being. Men. Amiright ?

Side-note Sunday the terrible professor that harassed me in front of the class a couple weeks ago mid-presentation came into Le O’Paris. Despite him being known for his jerk-like tendencies (amongst students & faculty), he’s also disturbingly attractive in a peppered hair & leather jacket sort of way. Plus, who doesn’t love an under-dog ? This man isn’t bitter, degrading or rude for no reason. Well, okay, he is French. But when you get him one-on-one he really is the epitome of what a man should be. Maybe I just like them ruthless, who knows. However this professor has his own sort of charm & should not be knocked around for being the bad guy. Especially on his days off. But what are the chances ?


WORK WEEK : Useless emoting aside, carnivore cooking is not & perhaps never was my forte. More of a weekend review but, always be wary of how you carry yourself everywhere. Despite being in one of the world’s largest hubs, paths cross more than one would expect, so be sure not to burn any bridges.

FRIENDLY FRIDAY : pre-pre free drinks at La Derniere Goutte, pre-drinks chez Charlie & then la balle at the always appropriate Long Island Bar.

SLIGHTLY SOUL SATURDAY : L\INCONNU, or in colloquial terms, GBAR


A mélange of wooden table benches & metallic round tables, cheap wine (potentially. we have yet to pay) & live jazz, Le O’Paris is nearly perfect. Nearly. The staff is a difficult crowd to please & one never really knows how to sit down or order. The layout is perhaps one of the more unusual as large metal poles divided an already obscurely cut room. The clientele is never-ending, with people appearing to pop out from under tables, behind chairs or bleeding out of the bar. Families, young children & a large international population, Le O’Paris caters to all. Just be patient. And persistent.

CAFE MUSIC (personal) : Madison’s sweet voice. Clinker-clanker. Gibberish from the nearest neighbors & live jazz.

CAFE MUSIC (establishment) :  inaudible, unless we’re going with the BIG-BANG (or was it STOMP related ?) theory. Glasses breaking, sinks running, ATTENTION !-screaming & fast paced walking. But if you stick around, you’ll find yourself immersed with live music. Nice addition to a daytime buzz.

CAFE DU JOUR : (1) café & (2) verre du vin rouge heeeeey.

NOT TO MISS : le vin. les sofas. the international crowd & the 17h00 jazz crew that sets up in one of the less crammed corners.

SORRY TO SAY : The staff is typically French, leaving an individual to stand around aimlessly wondering where to claim their corner. Ordering isn’t the easiest either.

FOR MORE CAFE INFO: http://www.le-o-paris.com/



Along with a little blurb about 10 BELLES.


Lots of belle happenings today, but unfortunately 10 BELLES isn’t one of them. After checking in with Boadicea post last night’s excursion, she made her way over to meet a friend when we got on the topic of will it or will it not be packed. It was. I can’t say I didn’t see that coming, so all the more reason to stay at home & recoup. So. Today’s blog won’t be taking place under caffeinated circumstances (and my latest, and unexpected, tea switch has left me bean-less at home), however ! If I had been tucked away in some cafe, I might have missed out on the yearly carnival that takes a dip down my street. Say what you will about my quartier, I adore it. Give or take a couple weirdos. It’s prime location for all my grungy bars, a quick stroll to loads of wonderful cafes, packed with Edith Piaf memorabilia, a melting pot of artists, foreigners & sometimes the less fortunate (which may or may not include yours truly). I’ve been looking into why exactly this whole event is taking place today, but after seeing something about it being all historique and all, I’ve decided to accept it for what it is & get started with this past week. But for more carnival info, see here

Attn : this was a week of vanity. Be wary & laugh along with it. 

The work-week this time around will be broken down into days. I’ve been making mental notes, but relying heavily on physical ones in order to be as precise and perhaps as honest as possible. Here we are :

lundi :managed to be late to class even though I don’t really have the best excuse for it. A sincere regret on my end because (1) I only have 1 semester left to be a student, so might as well make the effort, (2) I only have class twice a week this term. So, refer back to that effort thing, (3) The professor is amazing. And I’ll finally get into that today, & (4) I already sleep too much as it is. I blame the prison cell blinds in my room that I can twist all the way to utter darkness no matter what time of day or sun exposure.  

So this brit. Can’t say he’s my favorite because I’ve plenty of good English friends, but he really knows how to rid a lady of the Monday blues. His jokes never seem to cease even after 3 1/2 hours of cours. Plus his topics are enorme. He goes off on the economic rationality of marriage, divorce, having children & losing a spouse (in reference to death). The course is called ‘Happiness Economics’, which may sound a bit deceiving after the topics I just listed, but I believe he’s onto something here. Panel data doesn’t lie. Following individuals 5 years before and 5 years after the beforementioned scenarios, subjective happiness was measured & from the graphs we saw in class, they seemed to prove that marriage just really isn’t worth the trouble. Mostly for women, who at all points after marriage indicated happiness measures lower than men & who surely paved the way to divorce with the stat that 70% of them are initiated by the female.

After deriving models for happiness (which lots of people may disagree with, but I won’t get into all the details in order to save time. I am only on lundi for godssake !), I spent the afternoon in the library to get some thesis business underway. After a relatively good night with the girls (question : why is it I can only get one of them in a good mood ? Furaha threw her arms around me when I went to pick her up, while Nia sighed at my beaming face outside her school. Maybe we’ll get into the hair thing later, or the fact that she did but didn’t wet her pants at school. Embarrassing for an 8 year old), I found I’d a text from ‘Man at Bar 2’ (I prefer to call him this rather than Mister Ethnic Anglophone Man. Plus he’s even aware of his bar name after I drunkenly showed it to him). Seeing how pissy he got after bailing on him a week or so ago (for good reason may I add !), I thought ‘Why not?’. There also exists the reason that I’m making my way quickly through the 20s and I may as well take advantage of whatever thing I possess that  has men asking me out (and hopefully it’s more than my vagina). I went in thinking it’d be a drink. Two max, but for some reason I ended up at his place and left without my bra. Which I’m still convinced he’s holding as hostage. 

I’m not sure why exactly I came out of the whole situation so negative. The overall conversation starters & drunk follow ups were really quite fun. I attribute all bitterness or bad gouts to my own shortcomings as a human being, rather than anything Man at Bar 2 did necessarily. Beside be cringe as Ellie so put it. At one point when he was banging on about getting in my pants while not explicitly saying it he maintained a response to no matter what I asked/said that went on for ages. Going over various discussion topics & not asking or saying anything of the nature, he kept repeating : not your kind of beauty. Criiiiiiinge ! When I finally had to ask what kind of beauty I had, I thought he’d mentioned something along the lines of Zelda Fitzgerald. I couldn’t stop swooning for a good half hour or so, until I had him say it again. I even booped the damn kid who was then swooning in his own right. Swoonsters, table 5 ! Things went sour though because apparently drunk me heard only what I wanted & I was corrected to a likening of Nicole Diver. Well, just fuck that then. Disturbingly accurate for someone who just met me, but that’s a topic we won’t breech. After the Zelda/Nicole mix up, he went on about the possibility of being each others French romance. I didn’t really think this was the time to bring up my ex been there, done that ! but instead I almost responded with the annoyingly modern age comeback : I refuse to be anyone’s anything. 

Here’s where things get a bit naughty. Because crude stories are always fun, I thought I’d tell a few. However from every crude story springs the innocence of an undeserving man or individual that always stirs some sort of guilt in me. But, we all have to learn about these things somehow. So ! Let’s just keep all our pretty mouths shut on this one so it doesn’t explode on the web. After a couple drunk kisses I was convinced to head back to his place for : (1) jazz music (aka sex music), (2) a fish dinner & then (3) a nice walk home. I only came out with one of those. And that’s the music. When we got to his place the music went on & he jumped into bed. I followed but kept blubbering idiotically about poisson ! Mais, on va…mange–ons. Poisson ! I’m still brilliant with the french language when I’m drunk. If that goes to show as any sort of proof. Things started to get hot & heavy…but I just couldn’t manage to get, inspired. He’s a terribly attractive guy, I was quite tipsy & have been sexless for a good while now. Things should have been happening. Obviously the bedroom is a learning environment for all. Even the best of the best. But I just don’t know what this kid was working with. I guess he’s not the only boy to have done this so may as well generalize. I just don’t understand where some of these skills are taught. As if by attacking your pubic bone, the clit will hear it’s calling, move north & materialize through your jeans to the place of rubbing. Seeing as that never happens, I woke up the next day, as many before, with the feeling that I’d ran into a low cut table. Another added perk to the evening. Physical malfunctions aside, other perks included : all the lines I was being fed, the forced music & horrific point when he told me to look out his window if I wanted to see what my french romance was to look like (the view while lying on his bed. Beurk !). I finally had to lie & told him I was on my period. He kept up with the compliments but I mumbo-jumbo-ed my way to the bathroom as I heard him scrambling around the room. When I came back he was leaning in the doorframe without his shirt on grinning. Oh god. Practically 3am at this point I asked for my bra that I’d seen & held pre-him shambling around the room but he kept directing me back to bed & changing topics. I know I should have spent the damn night, but I literally wanted to vomit after everything that had just come out of his mouth. Plus I’m old enough to know these days when I do and don’t want a sleep over. So there.

mardi I made my way over to 10 BELLES. Perhaps I should have done the review then. Maybe it’s considered ‘cheating’ if I do a review of 10 BELLES  seeing as I’ve been there before & countless other reviews have already been made doing more justice to it than I ever could. Take my word for it & you’ll see it all. I think it’s a cafe you could only visit during the work-week, and even then the place fills up fast. Beautiful men aside, the coffee is perfection & the food tempts me every time. I’m a salé rather than sucré gal, but even still their pastries call my name now & again. The sandwiches, soups & salads cannot be missed at whatever cost, and thank god it’s never unreasonable. Goddamn them & their culinary gods. Later on in the day I snipped my way back to some bangs, but am now regretting my decision. Fucking whims. It must have worked some magic because instead of weird men of age whispering inappropriates, I had a couple innocent glances & a 40-something year old man lean in & say quite shyly Vous etes vraiment jolie mlle before backing out. Sometimes I get it right even when it feels wrong. Anyways. After this stint I think I’ll be going back to the no bangs. The most misleading thing about this country is the hairstyle. I always thought banged brunettes flocked the streets on this part of the world. Couldn’t be further from the truth. If you really want to be french looking, just make everything extremely simple and effortless : hair, make-up, clothes, etc. Less is always more & bangs are just too much. 

mercredi Class was a bit upsetting. Can’t say I’m any ideal student. In fact, I feel like if I were to tell someone off, no one would really take it seriously. Not that I’m not a considerate listener, I just have a hard time buckling down & taking this whole experience to heart. I know at the end of the day I’ll leave this country at some point & settle with a job in my old city. So getting on with this masters is necessary & great, but not something I’m going to spend every precious moment in France wrapped up about. But anyways. When others do jibber-jabber for an entire 3 hours & play on their computer, I can’t help but think that they’re the ones worse off. There’s a girl in my program who I don’t think has taken to me all too well. I want to call her Smirky Smirkface McGee cause the only other appropriate name that comes to mind is Bitch. And seeing as I’m trying to cater to all audiences (hah!) I’ll go with the former. She has a way of smirking after everything I say or do as if to imply Reeeeeally, idiot ? But not in the appreciative kind of way that Emile or Nils seem to hand out to me. Ironically I’ve never heard her say an intelligent thing in class, so I’m not here to get all bitter about it. But she did lean over a couple times to the girl next to her, whisper & make glances my way. If anything she should have been saying some dirt about everyone else not giving a fuck, but there I was, minding my own business, taking notes & being one hell of an avid student. In the past she’s made remarks about my absent-mindedness or underwhelming class performances, but who am I to let some little brat ruin my time ? The Nervous One kept sending me messages in class so that helped keep my mind out of paranoia land. The topic at hand however was too intriguing to let Smirk-A-Bitch or The Nervous One become overly distracting. Economics only functions with some poorly placed axioms that make the world go round. Without them, economists go bat-shit crazy & sort of blank out until the axioms get back in order. The most illogical of all axioms is that people are rational & have given & known preferences. Not even getting into the rationality bit, our lecture focused primarily on preferences using a working paper called ‘Learning to Like’. That about killed me. I feel like every big subject matter has it’s negative connotations splattered across every billboard to keep people at bay. Feminism & burning bras. Politics & false promises. Philosophy & too many questions. Economics & boring graphs. If only economics had started off by saying yea, this may suck. And there will be math involved. But that’s only because we want to show you other ways of describing your relationship to others. Maybe then more females would take over the field. Anyways, later on I texted Boadecia to see if she was up for some shenanigans in the evening. Post babysitting, I popped by with a pack of almost complete cookies (I always manage to lose something at Nia & Furaha’s house) in exchange for a couple swigs of red. We gossiped about boys, complained about roommates & toyed with the opening lines ‘I don’t even know what I’m doing after all of thi–, I mean my life…’ before we aborted mission & started up our favorite series. Some things are best avoided, & that’s why we have girls night. 

jeudi A relatively aimless day in the library attempting to work on my thesis again. I’m starting to get worried after seeing some classmates already designing their experiment. If I put even half the energy I put into these blogs towards my thesis, things might be moving a bit better. But what’s the point of forcing something that’s not there. I should have really taken more notes on that Learning to Like lecture. If only. After seeing the little ladies for a bit, I went over to Ellie’s for much of the same reasons I was at Boadecia’s the night before. We’d been texting about the state of our red tides (which always arrives the moment after you lie to a boy in bed about it) so the night was full of chocolate, tea, more gossip & tv-watching. 

The weekend started off mellow & then got a bit wild. Quite opposite from last week, & I think I prefer the former chain of events. Start off with a bang instead of blowing yourself to bits too late in the weekend. Woke up frantically this morning at 8am wondering how I got home, how long I’d been home & if I left Boadicea on her own.  eep. Flowing Friday had me laying in bed all day, cursing the world & being, basically, a woman. The last time my floods were flowing I went to the patisserie, bought 2 slices of pizza & a kings cake. What ? I’d say I was better this month around. At least I limited myself to a bar of chocolate, Bridget Jone’s Diary, & Anchorman. The only thing I had to do Friday was pick up the girls & babysit for a bit. Friday’s are the best because Furaha’s school turns off all the lights and blasts ‘Gangnam Style’ on repeat from 17h30 until 18h30. There’s nothing more special than a room full of three year olds screaming sexy lady ! while bobbing around in pink tutu’s (yes Furaha’s best friend does this in honor of Friday dance hour). I typically pick up Nia first on Fridays so we can get giddy together, snobbily make fun of the others, and after a bit of probing, yes we too like to get up & join in on the fun. And that’s about as wild as I got that night.

Soundcloud Saturday started tipsy with pre-drinks at Joshua’s place. I explained the bra situation, to a man, because we all need that input now and again. He really had some good points going for him. He went off about women throwing themselves in front of cars just so that I could have the rights to storm up to some man’s house to claim what’s rightfully mine. Nevermind the fact that they just went off and burnt them afterwards to prove yet again what a real woman is like, but at least there were principles. So. On that note. I think I might go storming the streets here soon, waving my red flag, demanding I be respected or things. Off that topic & back to the party. We were heading to a bar for a former classmates birthday. It was something colorful or hat related so I stole Joshua’s idea & put on the crown I had stashed in my bag (remember that kings cake ordeal ?).By the time we got to the bar I kept drunkingly telling everyone who hadn’t asked I’m going to wait ! which, I’ve never, ever, ever said. Ever. In a bar. So, looks like I’m getting a bit wiser these days. My age is really taking it’s toll on me. My pseudo sober stance lasted a good 20 minutes until I realized this sucks & come’on, whomikiddn? You’re just getting way too drunk tonight so the gin & I guess at some point, vodka, made their way into my emptiless stomach (minus the bottle of red that went down at Josh’s). Drink in hand, I spotted the man I would be harassing for the rest of the evening. I once read that men find it hard to approach women, especially at bars because let’s face it, sometimes we’re complete bitches. So. The male likes to wait for female initiated eye-contact. 


I know there is probably a certain amount of eye contact you’re suppose to give someone. There’s probably even courses on the damn thing. But unfortunately I chose economics, so here we are, with me blatantly staring at a man screaming GODDAMN HE’S CUTE at Boadicea or anyone else immediately available. Mind you he was about a foot away, & if he understood even the slightest amount of English, he knew his game had been set & ready. At some point I made it on the stage downstairs. There’s a camera directly pointing at it, feeding all music & the ensuing drunkards who make their way onstage, to a tv on the upper level. Before, our group had been standing right in front of the upstairs tv, the same location where I’d seen my grungy, dark haired, floppy curled, brooding eyed god. Maybe my debut performance wasn’t as great I thought.Guess they never really are, are they ? Maybe my moves were a bit too cringe. We’ll never really know the whole truth as to why that man didn’t take me home. It has been an easy week for me I suppose so there wouldn’t have been many objections from my end. But, goddamn, I’m always stuck with with sloppy stage dancing guilt in the morning. If there’s one thing I should have learnt by now concerning my drinking limits, it’s that. Goddamn. Aside from that, there were some nice Canadian students that came by and joined our group. I subconsciously took Josh’s advice & instead of registering the number as ‘Man at Bar 3’, cause that’s just sad now, I apparently put it in as ‘Friend’. They were a nice addition to our birthday bonanza we had underway & excellent commentators of all my actions. They kept giving me the you know who you look like speech, and no it wasn’t Zelda. So again, fuck that then. Every time I manage to bring back the bangs I get compared to a certain celebrity & as nice as it is, it’s starting to get a bit old. Anyways. At some point I thought I might have told everyone my farewells, but speaking to Boadicea today it seems like I made a quick exit. At least I wandered off by myself & she still had good people to keep her in company. On my end, getting from the bar to my apartment is still a bit fuzzy. Coming home & eating my entire fridge while Charlotte sat in the other room does seem to ring a bell. She’s still never seen me terribly drunk before, so she seemed to stay in her corner while I clinked, clanked & clunked several times from the kitchen to my room.


WORK WEEK : Lots of relationship insight coming from the economics department. Always coined, the dismal science, I find it ironic to be studying such a topic in the land of love. 

FLOWING FRIDAY : necessary. 

SOUNDCLOUD SATURDAY : l’international. a cheap, grungy favorite amongst a certain French crowd & former classmates.  

10 BELLES potential review to come this mardi.


Metro Couronnes

Cozy quarters du jour ? Cannibale Cafe. More generally, from here on out, cozy quarters du moment will be new & different each week as the Sunday blog series takes off. Reasons being, (1) to expand my current knowledge of France’s capital (granted this café is RIGHT next to my apart AND for all anonymous viewers, you now know Charlie Frances’ latest whereabouts), (2) to serve as a future ‘cafe review’ for those on their touristy way here, and finally (3) to break barriers with current inhabitants, stuck in some rut of their customary café cultures, pushing us all towards being a bit more adventurous (also part of the soundtrack du jour, included at the end of each blog). However ! After a bit of internet snooping, I’ve come to realize that my idea of a cafe review is really not up to standards. I’ll probably resign from the title cafe reviewer seeing as I don’t want to undermine anyone’s true profession in this business. So take my blubbering rants for what they are : entertainment with no real responsibility towards a ’cause’. Instead, here you will find better resources for cafe reviews: http://hipparis.com/or here (the barista yearly competition) : http://frogfight.com/

So getting on with it. Ellie came as moral support. We have a way of distracting one another so I’ll try to keep my eye on the prize here. The last text I can recall from last night consisted of our before bed-time check up (former roommates do these things. If you’ve lived with someone for a certain period of time, all your sincerest wishes involve wanting the best for them. And the best you could ask for on a Saturday night out is to make it home safely), which ended with :

Charlie : You home okay ?

Ellie : Yesss! My housemates having a lovely little party with some bitchy french girl. What happened to manners?! hahaj

Charlie : As if those exist in France.

However, I am here to pleasantly surprise all that that’s not always the case. Take Seductive Saturday for instance. Without getting into too much detail about dating etiquette in this day and age whatsoever, suffice it to say that I had been treated beautifully by Mister Fancy Man. A true gentleman doesn’t only occupy himself with being kind to the one he is trying to impress, but all those involved in his daily interactions. Between the tea he purchased before our walk (pointing out various monuments / buildings, giving each their respective background story) to the beer he bought at the bar, he constantly grinned / poked fun at & cautiously investigated all those in our path. Not bad for a French man. At the ladies dinner party that followed (and he jokingly ? asked to come too) I couldn’t help but say ‘He’s really nice !’, the typical kiss of death for any man. Yet manners seem to color the French charm a pleasant fusion of ‘shock & wonder’. As if their appallingly good behavior can only be explained by some sort of other defect.

On that note : I managed to drop Mister Twirler. After four months of persistent texting (involving the bitchiest of replies from my end : complete nothingness since our first meeting ) I surrendered and agreed to a drink. His desperation and guilt tripping became a bit too much to bear. Things were set in order for a Thursday showdown, but halted quite suddenly after being misled about the program (the ‘bar’ he chose was his home) and a veto was sent concerning any future plans or communication. A lingering email is awaiting further response & directive from my end, but sometimes a boy just has to understand when he’s stepping over too many toes. Or rather, perhaps skating is the correct term here ?

I’m avoiding 5 months of back-story, but I’ll make an effort to give brief descriptions when introducing each character. Until then, let’s get on with this past week.

The work-week started off with a cup and a half of stress. A final presentation was required for the only mark concerning my most dreaded class.  Despite being the only Anglophone in the course, I somehow always manage to find a way to be completely terrified of public speaking and therefore popped about 4 anti-anxiety pills beforehand. By the time I was called upon to speak I may have been waving my arms around like a drugged up fool as I made a couple unnecessary but perhaps charming jokes about Serge Gainsbourg (nb : the presentation was about chess players). Once I handed the mike over to my partner things started plummeting. Technical difficulties aside (images were being finicky so computers were switched), the speech was a disaster not because of the performance itself, but because of it’s content. Which, not to get all snippy here, but we had spoken to the professor 3 times about our concerns with the article, but he ignored our words and waved us off with his approval to push forward. Funny that at the moment of truth, vulnerable and manic before the class, he decided to attack our paper, subject matter and choice in journal. Before we had the chance to retort with our defense he said ‘you have 30 seconds to conclude’, scribbled something down and asked for the next group. 

Monday & Wednesday made up for the Tuesday jerkface. I’ll expand more on that next week. Things might just seem more brightly colored in comparison, but expect good news about an animated brit, who may or may not be as funny as I seem to recall. But  let’s face it,  I  just can’t get over those accents !

The weekend started off hip & ended quite homely. Fuzzy Friday began with pre-drinking between girls (and Joshua, but, slip up on my end for forgetting to get back to the boy) with a quick dash to the metro in order to make last call. Or rather, before the entrance fee kicked in. Once inside, I forgot for a second we were in this big French city and not some house-turned-bar from back home. Floral everything, everywhere had this lady swooning as the extra hint of gold geometric mirrors kept the place looking decidedly cool.  The dance floor started spacious, but after a good hour or two, our group began to lose it’s comfortable cushion as the masses drove in. No real crazy stories from the night, aside from feeling quite smug for being on the list, spilling a gin-tonic on Laetitia and snuggling up to djs that weren’t terribly keen on me taking over their workspace.  Dancing was limited to either  (1) the shoulder shrugging, chicken clucking with gun fingers or (2) the two-step shift in either direction, finishing off  with a toe point, jazz hand and proclaimed WHOA ! I met Mister Floppy Hand Man mid-one of these dances so you can’t say they don’t work. Plus, quote of the night was when Joshua said ‘everyone here is dancing so geeky’,cause let’s face it, our generation grew up in what I like to the call The Awkward Age. Floppy t-rex hands, micro-movements, and aimless stomping is the key to seduction, so let’s just stop here now by saying that all the young men out friday night were pulling on some heartstrings of mine. The way back home was relatively harmless, minus one text I had to send while Ellie, Josh & ‘Beer Lady’ (soon to have a better nickname) scrambled under the iron gate of a kebab shop. Good to know – depending on the store license, kebab shops have to close at 3am. This should provide some sort of indicator at what hour in the night we decided to make it back. The bouncer, to the kebab shop, could sense those in need of drunk munchies a mile (or lets go with kilometer) away. By opening the gate a couple feet or so, he must have got his daily kicks from seeing drunkards crawl onto the floor & into a greasy haven (this was one of those ‘bottom-up’ type gates, not ‘side-to-side’). I waited outside like a famished whore, apparently too bourrée to be bothered by what just happened to my friends. 

I’m outside and mildly safe. I’ll wait for you, cause hell, got nothing better to do.

That text took me a good 5 to 10 minutes to type out. Always keeping busy over here. Soon after my posse withered out the way they went in, the iron gate tempted a couple other stragglers & off we continued with our trek home. Normal ? I suppose so.

Seductive Saturday started out with Mister Fancy Man as previously mentioned and finished off with a home cooked meal for girls night. Tranquille et sympa, ladies night always end up being the best. One wouldn’t expect over estrogen to go down so smoothly, but it does. Mister Fancy Man started what I can only assume to be drunk messaging at some point during the night, and it all seemed a bit overthetop post first one-on-one date, but let’s not get too hasty with the judgement calls. We’ve all been there.

So here we are to top it all off in the cafe du semaine, book, labtop, coffee and soon to be calamari in tow.


WORK WEEK : After an unfortunate dip from Tuesday’s lackluster performance, Monday’s brit and Wednesday’s sweet elderly made up for school type bruises.

FUZZY FRIDAYle dandy. check out that scene. or more importantly, that wall paper (be sure to scroll down).

SEDUCTIVE SATURDAY : k1zethe lighting just screams sex.


Cannibale café looks more like a museum casting its ode to the 1930s by means of transforming it into a brasserie. A scruffily charming establishment, speckled with red cubic tables, mis-matched chairs, finely detailed high ceiling décor, a wooden bar-stand and dj set that surprisingly does not appear out of place. The staff is more than friendly without any grating glances concerning the amount of time-spent stationary with a single cup.

CAFE MUSIC (personal) : amadou & mariam sabali, rilo kiley more adventurous, & nouvelle vague in time.

CAFE MUSIC (establishment) : radiohead, cat stevens, acoustic nirvana, jazz-esque artists, amongst unknown others.

CAFE DU JOUR : (1) café allongé & (1) café crème.

NOT TO MISS : BRUNCH !  Prices may be a bit steep (or steep for someone living off of 20E a week), but the portions appear generous, including a mix of eggs, beans, lentils, smoked salmon, baguette and mimosas. Also – calamari. Deliciously spiced & fried, different from the ordinary, accompanied by 2 homemade sauces & a basket of bread. 7E50 never tasted so good. The crowning award goes to the fact that you can substitute gourmand verts for french fries. Green beans, broccoli and gourmet peas are available for substitution.

SORRY TO SAY : Not being a proper ‘stop & go’ café, prices range more on the mid-to high end. In addition, there aren’t any small munchies to accompany a cup or two of allongé .

FOR MORE CAFE INFOhttp://cannibalecafe.com/fr/