Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Down and Out in Paris...

I must admit, I had (have) concerns about moving to Paris for 4 months.  Some of them legitimate: moving to one of the world's most expensive cities with my line of credit almost at 0 (= fail), moving here with no game plan whatsoever ("I'm just gonna take pictures the whole time, duh"!), and moving into an apartment (with my girlfriend) the size of what was my last apartment's walk-in closet.  The other concerns are based on generalizations and stereotypes told to me by people who've probably spent less time outside their own bathrooms than anywhere else in the world...but I digress: Those (their) concerns were that the French were rude and snobbish (sound familiar?), that Paris was a dangerous city (when they were piss-drunk walking home alone at 4am -go figure), and that French men were going to steal my girlfriend away with flowers and poems and cute berets -okay, that last one was one of my own.  

Upon arriving tho, those worries melted away (along with the snow and -25 temperature I was leaving behind in frigid Montreal) as I rode in my taxi to my new apartment in the 11th Arrondisement. The cab-driver, blowing warm air into his "freezing" hands (not knowing what real cold felt like) complimented me on my French and was anything but snobby as he explained the in's and outs of Paris and French culture.  He dropped me off, right in front of my new digs on Oberkampf (think busy little street with many bars, cafes and restos), without taking me "for a ride",  and thanked me for employing him.  It was then that I realized that snobbery breeds snobbery, just as a smile to a stranger begs one in return.  

Arriving in my apartment, though small in size, was a refreshing haven from the bustle of a big city with a population of over 10 million.  Having everything my girlfriend and I needed within arm's reach (if only we had a Coca-Cola vending machine in here!), I knew that our little abode would suffice and more.

As for my financial concerns (money orders are being accepted) and my "what the hell am I going to do here"? worries, I have managed to sleep those off as I recover from my jetlag...which incidentally is why I have started this blog (what else does one do at 5am while his girl is fast asleep?)....however, we will see how those problems manifest themselves and how I will deal with them along the way (stay tuned!) . And as for Paris being a DANGEROUS city, that too we will have to see how that plays out, but for now, a spider bite above my girlfriend's eye is the only assault we've encountered.        


  1. Unless your girlfriend is into North African dudes who hiss a lot and grope women they don't know, you should be fine. She'll need mace and a good strong elbow.

  2. Mace ✓
    Good Strong Elbow ✓
    ...her being into North African dudes...may have to have a little talk with her.

  3. loving the imagery and accompanying prose, can't wait to find out what happens next...