22 June 2007

So on Tuesday, the other boy I’ve been waiting on for five months arrived at Charles de Gaulle – my newly graduated brother Ben, who arrived with his notgirlfriend Ali. My apartment is filled to the brim with four people occupying a living room, kitchen and mezzanine and I’m starting to get an idea of what a task it would be to provide for a family of four.

I never knew how much milk four people will go through in a day, or how many boxes of cereal. I wake up in the morning and along with planning our touristy activities for the day, I have to decide what we’ll be having for dinner and when I’ll be stopping at the grocery store to pick up the extra groceries. It’s not only meals that are constantly occupying my thoughts – I’m so used to my alone in Paris schedule that it’s kind of a shock to suddenly have three people relying on me to entertain them, organize them, show them around, take them out and make sure they’re having a good time.

I love switching into tour guide mode and I love having visitors. I also love when friends have visitors – since I’m always willing to show people around or go play tourist, I end up hanging out with a lot other peoples’ friends. As fun as it is, being a tourist is exhausting – going going going all day long, trying to squeeze in every last Parisian thing, not wanting to miss one single art museum or pain au chocolat. Leading people around I turn into a tourist by default, and after only three days I feel like I need a vacation.

The whole thing is made more complicated by the fact that I’m in the middle of finals at Sciences Po and I still nanny every day. Tuesday afternoon was my four-hour written final for Comportments, attitudes et forces politiques en France et en Europe, so Conner had to haul himself out to the airport to meet B and A. Wednesday morning we got up and headed due North toward Montmartre, with the requisite detour for my favorite pain au chocolate on rue des Martyrs. We met Anna at place du Tertre and spent the day wandering around the 18ème, posing for cancan pictures in front of the Moulin Rouge, exploring the little streets around Sacre Coeur, and finally climbing to the top of the basilique for a dramatic welcome-to-France view of the city. Then I had to babysit, so I left B and A to hang out with Conner and Anna for four hours. After work, I met everyone back at my apartment to make them dinner and get dressed up to go dancing at Favela Chic.

Thursday was more of the same – we left the 2ème arrondissement in the morning for my “posh” tour of Paris, down the rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré, past the Élysée Palace, down the Champs Élysées for a few blocks, then along the swank V of avenue Montaïgne and avenue Georges V. By the time we reached the Palais de Chaillot to check out what I believe is the best view of the Eiffel Tower, it was time for me to leave to babysit, and we split up once again. As it was Fête de la Musique, after I finished babysitting Anna and I took our visitors to the steps of the Institut de France and fed them a picnic of baguettes, salmon spread, saucisson sec, four kinds of cheeses, pears, Orangina, Nutella and rosé wine. We spent the night wandering through the Latin Quarter dancing listening to bands play everything from swing music to Nirvana to the Rolling Stones.

Today I’ve been nannying since 8h – so I had to leave a list of suggestions for B, C and A. I sent them to the Catacombs this morning, the Louvre is free for jeunes under 26 every Friday evening and we’re meeting back up tonight to cook dinner and make plans for tomorrow. We’re hoping to get spots at a cabaret for tomorrow night, Sunday we’re going to check out the Paris jazz festival, Monday I have my last final, and maybe sometime soon I’ll get to take a nap. Visitors are great – but so is sleep.

4 comments:

Kelly said...

Hi Halley!
I live in Tacoma, WA too, near the Tacoma Mall!..just stumbled across your blog reading different blogs about Paris. I am really interested in learning more about French fashion and how the French women dress, especially in Paris. Lots of black, scarves? I have been to London, but not to Paris, would LOVE to go someday!

Misplaced said...

Wow- that is a lot going on. I heard that there are free movies in the park over the summer I'm sure you know about it but it could be a nice night off. You seem as excited about posing for the cancan pictures and seeing the sights as your visiting friends....very cool

Christine said...

Haha, you so gave me the "posh tour of Paris" seriously the best tour guide ever. It was great that you take other peoples friends out, cause it gives people a break, which you need to remember to have yourself. I miss you (and Anna, CAN'T WAIT to see her on Wed, and I miss Paris).

Halley said...

Hahaha well the "Posh Tour" was named after you and Paula got it!

And yeah, I do love being a tourist. But days like today (I sent my visitors off to explore on their own so I could lay in bed and surf the Internet) are very precious as well.