Posts Tagged ‘36 Rue Bellefond’

Just Checking In

February 2, 2013

“Paris, Texas?”  John Ater said to me, just a half hour ago.

It is nice to be able to make some phone calls tonight.

Quick chat with mom, sis, and an update on my aunt who was recently in a nasty accident involving a semi and a patch of ice.

Thank god she is ok.

Then a check in with John, who reminded me of some important things, number one that it will take about two years for Paris to feel like home.

Today marks three months in the City of Lights.

Just 90 days ago I landed at Charles de Gaulle airport.

The realization that I do not any longer have a plane ticket to San Francisco is also really starting to sink in.  I bought it and knew that I would most likely be staying past the departure date on the ticket, but always in the back of my head, I knew I had an out if I needed it.

I almost took it when the job was offered to me in San Francisco.

In fact, my first response was yes.

Then I realized that I was not done here yet.

There are still things to be seen and done.

I know I will be here for the next three months, February, March, April.

I know I will be living at 36 Rue Bellefond, 75009, Paris, France.

After that, I don’t know shit.

I know I will be paying for February rent with the tax return.  I will also buy a new pair of jeans, the crotch is about worn out from riding the bike on this pair, which is what always happens, then I make the pair of jeans into a mini skirt.  I will buy a swim suit, in fact, I will buy a swim suit after my new Wednesday gig.

The store at La Grande Arch had really reasonible prices and the three month pass being only 37 Euro, I am going to “splurge” on a new suit and that pass.  I am going to start swimming next week.

That should be long enough for the tattoo to have healed up to not be too irritated from the chlorine in the water.

Barnaby finished my Jack-a-lope tattoo today.

My Paris tattoo.

My 40th birthday tattoo.

A bunny with antlers.


It is really fucking cute.

Pink, too.

Somebody said, there are not pink bunnies!

Yeah, and if you actually believe that there are jack-a-lopes that exist in the wilds of the Southwestern environs of the United States I have a tower in the 7th arrondissement I want to sell you.

It glitters at night.

I can haz a pink bunny if I wanna.



I will post photographs when I get back to the house and can connect up with my photos. I am currently at a baby sitting gig by Invalides.

That is why I was on the phone, I get to make calls back to the states when I am here.

The timing thing is a challenge, but I try to wait until I actually think the person might answer.  Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t.

I get a little lonely here in Paris.

It is not horrible and I know that I actually have been making some really good friends since I have been here and already running into people and they know my name and I theirs.

That is a nice feeling.

I have a full week too, coming, plans for tomorrow, twelve-hour work shift on Monday and Tuesday, nine hours on Wednesday.  Two lunch “dates” to do some reading and some doing the deal.

Plus there is my writing.

I got in another good session at Odette and Aime yesterday, nothing today, but lots of reading.  That is another good thing about the baby sitting, once the kids are in bed, brush the teeth, read stories underneath the covers and snuggled up, I am basically getting paid to read books.

Not bad.

Really, not bad at all.

I don’t have a night-time social life at the moment.

Paris nightlife has not been explored.

Partially from a money aspect.

Partially as I have a good day routine that works for me and I like getting to my writing.

I get up and do my daily morning pages.

I go get my head put on straight.

I come back to the house.

I eat lunch.

I go for a walk.

I come back.

I write.

I read.

I write some more.

Then a late dinner, maybe another brief walk, and then the blogging.

When I am not working a babysitting gig, that is.

The routine changes a bit when I am doing a gig.

The next few days I won’t be able to do that chunk of time writing on the new manuscript.

I will, however, continue with the blog and the morning pages.  Even when I know that means getting up at 6 a.m. on Monday and Tuesday to be able to get my three pages in before I go to work.


I don’t want to think about that quite yet.

It will be a new experience, going by the Metro at that hour too.  I will probably get a dose of morning rush hour.  I have experienced the Metro during the evening rush hour, it is no joke, I have a feeling the morning will be much the same.

It is just two days though and I will have a nice bunch of money in.

I will get my return, paypal the roomie, and have a few ducats, er, Euro, left over to have a little fun.

I may as well, seeing as how I officially live here now.

There is no going home.

This is home.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

Ah, Warm

January 20, 2013

So good, having heat.

Simple things, like heat, electricity, hot tea.


I was not a happy girl last night when I could not figure out how to get the electricity back on.

I was an even unhappier girl when I realized the radiator’s were all electrical.

Fuck me.

I went to bed wearing tights, socks, a turtle neck, a scarf, a fleece blanket, and a top quilt.

Of course around 4 a.m. I was so hot I thought I was going to die, but for a little while there, I was freaked out.  In the dark, literally, figuratively, and alone.


Worst nightmare ever.

However, I did not die.


I woke up crabby though.

No coffee.

No hot oatmeal.

I got dressed, I made my bed, I lit up some candles.  I actually managed a little makeup.

Then I got annoyed.  I went out and I started knocking on doors.  Barnaby had not gotten a response back from the land lord and I was over it.  I found the guardian for the apartment and he came in and flipped a bunch of the fuses I had and nothing.

He went back to his apartment and got a flash light.

He found the problem.

He fixed it.

Sort of.

There is one fuse that does not work.  He told me I would discover it whenever I was to turn on the item that was connected to the blown fuse.

I was in a hurry to get out and late for my Sunday morning commitment, so I just fled.

Only to come back later this evening, cold, hungry (I had an apple and a banana for breakfast) and ready to eat some lunch and start my day over.

I filled the kettle and turned on the stove.




Fuck my mother.

It is the stove that blew out.

I burst into tears.  I  just wanted to make a coffee and a fucking pot of oatmeal.  That’s it.

Like that’s all it takes to make this lady happy.

Fortunately, the microwave does work.

I scrambled up a couple of eggs and made my oatmeal in the microwave and blasted a cup of water for tea.

I got happy.

I ate hot food.

It really is the simple things.

Warm bed, roof over the head, electricity, heat, hot food.

Simple, really, really basic.

There is a part of me that does not want to admit this, but really, I do not need a lot more than this.  I need companionship, that I do need, and I can forget that quickly and get isolated, especially in the land of I don’t speak French that fast.

I went out today and hung out at the cafe and had good check ins with folks and also met a new face and reunited with a friend who was away in India over the holidays.  It was good and I am pushing myself to continue to go out and fellowship even when I don’t want to.

It is necessary.

Because I am not alone.

I am not in the dark.

I have candles just in case.

I am being taken care of and I can pause and breathe any time my head says otherwise.

Once I had that hot cup of tea and some eggs and oatmeal I knew it was time to get back out there.  I had not gotten to take any snow pictures that had made me happy.

I took a nice long, cold, walk up around Sacre Couer.

There were quite a few more people out than I thought there would be.  I was not alone in wanting to take photographs of the neighborhood.

Plus, as I heard the peels of laughter drifting down the hill intermingled with six o’clock bell tower striking, I realized that there were children sledding down the hills of Sacre Coeur.

Not one of them was on a sled, mostly plastic bags and sheets of cardboard.

Yet, the unmistakable sound of a child careening down a snow-covered hill blew right over me and through me and suddenly I was in Warner Park in Madison, Wisconsin, and I was on a sled and it was a moment of pure magic.

Standing in Paris at the foot of Sacre Couer covered in snow listening to children laughing with abandon, sliding down the hill.

Snowy Sacre Couer

Snowy Sacre Couer

“If you feel like you are falling down the hill, then you are in God’s will,” her voice came to me.

That is the kind of attitude I am going to cultivate.

Instead of screaming and shrieking with fear, I can choose to a laugh and squeal with delight as I fall down the hill.  There’s a fence at the bottom, I am not going to fall through the cracks, I am not going to be dropped.

Enjoy the free fall.

Enjoy the wild abandon.

Follow your bliss.

I trampled through the snow and slipped behind the cathedral to the other less travelled side, I took photographs and I smelled the delicious tang of wood smoke lacing the air and got pelted with snow balls as I inadvertently got caught in between a couple of kids tossing snowballs at their father.

Who was probably glad for the respite.

Je m’excuse madame!  Je susi desolee!

No worries kids, I smiled, I breathed in the air, I climbed the stairs and revelled in the beauty of the city sprawled out cold and snow-covered.

I transversed the slippery streets back to 36 Rue Bellefond and happily warmed up inside, a house with electricity and heat and made a cup of tea.

Barnaby offered a dinner at Odette & Aime and I said, “oui!”

Hot bowl of soup.



So good.

After dinner, back to the flat, still happily electrified, and into the hottest shower.

Ah, warm.

Happy, joyous, free.

Not in the dark at all.

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