ultimate aupair blog paris

Alice’s au pair diary – week 16

Heads were being held in hands, people had to sit down all over the place and someone even whacked out a badly tuned ukulele to add to the stress of the scene…

Monday:

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I wouldn’t exactly call myself a tennis expert but the 4 hours of straight up Rolland Garros viewing I did today might suggest otherwise! Being an au pair to 2 tennis mad rascals has meant I have well and truly been served a generous helping of this sport over the past 9 months of working here. With the French Open just commencing, I knew I should brace myself for a hearty helping of the stuff this week. We did nothing but watch match after match with short periods of intermittent play fighting, playing baby, the youngest dressing up in his mother’s clothing  and English homework-ing. Oh the fun we have! I even received my end date today – a real eye opener that this is all temporary.
In honour of being reflective and pensive about it all, a friend joined me in my chambre de bonne for one of our classic ‘sessions’ where we chatted, snacked and appreciated these precious moments together. The moon was full and low and we stood by the window looking out over Paris trying to absorb it all before we no longer have access to it.
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Tuesday:

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A plain old Tuesday was spiced up with a delicious homemade lunch of veggie omelette and banana pancakes with a close friend of mine. We filled the gap between work shifts with our feast, chilling and listening to music. On my way out I was saying farewell to my friend in her window from the courtyard area when our other friend popped her head out from a window of her host families apartment a few floors up. It was adorable, the three of us chatting away. I will miss so dearly being so close to these two. We’ve practically lived together for near to one year now and in a matter of weeks we’ll be flying off in different directions. It would be wonderful if England, Denmark and Austria could just merge to create one connected little island so seeing these two wouldn’t be as hard.
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ultimate au pair blog paris
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We spent the evening googling future apartments for WHEN we come back to live in Paris again together.
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Wednesday:

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I hate the RER’s of Paris with a fiery passion. An hour and a half long ordeal of trying to merely find a functioning train that wasn’t destination ‘depot’ was mission impossible. I, amongst a fleet of angry rush hour voyagers surged down the metro steps flooding every nook and cranny of each and every corridor like a tsunami of frustration. We were all mightily displeased and the constant flow of new arriving passengers meant we kept growing in might and magnitude every 2 minutes. I, like most, had opted for the infamous line 1 as a makeshift alternative but, to paint you a little picture here, had to let 5 trains pass before me before I could even see the doorframe of the metro and even then once inside I was rammed up against the window with a bag jabbing into my back and an unwashed armpit smushed against my face – the city of chic they said.
My impatience got the better of me, and my friend and I decided to call it a day. We weren’t destined to meet for our routine coffee session it seemed. I calmed my rising blood pressure with a little mooch around la defense before meeting up with my friends for a cute hour or so of sunshine in our local park. Granted their host children were also present but it added to the cuteness of it all I feel! It was most fun flinging frisbees about and watching the little un’s chase after them like dogs!!
I was feeling a quite down about not being at home as it was my parents 25th wedding anniversary today but they are visiting next week so I know I will be able to give them a celebratory cuddle in no time!
An evening shift of tennis watching and galette eating was followed by a lovely night out with my friends at le mauri7. The chateau d’eau area is a hive of activity and youth and is certainly worth checking out if you are looking for some mid week nightlife. We sang, we danced, we laughed and we even snuck in a game of table football with some youthful locals (to whom we lost, of course) A night bus then carried us home to our beds to recuperate.
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Thursday: 

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A trip to the nearby beaugrenelle was on the cards today for some yummy Cojean bubble tea and monoprix couscous! Whilst not the most adventurous of activities, it is a nice little pause between work shifts and a lovely way to liven up a bland Thursday. That’s the trick I think to the monotony blues of this job – spice up the relentless routine with different and spontaneous outings. This will help to avoid that overwhelming feeling of resentment we all get for the midweek.
Equally I believe you should aim to head out a few times a week to sample Parisian nightlife in order to keep the passion for Paris burning (a love affair we all know can disappear when bombarded with au pair duties) We took up the offer of joining some of our French pals at the bar Manko on avenue Montaigne in Paris’ exclusive ‘golden triangle’ zone (not our choice of venue as meagre au pairs) Despite the €14 cocktail and the snobby vibe of the place, our gang had a great time not caring about the ambiance and proceeding to play the ‘heads up’ game! Such fun was had by all!
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Friday:

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A spot of metro madness kickstarted our voyage today! We found ourself stationary in the middle of a tunnel in some sort of surreal metro furnace where temperatures were soaring and patience was being utterly tested. A voice on the tannoy informed us we would have to wait a while which prompted some people to semi-break down. Heads were being held in hands, people had to sit down all over the place and someone even whacked out a badly tuned ukulele to add to the stress of the scene. Luckily we weren’t long waiting before we chugged off again! Cabin fever session over!
We met our friends up near the canal for a hearty Holybelly brunch (best brunch in Paris if you ask me folks!) where we devoured scrummy scrambled eggs with many mouthwatering accoutrements. Naturally our bellies craved more and so we headed forth to a nearby froyo place! Bisou bisou offered us a wide range of toppings and sauces which we slathered and piled upon our frozen feast like dairy mountains before trundling off to the river side to enjoy our concoctions.
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ultimate aupair blog paris
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A pleasingly short work shift saw me bursting out of the doors at the premature hour of 5:30! I wasn’t entirely sure how to handle this free time and so I took myself to my bed to lie down and just enjoy the stillness of it all!
Boy was it needed because our following activities sure made up for it all. A group of 7 of us headed for the canal side once again after having been told of the good atmosphere there normally is on weekends here. They weren’t kidding folks! The entire waterside was lined with lovely young Parisians enjoying the setting sun and the company of their laughing friends. We were happy to contribute to this scene of pure blissful joy and thus plonked ourselves down in a space we could locate. We drank, played games and laughed till our hearts were content even being treated to a show of some fool jumping into the water for a swim (a bath of cholera coming right up!) Everyone cheered and the night was joyous! It was then off into the nearby comptoir General to dance and chat the hours away before a night bus summoned us homeward.
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Saturday:

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I was rudely awoken by the local school’s ‘spectacle’. A powerful and blaring rendition of the ‘champs Elysée’ song blasted it’s way through my window and into my ear drums getting me up well and truly at the crack of dawn. I decided to optimise this early start by heading off to the Arab institute for the jardin d’orient exhibition! Such a cool and fascinating exposition if you get the chance to check it out. A riveting display then concludes in an oriental designed garden equipped with an innovative geometric flower bed star (just go see what on earth I’m rabbiting on about!!) where people can lounge about on deck chairs sipping on cups of Morrocan mint tea and scoffing back taboulé like there’s no tomorrow – oh how very chic indeed!
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ultimate au pair blog paris
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It was off then to le recyclerie to meet my friends for some tasty €1 coffee and a chill! I do love this quirky converted train station very much so indeed! We had obviously worked up quite the hunger by this point and so headed a smidgen south to pigalle to chomp on some cheap Mexican grub at our personal favourite El Nopal! €4.50 for a tasty cheesy churizo delight – don’t mind if I do!
A short work shift was then completed before I trotted off to see some very special people. Mum and dad had arrived in Paris. Anyone who lives abroad can tell you that when family come to visit, you experience a whole new level of elation and all I can say is that when I turned the corner to see my mum stood outside their hotel waving at me with a big smile on her face my heart was nothing but happy! We drank coffee en terasse that night before coming back to chomp of some late night snacks and chat all cosied up. Onwards to the next few days with my favourite human beings on the face of the planet earth.
By Alice Warde :  Click here to see more posts!

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