Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I apologize in advance for the Potty Pic

One of the things I didn't really consider the first time I came here was the lack of toilet paper. As you can see in the picture, I've come to understand that the women generally use that little hose attached to the wall to spray themselves, and that's about it. Luckily I always carry tissues in my purse, but it would've led to quite the awkward situation were that not the case.

I should clarify here that most of the touristy places, hotels, etc are equipped with TP, so it's not anything to be worried about if you travel here. And one of the employees invited us over to his house last night and he was very proud to show us the special bathroom he'd had built just for his Western guests. But all of the country-side places we've been - like at my client's, local restaurants... definitely do not. So unless you're into the whole "When in Rome" thing, it pays to come prepared in this country.

This may be TMI, but what I'm still wondering is how they do it - it'd be like showering part of yourself several times a day and not drying off afterwards!

Also, another question for anyone familiar with the Tunisian culture - I've noticed a lot of the men use the masculin form with me. As in "vous etes americain ?" or 'vous etes chanceux". And I'm curious as to why - is it a sign of respect ? As in I'm a position of power and it'd be derogatory to use the feminine? Or is it something much simpler (like them just maybe not speaking French that well)? I really have no clue!

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This may sound strange, but one of the things I love most about living in Paris is the relationships I've developed with various commercants in my neighborhood. Normally people think "Oh, capital city, it must be so impersonal and you're just a random face among all the others living there". But I've had totally the opposite experience. I've found here what I was looking for all those years in Bretagne - some kind of recognition. And I don't mean recognition in the awards sense - I mean literal, physical recognition. Or acknowledgement if you will. Just some kind of sign that the person working there recognizes me and my fidelité to their store. That's not too much to ask for, is it?

I find that here the grocery store down the street - after just a few months, they'd realized I wasn't a tourist and all of the sudden I was getting friendly "Bonjour's" and "Ca va's?" Whereas in Bretagne, I couldn't even get a "hello" after five years of going to the same grocery store a block down the street. Same thing for my bakery - I went to the boulangerie across the street from our apartment at least three times a week and purchase the same baguette every time. But yet every day, it was like they had no clue who I was or what I wanted. And it pissed me off because really, how many Americans - or even foreigners - could they get in that small town on a regular basis (especially for a boulangerie on the edge of town)?

Another example here is rhumrhums. While the owner of the rhumrhum bar has still refused to acknowledge our weekly presence, at least our regular waiter has. She's taken the time to learn our names and has even bise-d us on occasion. Though she's unfortunately been banished to the basement, so I haven't seen her in a while. But after rhumrhums, I always head to see my crêpe dude. He's just over a block away from the rhumrhum bar and I get a butter & sugar crêpe from him every Friday night. He knows me by name and he always greets me with the biggest smile. And he realizes if I'm not there one week and always asks where I was.

Funnily enough, last month when I was in Bretagne, I stopped by that old bakery again (they make the best sandwiches ever). When I walked in, I saw the same woman who'd been there the entire time. We made eye contact, and I saw a brief glimmer of surprise in her eyes as she remembered who I was. But then it disappeared and I got the same old stony "What can I get for you?" as always. No "Oh, long time no see! Where have you been?"

It's taken me a lot of time to realize that a lot of this is Bretagne-specific. That was all I knew for most of my time in France, so for me, that's how all of France was. But I've slowly realized I was wrong (and thank God). Now, when I go down South, the people down there definitely remember me and welcome me with open-arms. And even in the Loire Valley, the hotels I go to on a regular basis are starting to remember who I am. But it's yet another reason I had such a tumultous relationship with France for so many years. These kinds of connections may not be important for some people, but they are vital for me - it's really important for me to have an emotional connection with my surroundings, and I was just never able to establish that in Bretagne. So I'm really grateful I've had the chance to experience the rest of France - and to get to know the France that so many other people love.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why I had trouble being motivated to get out of bed and go to work today:

(Oh yeah, by the way, I'm in Tunisia again.)
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Il n'y a pas de fumée sans feu

I came across this during my walk along the coast near St Brieuc last week.At first I thought it was some kind of German blockhaus, but it wasn't made of concrete and it did have the same shape as they normally do. Plus, they aren't as common in the St Brieuc area as they are in Southern Brittany.

Closer inspection showed it was a "Four à boulets". I'm not really sure what this would be called in English, but it was essentially a big furnace used to heat up cannon balls to between 800° and 900° Celsius, so that they were flaming red when they rolled out the other side. It could take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and fifteen minutes to heat them up. Since most boats were wooden back then, the hope was that it would start a fire and cause the boat to sink. Assuming they actually hit managed to hit them that is, what with cannons not being the most precise type of artillery ever invented.

Wikipedia says these "ovens" were mainly used in the 18th and 19th century, and that some American ships, including the USS Constitution and the Merrimack, even had them installed on board. Though it also says that often just the quantity of smoke generated by them was enough to stop enemy ships from approaching the shore.

Ha - I wonder if this is where the phrase "Where there's smoke, there's fire" comes from?


Monday, April 27, 2009

Well isn't that neat - I wrote a letter to my congressman and he actually wrote back!

Thank you for sharing with me your support of H.R. 1798, the Working American Competitiveness Act. I appreciate hearing from you.

The Working American Competitiveness Act was introduced on March 30, 2009, and has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. It would allow taxpayers to exclude from their gross income, earned income from sources within a foreign country.

Rest assured that I will keep your support for this legislation in mind should I have an opportunity to vote on the bill.

With best wishes and apologies for the delay in responding to you.


James L. Oberstar, M.C.

A while back, there was a website circulating that would help you formulate a letter to your congressman/representative encouraging them to support the Working American Competitiveness Act. As stated above, this act would stop the double taxation of Americans living abroad and earning a fair amount of money. I obviously don't fall into this case, but I don't think it's fair for Americans who are making a good living to have to pay taxes in both their home country AND in the US on anything they make over 80,000€ (give or take a few euros).

But I think it's cool that he (or probably one of his aides) took the time to read my letter and respond back to it. Now that he knows someone in his constituency is potentially affected by this, maybe he'll take a bit more time to consider the bill. And who knows, if it's a close vote, one vote could really make all the difference. People often think "Oh, I'm just one person, what difference would I make?" But you just never know!


Saturday, April 25, 2009

This ain't your average Frenchie BBQ

I am coming out of my food-induced coma for a few minutes in order to share some of the fantastic food we ate chez Juliet last night. There were hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken, steak, various sausages, shrimp kebabs, grilled veggies and texas toast:Homemade guacamole, potato salad, BBQ sauce and baked beans:Finished off by an absolutely fantastic 100% home-made banana pudding (minus the spritz cookies) and fresh strawberries and peaches.I have never been that full in my life - thank God Aimee & Julien gave me a ride home, otherwise I'm pretty sure I would've fallen asleep on the RER and ended up who knows where. But you know how it is when everything is just so good, you can't stop eating (contrary to the majority of French BBQ's I've been to, with their over-cooked chicken and burnt saucisses). The Americans really are the masters of the grill.

America: 1
France: 0

Friday, April 24, 2009



Despite the shower-peeing incident yesterday, the timing of our visit worked out so great that we ended up finishing over a day early. So instead of getting back to Paris Friday night at 8:30pm, I got back late Thursday afternoon, after making a quick stop in Chartres. Which meant that I was just in time to take a quick nap before heading over to Jasmin's.

I am feeling so refreshed after two amazing girls' nights out in less than a week - last Saturday in Rennes with Yuri & Leah, and then last night with a bunch of hilarious ladies. That shit is good for the soul.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Le Jardin d'Acclimatation

Again, more blackberry pics, because I prefer thinking about pretty pictures rather than about how the dude in the shower stall next to me this morning actually PEED in the shower while we were all showering in for work. I kid you not, the man peed in a shower that shared the floor with all the other showers. And the drain was between my shower and his shower, so the yellow stream kept coming my way. For like five minutes. Talk about disgusting. Especially when there are actual toilets just around the corner.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The one in which I shake my fist in the general direction of France Telecom

Sorry for the lack of posts - the hotel I am staying in has had an internet outage since about an hour before we arrived Sunday. Quelle chance. And apparently France Telecom knows exactly what the problem is, but hasn't deemed it worthy of their time to fix. So no internet for me and no blog posts for you.

Damn internet Nazis.

Instead, you get a picture taken last night while walking along the coast. Which isn't all that bad either.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Trickle down effects of la Crise

I live in the 5th, one of the yuppie, pricier neighborhoods of Paris. My particular part of the neighborhood is filled with mothers who lunch and who yoga while their foreign nannies take care of children with nicer clothes than my own. The building I live in has 7 floors, with a family owning each of the floors, plus at least two chambres de bonne on the 8th floor.

As you all know, that's where I live. And up until now (minus the shower-peeing neighbor), it's been really quiet and peaceful up here. Maybe five out of the other 20 or so rooms had occupants. Besides me and the nanny next door, the others were all children of families living in the building. There are at least two families here with 8 children each, so it must be nice to be able to put the older ones somewhere and give them some space of their own at the same time.

However in the past few months, that's all changed. There has a been a flurry of workman going in and out on a regular basis. (And unfortunately these workmen have a penchant for starting work while I'm still asleep). But there have been at least five other rooms that have been done completely up and will now be rented out, which I take as a sign that belts are being tightened for a lot of these families, who up until now used them as storage rooms. They don't have showers, so they will likely be rented out for about 400€ per month - which can be a nice extra chunk of change at the end of each month. As a side note, it's funny to think how 400€ per month can get you a decent house in certain parts of France, but yet in Paris, it'll only get you a tiny room with no toilet or shower.

The other thing that struck me was talking with the guardien about some of the future inhabitants of those rooms. One of them is an older Russian woman, who was so grateful to have found that room. He said she was almost crying when she saw it and that couldn't believe how "big" it was. And that she was going on and on about how much nicer it was than anything she had in her country. It's funny isn't it, how it's all about perspective? My mother and brother really want to come over, but I've been putting it off because I don't want them to see where I live. I know they'd freak out and think I was living dans la misère. They wouldn't understand that it was a choice I made in order to put money aside for a down payment on something much nicer. But yet what they would consider awful living conditions seems like almost a dream to this poor Russian woman.

It's a strange world we live in. It reminds me of the first time I actually realized how lucky I was to have been born in the US (which, coincidentally enough, happened during a trip to Russia). It's all luck of the draw - we have no say in where we are born. And while my family was definitely not rich by American standards, we had it pretty good compared a lot of other families out there in the world. And I'm glad I'm reminded of that every once in a while - it helps me keep everything in perspective and reminds me to be grateful for what I do have and everything I've been able to do.

Which is a good thing, especially as I try to psyche myself up to pack my suitcase for yet another work trip to Bretagne with my condescending co-worker.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Pieces of home

No, this picture was not taken in the US - it was taken at an event here in Paris entitled "Des Américains à Paris". It's what I saw just after paying my 2.70€ entrance fee.

On my left, I saw this (sorry about the quality of the pictures, they were taken with the blackberry. I had my camera with but realized I'd forgotten to turn it off after uploading the Château pics, so the battery was dead):
And straight ahead? The lovely lady liberty:
There was also a real American school bus (with French plates): And an old school police car:The funniest part of the day though was watching 6 French semi-adolescents perform Grease in English. I just about died laughing listening to them sing classics such as "Summer Lovin" and "Grease Lightning" in their Frenchie accents.Though I was a little bit confused as to what this girl's (extremely short) outfit had to do with the musical....


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Château de Clisson

Again, one of the really cool things about my job is the flexibility it gives me in choosing when and where I want to go. I'd been wanting to visit the Château de Clissonfor a while now, but just hadn't had the time. I have a customer about 20 minutes away, so I decided to try out a new hotel and stay one night in the city of Clisson. I was lucky enough to finish up at a decent time, so I checked into the hotel and then headed straight over to the château. This was the first thing I saw:
I decided to walk all the way around and check out the outside first, and ended up being surprised by how enormous it was. The other noticeable thing was how it seemed to be several châteaux in one.
Wikipedia says the first mention of the château is back in 1040, in reference to the great border strongpoints of the Duke of Brittany (a good chunk of the Loire Valley was actually part of Bretagne up until the French Revolution). The majority of the château was built in the 13th century and the keep was added in the 14th century.
Some more modifications were carried out in the 15th century to make way for artillery, and at the end of the 16th century, three more towers were added for further fortification.
And then the whole thing was purchased by the region in 1964 and they've been working on restoring it ever since. It's really quite incredible that something built almost 1000 years ago is still standing today. I'm always amazed by the architectural prowess people had back then, without all the computers and fancy doo-dads we have today. Though a lot of is thanks to the French government and their willingness to protect and preserve these sites. The amount of money they spend each year on the restauration and upkeep of places such as this is absolutely incredible - but so totally worth it if it means these things will still be around for others to enjoy another 1000 years from now!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Here are a couple more strange things I've come across recently - this weird little house perched on top of a windmill:This poor mannequin, who'd fallen victim to a color-happy owner:
And then this old car, being picked up by a crane. I hung around for a bit, trying to figure out what they were planning on doing with it, but I'm not sure they really knew either - there were just a lot of men in yellow vests standing around, scratching their heads.


Monday, April 13, 2009

The lost manor

While France may have an excellent public transportation system, there are so many things that you would never see if you didn't have a car. Bretagne is the perfect example - there are train links to all the major towns, but there is so much other cool stuff in between that you just can't get to without your own set of wheels.

Not to mention all the random things you just stumble upon in the French countryside. This is something that happens to me quite often - signage in France is usually lacking, meaning wrong-turns often become a regular occurrence while driving. But I don't really mind because it means I come across some really cool things - such as this abandoned manor in the middle of nowhere.
I came across it as I was looking for a place to turn around. I didn't see any one around, so I decided to park the car and get out in order to take a closer look. The place must have been a beauty in its day, but now, with half the windows boarded up and the paint peeling off, it just looked a little sad and forlorn.I spent a bit of time looking through the windows - check out the fire place and the beautiful wood flooring:There was also a tiny little chapel off to the side:As I drove away, I wondered about the families who'd lived there and the things those walls have seen. Someone must own it still - there weren't any kind of municipal signs explaining the history of the building, nor were there "For Sale" signs in the window. But it was a nice little mystery for me to ponder the rest of the day.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

I don't know why I didn't realize it before, but for the first time, I have no where to go for Easter and no one to spend it with. Up until now, I've always had either my family or Fab's family to spend it with. And Easter, along with Christmas, are the two holidays of the year where it's important for me to be around family. So I was feeling kind of bummed picturing my family gathered at my Grandma's house. Eating the piles of peeps she always buys. And then Fab's family all at the farm around the dining room table. The kids looking for Easter eggs in the garden. The MIL giving out her traditional Easter baskets filled with lottery tickets. They were my family too for seven years and I still miss them (okay, so maybe I don't miss the crazy MIL).

It's my fault though - I've been traveling so much I didn't even realize Easter was this weekend until a client mentioned it after I said I'd call him on Monday. If I had, I would've tried to make plans to go somewhere, so I wouldn't end up spending the day alone. But I didn't realize it until it was too late, and so there I was- practically the only person left in Paris. I found myself at the gym, watching Desperate Housewives while working out on an elliptical trainer. It was one of the episodes where Bree was at AA, and they read this:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the diference.

Even though it's the AA poem, these lines have always spoken to me, and I found a lot of comfort in them after my dad died and after Fab and I broke up. I've always believed that there's no use wallowing in the past when it can't be changed, but lately I haven't been following my own mantra. My trip back to Bretagne stirred up a lot of memories, both good and bad, and ever since I've been sort of floundering. Feeling aimless. But hearing that poem again, combined with the advice of a dear friend, was the wake-up call I needed. Time to listen to Lorie and get back to ze positive attitude!

And so I decided to make plans for the weekend. Including going to the Easter service at Notre Dame today. Now, I'm not a huge church-y person, but it is Easter and I know my family will be happy I attended a church service, even if it was a Catholic one. Plus, it's beautiful day and I live within walking distance of the church - how many people can say that? It's yet another reminder that I really have nothing to complain about.
It's time to get back to feeling positive again!


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hallelujah, I have use of my computer again! This thing is my lifeline, I still don't know how I managed to forget the charger for it. But thank God for the blackberry - it gave me access to the internet, my emails, facebook, twitter, etc. Though I am now suffering from a mild case of Blackberry Thumb after a week of constant use. As a side note, anyone else find it funny that "blackberry thumb" has its own wikipedia page??

I wanted to post some pics taken during my trip, but for whatever reason, I can't find my camera cable. Nor can I find the library book I was supposed to return last week. Oops. I don't know what's up with me lately, I seem to be forgetting things à droite et à gauche. Maybe it's because I've been coming and going so much, who knows.

I took advantage of the nice weather today to finally go sign up for the gym. I was wanting to wait until I was done traveling into order to make it worthwhile financially, but then I remembered Karina 2 had given me a free month pass to a gym on St Germain. So I pulled out my old gym clothes and headed out the door. I made it about a block before I turned around and walked back - I felt absolutely ridiculous walking down the Boulevard Saint Michel in gym clothes and tennis shoes. Oh how things have changed from the days when I would wear my pyjamas out on a grocery run! Not that I'm any kind of fashionista, but the French have influenced me at least enough to keep me from wearing gym shoes in the streets.

So I went back and changed into my normal clothes and then off I went. Once I got there, I handed my pass to the woman at the front desk. She took one look at it and handed it right back to me, saying "This is not you". I was speechless for a second and then realized that in the picture I'd glued to the pass, I was wearing contacts, make-up and a nice outfit. And that in person, I had my hair pulled back in a ponytail, no make-up and glasses on. I actually do look like two different people. I assured her that was indeed me, but she wasn't having any of it - she accused me of trying to cheat and use the pass of my friend named Samantha. I finally pulled out my passport and to physically show her it was me - except I'm completely blond in my passport photo, so that didn't help much either. I was about ready to say "Sod it" when she finally waved me through. Without any indication of where the locker rooms are or what was on the three floors. I stood there like an idiot for a few seconds, looking around, and then went back to ask "Can you at least show me around a bit?" I got a death stare for a few seconds, but she finally picked up the phone and called one of the trainers down.

He showed me around the club, which was big, clean and had a lot of modern equipment. There was also a sauna and a hammam in the locker rooms. I've decided I'll keep going there for the next month, but after that, I'm not sure if I'll stick around or not. There's a much smaller, woman-only gym just half a block down the street and the equipment is older, but the staff a lot friendlier.

Either way, I'm just happy to have some kind of physical activity. I've always enjoyed working out and I could use some of the exercise-enduced endorphins right about now. It's just too bad it's going to come at a price - Parisian gyms are expensive! I wish I was a runner, especially since the Luxembourg gardens are right next door, but I'm not - I absolutely hate running. And rollerblading is going to become more and more complicated as the tourist season approches. So the gym it is - I figure with how low my rent is right now, I can justify this extra expense, at least for now.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The calm before the storm

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Monday, April 6, 2009

How to open a wine bottle without a cork screw

Or, yet another reason I'm a classy girl.

1. Purchase a half-bottle of wine to go with your dinner, being careful to choose one with a screw-off top.

2. Bring it back to your hotel. Discover that this non-smoking hotel is just as smokey as all the others. Consider asking for another, but realize that they will probably all be equally smelly.

3. Decide it's time for a drink. Take off the wrapper and realize that the bottle has a cork and not a screw-off cap.

4. Spend about 4 minutes cursing.

5. Spend another 4 minutes debating about what to do:

petit a) try to find room in your suitcase and bring it back to Paris

petit b) leave it for the maid

petit c) drive back to the store and chose another bottle

petit d) try to open it by "other means"

6. Decide to go with petit D (hey, it was a long day and you are already in your PJs).

7. Take stock of what you have in the room.

8. Decide to take a stab at it (literally) with your pen.

9. Decide you don't want to break your one-of-a-kind Bic pen.

10. Spot your car keys across the room. Aha!

11. Bring the bottle to the bathroom.

12. Use the car keys to slowly push the cork into the bottle (this takes a few attemps because of the pressure).

13. Clean up the wine that overflowed onto the counter.

14. *Finally* sit down to a glass of wine - you deserve it after all that effort!

15. Realize you have left your laptop charger at home (you are gone for the week).

16. Drink another glass while you feel sorry for yourself and your lack of internet access.

17. Have another debate with yourself about whether or not writing a post about this will make you look like an alcoholic.

18. Decide to do it anyways, and provide picture evidence (thank God for Blackberries!).

19. Watch the news about the earthquake in Italy and see all the people who are now homeless, injured or dead.

20. Decide maybe your smokey, internet-less hotel room isn't so bad after all...

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

I should be packing my bags right now, but instead I'm blogging. And trying to remember why I thought leaving at 6:30am on a Monday morning was a good idea. It reminds me of something Jasmin said, about how in the workplace, women tend to devalue themselves and cut corners in ways that men never would. Like getting up at 5:30am on a Monday morning in order to avoid having to have The Company pay for a hotel Sunday night. Or staying in cheap chain hotels while all of my colleagues are staying in 125€ ($170) per night Holiday Inns & Radissons.

I guess maybe she's right - I am the only woman and I know the CEO isn't happy about me working from France and not from the US like everyone else. I'm also paid in euros now (and all of my expenses are in euros), so wage-wise, I'm costing them more than a lot of my co-workers. So to compensate, I try to keep my travel costs as low as possible, in an attempt to prove that it really is cost-effective for me to work from here.

Which I guess is why I will find myself heading over to Montparnasse at 6am tomorrow morning...


Friday, April 3, 2009

Le Château de Vincennes

Yet another reason why I am NOT leaving Paris:

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

First of all, let me just say how disappointed I am in all of you negative commentors. I really thought I could count on you guys of all people to support me. Love is love and sometimes you've just got to fight for. You've seen me through all of this so far, so please don't stop now.

Haha, just kidding - I couldn't resist that first paragraph, especially for all the people who thought it *might* be real - shame on you, you've gotta give me more credit than that! May you all have a permanent paper fish stuck to your back.

To be honest though, on this day last year, I was wishing it was all an April Fool's joke.

As I woke up on the morning of April 2, 2008, life was looking good. We'd just signed a lease on a beautiful little house. I'd been buying furniture left and right like a squirrel stocking up on acorns. I was counting down the days to the end of my teaching contract and to what was what I thought was going to be the beginning of our "real" life. Trying to nail down plans for our 7th anniversary celebration.

So I wasn't expecting a thing. I thought I was heading for Nantes for my last check-up before getting LASIK eye surgery. I'd been looking forward to that day forever, because it meant I'd finally get to spend one, whole, uninterrupted day with Fab. It was an absolutely beautiful day - the sun was shining and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Plus there was a trip to Ikea planned on the way home to pick up the last of the furniture for our new house. What more could a girl ask for?

And then it all came crumbling down. Yeah yeah, boohoo, poor me. We all know what happened in the aftermath.

Fast-forward to one year later, and here I am, still in France - which is surprise numero uno. As you all know, on the whole, things are going relatively well - I enjoy my job, I have a full social life and I love living in Paris. But surprise #2, at least for me, is that I'm still single. Considering that I've been a serial dater all my life, I figured I'd have met someone by the end of last summer. But time has gone by and now it's a year later and nope, still no 'someone special'. I'm not sure if it's because I haven't met the right one, or because I'm trying to have higher standards this time around or because I'm not ready to take that risk again. Or a combination of the three. But it doesn't matter really, I'm mostly okay with it.

My mom hasn't really dated anyone since my dad died in 2000 and I know she feels lonely a lot, especially since the people around her tend to do things as couples and thus don't invite her. That happened to me the other night and she's right - it doesn't really feel that great. Like you're some how less of a person or less valuable to the party if you're unattached. But part my problem is that I'm still not used to thinking of myself as "the single one", and the one-year anniversary combined with my recent trip to Bretagne has left me feeling overly sensitive to it. On the whole, I've been lucky though - I'm one of the only single people left in my close group of friends and they've always been really good about not making me feel like the odd (wo)man out, so I'm grateful for that. Thanks friends.

But good lord, I'm sure hoping that's still not the case this time next year. And I'm still waiting for that day to arrive where I will finally be able to say "Now I know why all this happened"...


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I know that someone of you won't understand or agree with this decision, but I had a big talk with Fabrice last week and he fully regrets what he did and has asked me to come back. I've thought long and hard about it over these past few days and I've decided to say yes. So in a few weeks, I will be packing my bags and moving back to Bretagne. Goodbye "TotallyFrenchedOut" and hello "Samdebretagne".

Au revoir Paris, it was nice while it lasted.