April 1st

Inspired by my dear and beloved mother, this month I thought I’d try something new on the blog—a month of daily photos documenting my life here in this beautiful city. I’m heading home at the end of April, and I can’t think of a better way to document my final days and get me outside to enjoy every second. So…be prepared for a lot of short posts. Let’s do this!

Today brought a perfect balance between lazy and productive. Morning involved a trip the the elementary school to teach, followed by a leisurely lunch and wander around the 6th with a new friend. And because I was in the 6th there were two things I truly couldn’t resist…

Pierre Hermé. Those of you who follow me on Instagram will have seen me documenting my determination to taste every flavor he has for sale. I’ve tried about 10 now and I can honestly say there isn’t a single one I didn’t like. More importantly, there are a few that I find utterly irresistable.

Today’s flavor was Jardin des Prés—a delicate mix of honey and meadow seed. Perfect for spring!

I also swung into Oh My Cream! since my friend wanted a few samples. There is much more to be said about this fabulous beauty concept store…it’s one of my favorite discoveries here and one of the few beauty shops that’s generous with samples. Danger danger!

Macarons were munched in front of Saint-Sulpice, a lovely spot for a quick break from shopping. Even with the chilly weather, it made the perfect end to a lazy afternoon.

‘Till tomorrow!

M

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Museum Day: Musée d’Orsay’s Sade Exhibit

A couple of weeks ago (read over a month ago) I decided to pay a visit to Paris’ iconic Musée d’Orsay. I had originally planned to wander around and discover all of my favorites from art history classes past, but was quickly sucked into their temporary exhibit: SADE. Let me tell you, this exhibit was HUGE. So big with so many different works. I spent at least two hours in there. It also is an exhibit you will either absolutely love or absolutely hate, for reasons I will explain shortly. So bear that in mind. Luckily, it’s free, however, so if you hate it you can just zip through and continue to peruse the museum’s permanent collection.

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The exhibit portrays the ways in which the infamous Marquis de Sade’s writings and philosophies influenced 19th century artists, thinkers, and writers. Let me tell you, the concept and construction of this exhibit was not only fascinating, but extremely well designed. NB: I was not overly familiar with Sade’s works, and felt like the exhibit gave me a thorough education and provided me with enough background that I didn’t feel lost. And the design was absolutely flawless.

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You start by entering a dark room where hanging screens show clips from films that fit with the themes of Sades works, such as “Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde,” ‘The Girl Without a Face,” and Bunuel’s “L’Age d’Or.” After this you are introduced to a timeline of Sade’s life, before entering the main portion of the exhibit: a series of rooms thematically based on different philosophies Sade promoted, such as violence, promiscuity, and voluptuousness. The rooms all feature large wall texts with quotes from Sade, as well as explanations of how these different philosophies were featured in the art of his time, and around the room smaller quotes are inserted between the works.

One of the most impressive aspects of this exhibit was the scale of it—it was truly enormous and filled with a shocking number of pieces. It also contained highly diverse works—paintings, photographs, books, models, sculpture, the whole artistic gamut—meaning there was truly something for everyone involved. Moreover, these weren’t obscure works from smaller artists, but highly renowned popular works from artists like Delacroix, Picasso, and Courbet. And the wall texts? Truly wonderful—fascinating, informative and well translated. What I loved about this exhibit was that it took you on a real tour of Sade’s thoughts, and provided an unusual glimpse at the 19th century art, which I feel is often regarded as conservative in comparison with the radical modernists who followed. (I would argue that every century contains lots of radical art—that’s why we study art history—but I also feel that’s easy to forget since we are exposed to so many contemporary and modern works.)

Perhaps even more impressively, the exhibit managed to focus on the dark underbelly of the art world—the endless preoccupation with sex, violence, and contortion—without condemnation or condonation, showing solely how one artist’s voice and preoccupations created a dialogue between many different artists in different mediums. The only thing it did seem to condone was the absolute right for this art to exist, the possible need for it to exist, and the fact that it likely will always exist whether society approves of it or not. (Interestingly enough, I saw this exhibit on the same day that the Charlie Hebdo offices were attacked…food for thought.)

I suppose that my only gripe with the exhibit was that, as a viewer, there was really only so much violence and sex and contortion that I could handle. It was fascinating, and I was quite religious about reading the wall texts, but by the end of the exhibit I started moving quickly through the rooms, stopping only for pieces that really grabbed me. In a way, the impressive scale almost killed it—leaving me so tired that I couldn’t completely process the later parts.

I should also add that, while I found the entire concept fascinating, many of the works were not to my taste and I hit a point about halfway through where I didn’t want to see much more. But that’s my personal preference. Others may well feel differently.

That said, it was an immensely impressive exhibit and (if you think you can stomach it) definitely worth checking out. I would recommend giving yourself time for it, however. I meant to pop in for a half hour and spent WAY longer in there, even with my speeding along at the end. If you have a few hours to kill, however, pop on in! You won’t see anything else like it—that I can guarantee.

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And just like that…

Sometimes I’m struck by just how many firsts I’ve experienced in a foreign culture. I learned to navigate public transportation, secure and shop for an apartment, open a bank account, and start my first “real” job, all while living abroad. And today, for the first time in my life, I visited a police station.

I feel rather fortunate to have never had the occasion to visit one before, but it wasn’t until I walked through the intensely guarded doors and stood timidly in the hushed and unfriendly lobby that I realized why. Police stations freak me out. I wasn’t even guilty and I felt on edge as I waited for my summoner…a certain Monsieur Blanc.

Let’s rewind a couple of days, shall we? To Sunday afternoon, the day my phone and wallet were stolen.

In all honesty, it was my fault. I was at a cafe with a friend, we were drinking tea and chatting and I let my bag hang off my chair near the ground instead of keeping it closely guarded in my lap. When I went to grab it a few hours later, my phone and coin purse were missing. The guys who had stolen it were long gone. I was frustrated with myself and sad, but resigned to the fact that it was gone forever. I didn’t even file a police report…I hadn’t seen what the guys looked like and how could the police find one lost cell phone? Instead, I counted my blessings. It was an old phone that I had been hoping to replace. And the wallet they took was actually just a small coin purse with 8€ inside…hardly a great loss. By some miraculous stroke of luck I’d swapped it earlier, leaving the larger one filled with cards and i.d. at home.

The real sorrow was the loss of the phone itself. It’s silly, but I get quite attached to my technology. That phone had gone to Mali with me, school in Minnesota, and Paris two times. It had taken nearly all of the photos you’ve seen on this blog and many more. It was my companion in my first interviews with musicians and helped me document concerts for the Current. So I was sad to see it go. And I was quickly faced with daily inconveniences…when one item serves as your watch, your alarm clock, your map, your calendar, and your camera you miss it REALLY quickly.

But by some rare alignment of the universe, I received an email a few days later from the police. They had found my phone, could I come to the station? And so an hour later I was escorted past armed men into the lobby to wait for him.

Monsieur Blanc (Mr. White in English…I cannot believe that’s his name) found me quickly and guided me through a maze of hallways to his office. It looked as you would expect…several small desks in a darkish room with a larger office for the captain (a very brusque woman who liked to yell as she interrogated people on the phone). How to describe M. Blanc and his partner? I kid you not, these two could have been in a movie and no one would have batted an eye. Blanc was wearing a dark grey sweater with black elbow patches and was well groomed with short hair…he had a kind of Gerard Bulter, Richard Armitage-y thing going for him except he wasn’t QUITE as handsome. More real, more tired. And very kind. His partner had short blond hair, sneakers and big glasses. The geekier looking of the two…Robin, in other words.

M. Blanc took my statement and told me a little about what they knew had happened. Apparently the two guys were arrested within a half hour of stealing my phone. They both confessed to it, and probably gave the police more detailed information than I was able to. They were to go to trial later that day and likely to prison after.

Giving my statement was weird and hard. I felt extremely self-conscious (how much detail should I give and do I sound stupid?) and I could only approximate details. Worse, I had NO IDEA what they looked like— I’d been tunnel-focusing on the person I was talking to. M. Blanc showed me their photos anyway (to check), and they looked like normal guys. Older than my students, but otherwise no different. Unfortunately, they had 7 phones on them (mine included) and my wallet (which was still full of cash…la chance!). So when M. Blanc asked if I wanted to file a complaint, I hesitated. Against all odds I had all of my stuff back, and no matter what these guys did or what type of people they were, my heart broke a bit when I saw them. Apparently they were caught because they were “behaving strangely,” but I couldn’t help but wonder if they’d have gotten away had they been white. And as relieved as I am to have my belongings back, I don’t like the idea that I may have gotten them due to racism. In the end I agreed because Blanc insisted that it was better for “la justice” but I’m still not sure it was the right choice.

I was grateful when M. Blanc finally led me back through the station and out the French door. He told me that he’s from Toulouse and advised me to visit and profiter du soleil. He shook my hand, made sure I knew where I was going, and sent me on my way. And that was that. Fist trip to the police station and statement made, all in French. If that isn’t an expat accomplishment, I don’t know what is. And best of all, my dear, tired phone and I are reunited. I honestly feel like the luckiest girl. I never dreamed I’d see it again, nor so promptly. No matter what, this encounter has left me with a very deep respect and appreciation for the French police force, who, throughout this entire experience, treated me with great gentility. The gallant Monsieur Blanc had three more phones to return before the business was done, and I am so grateful to him for his patience and kindness during the whole ordeal. May need to plan a visit to Toulouse in the coming months…

Instagrams to follow.

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Rockability at the Balajo

There is really nothing like going to see live music. I love getting dressed up and heading out, not knowing what exactly expect beyond a good show. So when I woke up Tuesday morning feeling sick as a dog, I panicked. I REALLY could not be sick…J.D. McPherson was playing TOMORROW NIGHT at the Balajo…I’d been planning this for months. I REFUSED to be sick. So I stayed home, took the maximum dose allowed of some flu-symptom relief meds, watched YouTube, and slept. And you know what? I woke up the next morning JUST FINE. Okay, so my throat was still a little sore (and still is…oops) but really that’s not that bad…I could teach! I could go see live music!

So at 7:30 I threw on my cutest dress and a red lip (to distract from my very tired eyes) and headed to the Balajo for their weekly soirée Rock. The venue is great…my kind of place. Old, a little run down, with nice charismatic staff and a lot of character. I heard that the designer of the Moulin Rouge did the interior, and that tons of French icons used to hang here. It felt very hip.

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And the people! Man! Parisians know how to dress up. I remember some thematic clothing the last time I saw J.D. McPherson, but this time I really felt like I’d walked into a film set in the fifties…bright lipstick, denim, mom jeans, jean jackets with slicked back hair, the whole shebang. And it was great. Best dressed? An early arriver (and one of the last to leave) wearing a full white suit with waist-coat and saddle shoes. Oh yeah. I think he had some red in there too for pop.

To my great surprise and pleasure J.D. McPherson brought The Cactus Blossoms all the way from my beloved Minnesota to open for him! Brothers Jack and Page climbed onto the TINY stage for a short (but sweet) set. I remember being impressed the last time I saw them, but I must confess, they really stole my heart this time. Maybe it was that we were in Paris and it all smelled so sweetly of home, maybe they’ve upped their game, but I was thoroughly enchanted with their performance. Their vocals are astounding—offering rich warm harmonies that truly soared through the tight space—and Jack was the perfectly charming front man, catching the eyes of the girls for just long enough that they would get the full impact of his romantic lyrics. And trust me, they swooned. Much later in the evening I played translator for them with several French ladies who were taken with the tall boys from Minnesota.

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And then J.D. hit the stage. I’ve raved before and imma do it again. This man is a king onstage. I generally go to excellent concerts, and McPherson’s are always some of my all time favorites. He brings an incredible energy and vitality to the stage which is raised by the incredible band behind him. Even in this unconventional* space he managed to give a thoroughly enjoyable and dynamic performance. And when you combine that with the fact that not only were they cramped but were also forced to play in two sets (with a DJ-ed dance break in the middle), had the audience literally being pushed up the steps into their faces, and could not hear each other well, you have an astounding performance.

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As if that weren’t enough, McPherson (and some of his bandmates) was suffering with the flu. I only know this because his bandmates told me later. You wouldn’t have known it from watching him. Because he’s really that good. And the French noticed…calling for encore after encore.

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I think what I love most about a J.D. McPherson show is that it has such amazing character. He manages to work a nostalgic sound into a truly thrilling show for all ages. I’m always struck by the diversity of his crowds and the enthusiasm. For some, he’s harkening back to a time when they were growing up, for others he’s transporting us to a time we never knew, but wish to experience. Either way it works. And in an age where many argue (myself included) that rock and roll is a thing of the past, it is thrilling to see a true rock and roll concert. We listen to him and we hear long nights of sneaking out of our bedroom windows, dancing** and drinking all night long. I never did that as a high schooler. But I think if his music had been around back then, I totally would have.

*read VERY TINY i.e. no elbow room

**real dancing mind you, not that humping business people do now

Lately in Paris

It’s been requested that I write up a post regarding the late events in Paris and the general atmosphere here since the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo. In a lot of ways I don’t really feel qualified to talk about this subject..I didn’t even know the magazine existed until January 7. But, since I am teaching here and have been wandering around a number of the neighborhoods, I CAN easily talk about what things have been like in Paris, and the answer is (contradictorily Parisian): different and the same.

To start with, many of us had no idea what happened on the 7th until the excitement was well over. One of the English profs discovered it as she headed home and couldn’t get to her apartment due to police. Another found out when she turned on the television later that evening. As for me (and I think a lot of the expats here had similar experiences) I had my mom call me from the States to tell me what was going on. (It feels decidedly strange to have someone from abroad tell you what is going on in your city, by the way…you feel very foolish and oblivious.) Over the next few days tensions mounted. I stood up with my class and all of the lycée and the country on Thursday for a minute of silence. I talked to the students who wanted to talk about it and created fun, diverting activities for the classes that didn’t. I think that all of us were playing things by ear. The big shift, which I think remains for a lot of us, was the heightened awareness to sirens—which have been blaring a lot more recently—and the impulse to regularly check our phones for updates from Le Monde. One of my classes was completely derailed by a kid checking his on Friday and our discovering that the brother suspects had been cornered in the North. People were relieved after that, but still jumpy…I’ve never seen the metro so uncrowded at rush hour as I did that week.

In the last week, the attack has still weighed heavily on most of us. Many participated in the enormous march on from Nation on Sunday. We talk about it in class a lot. The teacher’s lounge and cafeteria room are constantly filled with passionate disagreements between professors regarding their predicted outcomes of this attack and what the country should do. It’s raised a lot of interesting and important questions regarding expression, race, and integration for the French and EVERYONE has an opinion. Everyone also apparently wants a copy of the new magazine…the Presses are ALWAYS sold out.

As for me, I still feel lucky to be here. My initial jumpiness—fully realized on Friday when I discovered what was happening at Nation—has started to quiet down, although I move quickly on all of my commutes now and check the news at least every hour. I’ve tried to keep classes as normal and engaging as possible. Some students want to talk about the attack, and we’ve had interesting and passionate debates about integration and freedom of speech—I used this as an opportunity to introduce the to Salman Rushdie, whose response to the attack always evokes interesting responses from the kids. Several students who’ve never spoken up were my most passionate debaters (*note to self…more debates in the future). I try to play devil’s advocate and not weigh too heavily into things…but f there’s any part that saddens me, it’s the reports from those who are (or appear to be) Muslim saying that they’ve experienced recent discrimination from other French. One girl told me that several of the women in her family refuse to go out because were heckled and are afraid of being attacked. And perhaps even more disturbing, most of the other students are oblivious to their classmates’ problems.

Otherwise, I try to keep experiencing this wonderful city, which manages, even in the face of tragedy, to constantly wow me. I’ve been straying from the Marais some, which has been significantly quieter of late, and wandering to new neighborhoods. I cannot wait to tell you about them. If you are interested in reading more about the attack and more brilliant people’s opinions on it, there are loads of great articles online…all you have to do is google for a veritable wealth of opinions.

Home for the Holidays

Hello all!

Happy New Year!

I find it so hard to believe that we are here already…time is just flying. I hope you all had a great holiday. Mine was lovely, and much too short. I got to go home and enjoy some quality time in the Midwest with my fam, and I honestly cannot remember a time when I was more grateful to be back. Paris is lovely, but as we all know, there is truly no place like home for the holidays. We even had a turkey dinner (very unusual for us) for Christmas dinner since I missed Thanksgiving!

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Feasts like these definitely make coming home worth it…

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As do corgis…

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And Christmas trees…

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Oh, right, and my family…

In true Mallory style, I think I gained about 5-10 lbs eating leftovers, and as much Thai and Mexican food as I could (sooooooo yummy) and really dragged my feet about leaving…what’s new? But coming back to Paris has been ever so lovely in its own right, and this city is doing its very best to remind me why it is superior to anywhere I’ve ever lived. My little apartment – or nest as my mother likes to call it – is cozy and warm and the chilly grey weather is just begging for me to take a long wander with some hot chocolate. And are bars ever more inviting than when it’s blustery out? I think not.

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Just look at this…don’t you want snuggle, and cozy, and nest in a space with shelves and soft lighting like that’s? Well too bad, there’s no room for you.

At any rate all of this, I hope that you all also had lovely holidays and are starting your new year in comfort and happiness. Can’t wait to see what’s in store!

xox
M

Thanksgiving in France

This post is a bit belated, but in my defense, Thanksgiving is a busy time. I’m always amazed by how crazy things get here around Christmas time. All of Paris is decked out in festive lights, classical Christmas tunes are being blasted in cafes and all along the Champs-Elysées and the Christmas markets are officially open for business.

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An example of the cheesy goodness that Christmas markets can yield. Full post coming soon…

With all of that bustle, it’s easy to forget about Thanksgiving (one of my favorite holidays) and get swept up in the pre-Christmas prep. For that, I am somewhat thankful. As I have said before, Thanksgiving is an incredibly special day for me. In past years, it has become the day when, recently liberated from a grueling trimester at college, I finally let myself relax and cozy in with the fam. I’d spend it mostly in the kitchen with Mom, working on the feast that would be our dinner, and we’d laugh and tell each other stories while listening to great music on the radio. It’s such a family-oriented event that being away always instills a certain homesickness that (no matter how good my circumstances) I can never shake. But I have to say, this year I had quite a lovely Thanksgiving in Paris.

I started the day at school – bright and early – giving my students a presentation on American geography, quizzing them about French regions, and schooling them on Thanksgiving tradition. Then I let myself wander around a bit – it was that perfect, not quite cold, not quite warm weather – and do some window shopping before heading home for a fabulous Thanksgiving feast (featuring duck as the main course) with family friends.

A screening of the Lord of the Rings followed…because it is the most comforting thing ever and I needed a little Tolkien in my life…

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Who doesn’t need regular doses of Tolkien in their lives?

The real fun came this weekend, however, as I was invited to a fellow teacher’s for a SECOND Thanksgiving celebration. This one was completely different from the homey-dinner I had and also SO MUCH FUN. I met so many interesting and cool people, played mafia and card games, and ate a ton of amazing food. (I also, evidently, took no photos because I’m a lamo who forgets these things.) My contribution to the feast was a pumpkin pie – courtesy of the food goods store Thanksgiving (located in the fourth), which provided the pumpkin and condensed milk.

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The Parisians were skeptical of my use of pumpkin, but then agreed it was really yummy. Umm…yes.

The weekend was topped off with a trip to WH Smith, where food god David Lebovitz was doing a book signing. It felt totally appropriate to finish Thanksgiving with buying my first real cookbook – and let me tell you, she’s a beaut.

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It was also WAY cool to meet the author, who is totally the sweetest man ever and has kept me well stocked in all the goodies Paris has to offer with his comprehensive “Paris Pastry Guide” app – check it out fellow ex-pats…seriously golden recommendations.

So, in spite of not getting to spend my favorite holidays with those I adore most, I must say that Thanksgiving has been utterly lovely and reminded me of how absolutely fortunate I am. I still cannot believe that I am living in one of my favorite places, doing something I love and working with such incredible people. Thinking about it all just makes me giddy and so excited for what is coming next. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that I’m thankful for all of you readers – both those that have been with me since my last Parisian voyage (and somehow stuck through all the boring middle bits) and those that have recently joined the ride. I’m so grateful to all of you who take the time to read my words. It means so much. So thank you, all of you, and thank you Paris for the wonderful past three months. Happy Thanksgiving!

On the subject of French schools…

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my ticket to France came hand in hand with a contract to teach in a French public high school and although I was trepidatious about how this would pan out, it has easily proved to be one of the best parts of my new Parisian life. By some miracle, I landed a fabulous school with truly wonderful staff and students. As a whole my students have been engaged (and engaging), the teachers are helpful and wonderful (a couple proving to be very good friends), and the TAPIF program has been truly supportive throughout all of my housing madness. (Huge shoutout to the fabulous rector on this one…she’s made of awesome).

The icing on the cake, though? My high school, the Lycée Charlemagne is located in the Marais, right next to Saint-Paul, giving me a lovely and easy commute and a lot of fabulous lunch and shopping options to explore during my off-hours. Not that I need to “sortir” for lunch…the cantine (which is insanely cheap) offers a multi-course lunch complete with wine/beer/cider for the “professeurs”. Because this is France and no school will shirk entirely on food. Case and point: today for lunch I had boiled potatoes and grilled salmon (not fishy tasting at all!) with a creamy lemon sauce, a green lentil salad with slices of ham, bread (bien sur), a slice of emmental cheese, a yogurt, and two (yes TWO) clementines. I was teaching later so I skipped the alcohol, but the dining staff assured me that I am allowed it if I so desire. Absolute awesomesauce.

[I would normally have posted a picture of my meal here, but I was too excited and ate it before I could take one…]

Another way in which this high school differs almost comically from those I grew up with is in its students. I mean, first of all, they’re (for the most part) crazy respectful and well-behaved. We’re talking standing at the beginning of class until I tell them to sit down and lots of “Madame”s to go around. And they are so lovely to teach. Despite all of this incredible politeness, however, I was rather shocked recently when I waltzed up to school and witnessed this scene:

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Yes. That is a barricade of trashcans over the doors.

I actually had to call one of the teachers to figure out how to get into the school. Apparently protest culture starts young in France and once a year the students find a cause and shut down the school for  a couple of days. The level to which they are committed varies depending on the student—some were, by their own admittance, definitely just looking for an excuse to cut class—but they all amassed outside megaphone and all.

The first day they protested the recent death of a young protester in the South of France, the second, the deportation of a young student to his country of birth. And I have to say, coming from a country where I think high schoolers are generally in the dark about current events, I quite admired the initiative of these kids. That, and it was pretty hilarious to watch the whole ordeal. The police nonchalantly promised to see the protesting kids next week. The school administrators put everything in lockdown and treated the whole thing like a siege. The teachers? Generally nonplussed. Because in France, c’est la vie.

In which I explain a lot

I seem to remember writing you all with an assurance that I would soon be writing you again and it would be SEPTEMBER and I would be in PARIS. Oops. Perhaps that was a little ambitious of me, as it is currently NOVEMBER. Either that or I’m a lazy slob. Take your pick. Maybe it was a little of both. Here’s a pretty picture of Paris to make up for it…

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It turns out that my fatal error was in believing that my “rentrée” would be simple and uncomplicated. I’m not sure what gave me that impression, since moving to a new country is never easy especially when it involves starting a new job, and not participating in a hold-your-hand-all-the-way style study abroad program. Silly Mallory, so naive. Here’s another picture…

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It also happened that this “rentrée” was especially difficult due to a number of unforseen issues. As I’ve already mentioned, Paris has a habit of kicking you around a bit – I suspect it operates somewhat like law school…throwing all the crap at you early on so that only the truly devout remain – and Paris was not in the mood to be gentle. On top of that there was some general shittiness (thank you universe), resulting in a rough couple of months. I don’t want to go into the nitty gritty of all the woes I’ve suffered, but I thought I’d break things down into a series of episodes just to bring you all up to speed…

Epidosde 1: In which Mallory tearfully says goodbye to her mother and flies across the ocean in the bulkhead. She hates the bulkhead but is proud of her ability to secretly keep her purse behind her calves unbeknowst to the flight attendants.

Episode 2: In which Mallory is picked up from the airport by the woman she willing be living with and au pairing for, and generally feels tired and uncomfortable.

Episode 3: In which Mallory (on her second day in Paris) meets the entire extended family of the family she’s au pairing for, cannot leave the apartment, and feels generally homesick, tired, and overwhelmed. This is where the “Oh god, what have I done!” feels begin to sink in.

Episode 4: In which Mallory is thrown headlong into au pairing and has no more time for “Oh hell, what have I done” moments because there is not time. She has to pick up children and clean the kitchen and collapse into bed instead. Also pet the attention-whoring cat…

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Episode 5: In which Mallory wonders if maybe she shouldn’t start blogging, but doesn’t have time.

Episode 6: In which Mallory hears that her grandmother is dying, and simultaneously starts wondering whether the au pairing thing was a good idea. She has lunch with a friend to talk her down.

Episode 7: In which Mallory visits the school where she will be teaching for the first time and falls in love with all the teachers and is generally excited. Meanwhile…au pairing.

Episode 8: In which Mallory discovers that she cannot manage teaching and au pairing due to a conflict of hours. Stress eating and generally frantic behavior are the “regle du jour.” Because tarte au citron makes everything better…right?

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Episode 9: In which Mallory somewhat ungracefully exits the au pairing job and finds herself riding the metro with all her worldly possesions.

Episode 10: In which Mallory is very grateful for her friends in Paris and the fact that she will never be homeless and living out of a carboard box by the Seine.

Episode 11: In which Mallory searches for an apartment, teaches, and stresses. She thinks about blogging occasionally, but is more preoccupied by trying to find somewhere to live.

Episode 12: In which Mallory gets a vacation TWO WEEKS after starting to teach (!) and enjoys her free time with her mother who (in the best mom move in history) comes to visit, snuggle, and buy Mallory yummy dinners. Because moms and mussels DEFINITELY make everything better…

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Episode 13: In which Mallory finds a place to live and discovers that French bureaucracy is actually the worst thing ever. Because it’s bureaucracy…but in French.

Episode 14: In which Mallory secures the apartment and discovers more French bureaucracy as well as what a “cheap” studio looks like (hint: it’s smokey and tiny).

Episode 15: In which Mallory defeats French bureaucracy and things simmer down. She begins her “amenagement” and FINALLY sits down to type up a blog post…

So there you have it! That is what I’ve been up to for the last few months! And with luck and a generally less stressful life I’ll hopefully be writing much more now. In the meantime, what about you guys? What’s new in your lives? Any exciting new developments? Crazy moves?

Till next time!

xo,
M

A quick update…

Hi there!

It’s been a while! So much has happened and I cannot wait to share but just a quick post today…time is short and I SHOULD be cleaning the bathroom…oops. Here are a few things that have been going on recently:

1.)I graduated college – That sounds big. It kinda was. Still kicking myself and having stress dreams about upcoming papers/classes that I will never have. Because that’s a thing.

2.) I saw and reviewed Nickel Creek for the Local Current blog – Such a great show and so cool. They are still on tour so you should definitely try to see them.

3.) I went on vacation to Vermont with my family – I should do a picture recap. Vermont is really beautiful. And relaxing. Also good food.

4.) I’ve ordered my weight in stuff that I’m convinced I need for Paris next year – For reals…you’d think Paris is a desert.

So perhaps you can see why I’ve been so absent lately. I really needed this summer to relax and unplug. It was so nice to just ignore the world and hang with the family, especially since I’ll be seeing a lot less of them this year. This weekend we are headed to my cousin’s wedding in Colorado (woot!) and I’m so happy I get to spend some time with my grandma before I head out. After that, I have less than a week before going to Paris. That’s right…LESS THAN A WEEK. We like to do it crazy here.

Final note before I go: there may be some changes with the blog in the next week or so. I’m talking big changes…like maybe a name change. DON’T FREAK OUT. I’ve been thinking about switching things up for a while now and I’m not sure exactly how things will stand when everything shakes out. But I’m excited about what’s in store for this blog (did someone say “Patisserie Pilgrimages”???).

Hope all is well with you, my dears! Enjoy the last of your summers! Next time you’ll hear from me it will be September and I will (hopefully) be in FRANCE!

xo,

m