#100joursjoyeux #day2… Used the last bit of #traderjoes #almondbutter to make #toast with #tea. I treated that like a jar of gold- can’t find any that’s affordable in France. I appreciate it’s service, it’s delicious service. Countdown to buying another jar: 99 days. #100happydays (at Paris 20eme)
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The Last #100JoursJoyeux
Today, August 26, marks the moment my countdown to departing hits 100 days. That’s right folks, in just 100 days I will be leaving Paris, leaving my little paradise, my escape from reality… On December 5* I board a plane and go back to SFO and press “play” on what had been my paused American reality.
Today’s happiness is brought to you by sunshine… With all the rain we haven’t seen much of it here in a while. I caught my first peek getting out of the metro station at Menilmontant.
*I should point out that I’m using December 4 as the Day 0 here, as it’s my last full day in Paris, so technically December 5 is Day -1 but whatever, I’ll count down to whatever day I want.
As of today I only have 100 days left in #Paris, and I’m jumping on the #100happydays bandwagon with my own hashtag: #100joursjoyeux
Today’s happiness is brought to you by #sunshine… With all the rain we haven’t seen much of it here in a while. I caught my first peek getting out of the #metro station at #menilmontant (at Ménilmontant (Paris Métro))
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Financial Ruin in 11 Months
This is an honest money post. I should start by saying I have none: I’m living entirely off credit (the American way) and since arriving here in Paris, I have watched my credit score drop from 776 (excellent) down to 688 (fair).
Here’s the breakout: I’m currently using 59% of my available credit (double the recommended maximum) and have $36,196 in credit card debt piling up. To this, add my loan (student/auto) debt of $17,366. That’s a total debt of $53,562, which I expect to go up another $6,000 before I leave which will put me at a whopping $60,000 in debt just in time for me to return to the states and be unemployed.
During my time here in Paris I’ve been doing a little bit of remote consulting work, bringing in a couple hundred a month, but my average cost of living has come out to be about $2,000/month just to live, eat, take the metro, etc. This hasn’t included travel, which is a very important part of my experience and something I will do with or without the means to afford it. That being said, it would be way better if I had the means…
My birthday is coming up on September 13th, and I’ll be taking a little trip over to London (since I need to leave the Schengen Area before my visa expires the 15th). I would like to eat and sleep indoors and do stuff while there, which will cost money. I want to get a tattoo in Paris before I leave, which will cost money. I want to travel around and see the main regions of France before I leave, which will cost money. Things just cost money (like this joke from Louis CK, to lighten the mood of this post):
I know we all have bills and ALS Ice Bucket challenges and overpriced Starbucks drinks to pay for, but I may as well use my upcoming birthday as a “please donate to me” call to action.
Even though this is a bot I’m still really excited about answering a question :)
I most want to visit Venice, Italy out of fear that it could soon be underwater and gone forever. Next European adventure, I suppose…
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Uruguayan in Paris
Technically my 3rd Uruguayan guest, but since she actually lives there I figured it was appropriate to point this out. Luciana and I met almost 10 years ago in Montevideo, and in July she traveled over to London to take some business English courses (and, obviously, had to come see me in Paris!). The afternoon she arrived I still had to dry my sheets to finish preparing to be a great hostess, so we picked up a mixed ass (that’s short for assiette, or plate, a short-hand way of making your appetite super excited to eat at a random kebab joint) and waited for the sheets with a can of cheap beer. That night I took her over to Notre Dame and we made a little picnic on the Seine, complete with cheese and meat and cheese and bread and cheese and beer and more cheese. As the sun set the sky turned pink and orange and a bajillion shades of beautiful, and the bridges and Quais were lit up like a synchronized group of Christmas trees at 9:30pm. If we were looking for a perfect first night, this was it.
During the week, per usual, I had class until 3pm so Luciana was on her own to explore Thursday morning. That afternoon we strolled through the Madeleine/Opera area. When we went into the Paroisse de la Madeleine, two surprises gave me a giggle: first, there was someone playing the organ and it sounded heavenly; second, there was some dude vacuuming, in the middle of everyone’s pictures and touristic experience (and in the middle of this organ performance which was also being recorded… oh, the French). Near the Opera Garnier Luciana found a pair of shoes and I adopted a new grey blazer. After our quick shopping detour, while waiting for the bus home we befriended a 4-year-old girl (and did NOT befriend her grandma, as adults DO NOT like you talking to their children in public here in Paris). She was tiny and curly-haired and adorable. I worked as the translator between Luciana and this girl, and at one point I accidentally told the girl that Luciana thought she was cute – but I said “mignon” instead of “mignonne,” calling her a cute boy instead of a cute girl. She had a giggle attack and told me “mignon is for BOYSSSSSS.” Oops. That night, as there was no class the next day, we thought we would go home really quick then hop back out to go to a bar and do stuff! But the rain started, we lost all interest, put our pajamas on, had sushi delivered and watched Louis CK standup instead. An equally productive night, we both agreed.
Friday August 15 in France, everyone celebrates the Assumption of Mary by 1) making it one of the biggest vacation weekends in the French summer and 2) not having any idea what the Assumption of Mary is actually all about. Luciana and I walked through the Latin Quarter and Saint Germain-des-Près neighborhoods and outside of the tourist areas, Paris felt like an abandoned Wild West town. I would not have been surprised to see tumbleweeds (or tumble-wine-bottles, more likely). We went into Saint Sulpice Church for the first time, and I was so into how bright and ornately decorated it was inside; potentially, my new favorite church in Paris. From there we hopped on the train and shot up to Montmartre to visit the Sacré Coeur. We sat on the steps and watched this awesome freestyle soccer player, saying “gosh he’s good!… too bad he’s just doing this in the streets!…he should get sponsored or something!” We later learned that this guy (Iya Traore) is actually famous, was on TV, and has no need for our pity.
After watching Iya climb a light post, we climbed to the top of Sacré Coeur and enjoyed a new scenic view of Paris after 300 narrow steps behind annoying Italian tourists. We also visited the crypt under the basilica, but it was a little disappointing so I wouldn’t recommend spending the extra few euros to check it out. However, the trip to the top was affordable, had a short wait time, and was 100% worth it. Later that night we went to watch salsa dancers at Quai Bernard, which used to be a river-side wine market back in the day. We saw a guy pass out, throw up on the steps where people sit between dances, get carried by his friends and placed under a tree, and stay there until we left hours later. I then hit on the friend who had carried him to the tree, regardless of the fact he had a little bit of puke on him.
Saturday, Gavin joined me and Luciana for the Brunch of All Brunches at Chez Justine. We then strolled through the Marais where Luciana had her first life-changing Pierre Hermé olive-oil vanilla macaron. We then stopped at the grocery store in Saint Michel to get picnic supplies, and you’ll never guess what street-dancing asshole we ran into on the sidewalk. Yup. All that happened was an in-passing “Hey what’s up?” but the look on his face was priceless. We walked over to the Champs de Mars for a lawn-side view of the Eiffel and sat for hours as our picnic group grew (Dalia & Ari from the Bolton clan, Johnny & Miranda, and Agnieszka and her cousin Jagoda). As you can see by this horrible-quality photograph to the left, this did indeed happen.
Sunday was the last day of Paris Plages, and I had yet to enjoy a beach seat next to the Seine. We found some chaises longues and took in some windy paradise before continuing our walkabout (but not before catching a photo of a couple behind us wearing blue and white striped shirts that matched the chairs exactly). From the beach we headed up to Park Buttes Chaumont, La Villette and Canal Saint Martin before a quick beer at Le Trois 8 and an early night at home.
Monday morning, a movie was being filmed at my school. Unfortunately, no known-to-me actors were part of it, but I did see a sign that said “Condoms at High Schools!” so I’m assuming it must be some comedy about French kids having sex and then smoking cigarettes and talking about croissants. Right? That afternoon, after soaking up some sun by the fountain in the Tuileries Garden, another Uruguayan friend of Luciana joined us while he was on a one-night business trip from London. We grabbed dinner on the Champs Elysées then went to My Spot at Trocadero to take pictures, drink, and watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle.
Luciana left Tuesday evening after I had an awful accident on the metro (got up to give my seat to a larger older lady, she started to fall, I tried to help her, then fell on her, and ate SHIT… got up, she asked if I was ok, I only saw that my favorite tights had ripped so I said I was fine… Luciana then points out I’m really bleeding and in the meantime NO ONE on the metro does anything to help… I hobble home and try to clean all the gross metro germs out of this awful wound). Since then, my gimpy knee and I have been flying under the radar but I had one more chance to see the Boltons before they left at Square René-Viviani, where you can find the oldest tree in Paris. Yesterday I had a wild and crazy Friday night at home that included me cleaning the bathroom, steaming vegetables and watching a marathon of Drunk History (I regret nothing).
History of #Paris: on this day in 2014, a hand-cranking music man insisted we take a picture together at #PlacedeVosges (à Place des Vosges)
2 out of 3 #plants say I’m a bad mom … I love #rosemary because apparently it’s #resilient as all hell #windowgarden #fail (à Paris 20eme)