Archive for May, 2012

Sad Fact – Chipotle Finally Opened in Paris And I Am Ecstatic

May 25, 2012

I almost SCREAMED with joy, no exaggeration, when I bit into my burrito at Chipotle today. It was actually almost hot if I stood directly under the sun and with a burrito in my hand I felt like I was back in California for a few seconds. And it actually tastes BETTER here because they use free range meat not slaughter house floor scrapings like in the US.

It just opened yesterday and it looked like a mad house from the pictures I saw, but when we went at three today there was only one person ahead of us. It’s not real Mexican food, but it’s better than any other “Paris Mexican” (Paris Mexi-Can’t) food I’ve tried here. *

It tastes like home. Even McDonalds doesn’t taste the same here. They put some weird mustard sauce on everything and give me hell if I ask for extra lettuce and tomatoes. The guy at Chipotle put as much as I wanted and he did it with a smile! In English! People always get annoyed that people respond to them in English, but I like it. I still respond in French if I can, and let them practice their English while I practice my French, but if I can’t I let the sweet slippery mother tongue slide effortlessly from my mouth like melted butter. And I am the old, clever witty me not a quiet polite concentrating sad sack garbling and mumbling and stumbling along.

I didn’t like Mexican food when I arrived in California at age ten, but after living there for so long it crept into my daily diet. I didn’t even realize I liked Mexican food until I moved to France and couldn’t pop a can of black beans in the microwave and top it with hot sauce and sour cream and call it dinner.

I have a confession to make. You might think less of me, but let me explain before you go deleting me from your blog roll all hasty pastey.

There is a McDonalds two blocks away and they have kiosks where you can order in English and then you just turn your ticket in. No French! And no standing in line either. Both times I’ve gone they were chomping at the bit for me to walk ten feet so they could shove the bag in my hands. And with no stove and no microwave and no husband to eat with, it’s very tempting. But I only went once this week! The other time was when we first moved in and were too tired to think, much less walk around in a grocery store looking for food that didn’t require cooking.

I see A LOT of Parisians strolling by with their Mcdonalds bags. Which is weird because it tastes even worse if you don’t wolf it down while it’s warm. I grew up using McDonalds as a hangover cure, so I can’t understand why they choose to eat there. Subway and Kentucky Fried Chicken also baffle me because there are so many cheap sandwich places made with real bread and the tiny amount of bones in the huge piece of chicken freak me out. Do those chickens just sit around on the couch all day eating cheesy poofs and bon bons and never have to get up and support their weight on their tiny little bones?

I’m going to chime in along with every other blogger in Paris today and talk about how great it is that it is finally warm and sunny. I am not going to put on another pair of jeans, boots or socks until my toes turn blue. One of the saddest days of the year for me is when I am forced to accept that I have to put on socks which means winter is coming. After that it’s just more and more layers until I am covered head to toe and the laundry piles up endlessly (and takes days to dry).

I have no pictures, so I will end with a picture of my cat because I know how everyone just loves to see pictures of someone else’s generic looking cat. I swear to god, she has slept on a separate cushion on our white couch each day so that every one is covered in black cat hair.

thank god for bleach

David got back this morning and she was making lovey eyes at him and chanting “It’s Shower Time” (she watches him take a shower every morning and then tries to sneak back onto my side of the bed like I won’t notice the weight of a bowling ball thumping on the mattress) so I tattled and told him that the laptop cord that arrived while he was gone worked GREAT until she chewed on it. I don’t know why she does this to me and not him, because his laptop cord has laid on the floor for seven days and she hasn’t touched it.

She also likes to chew on bags. It’s like owning a puppy without any of the joy

*I blame Sarkozy for this. 2011 was supposed to be the France-Mexico year (I don’t know what country is 2012) but there was some scandal about a French citizen who got arrested because her Mexican boyfriend kidnapped someone and she’s in jail in Mexico now, so they just cancelled the whole thing.

Lady in Black

May 23, 2012

sliced that counter in half

And slid in the fridge

We finally got a stove but it’s sitting in the guest room because every time we go to Castorama to buy cupboards and counter tops they won’t take our money.

We found a design we liked and David measured everything and created a 3D kitchen on their website and we went down to buy it and they didn’t have it. So we chose something else and he went to the store and ordered that (this was like the fifth trip so I refused to participate because I’m American and can’t handle this ridiculous shit) and they called a few days later and canceled the entire order. So we have been using the crepe machine and the rice machine and the grill machine and microwaving boxed soup (yuck).

Today the microwave stopped working. David is in Boston and I haven’t told him because he is going to blame me. He likes to say that everything we buy has to be “Emily Proof”. Maybe I just have some weird electro-magnetic energy in me that destroys things that plug into the wall.

I couldn’t sleep last night, so I watched The Lady in Black which was super creepy and featured a ghost that appeared at the end of a hallway that looked very similar to our hallway. This was stupider than watching serial killer shows like I did last time he was gone because at least in this apartment no one can break in through the windows since we aren’t on the bottom floor anymore. There is no way to lock a ghost out.

ok, so maybe it looks nothing like the hallway in the movie

In case you are also alone and bored tonight I highly recommend Crime Investigation Australia, which is the best true crime show I’ve ever seen. Murderers in Australia make all other serial killers look harmless. Or if  you live in a really old building I would watch The Lady in Black while wondering how many people have died in your apartment.

Storming Bastille

May 7, 2012

In France it’s not polite to talk politics. But I’m not french.

On his way to vote yesterday, David spoke to his brother, his mother and his father, and not once did he ask them who they were voting for. His family is very, very close, and it’s taken me a long time to become comfortable with the fact that everything I do, or we do, they are privy to. So it’s odd that they won’t discuss something like voting. They only know how David is voting because I posted a video on Facebook two weeks ago during the first round election results.

This is the first time in the history of the fifth republic that a president has not been re-elected for a second term. So I was nervous all day. I didn’t want to get my hopes up.

We left about an hour before the results were announced to go to the socialist headquarters at Solferino. It was a mad house. Beyond crazy. People were climbing on top of signs to get a better view of the screen. The countdown started at 30 seconds to 8 and by the sound of the crowd, we thought Hollande had won, but we couldn’t see the screen, so it wasn’t until the man on top of the cross walk sign screamed out “Hollande gagne!” that we knew for sure.


We had planned to take the metro to Bastille after that, but instead just walked the whole way there. The police routed the crowd through some of the bougiest neighborhoods in Paris, and we passed some Sarkozy supporters going the opposite direction who screamed out “on est dans le merde” from the back of their vespas, (we are in deep shit) or just trudged by with their heads down and their flags rolled up. One little girl stopped and tearfully asked her mom to wipe off the French flag on her face. I felt bad for them. I know how defeated I felt when Bush got re-elected. Most of the apartments were shuttered, but a few Hollande supporters cheered us on our walk.

We stop for a celebratory crepe. With raspberry sorbet. (Pink is the color of the socialist party).

This restaurant owner was obviously a (Francois) Hollande supporter

The crowd at Bastille was enormous, and combined with the huge crowd who walked from Solferino it was ginormous, but everyone was in good spirits and there were no elbows this time. Unlike in the US, people are used to being crowded and you can squish through easily. People don’t “guard” their spot and refuse to move. We popped our champagne, shared some like good little socialists, enjoyed the music, and left around midnight, so we didn’t get to see Hollande give his victory speech.

I gotta say it was a good day.

Oh, Happy Day

May 4, 2012

David is back from Atlanta today, which means…..

Huge stack of magazines he steals from the AirFrance lounge

 And new books. I hate buying new books because I read them so fast and am so abusive (I like to read in the bath). Luckily he has no guilt about retail priced books.

Stuff I want but am too cheap to buy for myself

Underwear, always underwear.

I tell him I only have one body and don’t need anymore but he doesn’t listen. (Did I really just post pictures of my underwear on the internet? What is wrong with me?)

Cutest of all he found two articles on Jeanette Winterson who we just saw at Shakespeare & Co. Funny how my comprehension and patience to read in French miraculously shows up when it’s about something I  am interested in….

But best of all he brought himself. It was nice to have some time to myself, but five days is enough.

 I saved him a heart shaped cracker I found in my spanish mix snack, but Maza ate it. That biotch is always trying to sabotage me. I think I need a fish like this to keep her in line.


May Day Strikes

May 2, 2012
It was difficult just getting out of the metro
Place Denfert Rochereau
But cheap booze out of the back of moving trucks
 
and cheap food made the crowds worth it
The crowd was super intense for about a half an hour and I felt uncomfortable. My arms were squeezed all the way into my body and I was moving with the crowd to keep from getting knocked over. All it would take would be one loud noise to cause a stampede and I would be trampled to death. And there was lots of elbowing, mostly by the older people. Maybe they don’t teach elbowing in school anymore. 
One couple elbowed me (extra hard) to try to get to the street and then elbowed me (extra hard) again to get back out when they realized there was a barrier. Stabbing me with your elbow is not going to help. I can’t move. It was so rude.
This guy wanted me to take his picture so badly he stopped foot traffic
Trip across the Seine
And finally Bastille
It took about five hours. My poor feet.