I am one month in to my new Parisian life and I am already loving it so much! As I mentioned in my previous post (La Première Semaine), I have settled in so quickly and everything seems to have magically fallen into place. To avoid constantly repeating myself, I’m not going to always blog about being an au pair and learning French but I do have some exciting plans for Annalise’s Adventures in the next 3 months now that the weather is picking up…
If you are looking to become an au pair there are two things that you should look for over anything else; is the family a match for what you want and are you a match for what they want? It may be important to look for a place with fine wine and lots of cheese but a happy tummy only gets you so far. And wine for breakfast when you’re caring for children isn’t recommended in most cultures. Luckily for me, I have found a family that ticks these two boxes perfectly. The girls have warmed to me so quickly and after school most days I get asked “can we do English?” and “can you play/draw/do this with me?” which makes me happy. I also have a lot in common with the parents so we always have something to talk about and over the last few weeks we have spoken more and more in French. We eat together and the family invites me to do things with them and the last two weeks I have surprised them with breakfast on a Friday (biscuits with their names on and hot cross buns for Good Friday). There are people here pretty much every weekend so the house is always lively and I quite often have family friends that I can practice my French with too! At the moment we have Isabelle’s parents and their doggie here from Belgium so it’s going to be a busy week but will be fun. It’s a very welcoming family dynamic that is exposed to so many nationalities and cultures and when the girls grow up, I hope they appreciate that their parents have given them all of this! And yes, I will always be jealous of children who were raised bilingual and have travelled to cool countries.
Au Pair Life
My parents may not have raised me bilingual but my mother definitely raised me to have a flair for creativity, bags of initiative and a passion for looking after people. As someone who is a big fan of Disney and used to work at the Roald Dahl Museum, a lot of my activities have centred around these stories. The girls loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and all the tricks I have up my sleeve related to this and we are learning as many Disney characters as possible so that the girls know who everyone is when we take them to Disneyland for the first time in June. Their two favourite things to do with me other than these are Row Row Row Your Boat and the Monster Game. The monster game is where each person draws one part of a monster’s body in secret on the same sheet of paper with a hilarious outcome at the end. We’ve played it for hours! Although they can be a handful at times, I love looking after these two and they’re at the great age where they are learning about the world around them and are growing up but still love a story at bedtime and the best insult they have is “your feet are pooing”.
French Student Life
Studying French was one of the best life choices I think I have ever made. Before I came here, I had 10 hours of private tutoring in Paris I have had four weeks of classes and I have surprised myself and everyone around me that I have learnt so fast that I have already moved up to a B1 class! I retook the orientation test last Monday and the woman who assessed me orally on my first day seemed so confused that I was the same person speaking! Frankly, I’m pretty confused too because it took me 2 years of Spanish classes to reach this level! I know that learning a 3rd language is way easier than learning a 2nd but I didn’t expect this. Now I’m considering studying even harder to get myself to a level where I can work in France and stay here for at least a few more months. If you’re reading this blog as a potential employer, please hire me. I can bake!
People say that moving abroad is the best thing you could ever to for yourself and it’s true. I have some of the best friends in the world at home but I didn’t really have to put myself out there to meet them. Here, I am having to try all different things to meet new people. I have met up with a girl I went to school with, a girl I met in Thailand last year and the other au pair on my street. I have also gone for a night out with some other au pairs I met in a Facebook group, made friends with another girl that night after we sang at each other in Spanish and I enjoy speaking to people on Bumble’s BFF mode and plan on asking some people if they want to meet one day. Now that I know I can hold a conversation in French I am going to go to Franglish that I mentioned on my previous post. It’s always hard settling in a new city but with 21st century technology it makes it easy peasy lemon squeezy. Ish. It’s always more fun experiencing new things with someone else and I’m starting to be able to do that which is fabulous!
I love Paris. I don’t want to ever leave. Whenever it is sunny I hop on the metro and go exploring – the best thing to do in this city once you’ve seen the main attractions is to just get lost and see what you can find. I always walk everywhere in the centre (even if it means 11km in cheap dolly shoes) and then will do a slight detour to get back to a metro that takes me home. Paris is filled with beautiful buildings, greenery and bakeries that smell so beautiful I wish I could bottle it. My favourite thing in Paris is still the Notre Dame but I have made a long bucket list of things I want to see and do in Paris and I aim to tick as many things off as possible. The way I plan to do that is to spend my Fridays waltzing around this beautiful city with my camera and then blogging about it on the weekend. I want to find all the beautiful, jazzy, secret and stereotypically French things.
Tomorrow it’s back to school after the long Easter weekend and time for me to study hard when it rains and wander freely when it’s sunny! As always, please comment with any recommendations!