I Don’t Live in Paris

I Don’t Live in Paris

I live in France. I don't live in Paris. I used to live in Paris. People sometimes ask me about something going on in Paris. I can only answer with, "Um... I don't really know the details about that. I don't live in Paris." Occasionally, I'll be asked, "So, how're things in Paris?" "Well, fine as far as I know. But, I can only guess because... I don't live in Paris." A little over 6 years ago, I stepped off a plane at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. Olivier was still my husband-to-be & I was not yet Madame Massoud. He fetched me & my Cat at the airport, along with all the possessions I could bring along with me. He took us home, to his apartment in Montmartre. All of you who are either already familiar with the area, or who are Francophile Amelie geeks, know that Montmartre is located in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. For the rest of you, here's a...
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Paris: Real & Surreal

Paris: Real & Surreal

There are certain places around the globe you can go to that just don't seem real.  Standing before certain buildings, monuments & natural wonders can often be a very surreal experience, feeling less like a day out of real life & a lot more like being on a movie set. Or, more accurately... in an actual movie. Whenever I go to Washington D.C., it feels bizarre to me, as though I've been inserted into the middle of a news report, or some exciting action flick.  I've constantly got my eyes peeled for a bad guy to come tearing through the crowd, pursued by a determined hero with a pistol in his hand.  I periodically check the skies for aliens, who as we all know, only land in major cities with well-known buildings & monuments. As anyone can imagine, Paris is no different.  In fact, for Americans, it's probably even more surreal.  Seeing something like the Eiffel Tower for the first time is an...
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Becoming a Germaphobe

Becoming a Germaphobe

I used to laugh at germaphobic freaks like me.  I'd see them with their Lysol, alcohol pads & sanitizing gel, talking about "that bug that's been going around" & I would shake my head & laugh. Paranoid freaks. Sitting at my desk, in the office where I worked, I'd watch my coworkers as they passed around a can of Lysol.  "Keep that shit away from me," I'd tell them.  When someone would offer me an alcohol pad to wipe the germs away from the receiver of my phone, I would reply with a "thanks, but I like my phone dirty". I was a drinking, pack-a-day smoker, happily surrounded by millions of dirty microscopic organisms & I enjoyed watching my coworkers sniff, sneeze & hack among the sound of misting Lysol. Not because I'm that sadistic, but because I never got sick. Then I moved to Paris. Once I moved to Paris, I moved about the city the same way as millions of other Parisians: public transportation. ...
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Leaving for Paris

Leaving for Paris

Four years ago, I was in the midst of disassembling my life in Colorado. This is the only way to build a new one. There in my apartment, which was rapidly becoming a large empty space, I stared at the packed boxes. There were more & more of them every day. There were times when the packing & planning was exhausting. It was easier to chain smoke in the dark with several pints of Guinness & a blank page while listening to Rufus Wainwright. Of course, one song that I played over & over again was "Leaving for Paris". httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djpWPhv1tPU&feature=PlayList&p=6FD35315AB3D3572&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=1 It seemed so appropriate since that is exactly what I was doing. It had occurred to me that I might actually be out of my goddamn mind. Then again, this thought has crossed my mind several times throughout my life & has never really been a point of major concern. But... packing up my life to move to another country to marry a man who I...
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Annoying Americans, Volume 4 – Expat Bloggers

Annoying Americans, Volume 4 – Expat Bloggers

American expat bloggers... well, yeah - it's true that with my little blue passport, Wordpress account & carte de séjour, I meet all of the criteria.  But, just wait... hold back your fist-pumping, cries of "hypocrite!" for just a moment.  I might get around to making a point... eventually. Before I moved to France, I spent a great deal of time scouring the internet for information on the place that was to be my new home.  It was a big move, going from Loveland, Colorado to Paris, France.  I was planning to get married to a French man soon after my arrival - I was nervous, excited, stressed-out & elated.  I was doing this alone, with only my faithful feline sidekick. Even though I had already been to France a couple of times already, I wanted to find as much information as I could, so that I could get a clearer picture of what in the hell I was getting myself into. Some...
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Annoying Americans, Volume 3 – Ordering Food

Annoying Americans, Volume 3 – Ordering Food

Ok, so imagine this: a group of people that you don't know come over to your house for dinner.  They don't speak your language very well - they expect you, as the host, to comprehend everything that they say.  They point & pantomime, occasionally spitting out a few words that you can understand. This group of strangers gag when they see the food that you set before them.  They balk in their foreign tongue & ask for other food items that you've never heard of, as those things exist only in their country. They're obnoxious, rude & don't understand what the problem is. Of course, the problem could be that they're naturally assholian, but it's more likely that they're just ignorant. Which is worse?  Um... does it matter? I've seen this happen here in Paris.  It's fucking painful to watch.  American tourists in restaurants & cafés who haven't the slightest clue about ordering food in France. To be fair, it can be confusing.  However, I've...
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