for the Paris journal from 2016.
for the week of 10/11/15.
Sun, 10/4/15. Lunch lady French.
Max's French is getting good and we are realizing it has a lot to do with
his intimate relationship with the school lunchlady. For instance,
yesterday as we were leaving the apartment, Max held the door open and
said "Avancez s'il te plait" (Advance please), a phrase Jean and I never say, and when
asked how he knew it he told us the lunchlady says it.
Yesterday we saw this great film festival for kids at the nearby Odeon
Theatre, and it was awesome. It had an eco theme, and before it started a
woman sat on the floor with the kids and told them a story, and then they
showed about 8 little 5-10 min animated films which were all incredibly
good. My favorite was about sheep and clouds and it was all in
watercolors. I'd never seen an animation in watercolors before. The others
liked one about a goldfish who wants to go in the sea, but then
finds the sea a rough place to live and is happy when he gets put back in
a bowl by a human. Afterwards we went through the Jar Lux to the Quai
d'Orsay for some monkey bar exercise. It was a beautiful day and nice to
walk around. At night Jean did yoga at a place just two doors down from us.
Sat, 10/3/15. Auri's birthday.
Today we went to Auri's birthday party, our first birthday party in Paris,
and it was an extravaganza. Eva made a delicious Finnish cake and planned
a terrific treasure hunt with a different treasure and map for each kid.
It was amazing. A lot of kids from school were there, and all in all it
was 11 girls and 1 Maxie. Afterwards we went to see this cool ice
sculpture exhibiting tonight only outside the Hotel de Ville. The ice
statues looked like popsicles and we debated which we'd eat first.
Max has started playing with his handcuffs again and is quite addicted to
them again. Gems is getting really, really good at art. Her picture she
drew recently is at the top of this entry, and Jean and I call it an early
Degas. I'm sure we're not biased at all.
Fri, 10/2/15. Timeo and Marie.
Today we cleaned and shopped while the kids were in school, and then after
school had Timeo and Marie over. They are boy girl twins in Max and Gems's
classes, and were also born on Aug 18. They're really nice kids too, and
their dad Samir came with them and was extremely nice as well. Spoke
French to him and he spoke English back. He said the school wanted to
separate his twins when they started the school at age 3 but he and his
wife Cath didn't want to so they protested and the school caved in but
made them separate at age 4. I asked him why the land of Debussy, Money
and Voltaire could have so many ridiculous rules. He just shrugged and
said "I don't know."
I think I'm getting a little better at French. Yesterday I was reading the Tennis
magazine they gave me at Roland Garros in French and it was very readable,
and I've been having nice conversations lately with people I meet like the
supermarket checkers or the parents of Max and Gems's classmates.
Thu, 10/1/15. No balls in the park.
Jean and I did lots of errands, including returning her purse and pants to
BHV, which took a hilarious number of steps and paperwork. We went out to
lunch again to le Loir, a place fast becoming our regular spot, and an
Ellen rec I should mention. Everything there is so incredibly delicious.
Anyway, it sucks that our place in LA still hasn't rented and we're not
sure what to do financially if it just never rents.
After school I took Max and Gems to Parc Monge to play soccer and a woman
said balls were not allowed in the park. It is incredible how many rules
they have here. We ended up playing instead in the little tiny park right
near the church, St. Severin, across the street from our apartment, and
ran into Max's school friend Guillaume there. I tried to talk to his nanny
a little bit but we were not understanding each other, and I'm not sure
why exactly. Yesterday in my basketball league, I was picked like 5th
overall out of around 20 people there, which is ridiculous. Usually when I
play in LA, I am generally slightly underrated, and am almost always
picked last when probably I should usually be like 8th or 9th out of the
10 players. Every once in a while, though, there are a couple guys who
will vastly overrate me and pick me much earlier than they should, and
it's usually kind of half as a joke and half because I'm just kind of
friends with them and they like playing with me. I guess France is no
different because that's exactly the case here as well. Every time I've
been picked near the end even though I'm about average or maybe slightly
above average here. But last night, a really nice guy named Jonathan
picked me so early it was just absurd. I think we lost every
single game. There were sooooo many clearly better players than me, and I
mean guys taller, more athletic, 20 something years old, and good.
At night after dinner today we did our usual nighttime routine of
brushing teeth, washing faces, putting on lotion, dancing to Michael
Jackson with Maxie while Gems talks privately to Mama, and then reading a
little Harry Potter, doing "I tuck you in your little bed and rock you to
sleep", and then going to sleep.
Wed, 9/30/15. LeBron.
Today we went to the Pompidou Bibliotheque where they were having a
tournament of their new video basketball game, and I played with Max and
Gems and we lost thoroughly despite the fact that LeBron James was
completely unstoppable in the game. Max and Gems did a lot of Mrs. Paint
in the library too. While I was playing the videogame with Gems, Max and
Jean were reading the Batman book there, and Jean pointed out the Batcave
where Batman does all his work. Max said "Oh la la, that's a lot of work."
Max was so starving for a snack afterwards, we had to
convince him to wait til after dinner for a delicious ice cream instead.
The weather has been nice and warm lately so it's been nice to walk around
and eat ice cream again.
Tue, 9/29/15. La danse.
We went after school with Auri, Eva and Iris to dance class and met
English Chris there and his daughter Alora who's also in the class, and
went back on the bus with them. They're all very nice, and Eva was talking
about how she didn't like living in Finland very much which surprised
Chris, and Eva said "If you ask most Finnish people to name 3 things they like
about Finland, their response will be, hmm....". Max and Gems are steadily
getting better and better at French, and it seems like every day they come
home with a new expression or phrase that they clearly didn't hear in our
house, like Max's "a toute a l'heure" the other day when he went to the
bathroom. I found out today the bank still hasn't made available to me my
check I deposited there on Sep 11, 18 days ago, despite my having
contacted them about it and even having gone in to speak with them about
it twice. They warned me it takes 12 days for a check to clear here, but I
didn't realize that was optimistic. Today for lunch Jean and I went to
another Ellen rec in the Marais and it was her first bust so far, as we
didn't really like it and won't go back but even it was not bad. She's
like 9 out of 10 now. However, after lunch we stopped at a patisserie and
shared the incredibly delicious "dome de cassis" shown above. Actually, at
first we went into one place and they were open for lunch and the desserts
were sitting out and looking good, but the man there said they
would not serve dessert until 2pm! How French is that?
Mon, 9/28/15. Les amis.
Jean went with me to drop off and pick up the kids from school today and
met a bunch of Max and Gems's friends, including Ouliana, Zadig, and Timeo,
and their respective parents, Olivier, Aurelie, and Samir. After school we
went to the park to play soccer which evolved into rolling the ball onto
this statue and then chasing the ball as it fell down, and then making
fake pizzas and cake out of dead leaves and grass.
for the week of 09/27/15.