A fairly new blog, My life as an expat in Paris looks like it’s going to be a good ‘un!
Mdsport, the owner of the blog (do blogs have owners or do they grow to own their blogger – I’ve often wondered that?) says… “I have accepted an assignment in Paris and will leave in ~30 days? For a number of reasons my wife and I decided I should go first. My wife will come over after Christmas. Before she comes I need to get the apartment ready, bank accounts set and determine the lay of the land. Not to mention I have to work. The job will be primarily in Paris, but my job will have me/us spending considerable time around the Mediterranean Sea countries.”
You can read the rest of Mdsport’s Opening Comments for more details.
So what does this blog have that makes it rise to the top of the list of blogs to review (you can check The List of Blogs Awaiting Review here) and cause me to highlight it this Monday?
Well, quality writing, perhaps?
Starting a new life in France…
Now, before we go any further, it’s probably best to have a French Medical Examination.
I don’t remember having one of these myself when I moved here?
Perhaps coming from another EU country it wasn’t required?
Or maybe the authorities in question decided that they didn’t really want to poke their fingers up my bottom (or, whatever it is they do these days?)
Unknown to Mdsport, there was another test of fitness to live in France to overcome first – yes, that’s right; the dreaded French toilet!
Mdsport has this to say of that ordeal…. “When we get done with a long lunch (we had 1.5 hours to kill), Jill has to use the bathroom. She asks the owner/bartender/server where to go. He politely shows her to the room and turns on the light. When Jill returns to the table I can tell something has happened. When she went into the bathroom there was no toilet. In the center of the ceramic floor there were two imprints of where to place your feet and in the middle was a hole to pee in. For those that know Jill, this was not going to happen! Needless to say we left lunch with full bladders and went to the office for our physicals.”
Medical (and other) entry ordeals over, why not celebrate with some fine French Dining?
Mdsport decided to eat Italian?
And then, before we know it, it’s the First Day on the Job.
And everything goes fine. Mdsport meets his assistant , Kelly and says… “Kelly was nervous at first. She thought her English wouldn’t be good enough so I laid a little of my French on her. That’s all it took to convince her that she spoke good English and my French needs work.”
They’re good, these French assistants, aren’t they?
And a haircut….
Mdsport learns that No Doesn’t Always Mean No (in France) and learns that hotel staff make up for their poor wages by playing silly buggers with American guests (Umm… have to admit to doing this one myself!) and decides that… “This gave me additional insight to the French way of working – first response may be “impossible”, the next “no”, followed by “maybe” and then “of course”. I don’t believe all are this way, but for the future I won’t accept the first response as the last word. Another important French lesson.”
And the he asks that, since everyone is so handcuffed to the procedure (in France)… Does No Really Mean No?
Well, I don’t know (excuse the silly and rather childish pun) but I do know that when you finally move into your new apartment on Move in Day, nothing is going to work!
Better be nice to the Concierge, then? Who is Fatima and who is (in Mdsport’s words)… “probably mid to late 40′s, about 4 feet 2 inches and probably half as wide. She is not fat in the traditional sense, but she is solid.”
And talking of things not working…
Mdsport experiences his First Metro Strike.
One down, one hundred thousand to go!
A Different Way of Life….
Well, Life in France (or Paris, anyway) certainly does offer a view of A Different Way of Life.
Mdsport says… “Now after being here for almost three full weeks I realize I am only scratching the surface of understanding.”
All I can say is… “Well, mate. I’ve been here eight years and I still don’t have a clue!”
Moving swiftly on….
Mdsport complains about the three banes of Paris… Internet, Strikes and Smoking.
I take it that he hasn’t found out about the Dog Poo problem yet, then?
At least he has Skype and can talk to Jill face to face.
In Saturday and the Beauty of Skype, Mdsport discovers some small shops in his neighbourhood and is starting to understand and be understood…..
In a small shop, not far from his apartment, Mdsport recounts that… “The guy spoke to me in French and I actually understood a few of the words and what he meant. I asked him what kind of sandwich the guy next to me was eating – in French! More surprising, he understood what I said.”
So, summing up….
This is still a new blog but I do like the slightly sardonic tone that Mdsport gives to his posts and am full of anticipation of what the next two years are goign to bring.
Why not pop in to say hello to Mark (and Jill?)
I’m sure you’ll be made very welcome.
And me? Well, I’m going to spend Saturday in Paris.
I need to get a haircut and, after that ordeal?
Well...”I’ve found a very cool pub. It’s called “Frog XVI”. It is on avenue de Kleber, not too far off the Trocadero circle. It has microbrews and free Internet access. Hence my multiple postings. They serve a full pint (56 cl) for 7 Euro. Better yet, Monday to Friday they have happy hour until 8 PM – 5 Euro pints! What more could you ask for.”
Now, who’s round it is?
All the best