Tag: France

What au pairing has taught me or When there’s 7 weeks left

Hello darlings!

Summer has finally come to Paris, and time is flying faster than ever. I cannot believe all I have æeft of my Paris-adventure is 7 weeks. When you’re in it, you never really see how time is flying, until you’re near the end. And even though I’m overly excited about next year too, I know leaving Paris is gonna be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done so far. Saying goodbye to your host-family, your friends and the most amazing city ever. I’m not gonna have a dry eye, and here are the 3 reasons why au pairing has been the best year ever:

  1. I got out of my comfort zone. Even though there’s still plenty of possibilities for you to do new stuff in your home city, nothing says leaving your comfort zone, as moving to a completely new country and culture. I’ve never been as challenged and happy as I have this year, so I guess they’re right when they say the real magic is happening outside your comfort zone.
  2. I got to do everything I wanted. Having been in school for 13 years, I’ve always had things to do. Homework to read, assignments to write and exams to prepare for. For the first time in my life. I have been able to do exactly what I wanted to. Stay in been all day watching series? No guilt. Spending all your money on coffees and crepes? Nothing you really need to pay for anyway. One of the things which have made this year so amazing, has definitely been because I’ve been able to live my life exactly as I wanted it.
  3. I found myself. Okay, I know it’s one of the biggest clichés ever said, bur for me it was true. I went to Paris with many expectations, and after having fought my way though college, there was still so much I wasn’t sure of. What I wanted to do with my life, what was truly important for me. Who I was, when I wasnt a student, a worker or anything else but just me. And all the questions I had befre, has in these last 9 months been answered.

Thats all for now – remember to follow me on my instagram to stay updated on my life in Paris! xx

A booklover’s Paris

 

Bonjour a tout le monde

Today is the first day of spring! Can you believe how the time is flying? The weather is getting better, the days are getting longer and summer is just around the corner. For a writer like myself Paris is such an amazing city with loads of inspiration, and it’s gonna be so nice being able to sit by the Seine and write again. However it’s still gray and rainy, but until the weather gets better I’ve written a post about the Paris I love, a booklover’s Paris.

The bookstores

Have you also tried walking around in bookstore after bookstore, leaving disappointed because there were no English books to be found? You don’t have to worry any longer, because I have founf the 3 best bookshops in Paris with english books:

Shakespeare and Co.

If you have ever read about Paris, talked to people who have lived here or been visiting yourself, and you like to read at least a bit, you have heard of Shakespeare and Co. It’s an English bookshop, right next to Notre Dame. It was founded in 1951 by George Whitman. Ever since it opened, many artists, writers and intellectuals have visited the shop, and many have even been invited to sleep among the bookshelves and piles of books. Shakespeare and Co is without a doubt my favourite bookshop in Paris.

Where to find it: 37 rue de la Bûcherie
75005 Paris (metro stop Cité)

The Abbey Booksop

Not far from Shakespeare and Co, you’ll find the Abbey Bookshop. A wonderful messy and completely full, English bookshop. As you can see on my photos you can barely enter between the bookshelves because of the many piles of books. Unfortunately, the Abbey Bookshop is often overlooked my shops like Shakespeare and Co. However, I can promise you it has all the books you desire and to considerable smaller price than the more famous bookshops.

 

Where to find it:   29 Rue de la Parcheminerie, 75005 Paris
(metro stop Cluny – La Sorbonne)

 

Gibert Jeune – Librairie générale et papeterie

Gilbert Jeune is, as the name gives, a yellow bookshop right in front of Saint Michem metro. It its a french bookshop, but they have a rather big english department (seperated from the 4-floors of french books though).You can basically findy anything you want, new books as well as second hand books, which you can find on sale to resonable prices.
It has a great collection of books in both english and french, not to mention all the gorgeous notebooks and cute gifts you can get in there as well.  It’s very central and close to the other two bookshops I’ce described for you, so if you’re already in the area I’d recomend you to have a look at this “little” yellow bookshop as well!

Where to find it:  5 Place Saint-Michel, 75005 Paris
(metro stop Saint-Michel)

 

4 things I’ve noticed about the french

One of the great things about being an au pair, is that you get really close to the culture of the country you’re au paring in! I have here written 4 things I’ve learned about the french culture since my last post about it (read it here)

  1. They eat dinner so late. I mean for a dane, normal dinner time is around 18-19. But french people, when there eating at a friend’s place, they don’t even shove up before 19.30. And then you first get drinks, eat some chips, talk. And not until you’ve finished with that you start getting to the table.
  2. Their sense of humour. I know every language has it’s own sense of humour that can be hard for foreigners to understand, but have you seen a french movie? It’s kind of a cruel humour, it relies a lot on humiliating situations where you cringe and wanna hide under your duvet on behalf of the characters, who doesn’t realize the situations themselves.
  3. The patriotism. If there is one word I would definitely describe the french people with, it’s pride. They take great pride in their government and nation, and I would go as far to say they are typically offended by negative comments about their country. Several of my friends interpret their attitude toward foreigners as rude.
  4. French cuisine. Though the dinnertime is late, the food is really delicious. Good food and good wine are very important for the french people, and thought the cooking style has changed, most french associate french cooking with complicated preparation.

Spending holidays at home

Bomjour a tout le monde!

This monday morning I arrived back in Paris after spending one wonderful week home with my family and friends in Denmark. It wasn’t a lot, but I was happy with the time I got. But going home to spend this holiday was a completely new experience. Even though I don’t live there anymore, it’s been my home for so long that I guess, in some ways, it will always feel like home home. And that was a surprise for me, because so much has happened since I left for Paris and I feel like I have changed a lot. So suddenly being back again, where everything was as I left it, was an experience. I guess I somehow had experienced that everything would be different, because I am different, and that I would feel different about being home. But to be honest: it almost felt like I had never left – everything was just the same. That also made it a bit hard leaving again, since everything had felt so normal. Though I could clearly feel I had changed, I had different thoughts about a lot of things that I didn’t have before I left, but when it all comes down to the core, it just felt like being home. Paris has also become my home, but I guess it will never be the same as my parents house in Denmark. Not when I’m spending just 1 year here and I’ve lived in Denmark for the last 19 years,

Today is a special day in France where you can buy the delicious Galette de Roi – a cake traditionally shared at Epiphany, on the 6th of January. If you’re following me on my snapchat, you’d have seen what I got as a gift, hidden inside!
A bientôt

4 lessons in 4 months or Why I love my job

If you’re going to be sad, you might as well be sad in Paris.

Once again I have no idea where the time went and it’s been too long since my last post! I really can’t believe it’s almost christmas and in just 15 days I’m going back home to see my friends and family again. I’ve been in Paris around 4 months, and I gotta tell you it’s been some of an adventure so far. I think we all have these big expectations of how a year abroad will be, but to be honest I feel like most of my expectations has turned out to be fulfilled. Everyday in Paris is like a fairy tale. Not that Im saying you don’t have bad and challenging days too, but all in all that’s how I feel. And here I’ll give you the best parts of being an au pair in Paris:

  1. The city in itself. I mean, it’s Paris. Do I need to say more? All that you read and and hear about this city of lights is more or less true. Everyday I get to go out, and whatever it is I’m doing, I get to do it in Paris.
  2. The children. I know some people become au pairs only for the city or only for the cultural experience, but for most it’s also because I really like children. And even though it can be the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, it’s also the best decision I’ve ever made. I mean getting to look after 3 absolute amazing children day after day and even get payed for it? Yes please!
  3. The friendships. As you know from my previous post I have experienced that amazing people can be found everywhere.  And even though all my friends are from completely different countries than mine, I’ve discovered that some of the friendships I have are the best I’ve ever experience. I believe I’ve found friends for life as an au pair, how cheesy that may sound.
  4. You get to experience and see another culture up close. When you become an au pair and get close with your host family, you get to see the culture as it really is. Not just as a tourist passing by, but as every other french family who lives in France.

That’s all for now!
A bientôt

2 months as an au pair of 10 things that has happened so far

Time is flying so fast, and I can’t believe I’ve already been in Paris for 2 months! 2 months left and I’ll get to see my family again for the holidays. 2 months more and I’ve already spent the first half part of my year as an au pair. As you all know from my other posts, loads of things has happened for the last two months, and I thought I would share the 10 things I’ve learned since my au pair adventure started:

  1. You get so many flashbacks from your own childhood. Games you played with your friends, the times your parents took you out for a walk in the foods, summer camps… Things you thought you’d forgotten long time ago suddenly comes back to you when you experience your host kid’s childhood and everything they do, like and dislike. And its pretty helpful when you need to come up with new ideas to entertain them.
  2. You really appreciate the weekly phone calls from people at home. Everytime I hear my phone buzz and se the word “mom” or the name of a friend from back home, I get really happy. Even if it’s just a short chat or my mom talking about the new clothes she bought, I really appreciate the small window to how things are back home in Denmark.
  3. There will be a time were you’ll never want kids on your own. As great as au paring can be, you’ll definitely experience a time where you convince yourself getting your own kids is no longer something you want. But it’s okay, it’s mostly just temporary.
  4. You become independent. For me it was a big change to become an au pair right after finishing Gymnasium. I mean I didn’t just move away from home, I moved to another country, a new culture and a big city. I moved from going to school everyday and just taking care of myself, to work 6 days a week, where I would be taking care of 3 little monkeys, that really tests your patience. I have to take care of myself, there’s no longer a mom to spoil me when I’m sick with the flu. I’ve felt like for the first time I’ve tried how it really is to take care of myself and be on my own.
  5. You learn so much about yourself. Being an au pair is one of the greatest and most challenging things I have ever done. And I never thought I had so many opinions about so many things until I started as an au pair. I mean I’ve never really thought about how I wanted to raise my kids some day, or how I think the best way to cook is. But when you try to live with a different family who really do everything different from you, you realize how many opinions you do have after all.
  6. You learn how to enjoy the little things.I think that pretty much everyone arrives to their host country with really big expectations, about all the awesome things you going to experience and all the travels you’re going to make. But when it comes down to your normal weeks being with the children who can be all naughty, and let’s bet hones; not exactly like does kids you used to babysit back home, you happen to lower your expectations. Suddenly a hug from your host kid or a small (quiet) walk around the neighborhood, can suddenly make your day. Not that the dreams of all the things you want to do are gone: everyday just becomes a bit better if you enjoy all the small things as well.
  7. Adults can be just as annoying as children. I mean you would think (or so did I) that a goon up would be really mature with some kind of common sense, know when enough is enough. But what I’ve experienced as an au pair, is that host parents can complain and moaning just as much as the host children does. For me it was a bit of a surprise since I’d have this idea that when you’re in you late thirties and have had children, you would actually have grown up. But maybe there’s just some things that doesn’t change. We love them anyway.
  8. You see your own mom in a brand new perspective. So my mom was alone with me and my two siblings for a big part of our childhood since my dad was a tourist bus driver. And after I’ve personally tried to look after 3 children on my own just 5 hours everyday, I am really looking different and my mom. And my biggest though: HOW DID SHE DO IT? I mean 3 children with only 2 years between, alone. She didn’t even have an au pair. Talk about some new respect have appeared.
  9. Amazing people can be found everywhere. Before I arrived here in Paris I was seriously afraid I wouldn’t find any friends on my own age. What if I was just going to be alone all year, only having the host parents and host kids to talk to? But as I arrived and met so many great friends, some of them probably for life, I’ve learned that amazing people can be found everywhere. I have met people just as adventures, crazy and awesome as one could wish to find in a friend.
  10. It is all worth it. Not that I can predict how I will feel 8 months later, but just after these two months, after changing host family and really have experienced to be tested, I already feel like it is all with it. All the times you thought about quitting, or tried to be yelled at by your host kid, even when the last metro has been cancelled. Au pairing is really great, and it has definitely been one of the best decisions in my life.

The 7 first surprises or The differences between France and Denmark

Hi guys! I know its been a while since my last blog post, and Im really sorry about that! I guess the last couple of weeks have been a bit crazy, but Im back now with a brand new post! I’ve been in Paris 5 weeks, and in my time here I have come across some differences between France and Denmark. I’ve listet the first 7 here:

  1. Lunch is just as important and big as dinner. I know it is not only in France it work this way, but it definitely isn’t how it is in Denmark. Some ryebread with cold cuts or “leverpostej” and thats it. But in France the lunch contains the same amount of attention as dinner.
  2. Everything is dubbed into French. One of my first nights here, I sat with my host family in the living room to watch a movie I knew. To my surprise it was not in the language I knew. It was dubbed. And thats how it is with everything you see on TV and also most films in the cinemas. In Denmark it’s only children’s movies that are dubbed, the rest is in original language with subtitles.
  3. Bread is the key to every meal. Before I went to Paris I was thinking of baguette as “french bread”. But now that I’ve been living here, I’ve discovered it’s so much more than that. French people love their bread, and it always gets on the table along with the meal. To be honest I’ve grown really fond of this.
  4. The kissing. In Denmark you shake hands when you meet someone, or hug them if they’re familiar. In France you kiss them. Not on the mouth of course, but depending on where you are in the country, you give 2, 3 or 4 kisses when you meet people. In Paris it’s 2, and though I found it kinda weird in the beginning, I think I’m getting used to it now. But I still prefer to hug my friends when I see them 😉
  5. Opening hours. The French definitely take the part of keeping the sunday free seriously. You’re lucky if you find a shop open, and the restaurants is often limited to McDonald’s. In Denmark there’s always a supermarket open, and even on Sundays, some of them have normal opening hours.
  6. Fresh food. Food is a big deal in generel in France, and to cook a nice meal, french people use a lot of fresh food. I know more and more danish people are getting more conscious about the food they eat, but its rare that it’s not at least potatoes and meet together. I’ve had loads of meals here in france that mainly contained of vegetables and fish.
  7. Vous. In Denmark it’s been some time ago since we called teachers by last name and “sir” or “madame” to strangers. But this is definitely not the case in France. To accidentally say “you” to a stranger on the street is no excuse. You absolutely have to say “madame” and “vous”. Unless they’re familiar faces that is.