Okay, this is a month overdue, but here goes…
3 DAYS IN AMSTERDAM! (end of october 2011)
So, My boyfriend visited me for the last 10 days of October, and for 3 of those days, we (along with 2 au pair friends) went to Amsterdam! We used http://www.eurolines.com for really cheap bus tickets and we drove up over night. We stayed in a hostel in front of the red light district and had hostelmates who were from Israel!
The moment we stepped off of the bus at 6am was perhaps the most confusing moment of my life. We had just spent 6 hours on a bus, and were being left at a dark and freezing cold bus station a few towns over from Amsterdam… And all of the signs looked like this: Daag Staationspleein einnt dergspplaut roaateril. I totally just make all of that up but LOOKED LIKE THAT! I had no idea what to do! Eventually we found the train station and then tried to figure out how to work the ticket machines. We did it wrong. But the station police were nice enough not to yell at us or fine us. We made it to Central Station before 7 am, and it was STILL. PITCH. BLACK. There were bikes and trams everywhere, and this just added to our confusion. It took us 2 hours to find the hostel. It was a 10 minute walk from the station but we were too disoriented and confused to be able to find it that fast.
After the first few hours in Amsterdam, we got used to the language and the cold and the sun eventually came out too. We met up with the rest of our group at Central Station later that morning, and then we did some touristy things such as souvenir shopping, red light district, they ate something called a mcrocket, and then we smoked. We smoked a lot of weed there, and a lot of different types. I got tired of it pretty fast.
I also went to the Anne Frank House while I was there and I loved it. I read her diary a lot when I was little, and to see the place she was writing about was incredible. I wanted to do more during my stay, but I was so poor and so were my friends. Maybe I’ll go back another time.
The last few hours of my stay were a nightmare. I read my tickets wrong (or I ordered the wrong ones) and I missed my bus by 7 hours…. But we managed to get new tickets for the night bus back to Paris. It ended up costing a lot but that’s what I get for my stupidity.
MUST SEES IN AMSTERDAM: Anne Frank House, Red Light District (was my favorite!!!), Van Go Museum, Bike Rentals, walk along the canals, Boat Ride, Windmill Bike Tour, Wax Museum
Due to visa troubles, I have to return to the USA 5 months earlier than expected. Since I changed host families, I was too lazy to register with a school and I didn’t receive my contract with the family in time for my OFII appointment. Technically today is the last day that I’m legally allowed in the country without a validated visa. I tried to extend my stay by a few weeks so that I could get everything sorted out but the government said no. Sooo if I tried to come back after christmas I would be stopped at the border and I don’t want to go through all of that drama.
Paris has been absolutely amazing. I’ve made great friendships with some of the best people who I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. My french has definitely improved, and I have improved as a person. Leaving home and coming to France was a growing experience, and I’m ready to take that next step and go home, buckle down, and go to school full time. My goal is to become a kindergarten teacher who travels between international schools, that way I can travel the world and continue doing what I’m good at. Needless to say, I’m really excited for my future.
I’m going to make more posts before I go, since I’ve been slacking so hardcore.
Let’s start with MY BIRTHDAY WEEKEND
I celebrated my 19th birthday on October 8th, and I have an amazing day planned. But when I woke up, my stomach didn’t feel right. I met up with some friends for the flea market, and I remember that I kept saying how my stomach was bothering me. I would be walking and then get the overwhelming urge to puke everywhere. I thought it could have been food poisoning, but now since 2 of my friends have gotten the same thing, I now know that it was just a stomach bug. I was so bummed out because my friend spent a lot of time and money baking me a beautiful birthday cake, so I owe her one for th
I mean, look how wonderful that cake is!!!! I absolutely love my friends here. More on that later! I spent my birthday puking in my friend’s room, but I still had a great time because they were taking care of me. I also got to go vintage shopping, and finding these 3 second hand stores has really helped my wardrobe :) One of the highlights of my day was running errands with my host mom that morning. We stopped by her friend’s new office (she’s a therapist), they were doing light renovations and the building had this amazing feel to it. That’s when I noticed the plaque on the wall that read- “voici la première maison à Paris de Picasso- 1901”. I was standing in the first studio in Paris that Picasso ever lived in. A room that was in a private apartment building on one of the steep Montmartre streets. A room that only a few people have really been in. I was so honored. I spent the first few hours of my birthday just smiling about that.
I did finally get around to celebrating my birthday this friday with a few awesome friends. It started out kind of bad, but by the middle/end of the night, I loved it. I had so much fun dancing and drinking with my friends. It was a wonderful evening and I can’t wait to have many more of those in the upcoming months! I adore them, it’ll be hard to leave when the year is up!!
I will be making a separate post tonight about actual au pairing :) A bientot!
I thought I’d give you guys a rundown on my weekly schedule, it’s basically the schedule of most au pairs in Paris, with some changes of course.
Monday, Thursday, Friday
Get up at 8am to help take the kids to school, return by 8:30.
8:30am-4:10pm Sleep a little bit more, do laundry, iron, empty dishwasher, or hang out with friends
4:20- Pick up the oldest kids from school and walk over to cherche to get Auguste, who is only 2. Have gouter on the way home, constantly shout “RESTER A COTE MOI” (STAY CLOSE TO ME!)
4:30-6 Play outside in the courtyard, maybe fold some laundry, knit a little while watching them play
6pm- Bath. Oh how I hate the bath.
6:30-7:30 Play until dinner time, usually help make dinner. Watch them eat dinner and then clean up the mess/wash dishes while parents put them to bed.
7:30-whenever- I go to my room and watch videos or maybe meet up with some friends. On wednesdays I always drink wine with mes amis by the Seine.
Same schedule as above, only at 6 I take Jules, who is 4, to his roller skating class until 7:15. It’s really fun to watch!
9:00- Wake up and chill with the kids for a few hours, maybe watch some cartoons.
10:30- head out to Parc Monceau for Josephine’s ballet class, play in the parc with her brother until it ends
12:15- Head back to the apartment for lunch, after lunch, a small nap
2:00-5:30- Ride scooters, play in the courtyard, maybe visit Sacre Coeur
5:30- pick up the youngest from cherche
6:00- Bath time!
7:30- Finally get some time to myself!
I finally feel comfortable and happy with my living situation. I even bought furniture(ish things) and decorations for my room from ikea the other day. I’m so happy living here, I just need to find more to do to keep myself busy.
It took 5 weeks and a change in host families for me to finally feel like I have a place in Paris, but finally I am happy with where I am (: I could definitely stay in Paris for a while (:
My 19th birthday is on Saturday, it’s going to be an amazing day. Here’s what is planned so far: mache aux puces, hippy market at hotel de ville, piercing/tattoo maybe? I’m not sure/drinking or hookah bar/just having an absolute wonderful day. I’m so excited! Plus my mom packed an awesome care package and it should arrive by saturday :) So I even have a present to open! I can’t wait!
look at my ear! I got my cartilage pierced yesterday and I love it (: