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It’s my 2nd Pariversary!

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9 March 2011

I woke up in the morning with things strewn all over my soon-to-be-former bedroom floor. I was supposed to have put everything I wanted to keep into boxes and nicely stacked in the conservatory (to be pillaged every time I go back to Dublin, of course, so I can bring more things over), set aside books and clothes that I planned to give away to charity (with my cousin assigned the duty to bring them over to the charity shop), threw everything else into the normal and recycling bins accordingly (mostly recycling), and the top priority of all – pack my suitcase!

With some 8-9 hours before I had to leave the place I’ve called home for a few years, I had no choice but to get going as quickly as possible. Suitcase first, storage boxes next, charity pile to follow. By late afternoon, miraculously, I’ve achieved all that I set out to do, and was transferring the sheets from the washing machine into the tumble dryer. Another couple of hours later, the sheets were in the cupboard, the house had been cleaned and I was set to go.

I was sad to leave, but I was excited too to move to Paris! On the bright side of things, I’m just a short flight away from all that’s familiar to me.

My aunt drove me to the airport. My suitcase was over the weight limit but I checked in without any problem. The trouble would come later when I had to drag it through Parisian public transport system on my own and into my new residence in Cité U. I never wanted to pull another overweight suitcase up any set of staircase again. Ever.

Ps: aaaaand I ended up doing it twice more following two subsequent trips back, once for my graduation and another just to visit. Each time I just had something I must dug out from storage because I needed/missed them. I still shift things to Paris bits by bits to this day, but since I’ve moved to another place which has a lift/elevator, I don’t have stairs to curse over anymore ;)

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9 March 2012

I napped a little on the bus that was hurtling its way between KLIA and my hometown. Having left Paris in the evening of 7 March at 9.05pm, with a nearly 4-hour stopover in Dubai, before finally arriving in KL on 8 March at 9.25pm, the 7-hour jetlag was catching up with me. However, no rest for the wicked as the next scheduled bus for my hometown was at 1am? 2am? I can’t even remember.

When I finally arrived at the bus station, it was dawn. Beejay picked me up and started talking about breakfast. The day was going to be long. It was the eve of his wedding and there would be much to do throughout the day.

Luckily, adrenaline kicked in. And tide me through.

In between running errands, I met my new baby niece for the first time and how adorable she was, even though she was bald and eyebrow-less. (Her hair and eyebrow have been shaved in accordance to custom when she was one month old, just a few days earlier.) It was a tad weird to see Andrew in the role of a new father. However, he also seemed very at ease playing dad, which was great.

Gosh, both my little brothers were now family men!

The rest of the day was pretty much a blur to me. I did somehow manage to even squeeze in some time to meet a couple of friends who were back in the hometown but leaving the next day (talk about tight timing!) for dinner.

There were inevitable questions from relatives passing by that day on why I didn’t bring my boyfriend home, or when would I be sending them an invitation to my big day, or even when I plan to be a parent! A lot of diplomatic and vague side-stepping answers were given. My personal life, my personal timeline, and I was not obliged to satisfy everyone’s curiosity.

Finally, all last-minute checklist items sorted. I went to bed around 2am on Beejay’s W-Day, just to be woken up at 5am because I was supposed to be part of the bride-welcoming entourage. Why did no one warn me about this earlier???

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9 March 2013

Two years. Already. Two years of leaving behind (sort of) my very comfortable abode in Dublin, friends and family. Two years of living (adventurously I hope!) in Paris with the support of my friends (old and new), my partner and my belle-famille that warmly welcomed me into their midst.

So much had happened in the mean time. I had had “interesting” time dealing with French bureaucracy and learn what patience really mean. I moved in with F, we became a couple and we got PACSed. I am trying to figure out how best to carve my career path, and think I will have an answer soon. I am learning the art of French banter but admittedly not very good at it yet, although my gaffs have proved entertaining so far. Apparently, it’s cute (whatever that means). My written French is still rubbish though.

I travel often, both in France and abroad, and I had plenty of visitors too (somehow, Paris is a bigger bait than Dublin when luring friends to visit). I loved my rare family vacation last year with my brothers, my sisters-in-law and my niece, given my siblings and I all live in different countries! Other times, I get to see F’s nieces and play with them. And speaking of family, F will become an uncle for the third time next month and I will be an aunt for the second time in July.

Food continues to be a fascination, and I love it that I have so much choice in Paris. I’ve decided (for now) that my favourite pastries and macarons come from Pierre Hermé, chocolate from Patrick Roger, hot chocolate from Un Dimanche à Paris, caramel from Jacques Genin, ice cream from Grom and hot chocolate affogato from Pozzetto. I have a lot harder time deciding on favourite restaurants but I adore the concept of one-menu dining. For my galette and crêpe fix, I like those from Little Breizh best. I am still searching for a favourite dim sum place.

I wasn’t here to celebrate my first Pariversary last year but am pondering if I should do something special today. Or this weekend even. Tough call since this is supposed to be a “quiet weekend”, as in, not going out but take things “easy” at home.

Speaking in practical terms, I should be organising paperworks that I’ll need in a few days for my carte de séjour renewal. I have not even got my mug shot taken yet! The folder is getting ridiculously thick and I’m hoping I haven’t forgotten anything vital.

Then I have a few other things on my to-do list to complete, which I couldn’t really push to another weekend. Afterall, we have visitors in the following three weekends. Totally emphasising the need for a weekend to stay in now, no?

We’ll see.

I’ll report back if it does get a bit wild ;)

Category: Ma vie en France, Musing

Tagged: , , ,

13 scribbles & notes

  1. Chlé says:

    I love this post. :D Gosh, how time passes quickly! (not quite so at the airport but in general I mean!)
    I’m totally in favour of you celebrating your 3rd Pariversary next year ;)
    See you soon!

    • Lil says:

      I’d like that too, so fingers crossed for all to go well in a few days ;)

      Have a safe flight and see you soon!

  2. Bee Ean says:

    Oh tell me when you find a good Dim Sum place to dine in France! There is none in Nantes, so maybe there is hope in Paris?

    • Lil says:

      My friends and I have tried a couple of places in the 13th arrondissement in Paris. Chine Massena has dim sum cart at the weekend, but certain items are nicer at Tricotin across the road from it. Hidden behind Tricotin is another restaurant but we didn’t like it much. There’s another place called Yoom (not in the 13th) which is more expensive and the rating is average.

      A couple of my friends have been to Malaysia with me before so they know what dim sums are like over there. Their opinion of what we have found so far in Paris is consistent with mine.

      Let me know if you are in Paris sometime – we could go out for dim sum together!

  3. med says:

    Time flies indeed and this phrase has been rolling off my tongue quite frequently lately ;)

    happy 2nd anniversary and my…do you have a good memory or what heheheh

    “Totally emphasising the need for a weekend to stay in now, no?”….same here for me and Emily too….somehow time just gets filled up automatically hmmmmm

    • Lil says:

      Hehehe… and hey, we’ve known each other by pure chance for, what, half our lives now? Now that’s scary fast!

      We did take advantage of the beautiful weather to go out cycling yesterday. As this is holiday period in Paris for school kids and many of the families are away on skiing trips, there were not much traffic, making it so much more pleasant to leisurely bike our way around the city.

  4. med says:

    indeed lil…indeed and u r online now and we are chatting here hehe

    that’s good…no more biking here for me….just seems dangerous with the roads and drives and the weather OMG…plan to do lots of biking when in melb ;)

    going out for a run soon…its raining cats and dogs now though hoohoo

    • Lil says:

      LOL… the wonders of technology? We’ll we’re getting ready to head out too. Morning pastry and cinema date, believe it or not ;)

      Have a good run! (May be cooling with the rain?) :p

  5. med says:

    Definitely….i dont mind running in slight rain ;)

    sounds great..Happy Sunday date! TA

  6. med says:

    Sure…haha…both having their Sunday nap now with the rain and all zzzzzzz :)

  7. k_sam says:

    Happy Franciversary!! :)

    • Lil says:

      thanks sam, and love the word franciversary! maybe i should adopt that, seeing there’s no guarantee how long i’m staying put in paris. if F has his way, we’d be searching for a place near the mountains or the sea, preferably both! ;)

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