My Humans of Paris.
"Why did you choose to come to Paris? Why Paris?"
"I think because my dad was always obsessed with France and so I became obsessed with the city. For about a year, I would read blogs. Google it. I would have been an avid reader of your blog in 2013. I was on every single Parisian blog when I should have been revising. It was my DREAM. I thought I'd live there forever."
"What happened? Don’t you wanna be back?"
"Um….wanderlust...and I realized it's entirely people and not the place. The people are what makes the place."
"Do you have a favorite moment from Paris?"
"Actually, one of my favorite moments was probably in the roundabout with you at Place de la Concorde."
"Remind me what happened."
"Didn’t we walk… it was a whole day I can’t even remember…do you remember? What would youdefine your favorite moment in Paris as?"
"That moment as well."
"Yeah, because we were just sitting in the middle of this huge traffic roundabout in the middle of all these cars. We had emotional music on, just trying to soak up our last moments together and then I remember...we look up while we’re lying down and what is it?!"
"HAHAHA no! Well yes, that, but also the Eiffel Tower sparkling!"
"Oh yeah! That too! That was amazing."
"Do you think you'll raise your own kids differently after having been an au pair, knowing what you know now?"
"It made me realize how hard really successful people with kids have to work. My host parents work all the hours that they can…and at the weekend their just exhausted... and they’ve made a good effort to hang out with their kids...But even then like…"
"It’s just too much."
"Yeah, I’d rather be less successful than them, but then be able to see more of my kids."
"So do you think then that calls for more traditional roles between male and female? Like...do you think women should just stay home and watch kids?"
"NO. That’d be so borin'!! I’d be so bored out-ma skull! I’d probably kill them and be on TV like : « Mother Kills Three Kids and Husband » …. I’d make it out alive though. hahaha"
"My mum is a super hero. She raised three children by herself and she worked 6 days a week and really long hours."
"What did your mother do that you would replicate if you became a mother?
"Everything she did. Everything she did. She handled my sister's anorexia so well. Found out 2 weeks after my sister started being bulimic my mum was onto it, straight away. She pointed it out to me. She said 'Every time your sister eats she goes straight to the bathroom and puts really loud music on.' Two weeks later, she tricked my sister into going to the doctors and then my sister admitted that she had been vomiting after. The therapist said that was quickest case she ever saw someone go really deep into anorexia and then straight out."
"Were you scared?"
"Yeah, f*** yeah. She almost got admitted to the hospital. She weighed 36 kilos…thats like 75 pounds."
"How old was she?"
"How tall we she?"
"A little bit shorter than me."
"You’re quite tall."
"She was quite thin."
"I told you about that time I swore when I was twelve?"
"No I don't think so."
"So you know the expression 'Wash your mouth out with soap?'"
"I said like ‘F*** you!' to my brother when I was 12 or 13 and my dad heard and he grabbed my wrist and marched me to the bathroom and made me put soap in my mouth-------Never did it again!"
"What was your job before coming to Paris?"
"I was a second grade teacher for DC public schools."
"For how long?"
"For two years."
"What advice would you give to someone who was about teach in the inner city of Washington DC?"
"I would say…the best thing they could do is to connect with the community that they’re teaching in. It was hard though because where the kids live is being very gentrified. It’s called the Arsery Projects. Their strip is surrounded by this young, white, gentrified neighborhood. So even if you’re trying to make yourself present in the community its even harder because their community is shrinking now."
"Wasn’t it interesting to spend time with your students in their homes?"
"It was eye opening.You see the situation these kids are living in and you understand why they come to school with all the baggage they do. Like I went to one home and ya know there’s just...nothing. You see just how bare some of these places are or you see how far the kids have to travel. You understand why they might be absent all the time if they’re coming from Southeast DC. It gave me a really good perspective, because I think sometimes for me the best part of good teachers is their understanding of who they’re teaching."
"Why do french people have the stereotype of being mean?"
"Because it’s true!"
"Yes! because it’s freaking true! But to be fair though, it's just Parisians because I’ve lived in France before. Loved it. In the countryside, when I was a teenager."
"Yeah, and I also think that when people come for a few days, they get bad impressions because they meet a few people and they’re like oh french people are horrible."
"Right? It’s not really that horrible…I don’t think they’re horrible. It’s just the bureaucracy that pisses us off. Everything that we’re angry about has to do with paperwork, right? Which just takes them months."
"Yeah that's true."
"It’s a different work culture."