8 Sep 2012

Withdrawal Symptoms

Marks and Spencer

Getting a little reminder of Britain is very important in my weekly routine here in Paris.  Today I lunched on an M&S BLT.  They actually have M&S in Paris.  My life just got exciting.  While my long-lost love of Boots the Chemist will remain at the pinnacle of my mourning, combined with the apparent lack of Marmite in the cupboard, this past week I have learnt to accept that some things are just not meant to be.  In all honesty, my heart melted just a little bit as I stood in the familiar looking M&S food hall.  My mouth was watering and I wanted more than anything else to repeat the words “Honey, I’m home”.  I then went to dine on my picnic in the Parc Monceau near the Champs Elysées as I reminisced about Mummy’s Spag Bol and gooey chocolate brownies under a tree.  That’s another thing: too much sun.  I can’t believe I’m complaining but being in a city when it’s too sunny is a nightmare.  I’m rather too fond of my shade.   

Most of the friends I’ve made thus far have been Brits.  I lie.  They’ve spoken English.  Everyone in my office at the IHT is American, British, or a random melange which still ends up with them speaking English.  The few frenchies are definitely outnumbered.  The phone rings at my desk and I respond in an overtly British drawl: “Communications Centre”.  French people call and I virtually refuse to speak French back to them.  By which I mean; I never understand a word they’re saying so I simply have no choice but to say “Je ne parle pas le français”.  They usually hang up, or mumble something inaudible.  *FYI:  understanding French people on the phone is 10 times harder than in person.*  Apart from my poor grasp of French phone lingo, the only other upsetting thing about my internship is that I’m currently doing 6 day weeks.  Plus, if the printer breaks down it’s my job to fix it.  That’s got my name written ALL over it.

Tomorrow I’m going to check out an English church near the Champs Elysées called St. Michael’s.  I was recommended it by a friend and I’m going along to the 7pm service which I’ve been told will be filled with young professionals such as myself.  If I can even refer to myself as a young professional.  Oh, I do sound important.

Watch this space.


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