I’m sitting at a marble table as traffic zooms five floors below and a 15 month old gagas and plays with blocks in the next room. Occasionally he shouts a bit to make sure he knows where I am and then goes back to blocks after I respond.
It’s funny. I took this job because it’s in Paris; I didn’t take it because I wanted to look after babies. That’s probably self-evident. But I’ve been here almost two weeks now and I’ve only gone out three or four times. I’m not sure why that is. I’m a homebody by nature, and I’ve been coddling myself through culture shock, but maybe I’m coddling myself too much.
Today, I didn’t leave my apartment once, except to pick up Moïse (my little French baby) at daycare. I didn’t even shower until noon.
Now, that kind of thing happens at home all the time. Okay, not all the time, but pajama day is just part of my natural life. But at home, I don’t feel guilty about it. Here, I do. Partly because I know that a true Parisian would never ever do that.
But I’m not a true Parisian. I can’t even speak French. That’s one of the reasons I don’t go out. I’m embarrassed. I also only have one friend here so far.
Every other day I vacillate between being glad I’m here and wishing I’d stuck to my original plan to get an apartment in Columbus with my dog and work in a bakery. One day I’m journaling about how I’m coming to terms with being here, and the next I’m in tears again wondering why on earth I’m not doing something more productive to work on my career (in god knows what).
Luckily, I know myself well enough to know that this all has a simple explanation: I’m bored.
As fun as Moïse is, watching him is not that stimulating. I’ve learned that babies aren’t as scary as I thought, and frankly they’re not that different from dogs, except they cry and smell worse (yeah, I said it). But I need something more than just a baby with big grey eyes.
And you know what? I’m the only one preventing that from happening.
Really I’m just waiting for my French classes to start, but why am I constantly wishing I wasn’t here? That’s just silly.
And I know it’s just silly, and it just makes me grumpier.
The thing is, I feel the way I feel. And that’s okay. But sometimes (most of the time) I just need a mental shake and a list of things to see in Paris that don’t involve much French speaking (re: hunt for the best patisserie temporarily postponed).
I think this weekend will be a museum weekend, and then the first day of French class on Monday! Allons-y!