Friday, June 19, 2009

I Live in Levallois-Perret (J'habite à Levallois-Perret)

This morning when I looked out my window at all the Parisians walking quickly to “somewhere” as I opened my windows, I smiled, and thought, Wow…this must be what a housewife or stay-at-home mom feels like…the whole day ahead of her...uh, but without the husband or the children. I laughed and said…I guess I am my own stay at home wife then. (hmm, that sounds a little strange huh?…anyway, you get the point.)

Looking Out My Window - Look Right

Looking Out My Window - Look Left

Looking Down

It’s, Friday in Paris, but for me, no more 9 to 5 job, no more Air Force rules and regulations. No more alarm clock at 0530. Sometimes I wonder, what the heck am I doing with my life? What the heck am I doing here in Paris?! But then somewhere, I find the answer…Living my Dream…Just Living!

I actually live in the suburbs, just 4 miles outside the center of Paris, but it’s nothing like American suburbia. I have not seen one house, yard or lawn anywhere. But still, it’s a suburb of Paris, called Levallois-Perret. I met a nice lady at the Tabac Shop this afternoon when I was looking for a large map of Paris (Grand carte de Paris). Her name is Charlotte, and she spent 10 minutes correcting my French when I tried to tell her, I live in Levallois-Perret. Non!, she said, as she wanted me to repeat….”Ja beat-too (I live in) Loo-va-lu-wa Pee-rray!”....that’s what it sounded like to me…okay, So I live in Loo-Va-Lu-Wa….Do you have a map? She said she, “Non”.

You can read about my neighborhood below:

I like this area of Levallois-Perret, because MOST of the people DO NOT speak English. I have NO choice except to speak French or either walk around like an attractive illiterate mute. (I say attractive, because many random men say to French..."I love you, you are beautiful!"...It's nice to hear, but what's it all about anyway?!)It’s scary to open my mouth and try to say words in French, but I have no choice so I am improving each day.

When I stopped by the market to pick up some fresh cherries, the first thing I told the man at the stand, (in French) is that I only speak a little bit of French okay? He said, “Ok” and waited…(tic, tock, tick, tock) I stood there, with my mouth open but no more words came out, so I just laughed, I didn’t know how to tell him what I wanted, not ONE WORD came to my brain…Not one "en francais"...even though there was a giant crate of cherries piled as high as my waist right between us….all I could do was look at him and laugh. He started laughing too and must have sensed that maybe I was part mute and deaf, because he then cupped his hands together and filled them with cherries and nodded, “Yes?”. I said….”Wee” (Oui), he put them in a bag and scooped up another hand full, and nodded “Yes” then “ No”….I said…”Wee”(Oui). See, like I said, my French is improving…I replied both times in fluent French and successfully bought two scoops of cherries!

At my meeting with Adrian and the Property Manager, they both said they would like for me to improve a little more on my french, so I can call the plumber for an apartment if necessary. I asked if they could just give me some "canned" phrases to speak (I mean, how many options do you have for a broken toilet, shower or sink?) They both replied at the same time, in stereo, "No"! Adrian suggested I start attending ALL of the French-English Conversation Groups, which is another part of her company.
So tomorrow...after a still "to-be-determined" breakfast with Pierre, I will be attending the French conversation group at:

So...until we meet at the blog again...I have a full weekend planned ahead...
Au Revior!


  1. Je ne savais pas que tout est pavé. (I did not know that everything is paved.) Avez-vous un balcon? (Do you have a balcony?) Comment les leçons de conversation françaises vont-elles? (How are your French conversation lessons going?)

    Faites attention, mon ami parisienne,
    (Be careful, my parisienne friend,)

  2. Non, je ne avez pas un balcon. Maybe my next apartment, but this place is growing on me each day! Mon francais is improving. Since Adrian (my boss) wants me to improve, its a great motivator! I did not know you knew French so well. Impressive! I hope you are not cheating with an online translator. I cannot use them anymore!