Tag Archive | Paris

The Post About Toes

My toes lie dormant for most of the year, nestled in warm fuzzy socks and hidden from the cold by thick furry boots. Much like groundhogs, they hibernate until they feel the soft breeze of spring tickle them during a night when they were violently kicked out from under the covers. And that, that is when they wake up and start demanding what they feel is rightfully theirs: freedom.

From all of you out there freaking out because I’m implying that my toes have an independent thought pattern, calm your over-enthusiastic horses. I’m not saying that my toes suddenly start moving all by themselves and ask the brain if they can break up with my body just to pitter-patter away on their own adventures. I like to think that my toes love me far to much to ever act on the great threat of 2011 (don’t ask.), so don’t y’all go chopping off your toes in fear that they’ll decide to discover China without you. Seriously, don’t, you’ll look like a wounded ostrich when you walk around.

I, being the generous and fair goddess that y’all claim me to be, give them their freedom earlier than most. Roughly translated into human lingo, this means that by March I can be seen prancing around the streets of Paris in my favorite pair of flip flops, gathering stares of disdain from most, awe from some and admiration from the rare few. I mean I have nothing against normal shoes, I wear sneakers and flats like everyone else, but there’s nothing quite like that first day when you walk outside, wiggle your toes and feel the raw air on your feet.

Having feet free of the constraints of suffocating socks and shoes is a part of summer that I love and that I would have a hard time living without, which is part of the reason that I could never thrive in Siberia. That and I don’t speak Russian. Now I know that some people simply can’t take off their shoes and walk across a lawn or a beach barefoot. Ladies, gentlemen and aliens, you are missing out. There are few feelings more enjoyable than having sand filter through your toes or letting your feet sink into a shaggy carpet of juicy green grass.

So (I feel as if I’m in a commercial, advertizing some natural health enhancer thing), take off your shoes, let your toes breathe, and walk through the grass. Well, except if you live in the city, in which case don’t, because the grass is covered in a thick layer of dog piss. Side effects of walking barefoot through an urban park may include fungi, disgust and consequential barfing. You are forwarned. Peace out.

Live long and prosper \V/
Sincerely,
The Mostly Confused Teenager.

PS: Am I the only one who’s been having some trouble with WordPress lately? My notifications don’t always show up, my reader won’t load… It’s the weirdest thing.

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My life would make a sh*tty movie

(c)TitineetMilou

(c)TitineetMilou

I’m standing in the subway, going over the Seine River, staring at a sparkling Eiffel Tower, my nose pressed against the door. It’s most unhygienic and people are looking at me weirdly. In my own fantasy world I’m riding towards a sparkly future, complete with unicorns and giant cookies. The train pitches forward and I collapse onto an elderly gentleman who looks at me as if to say “youth these days…” Back to the present. Ow, my ankle hurts.

See, this is what I do: I imagine that my life is a movie and that everything is going to turn out for the best. Of course this is a big problem because I very much doubt that Ryan Gosling or Ryan Reynolds ( why are they all called Ryan?) is going to show up at my door under the pouring rain, profess his undying love for me and present me with a giant bouquet of roses. Yes, I’m old fashioned, deal with it. Sure, there may be bumps in the road, sort of like in the Empire Strikes Back (anyone who doesn’t instantly know what I’m talking about should be… um… forced to go a week without eating a cookie (I’m being nice 😉 )): sure, the Empire owns the Rebel Alliance just like the Jets owned the Falcons last week and like any and every team who’s played the Giants, but in the end everything ends happily. Well, not happily exactly, I mean Darth Vader could have survived and spent another couple years teaching Luke how to turn on his friends and family, but I suppose it finished the best way that it could. Meanwhile, I’ve gotten off topic. Again. *sigh*

I’m afraid that my life would be rather more like Titanic though. Picture this: CT is, as always late. She runs down the hill to the metro station, hair unbrushed, makeup already smudged. She can hear the train approaching and she knows that there’s a very good chance that she won’t make it (knowing that she’ll be late for school if she takes the later one) so she puts on a final burst of speed and tears through the constraining ticket machines. The beeper on the doors sounds, letting her know that the train is about to leave. She won’t get there on time. BUT WAIT! There’s a hot dude holding the door for her! All is saved! She enters the train just as the doors shut, crashing straight into her [really hot] saviour. Oh oh, the boy has abs. Must. Not. Swoon. After pushing her off him, hot dude goes to sit down, but he keeps glancing at CT with a half curious, half perplexed look on his face. CT is just starting to think that he might ‘like’ her when she catches a glimpse of herself in the window. Yowser. She looks like a past date red pepper (and that is not a comparison that I make lightly believe me): hair sticking up in gravity defying ways, face a vermillion shade of red, weird grin plastered on her face, kind of like the Joker. And then she hears herself. Oopsy daisy, she sounds disturbingly like a parched dog. Well, that explains the staring! End of story.

That’s another thing; I sometimes talk about myself using the 3rd person, as if I were narrating my movie. Normally I don’t think anything of it, but a couple of weeks ago, someone asked me if I was schizophrenic. My answer had to be “nooooo… just crazy”. Quite honestly, if my life were a movie, it would probably be one like Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: under budget, with bad special effects, bad actors and just generally ridiculous. To make it short, my life would make a sh*tty movie.

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager.

Friendship is Magic

At the beginning of the year I volunteered to help the new kids get acquainted with the school. Now I have to stress that I didn’t do this as a totally selfless act, being a naturally lazy person I often don’t see the point of doing something if it doesn’t benefit ME in some way, so I did it for my college application. ANYWAY, ignoring the fact that I am a egocentric selfish person, I actually learned a lot and loved helping people.

I, as a peer leader (I know, bad name right?), was assigned the new high school sophomores in the morning and I got to see what I resembled a year before at that same point in time. Well, not me exactly, because I wasn’t invited to the ‘new kid assembly’ *mean* but you get my point. The students were painfully awkward and sat quietly on their chairs, staring at each other while I babbled on like an idiot, telling them how badly they were going to suffer/die in the year to come. As I moved on to the meaning of life or some shit like that, I noticed that they weren’t listening to me. Duh. So I tried to imagine what was going on in their heads:

“Holy crap I’m sitting with the people who I’m going to spend my whole year with. Will any of these bozos be my friends? Ooooh, he/she’s cute!”

I’ve seen a few of them around since then, and it made me really pleased each time to see that they had made friends and were still breathing.

 

In the afternoon we got assigned to a different age group: the littler kids. The EABJM starts in 1st grade, so none of the 6 years olds knew each other. They toddled over, hanging onto their parents, clinging desperately to the last thread of the first part of their childhood. Some of them were so shy that they couldn’t even tell me their name, and could only point their tiny trembling fingers at their nametags. We had a couple of crying cases and outright refusals to go play duck duck goose, but after a little coaxing and bribing by the parents, most of them eventually stumbled reluctantly into the ‘games circle’. And then, magic happened. After about five minutes of knocking each other out and being silly geese, the kids were all best friends. The girls were already sitting around talking about, um, ponies and hair ties (sorry, I’ve forgotten what 6 year olds talk about) and the boys were kicking a soccer ball around. HOW? HOW I ASK YOU? 5 minutes. That’s all it took and they were friends for life! Or, like, as long as they’re at the school.

Anyway, it got me thinking about how we, today, as people having passed the stage of early childhood, make friends. It’s not like we can just walk up to a random stranger on the street and ask “Heyyyyyy [elongated word to show just how cool you are. not.] Wanna be my friiiiend? *smile that is meant to be warm but is in reality just creepy*. The person who you asked would probably call the police.

But for all my odd musings, I do know one thing for sure: (well more than one thing but… um… anyways) that I have found the most amazing people through this blog, some of whom have become very awesome friends 🙂 So I just wanted to say thank you to every single one of you 204 people who have subscribed to The Mostly Confused Teenager during the past two months, it really does mean the world to me. I love you guys! [In a totally platonic way, and not in a weird stalkery (not a word recognized by spell check, dammit!) way. I should probably stop talking, I’m just embarassing myself.)

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager.

PS: Sorry for the quality of today’s writing, this post was written in a boring History class. I can say this because my parents have promised never to mention my blog or anything on it. Yay!

PPS: Pipi. Hihihi. *blushes and dives under covers* I know I haven’t been on the reader or addressed my wonderful awards yet, but I will, I promise! It’ll be easier when my teachers decide that they don’t want us to die after all.

 

 

 

 

What do I do with my body parts?

Now before you go all “ew” and “gross” on me, give me a chance to explain. I went to a concert on Saturday night and realized that while everybody else seemed to have no problem moving groovily (isn’t that a fun word? groooovily. Ahem.) to the beat I looked like a hamster having a heart attack.

If you’re only here to see CT make a fool of herself, please skip to the word COOKIE. Otherwise, please enjoy the foreplay. *clears throat*

See, a friend of mine is in this rock band and they don’t often have gigs so I try to go when they’re playing. What you have to understand is that I am not a person who generally goes out and is social and dances and manages to look hot doing it (gaah, why does everything I say always sound so wrong?) . Anyway, even though the ‘orchestra of my colleagues’ as my friend’s dad called it, was playing on the other side of town, I went out of friendship and because I had nothing else to do. Well actually the other choice was getting drunk in a park while it was raining. Obvious choice no? For me at least.

The 20th arrondissement of Paris is not a great neighborhood, or at least the part that I was in wasn’t. My friend and I went together, which I’m grateful for because I never would have gone on my own. The club that Black Crown Falling was playing in (check them out on YouTube, they’re awesome!) was more a bar with an improvised stage than anything else. To tell you the truth, it was scary place. It smelled of alcohol and smoke and it was a dark and stormy night. Washington (my friend) and I stood outside in the pouring rain for an hour, too nervous to go inside because the screams that were emanating from the room made it sound like there were flamingos getting slaughtered (yeah you guessed it, the band before BCF was a heavy metal group).

We finally gathered our courage and went inside when BCF started playing, and I’ve gotta say that I was honestly really enjoying myself until I noticed that other people were nodding their heads and tapping their feet while I was standing there, stone still, looking like an awkward giraffe. I got worried that it might look as if I didn’t like the music so I started stomping my foot in rhythm. Bad idea; it just looked as if I needed to pee. Next I started moving my head and ended up portraying a person in epileptic shock.

COOKIE

We were standing in front of the stage and since the band played for 40 minutes I took it as a bad sign that I started getting pins and needles in my legs 5 minutes into the concert. Because of this every so often I would hop up and down a little, switching legs. And where was I supposed to look? Looking straight at the singer made it look like I was strangely fascinated with him (which believe me, I am not). I tried looking at the guitarist’s little brother, who was watching his idol with a proud look on his face, but that made me seem creepy. So I looked at the wall for most of their playing time, trying to seem like I’d mastered the vague mysterious attitude. I didn’t, and that was pretty obvious to EVERYONE.

Finally I didn’t know what do with my arms. I tried crossing them but that was too arrogant and “f*ck you”-like. I put them behind my back but that made it look like I was some stuck up teenager waiting for the torture to end. In the end I just swung them back and forth like a deranged robot, occasionally hitting people accidentally. Yes, that’s the option that I chose. If you had a better solution, I wish you could have been there to tell me.

So I was the awkward teenager, sopping wet, knocking people over with her disproportionately long arms, jumping up and then down again every few minutes, eyes shifting from place to place, head rolling around in perfect disharmony with the music. Luckily for me I realized that Washington was having trouble controlling her limbs as well, which made me feel less alone. But tell me, good people of Apricot Land, what was I supposed to do?

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager

PS: Today I’m apparently fixating on animals. Hum, tomorrow it might be kitchen tools, who knows?

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes *voice breaks*

Cookies :D

Cookies 😀

Sit back and listen to the tale of CT’s search for the Holy Grail. Um, wait no that’s not what I wanted to say, I’ve gotten too poetic-like after yesterday’s post. I meant “sit back and listen to the tale of CT’s botched birthdays”. See, it doesn’t even rhyme.

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved my birthday; it was always a day where I was the queen and I got to eat cake and open presents. I got a special birthday dinner, which, let’s face it, always consisted of pizza and everyone was happy, or at least pretended to be. I remember that my dad, who drove us the half an hour to school every morning, always fighting with me on whether it was better to have the windows open or the air conditioning on. Since he had control of the car he consistently won that battle, but on the week of my birthday, as a special present, I got to roll down all the windows and ride with my hair flying in the wind.

As I grew up things slowly changed, not only circumstances but people. I moved to Paris and those big birthday dinners weren’t really possible anymore. I still get to choose what I want but it has to be able to fit into our tiny microwave-oven which greatly limits the possibilities. My little brother and I evolved into teenagers and suddenly there was no assurance of a good mood on the special day. And then last year it all went south (I mean literally, the EABJM is south).

On the 5th of September 2012, 15 years after I was born, I found myself standing awkwardly in the midst of crowds of students who all already knew each other. It was sophomore year, the first day of school, and I was alone. I found the other new kids and started to panic when I realized that I was the only stranger in the group (–>Stranger Danger). I thought that maybe they all came for the same school but it was soon explained to me that there had been a meeting that all of the new students had attended, except for me. I wasn’t invited. Finally the headmistress (mistress of the head, sounds weird) got around to dividing us up into classes. Guess who’s name was never called and was left sitting on the cold hard gymnasium floor by herself? YES, it was me. If you guessed right, have a cookie, if you guessed wrong, do a math excercise. Mouhahaha I feel so evil, oh dear I’m choking. The result of this was that I went in late to my class and everyone stared at me. I tried awkwardly waving and they stared even more. It was a tough crowd. When it came time to pick up our school books, they didn’t have, of course, mine. When I told my French/homeroom teacher that I wouldn’t have my French book the next day she told me to either have it or get detention. I felt like crying. Luckily one girl saw my pathetic surface as worthy friend material and took me under her wing, although she talked so fast I couldn’t understand a single word she was saying. She’s now one of my best friends ever. All afternoon I buzzed around trying to find a way to get my books, which I eventually did. I’m just glad that that birthday didn’t serve as an example for the following year.

Yesterday, after my first (incredibly stressful) first day of school, when I got back to my apartment, my parents pounced on me and started singing happy birthday, they then asked if I wanted my presents right away or later. Looking at them in incomprehension, it dawned on me that they had gotten my birthday wrong. Frickin’ fantastic.

Now it’s early morning in France, and it’s officially my birthday. Happy Sweet Sixteen CT, let’s make it a good one.

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The (finally 16 years old) Mostly Confused Teenager.

 

The Magic of an Accent

When I was singing Tubthumping/I Get Knocked down (weird name, weird lyrics but horribly catchy) earlier today I noticed that I was adapting my voice so that I sang with a British accent. Now I think it’s important to understand that I have a stereotypical American accent, without any twists. I’m not sure what part of the United States it comes from, although I’m guessing that it’s a mix of New York, Boston and San Francisco, transmitted to me via my obliging parents.

Yet even being an American teenager living in Paris I still find a foreign accent perfectly thrilling to listen to. It sounds exotic and exciting and because of the whole “the grass is greener on the other side” thing, I always tend to think that foreigners are, in general, better people than the ones I find here.

Here are a couple of the accents that I, in a rather clichéd fashion, adore the most.

#1 : French

I’m putting French first more in loyalty to my country than anything else, but it still means that I’ll be able to fire a quick retort at any snarky politician who accuses expats of not being patriotic enough. Not that that will ever happen per say, but you can never be too sure. French is known as the language of love, and for a visitor, a visibly distraught French citizen struggling to make you understand that the rind on a Saint Nectaire cheese can be eaten safely is extraordinarily sexy.

#2 : British

My friends and I have this ‘game’ where we walk around for a couple hours speaking only with British accents, holding our pinky fingers up and holding our heads so high that they are in danger of being permanently stuck that way; the position is so uncomfortable. And yet melting down the entire population of the UK into one accent and attitude is seriously fun, though I can’t figure out why for the life of me. Then there’s the guys. There is nothing hotter than a boy speaking with a sophisticated sounding British voice. Once again, why? Once again, no idea. All I know is that I have this preconceived idea that any British boy will be willing to sit and listen patiently to my whining while offering me tea and crumpets as opposed to an American boy who would probably (and rightly) tell me to f*ck the hell off. So British boy, come to CT. Ugh, that sounded weird.

#3 : Canadian

This one I’m pretty certain came more from How I Met Your Mother than anywhere else, so in reality I’m not sure how life-like it is, so to all my Canadian readers, I am sincerely sourry if I am putting forth a false portrayal of your wonderful accent. The Canadian accent is awesome because you can hear it in both languages: English and French. I have a friend who speaks (French) with a Canadian accent and in that Canadian way, not exactly wording things the way that we would or saying things that make sense to us. Nonetheless, whether it’s in French or in English, the Canadian accent is delightful because it’s familiar and yet very different at the same time.

So now that I have successfully degraded three accents, I will go to bed and read aboot a lady who kills her psychoanalyst for the sole reason that he annoys her. Aaaaah, summer reading in high school…

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager.

Paris by Night

Paris. A legendary city, in more ways than one. I assume that if you’re in a couple, walking through the “City of Love” at night under the twinkling streetlights on the small cobblestone alleys may seem very romantic, but since I am forever alone, I can calmly say 1) keep your mushy feelings to yourself, they make me quite jealous and 2) it’s a lot scarier when you’re all by yourself and those twinkling streetlights look like they’re winking creepily at you.

When I was little I was, like most kids, afraid of the dark. Thinking back this may have been due to the excessive amount of Calvin and Hobbes that I read before bed, where the whole “monsters under the bed” thing scared the sh*t out of me. As I grew up in Normandy I slowly conquered my fear of the black void that filled the room when my mom turned out the lights. I started being able to go outside all by myself and soon discovered the magnificence of Normandy/the countryside at night, the stars shining down on me reassuringly, the dog at my side. With no neighbors, there was never any threat, any danger.

Paris proved to be a very different experience (dare I say, duh? No? Okay then). I couldn’t see the stars anymore, there were no more familiar constellations guiding me, only the cold eery glow of electricity. For the first few years I didn’t know much of Paris at night, being occupied mostly by being awesome too young. But now, a junior in high school, I’m allowed to go out and only come back around 1 am. My family, being too busy with stuff like yelling at each other for no good reason, doesn’t care if I don’t come back for the night at all. As for coming to get me so I won’t have to make the journey alone? No way. Confronted with this apparent lack of caring, I started fending for ME and walking myself home.

Nonetheless, it’s spooky to watch all of your friends leave with their parents in safe warm cars and knowing that you have to walk all the way home, your awful (they really are terrible) self-defense skills being the only thing keeping you from potentially being mugged. And of course the only story you can think of is of the girl who got mugged on your street a few years back.

As I left my friend’s tonight, I shivered slightly even though the temperature was still high, and set off at a brisk walk through the deserted streets, trying to look (and feel) confident. I’ve become pretty paranoid, despite all of my attempts to be calm. Every person that I cross is immediately perceived as a threat, at which point I generally start running (bad idea?) only to then realize that it’s a frail old grandmother walking her poodle. Ah well. Paris is very different from, say, New York. The majority of French people go to bed relatively early, so you don’t see many humans out at midnight, though aliens abound. Even if you’re walking with someone or in a group, the atmosphere is very different, it’s hard to compare the Avenue Henri Martin in the daytime, a bustling, busy avenue, with the Avenue Henri Martin at night, tall trees casting shadows over the sidewalk, masking the faint light from the streetlamps. Night and day really are two different worlds. With sore blisters on my feet I ran most of the way back, heart pounding, clutching the bag from which I’d been careful enough to remove all valuables from. I took the trip one segment at a time, avoiding the smaller, darker streets, trying to blend in with my surroundings. When I finally made it to my apartment, forehead gleaming with sweat, muscles aching, I felt a singular sense of relief. I was finally safe.

Oh and look, my mom and brother engaged in a screaming match at one in the morning. Not so much as a look when I came in. How nice. Luckily for my insulted being, my amazing friends were kind enough to check up on me, making sure that I’d gotten home safely. I had, and I always do. Yet for some reason I get a little more scared each time, sure that I’m the perfect target. Despite all of this, I will not miss out on the wonderful nights with my friends. Whatever comes my way, I will face it, alone. And if it happens to be a threat, I will either willingly give up what they ask for or offer them a cookie as compensation.

The world is very big, and in perspective, I’m just a tiny speck of dust. As I finish writing this post, I find myself feeling more confident. To be fair, I’m also sitting on my couch, blocking out all high pitched noises with a cup of tea. Nevertheless, this small speck of dust will do anything to keep from being blown away in the breeze, and, hopefully, will grow into something like a mothball in terms of importance and influence. I now realize that that isn’t a very good metaphor, and if you have a better suggestion, I will hear it willingly.

Also, when I have kids, no matter where they are or what time it is, I will always be there to pick them up and bring them home safely.

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager.