Monday, October 31, 2011

Expat goodbyes suck as much as any.

©flickr By √oхέƒx™
A few friends have packed it up to go back to their homelands recently and for lack of a deep, emotionally and intellectually moving way of expressing this, I'll just say what I usually do... it f*cking blows man.

It's hard enough saying goodbye to home. Your friends, family, colleagues, dog, hamster, kitchen sink, etc etc are left behind. That's about as much fun as having your teeth drilled sans Novocaine while taking a math test with someone singing Depeche Mode off-key behind you to "set the mood". (I know. Pretty bad.) But, having friends over here is no easier imho:

1) You both love Paris.
Something happens when you meet expats here, a kind of... "Ahhh yes, I know how you feel" bond is formed about the city. You swap favorite addresses, try new places together and it's inevitable that you feel a certain attachment to those places with those people.

Then, they leave, and you go back to those places. Man, that sucks. There you are, missing people from your old home, and new one. Nothing to be done but bitch and moan to your expat buddies until *they* announce that their own departure from sanity and Paris.

2) You both hate Paris.
Another thing happens: you bitch about the French. Nahnahnahnah.... I love the French, so wag that finger at someone else. But, you can't tell me that you don't have an irrepressible urge to whine about them from time to time when you're an expat in Paris. Dahdahdah, ya do. Period.

Chalk it up to cultural differences, there's always something that will irk you, no matter your origin. The day will come when an atrocious thing (like walking in poo, or watching naked neighbors, or generally too much saliva) will happen to you that an expat friend told you about. All you want to do is go to your favorite bar, sip your favorite drink and bitch to them about how batshit crazy this world is and how you fully understand why people sometimes try to jump off the Eiffel Tower to get away from it.

3) You start sifting.
Paris is on everyone's bucket list, am I right? So people come and go. I've started asking "How long are you here for?" as a means to cope.

What I mean by this question is really something more like "If you turn out to be an awesome person and I want to you to be my BFF, are you going to rip my heart out, spit on it's still beating last moments, and then do the mexican hat dance around it by leaving 6 months after we buy matching necklaces??"

4) Another one bites the dust
Before you know it, you're wrackin'em up. One after another and you start thinking to yourself, "Damn. I've said more goodbyes here than I did at home". Total Paris Buzz-kill.

Any expats out there feeling this post?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Naturalist Neighbors (AKA: Pubes-R-Us)

© flickr by BeauB
I have some new neighbors in the hood. A young couple that have obviously never had a "vis-a-vis" (neighbors that can see into their windows). How do I know this you may ask? WELL. Let me explain.

Not to put too fine a point on it, I've seen them regularly making out on the bed, but that's not really the worst of it. I have seen my fair share of impetuous preliminaries on the streets of Paris. Who hasn't? It's practically a right of passage to see some tongue-baths in this town. Eventually, they get to more advanced techniques and draw the blinds. (Thank the lord.)

The worst part isn't the bedroom... it's their bathroom. (You see where I'm going with this.) In France the toilet is typically separate from the tub-area, and I cannot express how truly grateful I am for this custom. But the problem remains: I have a view of their tub-area.

Shockingly, this pair of unprudists have a curtain. What they don't have, is a fucking clue how to use it. It's strategically placed 1/2-way folded down. It's Pubes-R-Us over there.

Anon-nudists next door shower nightly, for which I'm very glad. Less stink on the metro is good for all. Unfortunately they spend an inordinate amount of time drying themselves in front of the window, where I have a front-row seat to the ass-crack show of a lifetime.

I could sell tickets to this, not kidding. The red-light district ain't got nothing on my neighbors. But that's the thing. You can't NOT look. It's like when someone says "Don't look!!". We all look, dammit.

There I was minding my bidness, and BAM. BUTT-IN-FACE time. That's not all. It's like I have this need to know whose butt I'm looking at. Guy? Girl? I can't tell half the time, they rock the bush, which just makes it intriguing because you don't want to turn away until you know just how much to be grossed out. It's sick right? It's sick. Blegh.

Next time they do this I might just start shouting at the open window, something like... "HEY NAKO, I CAN SEE YOUR CRACK!! YA WANNA DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?!". When they look out the window, I plan to innocently start looking at the other balconies and pretend it wasn't me. Shocked-face will be necessary, better start practicing that in the mirror.

I'm hoping they will eventually get the net, or I will eventually become so grossed out that I'll just stop looking. Neither has happened yet, I'll keep you posted.

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