You can follow Alexandra Kim at: http://www.karmaphilia.com
Okay, I know my recent posts have been focusing on the positive and let’s all hold hands and join for world peace etc. but let me reassure you that there’s PLENTY in my life right now that is not perfect, k? I’m not ambling past historic buildings in my Louboutins in a flouncey skirt posing left and right for pics while pondering Sartre and dreaming of how I’m going to save the world. Alright…I did that yesterday but not today, geesh!
If it will make you feel better let me tell you some things that have sucked. And I’m doing this to say…nothing in life is perfect but reaching your dreams means focusing on the POSITIVE [like yummy noms and hot French guys] and staying the course keeping in mind that NOTHING GOOD IN LIFE IS EVER EASY. And just because there are rough patches on the journey doesn’t mean you’re on the wrong path or that bliss cannot be yours. Because even despite these crappy things, I am so sure, and so confident that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
Here are some of the things that have been rotten.
1. My French Is Nonexistent And So I am Eating Loads Of Humble Pie. Daily. I’m taking a beginning level French course at the Sorbonne but that doesn’t start for a couple more weeks. So in the meantime I am surviving on elaborate hand-gestures, saying Merci Beaucoup at every opportunity even when it doesn’t make sense in context and non-stop smiling like a mental patient so that they don’t think I’m an obnoxious Americaine. I am surviving on the pure goodwill of the French, and let me tell you, being this deferential 24/7 is mad exhausting.
This also means I can’t defend myself or tell anyone off. A French waitress tried to defraud me of 20 euros on my bill a few nights ago. I went off on her in English but she just snickered and went on her way. In an English-speaking zone I would have annihilated her and brought the restaurant down with my resources. No speak the language = NO POWER.
I made a new friend but look what he bought me to help me with my French since I don’t have a CD player on my Mac Air (thus ruling out every conceivable learn-at-home system):
2. I Constantly Have To Deal With Weirdos. In your normal life, your routine, your job and friends and just belonging creates a buffer zone against weirdos. Strange transient people cannot easily approach you. As a single woman obviously traveling alone, however, all of a sudden random weirdos approach you at restaurants and cafes, looking for a hangout buddy, someone to yammer on to [unless it somehow directly involves where I want to go in life or you look like Zac Efron, what makes you think I want to hear your LIFE STORY, MAN] or [the WORST] a hookup. One of these weirdos yesterday even tried to take photos of me while he bored me with his life’s tale. YUCK, how dare you? I have mastered my best Asian tiger scowl but my exaggerated sense of courtesy still makes me suffer through a portion of their never-ending soliloquy before I finally interrupt with a “so sorry…IBS” and sprint away. I am TIRED of this charade.
And before you get all mad and start thinking I’m so mean to this nice old gentleman who merely wanted a photo…he was rotten to the core and telling me stories about how he shacked up with one of his students WHILE he was her professor because they were “in love” and how it was acceptable then but not now much to his chagrin. I asked him if he thought that was ethical and he said yes, she was really “mature” for her age and really “got” him. I debated punching him in his pretentious glasses before I bolted but noticed a gendarme nearby.
3. I Walk A Million Miles a Day to Do Everything. Paris is a city for walking. The subway system is truly exceptional and so everyone here walks around. Plus I don’t want to rent a smartcar because I would look like Paulette Bunyan in it and I know I will be instantly squashed like a mosquito by a Mercedes in the crazy Parisian traffic. I literally walk between 3-5 miles a day. Good cardio but bad for my feet. My feet look like they’ve been through a wood chipper. I would post a pic to illustrate my point but I am too vain. I paid $50 for a pedicure a week ago but by day 2 it was back to looking like a cavewoman.
4. I Am Getting Ripped Off left And right. For some reason, the French think that Americans, especially Californians, are rich and wasteful. I try to explain that I paid 48% of my salary to taxes, that as a good Asian I always shopped in bulk at Costco and that I am carefully living on my savings until I figure out the next phase of my life. Words fall upon deaf ears and I still get nickel-and-dimed to death.
I am currently paying through the roof for a tiny one-bedroom apartment with the bare minimum standard of facilities. Check out the “kitchen.”
If one of my friends lived in such an apartment in San Diego, I would seriously bring them over canned food, permanently wear rubber gloves at their home, and never stay for more than 15 minutes.
5. It’s Been Raining Nonstop. Did you know that on an annual basis, it rains only one more month in London than Paris? NEITHER DID I. It has rained every single day since I arrived. Not only is this majorly traumatic for my hair, but I’ve given up on a lot of sight-seeing. It’s peak tourist season and there are huge tourbuses with loads of European and Asian tourists swarming every single interesting place. I just don’t have the energy to deal.
Okay, see how there’s torturous aspects of my life right now? But I’m practicing being Zen and above all that.
Because the universe does love me. After I ran away from a wannabe Lothario, look what I found right next to a Starbucks no less:
The skies opened, birds chirped and my hair was glorious again. 😀 Back to life is beauty posts manana.
I am moving out of this crappy apartment tomorrow. The owner said it would have the following amenities:
– Linens & towels
– Laundry in the apartment
– Hair dryer
– A/C & Heating
So far, there is no TV, no cable, the laundry he said does not work properly so I’m supposed to go to a cleaners downstairs, I don’t see a hair dryer so I paid 30 euros to buy one, and now, the straw that broke my back: there is no air-conditioning. It was boiling hot in Paris today and it looks like a heatwave is rolling in. I am someone who cannot tolerate immense heat at all times, I am a HUGE fan of air-conditioning. Don’t judge. This is my precious time to myself right? And it’s not just that, but the principle, the Xena in me says…you were suckered girl, don’t let anyone do that to you. I am, however, SO SICK OF MOVING. I will post pics of my new place, I decided to just shell out the dough and treat myself on my walkabout.