Getting a Late Start


View of the Parisian skyline with the Tour Montparnasse on the left and the Tour Eiffel on the right, from the Parc de Belleville, 18 November 2009

Hello all!

I am getting a *really* late start today, and I do not think I will have a very high word count as a result. Word count for my NaNoWriMo Project, that is, which is this blog.

Yesterday I met lovely reader Karen, who is an absolute delight! I so enjoyed meeting with her. I am really grateful that we connected here on An Alien Parisienne, and we had the most spectacular day yesterday — really one of my Top Five Days in the city, I think.  We met in the 19th at M° Jaurés, walked to the Buttes Chaumont, walked to the Parc de Belleville and then through Belleville to Cimitière Père Lachaise. After that, we passed through the Square Samuel de Champlain and on to Gambetta, just near the town hall of the 20th to have a cup of coffee at Le Gambetta café. I have already posted the photos on Flickr in this set. I have some interesting stories to share, too, but they are going to have to wait until tomorrow! No time today. The photos tell the story in pictures, though, and you are welcome to check the set out!

I got kind of hung up today on answering emails, catching up on a little blog reading, answering more emails and posts on Facebook — and then talking to my best friend Janet on the phone for quite some time (at least an hour). Then there was preparing some rice, washing a few dishes… I have had quite a time of it today getting here and being able to post.

But, posting I am. Every word counts.I was thinking today, knowing that I would not have time to write something extensive on the previous weekend with my friend Tess nor about the novel Sarah’s Key, nor anything about my adventures yesterday besides what I already have, and I started to think about a topic on which I could sit and type for about half an hour. I started to think about friendships and gratitude for the friendships in my life, old and new.

Living in a foreign country is not easy. Back a few posts, I had written about some of my cross-cultural coping methods (à la David Lebovitz), and in that list I completely forgot to include “having and making friends.”

If it were not for my friendships, for the relationships I have here in the city of Paris, I would not be able to make it. And I wanted to give a shout-out to the friends who, while limited in number, are not limited in love and generosity of spirit.

First, we have PJ.


First, if it were not for him, I would not have the opportunity to live here.

Second, because he is l’amour de mon coeur (an expression I learned from a lovely older cemetery explorer whom Karen and I bumped into yesterday), he gets the brunt of the emotional wreck I can be when dealing with the day to day of what it is to be Paris Karin, the alien parisienne. He sees the many colors of my moods, from deepest black to the color of bright sunlight. It cannot be easy to be him because of this, because of me, and so I recognize him as being My Best when it comes to love and unconditional support.

I think she might kill me for posting this photo of her because I don’t think she is going to like it, but I personally really like it a LOT. So I am going to anyway, and if she has any shame about it, she can get me back by putting something awful in the comments about me. LOL.


I like this photo because it shows her getting ready to smoke one of her last cigarettes ever (she quit within days of when I did on Sept. 16th), and it is also the most recent photo I have of her. I like her cute little glasses in this one, and the expression on her face, which is a very “Janet” one to me. Plus it shows her where I love to think of her, on her delightful patio in the south of France in Antibes. She and I have spent some good and some deep bonding times on that patio.

I would not be able to live in my day-to-day without this chica. She is my rock, my support, the cheese to my macaroni — orrrr, since we both eat gluten-free, maybe the rice to my chicken, or the chicken to my rice (lol). She is my Soul Sister and Deep Sea Diving Buddy. My best friend.

While she is not in Paris, she *is* in France and a short, EasyJet flight away if I need her, and need her I have. She has helped me in so very many ways. I am deeply grateful for her.


And now, The Lovely Tess, as I like to call her.

You’ve seen her in posts before — she has been an adventure buddy and partner in diving in deep into the city.

Tess and I met through kind of a fluke, a coincidental meeting — a synchronicity, if you will, online. We had both signed up for a discussion board on Yahoo Groups just about 10 or so months ago. I know that there was only a very short window of time in which she and I coordinated on the group. She saw a message I had posted, and then let me know she was in Paris, too! How amazing was that? She and I think it was meant to be.

We emailed a little at first, and then met in person this past February and since that time, we have become confidantes and support for one another. And road trip buddies, too!  I appreciate her so very much and feel like the Universe has winked at us with our meeting. Thank you Tess, for being in my life.

And now, my newest friend!



Michelle Mabelle has dubbed us the “Kar-a-deux”. LOL. I kinda like that. It has a ring to it. I hope it does not sound like a bad word in French, lol.

Thank god/dess I am not quite old enough to be her mother (unlike with Melinda who visited with her friend Dani last month, and about whom I posted here — oh, that idea still throws me for a loop!!), but older sister or auntie for sure. What I really felt with her was a kindred spirit kind of thing, though! I did not feel the difference in our ages much at all. We have a lot in common, a lot of things we both like. If I can use a hippie term here (and boy do I have an inner hippie for sure), she and I just had a vibe together that felt so comfortable, like I had known her for years! Being able to spend time with more people in Paris has been much-needed by me — to have it be someone that feels like a life-long friend right from the start is just amazing.

Funny. I kind of had a hesitation there, lol. Have any of you seen any of those new “bromance” movies? Like I Love You, Man with Jason Segel and Paul Rudd (IMDB link here)?

In the movie, Paul Rudd’s character, Peter Klaven, is looking to find more men friends and one best friend in particular because he really does not know anyone who can be his best man in his upcoming wedding. Part of the humor of the movie is that Peter’s trying to find a man for friendship parallels a dating process. You know what it is like when you are dating, and you meet someone new, and there is a really big attraction and you feel like “Oh man, this is IT!” and you get all excited to go out with the person again, but then part of you says in your head, “Now, just cool down, take it slow, don’t throw yourself into the relationship full-on because good solid relationships are developed carefully and over time.” Still, all you can think about is how much you liked the person and you can’t wait to go out with him/her again. 🙂 And sometimes the heart knows what the heart knows.

That’s kind of how I feel about Karen. 🙂 And it was just so cool to have this fall into my life now. I am so happy she has come along.

I also hope this makes her laugh. 😀 I promise not to take it too fast, Karen (*giggle*). But I am so glad that you will try to be my yoga buddy when you get back in town after Thanksgiving!

Last, but not least…

All of you.

My online peeps, some of whom I have had the added benefit of meeting in person and becoming close, personal friends.

Some of you who visit here I have known for almost four years now, I think it is. Writing here, and on my more personal (can you believe I get MORE personal that I do here, lol) journal blog I keep at a social network, has kept me going. Really. I don’t mean to sound like a Drama Queen, but without this outlet, without the online places to write and the feedback I get from the people who read, I don’t know what I would have done. You have been lifelines, for certain, and I cannot thank you enough.


I have to run. Forgive any spelling errors, etc. in this post — I am meeting PJ to see the new Twilight 2 movie in about 15 minutes!!! I have to get out the door.

I am just a little over 1,600 words today. Yay!! I hope I can get my crap together tomorrow for a much longer post about all the adventures I have had. They have been GOOD!

Over and out.

Categories: NaNoWriMo, Paris Adventures, Paris Friends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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8 thoughts on “Getting a Late Start

  1. aimee maher

    We like you, too. ;o)

  2. Lauri

    I’m not sure what to write other than, GREAT POST! I so enjoy seeing you, and hearing about you, with the ones you love, and who have become your famille français. It’s not only the places you visit that bring you great adventures; it’s the people you meet along the way.

    P.S. Enjoy Twilight New Moon. I hope to see it over our Thanksgiving break.

  3. Ken

    I’ll bet that if we were to go back to some of the first posts when you got to paris and you were wondering how you would survive this alien landscape, I made a list and top of that list was to make some local friends.

    I remember how I felt just 2 hrs away from the bay area with no friends (I swear that the whole town itself hated me). School and the internet were my only places of solace. You have taken that a step further to a place that speaks a different language, uses different currrency and doesn’t relate to itself as either democrat or republican.

  4. Pocketful of Shells

    Awwww what a beautiful Kar-a-deux!!

    (psst I like that pic of Janet too. :P)

  5. Karen

    Such a beautiful post and loved each one of the photographs! Yes, having and making friends definitely ranks way up there in the best things that life offers us 🙂 That pic of PJ is so very well-chosen, “l’amour de ton coeur” (is that Neufchâtel cheese that he’s holding?), as was the rice-to-your chicken/chicken-to-your rice analogy for Janet. I’m so grateful to have met you too! I’ve always believed that kindred spirits exist and was most certainly riding that wave as well. “Bromance”…that did make me laugh!!! As did Michelle’s “Kar-à-deux”!! As far as I know, it doesn’t mean anything in French, dirty or clean (though it may a place where urban farming is practiced in Tabarre, Haiti…) Ooh “New Moon”! Soooo, are you and PJ Team Edward or Jacob? Can’t wait to see it meself. Looking forward to more Paris adventures with you Karin!

  6. pariskarin

    Hi guys!!

    Thank you all so much for these comments. I am just about to start writing today’s post – once again kind of behind in posting. I’ve been online in other places with friends with things going on. And on the phone with the girlie up there, too! 🙂

    Yes, Karen, that is Neufchâtel, lol, and I am so glad that you felt the wave, too. That’s the thing about kindred spirits: they usually know that the other is having a great time, too, lol. But it is good to know for sure that you did feel that way!

    Okay — off to post. not sure what yet, but I will get some words on the page!!

  7. PJ

    Thanks for the sweet things, my Sweet. Alls i can say is that move is a two-way street and there’s a lot you have to put up with from me that makes my negotiating your occasional blues easy. Anyway, i’m glad you’re here and finding your place and making friends. Making friends with you, another thing that’s super easy!


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