Some [Crazy] Goals for Paris

Although I am a bit scared for my move to France, I am also extremely excited. I want to make the most of my time abroad (which will be at least one year, but could be extended for who knows how long). So I’ve compiled a list of things (some a bit crazy) to do in Paris!

  • Have someone mistake me as a Parisian and ask me for directions
  • Sneak into the secret parts of the catacombs without dying
  • Go to a wine bar and act snooty
  • Somehow get into crazy exclusive parties/events/clubs
  • Get mistaken for a celebrity
  • Meet some famous people who I don’t know are famous but we become best friends
  • Act in a French movie that gets crazy popular
  • Find a cafe to write in that becomes “my cafe”
  • Dream in French
  • Adopt a cat and name him or her “Bisou”
  • Throw a party
  • Travel around Europe
  • Fall in love – with Paris, a guy, baguettes, who knows?
  • Make amazing friends from all over the world
  • Teach my au pair child Taylor Swift songs
  • Buy and wear a beret
  • Become an actual celebrity in France for something weird, like my new cat Bisou can talk.
  • Sit in a fancy hotel lobby and pretend to wait for someone.
  • Have my family visit me
  • Climb the first half of the Eiffel but also take the elevator to the top
  • Convince my au pair family to name their next child “Talullah”
  • Have a cheese picnic. Just cheese.
  • Go viral for something France-related. Like me falling in the Seine on or something else normal.
  • Become an actual Parisian
  • Stay in Paris forever?

Do you have any other suggestions? Au revoir!

Advertisements

How To Find an Au Pair Position in Paris

I don’t usually do “how to” posts, but I have seen a definite lack of useful how to posts regarding au pairing (specifically in Paris). Obviously I don’t know everything, but hopefully this will help make your search easier. Here’s what I’ve learned since starting my search a few days after Christmas to saying yes to my family on January 10th.

  • Either pick an agency of your choice or join aupairworld.com. You don’t need any other sites. I wasted my time joining probably 6 other sites, none of which were necessary or led to any results other than spam emails. I didn’t use an agency, but Au Pair Paris seems to have good reviews if you’re looking to go with an agency, which I think is unnecessary unless you really want to use an agency. Aupairworld.com is free (to the au pair) and amazing.
  • Put ALL of your experience on your profile; babysitting. retail jobs, language skills, hobbies/talents, education, certifications, etc. Make it easily accessible to the family.
  • Add good quality photos. No selfies. Use a school photo or headshot. Add pictures of you with the children you have babysat. Add photos of you and your family.
  • Be specific with location. If you want to work in Paris, put that on your profile. The suburbs can be nice, but the Paris metro closes at night, and if you end up living an hour subway trip away, that could mean you leaving the city at 10pm on your night off.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to families first. Make a basic first message and personalize it a bit for each family.
  • Know your profile weaknesses. If you’re under 21, not from the EU, and can’t drive, your options may be slightly more limited (from my experience). Play up your strengths. Also utilize the search option under the “for au pairs” tab – it allows you to search by country without limiting families by driving requirement, age requirement, and date/length of stay. If you are about to turn 20, use this search to find people looking for a 20 year old, as they currently can’t see your profile.
  • Don’t get discouraged. I got a lot of rejections and few positive messages. It all depends on when you’re searching, when you’re available, etc.
  • DO NOT GIVE UP. I am a very impatient person and was quick to get  discouraged after a few days without responses. Just be patient, I promise someone will message you!
  • After messaging with families, SKYPE! This is how you make sure they are, in fact, real people. You can also see how you click with the parents and children. Treat this like a job interview; fix your hair, wear a nice shirt, make sure your room is clean, wear pearls. That last one is optional, but I actually wore pearls when Skyping with my family, and I think they appreciated that I took care with my appearance. Families in Paris want to make sure their au pair is not only classy, but that they will be able to fit in in Paris.
  • Continue messaging families no matter how your Skype conversation went. Keep your options open and get your mind off the perfect (or maybe not-so-perfect) family you Skyped with. Skype with some other families if you so desire.
  • Send the family(familes) with whom you Skype your references. It’ll show that you have chutzpah.
  • Skype again. Yep, Skype again before/when you say yes.
  • Skype while you work out contract details. Make sure you read the entire contract and both parties are aware of everything.
  • Get to work on your visa! I might write another post about the visa process, so let me know if you’d be interested in that!

Hopefully this helps you with your search! If you find an au pair position in Paris, let me know so we can meet up! Also feel free to ask questions in the comments, au revoir!

Laundry Day

Today is laundry day, which means I ran out of underwear. Today I’ve thought about all the places I’ve done laundry.

Whenever I’m home with my family I get to do laundry inside, at my house, without having to drive or walk to the washer and dryer, which is honestly a super big privilege.

My first years at college I did laundry in our dorms. During freshmen year I overloaded a washer and housekeeping left me a mean note. Last year my roommate and I would move guys’ laundry after it sat in the washers for hours.

Two summers ago I did laundry with my friends from all over the world at a rinky dink laundromat near the camp we were working at in upstate NY. We all crammed into the staff van and rode down the hill to the town below that included a Walmart and our hangout diner.

Last summer I did laundry a block down from my apartment in the West Village in Manhattan. I would walk with my students, or with my coworkers/friends, or by myself. It was a beautiful one minute walk, and I miss it.

This year I walk for a couple of minutes from my apartment to a huge community laundry room that I rarely have to wait around in.

Perhaps during my year in Paris I’ll find another laundromat to call home. The washers probably won’t bang around like my washer at home. I’m sure it won’t be free like it has been for me here at school. It won’t be full of middle school ballerinas or camp counselors. But it will be a constant in my new world, a little piece of home away from home.

 

Do They Have Iced Coffee in Paris?

Questions I have about Paris (my home starting this June):

  • Is there iced coffee? Will I be mocked if I drink iced coffee? I NEED ICED COFFEE
  • Can I run out of my cab like the girls in “Tout qui ce Brille”?
  • Am I fully grasping how much bigger Paris is than Manhattan?
  • Can I wear a beret without looking cliche?
  • Will I actually meet my fake boyfriend Jean-Luc?
  • Do I have the guts to try and explore the catacombs after watching that crazy horror movie about them?
  • Should I let my inner mean girl out in Paris? Is resting mean face what is acceptable there?
  • How many scarves should I bring? 5? 10???
  • How much cheese am I expected to eat?
  • What if I don’t make any friends and instead befriend the ghost who lives in the Louvre???
  • Can someone please give me like 10 red lipsticks?
  • Do French people like Canadians or British people better? Because I’m definitely going to pretend to be Canadian or British.
  • Do the people in Paris sing in the streets like in Anastasia? IS DIMITRI REAL? IS ANASTASIA ALIVE?
  • Will the Parisiennes accept me as one of their own eventually? And, if they do, will there be a beret and baguette ceremony?

That’s all my questions for this week. See you next week again for Curious Sundays. Actually that sounds weird. I’ll work on a better name. Maybe “Celina’s Psychotic Ramblings Sundays.” That has a nice ring, right?

I’m Back! / Summer in NYC!!!!!!

Hey Guys! I haven’t posted in so long, life has been crazy and I’ve been lazy. I have been writing, but it’s either in my draft folder or published elsewhere…mostly in my drafts. I’ve been really into poetry lately, so I have a bunch of poems I hope to publish somewhere, sometime.

Anyways here’s my big news – I’m going to be in NYC all summer! Last summer I worked at a camp and got to spend a week in NYC on a break. So this summer I decided I didn’t want to work at a camp and I wanted to work in a big city. I think it’s fate that I got this amazing job at a dance school! I’ll be living and breathing NYC all summer! I am beyond psyched and had some ideas for what to do, but I also want your input! Do you know of anything I should absolutely do this summer? Do you have a #nycdare for me? Ask me to do anything, even if it seems to crazy! I’ll do my best to do them all and document the summer through blogging and/or vlogging! I already have quite a few ideas, but I really want your ideas!!!

Here are some of the things on my NYC Summer Bucket List: read in central park, take the subway by myself, explore Williamsburg, go to the Met, go to a fancy party, meet some celebs, do yoga in central park, go to Taylor Swift’s gym, go to a concert, get on TV somehow, audition for acting opportunities, perform on the street or at an open mic night.

So comment or message me with your #nycdare for me! Share with your friends (especially those who know NYC or just have crazy ideas!) and don’t be afraid to ask me something insane! Here’s to a crazy amazing summer filled with awesome adventures!

Celina’s Weird Travel Adventures – To and From NYC

There are many different ways to travel in these fifty nifty states. There are planes, buses, and trains. I have done all three in my travels to and from the Big Apple.

Before I was officially offered a job at a summer camp in upstate NY, I looked at flights. And I actually found a reasonably priced first class ticket. I have flown a decent amount in my life, but have never flown first class. I wanted to book it, but I had to wait until I was offered the job.

Well, literally the next day I was offered the job.

So, I went online to book my ticket…and, of course, it was gone.

I ended up flying with a really cheap company which I will not name. It pretty much sucked. I had to pay extra for everything. However, I got a window seat and the middle seat was empty, so I got to talk to the old lady in the aisle seat when I got bored of my music and magazines. She was a nice old lady visiting her daughter.

I loaned her a magazine because she was THAT nice.

That’s pretty much it for my trip to NYC. Oh, and by the way, Laguardia is very strangely shaped. It’s basically a long skinny line. And it’s old and dirty. But there are many nice people in vests that help you.

Now, my ride back was just cray. I had to leave camp early due to school, which forced me to make some weird travel arrangements. I was broke at the time because I was waiting for a paycheck, so my options were extremely limited. It was either a sketchy Chinatown bus or the more expensive train and bus combo. So I chose the bus.

And immediately regretted it.

I was so freaked out that I started asking the campers if they had ever been on one and whether I would die if I rode one. At one point I almost bought the train ticket, but then I stopped because, oh yeah, I’m poor. Even though I was sure that I would die all by myself in NYC traveling via bus, I decided to buck up and do it.

The day comes for me to leave camp. Luckily, my favorite Australian friend came with me (to ensure I wouldn’t die). We took a train to the city (which was pretty nice, but more expensive than I thought) and then took the subway to Chinatown. We proceeded to find somewhat good food and then Dunkin Donuts. Because who doesn’t love Dunkin, especially up North? We finally get to the bus station and wait. Finally, an elderly woman says my bus is leaving, so we all follow her as she runs and yells at us in a language that is not English. We all run across the street and miraculously don’t get hit by oncoming cars. We arrive at the bus, which is ready to go. I shove my suitcases in the luggage thing and say a teary goodbye (good day?) to my bestie from down under and head onto the bus. This nice old lady lets me have the window seat! There are so many nice old ladies in the world.

Anyhow, we drive for a bit and then stop for gas. I go get a drink and return. Then the nice old lady offers me fruit! Can you believe it? Strawberries AND grapes. Some might say it’s risky to take fruit from a stranger, but I was already on a sketchy bus, so what the hay! I couldn’t sleep the whole time, so I got to see the beautiful and boring countryside of Delaware and Maryland. Oh, and the ocean.

When we finally got to my destination, my family was waiting for me and freaking out because the area wasn’t the best in town. I laughed because of the sketchiness I had been through.

This is not a complaint post, because I do not regret traveling the way I did. However, if you have the funds, I’d say first class all the way. If not, Chinatown buses really aren’t that bad, even when there is a crying baby. Bring a good book and ride it out. Trains are also fun, and less expensive than planes for shorter distances. And budget airlines are okay if you either want to bring very little or are prepared to pay extra…lots of extra. So here’s to happy traveling! Stay tuned for more of my weird adventures!