Friday, 12 March 2010

Adieu Angleterre

In the midst of the chaos of a very tiny student bedsit in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the home of Parisian existentialism, I feel wonderful. The muscles in my neck are sore from a combination of  a very peculiar makeshift bed and too much red wine. The sirens blare, the bells chime constantly, and I remind myself just how much I love this city. Why? It's hideous in so many ways, so grandiose, so filthy, so smelly, so very un-English. But this city has a complete hold on me, in a way London couldn't ever. London is the best city in the world, but Paris is still remarkable in its way.

There is something so very adulte about Paris, and somehow one feels the energy of Napolean, Sartre and even Audrey Tautou all rolled into one; undulating as soon as one exits le Métro.

But I am filled with sadness, because the white cliffs of Dover seem so far away, and when I shall see them again is uncertain. My final destination is a scorched, barren land which is currently enjoying temperatures in the high 30's (over 100 for the Americans out there). And it feels me with pure and utter dread.
My last days in Britain were an absolute whirlwind. Clubs, countryside, the hospital, a short film (featuring more interesting leg-wear), a great deal of time on the Tube and also a lot of alcohol and wonderful Italian food. I implore anybody who can a) get there and b) find somewhere to sit, try Polpo on Beak Street in Soho. Just delicious. I'm sure I heard the collocation "taste sensation" muttered by somebody. The likelihood was that this was uttered by myself. Mais ça y est. I shall miss so much, and so many. The United Kingdom is one of the very finest countries in the world, I shall not stay away any longer than is absolutely necessary. If they will have me back, of course. I probably wouldn't, personally.

I suppose one other benefit of finding oneself in a pays francophone, is that French is rather the done thing. I have been pleasantly surprised by the ease at which my language has returned to me, and while I am a little hesitant at times, I arrive eventually. Much to my delight, I have twice been mistaken for a native. Or at least a local (NB the difference). I always try my best to be "one of us". Fitting in seems so important for me, I wish to blend in invisibly in one sense, and yet to be taken notice for doing so. Hence my very definite 'Anglocisation' (there may well be an actual word which I haven't yet discovered, for now this will do) while in the Mother country.

Apologies for the highly scattered thoughts, perhaps this is more of an insight into my deranged psyche than normal. Ah, that word is such a wonderful false friend!

Au revoir tout le monde. Je vous remercie pour tout.


  1. Dear Lewis: You must be on your way by now. I hope you'll be blogging from down under. Is it Australia? I trust you will continue to be chic and adulte. Bon voyage!

  2. What a beautiful, classic picture! I hope you keep blogging from your new location.

  3. Roligt att träffas och njuter Paris. Hej då!

  4. Ah! Au revoir! Do keep blogging and have a wonderful time! xx

  5. This sounds all so mysterious - stranded somewhere in a bedsit in Paris, not knowing if you'll come back to blessed British shores... Wherever you are, please keep communicating your adventures. I'll try to have a glass of red in Polpo thinking of you!

  6. Thank you all for the comments, will be sure to carry on. KorE still has some adventures remaining!

  7. So loved this post but already feeling rather melancholy at your protracted absence.... Reviens bientôt xx

  8. This actually made me feel quite unwell, I'm writing this anonymously as 'Latoya' because I know what people like you do to anyone critical (yes I've seen in the chest).
    Some people might say because I havn't actually read this blog I'm in no position to say it is terrible, those people are WRONG.
    I can tell by the general feel and shape of paragraphs how it will read, and hear this matey, it doesn't read well.
    You may notice there will be a paracetamol shortage every time you write one of these blogs, I want you to think about that carefully.

    (I read it after I wrote that tyrade, and this is actually quite good, well done. Take that passage as my emotions about you as a whole. Obviously, you will have no idea who wrote this, at all.)

  9. Two things:

    1. There is no truth at all to the vile rumour that I am Latoya. Let's just get that straight now.

    2. Come on, more blogs please! It's been two weeks.

  10. Haha I can't imagine you having the nom-de-plume of Latoya.
    And hope the new posting makes up a little for the protracted absence..

  11. You are a terrific writer-invoking mood.