Tacky even in Paris

a real flea market findI had a good day today, I went shopping. Not for normal stuff, mind you. I went shopping for those special things that make a home a home. For instance, for about $7.50 I bought an enormously tacky water pitcher from Morocco that features a naked woman as the handle. To make it even finer, there is a big ass hole on her ass, as if she is going to shit water when you tip the fucker!

I also bought a simple painting of a hard boiled egg for about $4 and paid too much for a little desk calendar, about $30. But I liked the calendar and it was the first thing I saw that I liked.

I went to the flea market in the south edge of Paris (Porte de Vanves). It’s where you walk down the streets and the merchandise gets worse and worse as you go along. By the end of the street, you have people cleaning out their closets and selling broken shoes, spare handbags, underwear, and asstd. detritus. Then, it’s not over, you cross the street and voila, an assortment of bad art, cheaper treasures, and kitchen stuff. I bought the pitcher and painting in the last area.

flea market treasuresI then took a bus to another bus and walked about 2 miles to the apartment. What do you think was on the way home? Another flea market! can you believe the luck? I found this old photo of a really, really ugly guy wearing his skivvies in the park. I was going to buy it, but didn’t feel like haggling over it with the junkie selilng the goods. Numbers are difficult to get your head around in French. Ten, twenty, thirty, fourty, fifty, sixty, sixty plus ten, four times twenty, four times twenty plus ten, one hundred… So, here’s the gist of my bargaining.

  • Me: “Yo, crack head. how much for this ugly photo”
  • Crackhead: “40 cents”
  • Me: (thinking he said 4 euros “Uggh, too much. How about 1 euro?”
  • Crackhead: “WTF?”

Ted on the bridge after a long day of flea market shopping
I went to a cafe after the first flea market and had a cafe au lait and croissant for breakfast. the waiter was from Algiers and wanted to see the beautiful water pitcher. I thought he was saying I had mud on my face under my eye. Finally I figured out what he was saying and motioning and he admired it’s beauty and told me of its origin. Frankly, I just assumed it was from Tijuana.

Like a broken record – Still no visa

I visited the French Consulate in San Francisco yesterday to get my visa. I couldn’t get my visa until I had an airplane ticket to Paris. Yep, I couldn’t get an indefinite work visa until I had a plane ticket to Paris.  I went to book the ticket quickly, Yahoo! will pay for a one-way ticket, and guess what… The one-way ticket wouldn’t get approved until I had a visa.

You can’t win for trying. I’m heading to London this week and I’ll have to take up the chore when I get back.

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Now playing: Mono – Where Am I
via FoxyTunes

Still no visa

aaaaahI went to the French Consulate in Los Angeles on friday to get my visa. Unfortunately, they had just moved to a new building and their entire computer network was down. They could not process any visa applications.

I’ve got my paperwork and they’re trying to set up a new appointment for me at the San Francisco consulate instead.

At least the weekend was nice, I visited with friends in Palm Springs. Now I just need to recover from the sunburns.

Suggestions for Moving to France


Living and Working in France,  8th Edition: A Survival Handbook (Living and Working in France)

I’ve been chatting with another person in the process of moving to Paris. I passed on these suggestions:

  1. Get a relocation agency, such as Acta Int’l Service.
  2. Put as much money as you can afford into an international bank, such as HSBC, before going to Paris.
  3. Read: Living and Working in France, a guide book that explains the idiosyncrasies of French life.

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Now playing: Brigitte Bardot – Tu Veux Ou Tu Veux Pas –
via FoxyTunes