Friday, October 3, 2008

Facebook Friends and the Louvre


Facebook is so great. I love getting back in touch with all of my old friends from college and high school. Just last night I was out to dinner with an old high school friend who was passing through Paris for 2 days on his first ever European vacation.



The adult in me didn’t really see the need to meet Brian for dinner because I knew we had nothing in common, but the teenager in me wanted to just to show him how far I’ve come in life. I secretly wanted him to go home and tell all of the classmates who never made it out of our hometown about the très fabulous life I am leading here in Paris.



So in my new Chloé jeans, Zadig & Voltaire blouse, and of course my diamonds, I took him to the very trendy Costes restaurant thinking he’s be impressed by the ambiance and excellent French cuisine. All he did was:



· Complain that he couldn’t get a hamburger and curly fries (so embarassing!)

· Couldn’t understand why people didn’t speak more English (so so embarassing!)

· Thank god that Starbucks had made it over here because at least he could find American snack food to eat (so so so embarassing!)



Let’s put this “friend” into context. These embarrassing remarks were coming from a guy who named his baby Jackie Danielle – because he wanted his first kid to have the initials JD – as in Jack Daniels – as in the whisky. Yes, very cool indeed.



So as our little evening came to a very quick end and I asked him if he had any plans to visit the Louvre, he replied ever so loudly so the whole restaurant could here, “Nah, why would I want to go to the Louvre? Isn’t it just art & shit?”.


Enough said.
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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

La Mom Loves...my PHLEBOLOGIST





What's a Phlebologist you say? It's a doctor who specializes in veins and their diseases. Basically, a Vein Repair Man. I just call mine Dr. Vein.


Dr. Vein has become my new best friend since my hairstylist, manicurist, massage therapist, life coach, facialist, and personal trainer. I see her more than I see Big Cheese at the moment. Dr. Vein is my saviour and saved my legs from looking like walking spider webs on the beaches of Saint Tropez this past summer.



What does she do? Well she spends a great deal of time inspecting my legs for red, purple and blue spider veins as a result of my pregnancies. She shoots the veins full of a saline solution and then traces over them with a laser pen in order to make them shrink up and eventually disappear all together. In short, she’ll make my legs look 18 again!



In fact, having a phlebologist seems to be every mom’s dirty little secret here. When you see the gorgeous supermodel mom strutting up the main alley at the Park Monceau like it’s her own personal runway and you ask her how in the world her 36 year-old legs look so beautiful after having 3 kids, and she replies, “Sweetie, it must be all the walking I do around Paris that keeps them in shape!” Well, you know, she’s lying. She’s got the phlebologist’s number on speed dial in her Vertu diamond-encrusted cell phone tucked far way into her Chanel purse. And she’s not going to share it with you! It’s only when you start visiting your phlebologist on a regular basis (like me) and run into several moms from your playgroup and the park that you realize everyone’s doing it, but they just don’t want you to know they’re doing it.




Tuesday, September 30, 2008

La Mom Loves...




I wanted to start the week off promoting various things I like about being a mom in France. I was delayed due to my petite internet connection problem so therefore I will just start now.


La Mom loves...THE AMERICAN HOSPITAL in Paris



Why? Let me count the ways:


  • Because it’s American (so by definition that means excellent service!! Something the French are in the dark about)


  • Because you can have your car valet parked while you visit your pediatrician


  • Everyone speaks English


  • It’s in Neuilly, the super-posh suburb where the mayor knows the best way to get re-elected is to keep the sidewalks clean (see blog post “Dodging Our Way To School”)


  • Because I can have a “mommy time-out” and grab a café au lait, lemon tarte or croissant, and buy a People magazine in the hospital’s very refined Café


  • Because, if I want to stay for lunch, I can dine in the hospital restaurant which actually uses white tablecloths and has a maitre d’!


  • Where else can you catch a glimpse of a super-PILB (see blog post "PILB") – Brad Pitt?

No joke! My kids share the same pediatrician as Brad Pitt's kids. Well, now that the Jolie-Pitts live in the south of France, they probably don’t use the same pediatrician anymore. But they used to. Sometimes the family would come for flu shots at 6am just so nobody would see them. It really drove my pediatrician nuts that he had to get out of bed so early for them. Although, getting to stare at Angelina probably made up for it! Really though, I still can't believe my French Fries go to the same pediatrician that Mad & Z used when they lived in Paris a few years ago! They've been weighed on the same scale that Maddox Jolie-Pitt's little feet touched.


Urgent message from LaMom to Brad: Please move back to Paris! In the hospital corridor, I now I have to settle for catching a glimpse of the American ambassador’s wife, Kristen Scott Thomas, or Laura Bush when she passes through town. Not exactly the same excitement level if you know what I mean!

French Customer Service is la Merde

It's absolute crap.



Today's culprit: Wanadoo - my internet "service" provider . The word service does not exist in the French language.



I haven't been able to blog for the last four days because Wanadoo (by the way, this was their shot at trying to sound cool with an English sounding company name - "Wanna Do" your web surfing with us?) screwed up my internet connection. Is it their fault? Of course not. It's never their fault. It's all mine.



I called Wanadon't back at the end of August to let them know I was moving and to take care of setting up the internet connection at the new apartment. Did I set my expectations très très low that Wanadon't could actually deliver on the requested date? Oui!<br>


And yet I still found myself extremely pissed off when I went to blog and there was no connection!



The customer service rep assured me the transfer would be easy as pie - like sending a letter through the post office (Sidebar: she must have meant the very efficient German Post, because the French post is nothing to write home about with all the striking they do). Of course, customer service doesn't work 24/7 like in the US so I had to wait until Monday morning to get answers. Except I really wouldn't call what I received "answers". The conversation went something like this:



LaMom: "Blah Blah Blah no internet, it was supposed to be up on Friday."

Wanadon't: " Oui, it's not connected.

LaMom: I know that. Tell me something I don't know s'il vous plait." (OK, maybe I was a bit short here).

Wanadon't: You didn't give us the new address to open the new line.

LaMom: Of course I did. Do you think I don't know my own address?

Wanadon't: Well you didn't and I can't help you beacuse it's time for my break.

LaMom: Please get me someone who can help me.

Wanadon't: I can't ( line goes dead).



(Sidebar #2 - Phone lines goes dead a lot in France. It happens at least a few times a month to me. Whenever I have to call a helpline, curiously, the line always goes dead the minute I start asking questions the customer "service" rep can't answer. It certainly goes dead the minute I ask for a manager to speak to).



So long story short, I called back and spoke with a new rep who told me I never provided them the new address. What a bunch of merde, but OK, let's assume I don't know my new address. Did it ever occur to them that possibly, the idiot who took my information over the phone just didn't include my new address in the file? Do you think Wanadon't apologized profusely for the mixup? Never! The customer is always the one who is wrong here.
 

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