Friday, July 30, 2010

Paris; Days 1 and 2

What the fuck is happening forum? (Bah Tony you better read this now that I did that.)

So, here I am, in Paris. More specifically; sitting at a small table next to an open window at the Hotel Caulaincourt in Montmartre. It is currently my second day here in Paris (slash Europe in general) and I can say with confidence- I love it here! Everything is so French! On the train from the airport to Paris, I was a bit disappointed because, save for the fact that all of the buildings are cream and the graffiti is in French, I could have been on a train on the Northern line back in Sydney. But when I (after way too many stairs) emerged, sweaty and puffed, above ground on Rue Caulaincourt, Montmartre, I almost cried with how pretty it was! Like I said, it’s very French.
As I said, it is day two on land, after a whole day of travelling, so be prepared for a lengthy post. I’ll break it down and put the key points in bold, so you can skim if you wish.

The Journey: 3 planes, 28 hours and too many languages.

Will someone please invent teleportation? Seriously.
One word to sum up my experience of travelling TO Europe? ioshregjvioserjtgotheoitghiohASRARGAGGAGAHHHtrhaerhu. It was... not fun. I thought I’d be smart and try and beat jetlag by sleeping for most of the second/longest leg of the trip, Singapore to Munich. This of course, required staying awake for my first flight, which was made fairly easy by the extensive range of inflight entertainment (I watched Valentines Day and Date Night- I recommend them both- as well as two episode of HIMYM). Then I had to battle Singapore airport, which included dazzling duty free perfume shops in all direction, a trip on the sky train to get to my transfer gate, stifling humidity and a subsequent nosebleed (yay!). Amazingly, I got to my gate without too much hassle and I have a new found appreciation for the simplicity of Sydney airport. The Singapore-Munich flight did not go as planned at all. I think I got about 2 hours of broken sleep, instead of the 8+ I had hoped for. That and one particular (blonde, gay as a picknet basket and adorable) flight attendant kept talking to me in German despite the fact that I was staring at him blankly then replying in English, but that was nothing compared to Munich airport. Omg it was a nightmare! A total labrynth, I got so confused because it’s all glass corridors. And of course, everyone spoke to me in German. My shoes set of the scanner and I got frisked. Then a woman asked me to turn on my cameras for some reason (to prove they’re not hidden bombs perhaps?) and finally I was free. The flight from Munich to Paris was quite nice- it’s miraculously shorter than a flight to Queensland, and about two thirds of it is take off/landing time anyway. I got a great view of rural Europe out of the plane window (past a German businessman’s head that is). Lots of windmills, small white churches and patchwork quilt grass. Then, FINALLY, I was in Paris.
I got pretty lost in Charles du Gaulles airport. Had to ask how to get to the train station and then of course noticed all of the huge signs I’d walked past saying “Paris by train." When I finally got to Gare du Nord metro station, I discovered possibly the only thing I hate about Paris- the stairs. So many stairs! And very few elevators! No wonder French women never get fat- it’s not the three bite rule at all! It’s the stairs. Luckily for me, being female and obviously struggling to drag/carry my 15kg bag (for some reason I didn’t think to carry it as the backpack that it is. 2 HOURS SLEEP OK?) meant that at the bottom/top of every flight of steps, a man would miraculously appear and offer to help (in French of course. Everytime I was like "sorry?"). The most notable occurrence of this was on the set of stairs taking me back into the real world. There were quite a few, me and my helper had a chat- apparently he has a sister who lives in Perth. Then, I had arrived. Jetlagged as all hell and realising that I should have done a few months of intense cardio to prepare myself for the Paris metro.

Day One: The Montmartre Cemetery, foot blisters and sleep.

By some cruel twist of fate, I arrived at my hostel at around 10am- 6 hours before check in time. I dumped my suitcase (thank god) grabbed my cameras and set off to explore my home for the next week. It wasn’t long until I discovered that there is a Maccas, KFC and Subway on my street. As well as some more iconic Parisian sites of course, such as le Moulin Rouge (total let down p.s. Thanks Bas Luhrmann) and about a million bakeries. I stopped at Subway- perhaps in search of something familiar, perhaps in search of wifi- who knows?- and got a donut. Yes. A donut. They have donuts in Subway! It actually tasted pretty bizarre, kind of salty. I later stepped into maccas in search the comfort of salty things that are meant to be salty. They give you mayo AND ketchup with chips, which is awesome, but a large chips (Grande Frites) cost me 2€ 50.
Now, 6 hours is a long time to kill, especially when you have no idea where anything is. But I stumbled across the Cemetiere Montmartre without even knowing it existed previously. It’s pretty incredible. Big, quite big, but seems even bigger as they shove so much into the space. Tombs pretty much on top of each other and the like. As weird as it sounds, I really love cemeteries. The older, the better. I especially love reading tomb stones and seeing how old people were when they died, or how they died (I swear I’m not a freak). Some really go into detail! Unfortunately, most of the inscriptions in CM are of course, in French, but the tombs are really beautiful. A handful of famous names can be found there if you’ve got the time- such as artist Degas. But whether you can find them or not, there’s plenty to see. Unusually, the place is full of cats. They’re pretty raggedy and shy but I like the idea that something chooses to live in a cemetery. The cemetery ate up a fair chunk of the day, and left me with aching legs, stiff knees and forming blisters- but it’s a must see if you come to Montmartre. Words nor photos can describe it, you really have to be there.

Somehow, I made it till 3:30pm without collapsing, and traipsed back to my hotel. When I finally got to check in, I climbed straight into bed. Now I had the plan to nap for a few hours then shower and head out in search of dinner. That didn’t exactly work out.

Day Two: The best breakfast of my life, an exploration of the hills of Montmartre and the case of mistaken bed-dentity

I ended up sleeping, albeit on and off, for about 12 hours. I woke up absolutely starving, with no idea what the time was, or where my socks had disappeared to (half awake I took them off and left them on my bed, but of course they weren’t still there when I woke up- I later found one on the floor, and the other on someone else bed). I was relieved to find out it wasn’t the middle of the night but in fact 5:30am and I had somehow slept till morning. I was outside the breakfast room when it opened, at 7:30am, shaking from low blood sugar and unable to spread jam on my croissant without making a total mess. It was the most delicious meal of my life.
After a surprisingly excellent shower and a brief facebook visit (Hello baby. Mummy missed you!) I made the decision to stay in Montmartre today, and follow the advice of the Paris day by day book mother gave me. I headed up into the steeper streets of Montmartre, where Place du Tertre is situated. It’s a bit touristy, and there are a lot of artists asking to draw you for “cheap price” but I rounded a corner and stumbled upon a Salvadore Dali exhibition. The exhibition was good, at first I decided that 10€ was a bit steep but then I discovered later in the day that with my train pass I get entry for 6€ and headed back. The gift shop was probably the most exciting bit- I spent 31€ there. I got this pefume that comes in a lip-shaped bottle, a Dali pocket mirror and this fantastic book called “Dali’s Moustache”. It’s a photographic interview, in which Dali himself and photographer/friend Philippe Halsman came up with questions and answers, as well as the moustache-centred photos that go with them. “Whenever Dali imagined a photograph so strange that it’s production seemed impossible, Halsman tried to find the solution, and invariably succeeded.” The back reads “warning, this book is preposterous” which doesn’t even begin to describe it. Dali’s preface is a tribute to moustaches- “This very morning... I discovered that my moustache can serve as an ultra-personal brush. With the points of its hair, I can paint a fly with all the details of his hair.” This book is excellent, I am quite taken with it.

Also in the higher parts of Montmartre, I paid a visit to Sacre Coeur. It’s incredible. They don’t allow photos inside but it’s enough to bring you to tears. It’s pretty damn amazing. There’s also a really great view over Paris from the steps (if you can get a glimpse past the head of all the other tourists that is).

When I got back around 4 or so, I walked into my room to find someone sleeping in my bed. Obviously I was pretty confused as to why she would pick one of the beds that clearly had been slept in- I’d left my camera bag on it. She woke up and after identifying the bag as mine showed me how her check in sheet said 34B. It was then that I realised that the D in my room details wasn’t referring to a corridor or something, but a bed. The beds were lettered! I didn’t even realise. Here i was, thinking “who the fuck is this in my bed?” and it was her bed. Bahahaha I’m so smart.
Anyway, I’m glad I decided to explore Montmartre a bit more, there’s a lot more to see here than I realised by my brief glimpse yesterday. Tomorrow my plan is to head into Paris and got on a free walking tour (3.5 hours. Gah more walking! My poor feet.) and take in essential sites such as the Eiffel Tower, Arc De Triomph and of course, Chanel.

See you guys Sunday!

p.s. I had photos for you guys, but the internet here only allows one web browser/tab open at a time, and the photo uploads a separate one so it disconnects. When I have the time they'll be up on fb.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bon Voyage!

(I must stop saying that...)
Off to Paris in about 4hours. Don't have enough time to post the photos that are lined up waiting but what's to come: my farewell and RS's last Lewisham gig (to go to my photo blog of course)
But that said, I felt it neccessary to do a "well I'm off... blah" post anyway. so... I'm off!
Last night was spent with James travelling around a fabulous 100m area in The Rocks- The Argyle where we purchased embarrasingly pink fruity cocktails, Zia Pinas where we ate our weight in delicious pasta, Das Lowenbrau Keller where we fought our way to the lower bar fro schnapps and I entertained james by reading the menu and telling him what everything was and The Guylian cafe, where we embarrassed ourselves in front of Belgians.
Today has so far been a flurry of stress and last minute packing (Seriously, I packed this morning, and almost lost my cash passports). But It's all done, and I haven't noticably forgotten anything that can't be purchased! So I'm set to go.
Cya in a couple of days when I land and find wifi!
Hope my plane doesnt catch fire/crash/drop 200m/mysteriously disapear.

Au Revoir
-m xx

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Paris Accomodation.
Well the first 7 nights anyway. Yay for not sleeping on the streets, but in a 6 bed dorm in Montmartre! 5 new friends!
So it is now a short week till I leave. I'm getting excited, now that I've worked out where I'll be snoozing away, it finally seems real. Scarily, unavoidably real.
Transferred the remainder of my life savings over to my regular account ready to then go over to my sister for my TravelX cards. Thank god for my tax return and donations from mother! Or I'd be in a spot of trouble money wise ahaha. One week in a dorm in the dodgy part of Paris is costing me about $350! And, what with my wee shopping problem, saving money hasn't gone as well as I thought.
Tomorrow is my last day at work, should be fun. It's hard to be patient on the phone when you know you're leaving let me tell you. Especially when people tell you off for trying to call too many times- I'm sorry, it's what I get paid to do! If you picked up your phone or texted me and told me not to call you, we wouldn't have this problem would we?
Still have a lot to do, but I'm fairly confident all is going well. As long as I don't get robbed/murdered/sold/auctioned off to people who plan on brutally torturing me it's all good!
A few more posts on their way before I head off no doubt, so I'm neglecting the images today. Deal with it.

-m xx

Monday, July 19, 2010


So, had Jared's 20th this weekend. Nightmare/Asylum theme, basically to fit in with the "performance" by mysterious band of unknown origin- Dance Metal.

Before leaving the house
Hint: I didn't dress up. I got home from work, emptied a can of hairspray on my head, threw on some red lipstick and swapped my ballet flats for a (slightly mouldy from being at the back of my wardrobe for god knows how long) pair of Doc Martens.

Yes, these are girls gloves. And a girls jacket. Which, shamefully, I bought at a thrift store in Newtown about 4 years ago and thankfully never wore.

The Shacklettes are a classy quartet.

Seizure-inducing strobes.

To quote Carrie Bradshaw "there's nothing scarier than a clown"

Chilling with Death, drinking a beer.
On another note, photos of Ramshackle's most recent gig (and the last i'll be present for for the next 3 or 4 months) will be up in a jiffy! Then things are soon to take an exciting turn indeed as I leave the country in 9 days! Hoorah! The concept that I won't be working for such a time is exciting enough. Still have some blog prep to do in lieu of disembarking, then it's full steam ahead. So much to get done in real life as well- I need to make a few lists; what to buy, what to book, what to pack... but amazingly I'm managing to stay calm.
See? perfectly calm. At least on the surface... mostly.
Quietly pulling out my hair
-m xx

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


So, over the next week or so, I'll be combing through my old posts. Basically since I'm leaving the country in 2 weeks (to the day! excitement!.../stress) I figured I'd release my blog link into the wide scary world of the known (i.e. friends and possibly relatives). This means I need to make sure my blog is safe for the eyes of people who have actually uh... met me. So sections of some posts/entire posts may mysteriously disapear, just so you know.

Also, lots of photos will be magically appearing in coming posts, got a few things coming up, including, but not limited to: a nightmare/asylum themed 20th (gold mine for photos), a Ramshackle gig and my own going away do. And I'm planning on planning rough post schedules for my trip, just to make sure I update regularly. I made have to keep the photos to a weekly post, just a selection of the best perhaps? Hoping to snap some Euro-street style to keep the fashblog pack happy.

Plus ohmyeffinggee guess what's happening in Paris right now? Gossip Girl season 4 filming. Surely that will go for a few weeks at least? May be able to bask in the distant glory of Leighton Meester's elbow or something through a brimming crowd! And in the mean time, I can make up stories in my head involving running into her in a cafe/bar/shoe store etc. and somehow charming her with my Australian accent and stylish though inexpensive outfit, resulting in us becoming firm friends (Ha.)

No photos today, cameras at my other house. Oh btw, my father is currently in the country so I'm back to the human ping pong ball existence. I forgot how not fun it was! Seriously, it was hard enough in school carrying my books back and forth- not such a big deal if you forget one, really. But now I have to get dressed in the morning without access to my entire wardrobe! So limiting...

However, I do have a picture of my newest ring (courtesy of GPco)


- m xx

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Mimi and Coco

Photos of my babies.

Two of my favourite things.

Please ignore the stain the price sticker made.

Even the box is beautiful!

Friday, July 02, 2010


Ok so I'm pretty grumpy today

Firstly, my final pay from my last job was due a week ago. I was told it would come in today, a week late, and it didn't. When I asked my old boss about it, he claimed not to know why and said he was emailing the pay people. Bull to the shit. Looks like I might have to be one of those annoying people who go to the deparment of fair trading soon.

Which brings me to the next shitty thing that happened today. Abusive customer threatening to do just that- go to fair trade. Now, at my work, we get these forms that people fill in for the chance to get a free shoot and portraits to the value of $1500. now, one person really does get this prize, but we also call up a random selection of leads and invite them to come in for a free shoot with $100 off any order (the photos start at like $300 btw). Unfortunately, sometimes people get the impression theyve won the grand prize, even though they havent been told that. I can see how they'd assume but anyway, I was doing a style call the other day and the man asked about prices. I outlined everything to him, he said hed get back to me the next day. I didn't hear from him and there was no note of him calling or cancelling in his file. So i rang him today. Turns out he rang yesterday and cancelled and had a bit of a rant about misleading advertising and blah blah but because no body took note or bothered to cancel the booking, I had to cop it. Then he got mad at me, because he had to ask to get pricing information. I'm sorry, but it is not MY fault we don't have a price list automatically sent out. And no one ever told him he won the prize, it's not our fault he chose to take "as a bit of a thankyou for filling out the form" as "OMG YOU WON CONGRATULATIONS HERE HAVE LOTS OF FREE SHIT!!!" Anyway, the conversation wasnt going anywhere, eventually I just had to say "look, I can see this isnt going to go anywhere so I'm gunna let you go. Have a good one" and hung up. Some people are just douche bags, and that's the nature of sales I guess.

So, that brings me to how I cheered up: 1. I bought mimco shoes last night. for... wait for it... $80. they're $300 full priced and they were $180 on sale but the girl in the shop misread the price and accidentally charged me $80. Normally I'd say something. I always hand in found wallets and tell people if they give me too much change- I value that i'm an honest person, i think it creatwes good karma. So I figured this was just good karma. I feel pretty bad but if id gone back it would have just gotten the girl in trouble so... I'm sure you don't need me to describe my love of them. I will get pictures up soon so you can all amaze at their beauty- they make me want to cry. Honestly. For those of you who had a pet dog as a child- remember getting that dog? Most likely after a long battle of wills with your parents. you don't want to go to school, and when you do, you spend the whole day waiting to get home and play with the dog. That was me today with my shoes. It was EXACTLY the same feeling as when we got my dog, Rocky (he's awesome. He knows when I'm sad and stays close to me) Just replace school with work and Rocky with mimco shoes and there you go.

2. This video. Seriously, for those who don't watch Shane dawson- start. He's so talented and funny, and genuinely seems like a really good person. His videos=happiness. I'm not going to let all the shit that affected me today keep affecting me. I'm just going to relax, watch princess diaries 2, drink my wine (given.) and forget about it. The shoes don't hurt either, I'd be a lot more upset if i didn't have them.

- m xx

p.s. at work, we have a daily word that we have to try and work into the conversation as much as possible. Today, it was "tropical fish". It makes the time go faster.