First day in Paree

Well, I’ve been here for a full twenty-four hours and a bit now, and I’ve finished unpacking into my room (last night the housekeeper was still in the room because the apartment she was moving to wasn’t ready so I moved in this afternoon once she had gone). It is a double room with an ensuite bathroom, a bit sparse of furniture at the moment but a nice room. It’s down in the basement but not as gloomy and damp as that word sounds – there’s a big window letting in lots of light and it’s on the same level as the playroom which opens out onto the garden. I think it’s a good place to be, since I’m still definitely part of the house but I can go down into my room and be in my own space if I want to.

I spent today settling in a bit and finding my way around Paris. Actually it would be more accurate to say I spent today not finding my way around Paris, since I managed to get very lost trying to come home. The eldest girl had given me extremely clear directions on how to get the metro and the tram back to the house but I have an uncanny ability to get lost in a cupboard – I once walked over an hour in the wrong direction trying to get back to my sixth form when I knew perfectly well that it had only taken ten minutes to get there the first time – so I somehow managed to catch the metro out of Paris into the right suburb, and then walk back into Paris again. At which point I took the metro back out again and had no further problems.

As I type the baby is crying upstairs. I think she has a stomach ache; certainly she isn’t feeling very well. All the other children are in bed because it’s school tomorrow. My first proper day as an au pair! I’ll be helping to get everyone ready for the day, and then from about nine o’clock I’ll be free until around four. My plan is to go and investigate language schools and the American Library, and possibly also things like ballet classes and theatres etc. I also need to open a bank account and get a French SIM. Then in the afternoon I will pick up the eldest girl from school and help with things like homework, making a creative mess in the playroom, cooking and eating dinner (I’ll be eating with the kids at about half past six, and the parents eat much later separately) and then getting everyone to bed again.

The only thing I’m really worried about is driving the car, which I will have to do at some point. I’m going to have a few lessons before I’m let loose on my own but I’ve never been a particularly confident driver and I haven’t driven at all for over two years! But I suppose if it is too dreadful I’ll just have to not drive. It might be a bit inconvenient but I’ve never had a car before and they have never had a third adult able to drive around, so we’ll be able to adapt.

This is turning into something of an essay so I’ll stop now and get myself to bed in readiness for my (gulp) 7am alarm going off. I don’t actually have WiFi in my room yet as no one knows the encryption passcode, but hopefully I’ll get it tomorrow and I’ll just post this retrospectively.

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