Sunday, 6 March 2011

Chalk and cheese.



It's Sunday and much to my dismay my week off uni is coming to a close. With most of the other foreign students at home for the week or travelling Europe it meant that Gem, myself and GA (Gay American) ended up spending a lot of time together. This was an interesting dynamic.


Awkward at first, it took a while for us to get to know GA properly. We'd spent some time with him but always in a larger group. I was maybe a little worried that there would be a bit of a clash which there was. We are different in just about every way:


1. He's nineteen, I'm twenty one. It shows.
2. He's optimistic and the 'happy-go-lucky' type. I'm not.
3. He's a republican. I'm not extremely well versed in US politics but I think I know enough to say that I'm not.
4. He's really confident and has no trouble talking to anyone, even in French. I'm not and do.
5. He's still a virgin and waiting for a meaningful relationship but doesn't mind getting sucked off in the toilets from time to time. I could never judge anyone considering the things I've done.
6. He gets pedicures. I don't.


Okay so this sounds like a barely disguised attack in his personality but we actually got on really well. A love-hate relationship I suppose. Most of our conversations did descend into arguments but he's obviously an intelligent guy and I really enjoyed hearing a completely different point of view on pretty much every subject. I've really loved arguing with him. I also respect him for wanting to wait for someone special to have his first time. I mean it may not be my style but he is only nineteen and already employs responsible decision making - well done.


Talking of meaningful relationships I stumbled across this video on YouTube and it may well have melted my ice heart ever so slightly:




Monday, 28 February 2011

Black Swan



If you hadn't heard the Oscar buzz around this film you either live under a rock or have no interest in movies. The other day my friends and I searched out a screening in English with no idea what to expect. After the credits rolled our opinions were divided (GA hated it saying that he enjoyed 'happy' films only) but it was probably one of the best films I've seen in a while.

Now I'm no expert but I thought a lot of it was extremely well done. The camera work was not really like anything I've seen, frequently staying close to the character's faces in an almost claustrophobic manner, keeping you on the edge of your seat throughout.

I read somewhere that Natalie Portman (who won Best Actress last night) and Mila Kunis had to train for six months, five hours a day and it shows. Despite being sickeningly skinny it was strange seeing actresses who we know dancing en pointe with ease. One of my friends even said in shock 'Oh was that Natalie Portman? I thought it was just a random ballet dancer!'

The storyline was also clever and tight and it takes some working out in your head afterwards. It would have been interesting to see the result if Darren Aronofsky hadn't strayed from reality at various points in the film but these nevertheless punctuated the main character's state of mind and were downright chilling. Labelled as a companion film to 'The Wrestler' I will definitely be checking that out too. Oh and not to forget the lesbian sex scene which was surprisingly really hot!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Unveiling.


I don't really know why I feel this is so important that it warrants a post about it but - I've changed my profile picture. There are a few reasons for this:


1. The previous photo is about two and a half years old so essentially irrelevant.
2. I like the new photo better.

I also feel like there's some explaining to do:

1. The eyes are blocked out in true 'London Preppy' style more for my own peace of mind than anything else. It's not as if someone who knew me and looked closely at the photo wouldn't be able to put two and two together.
2. The pose is bordering on cringe-worthy which is why I like it.
3. It was taken just before I left for France last August and my appearance has changed slightly since then. Namely I now have a middle-lip piercing (had that done over here on a bit of a whim) and more facial hair (largely because I'm too lazy to shave).

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Trop trop beau.



Just a quick update as today I feel rough. The reason being that last night was kinda messy.


It gets to 5pm and I have every intention of making food and spending the evening in my sweats but I get a text from GA (Gay American) asking me if I'm bored and want to go to a flat-party his neighbours are having. I accept mainly because they're French and any opportunity to practice speaking with real people is a bonus and walk over picking up Gem (Irish best friend here) and a 2€ plastic bottle of wine on the way.


The party is fun but not good enough to prevent us leaving to go out to some clubs but as it's Friday everywhere is absolutely rammed. GA has an idea saying he knows someone who knows someone and we somehow end up in an invitation-only party in the basement of a restaurant. The music is amazing and with drink flowing we dance 'til around six before stumbling back into the bright artificial lighting of upstairs.


Now that a lot of alcohol + dancing = me looking a state, and wanting to make a swift exit I make my way down to the street but a guy in a check shirt blocks my way. I recognise him from downstairs in the club and thought he was staring over slightly more than the usual. He's drunk but manages to slur out what I think is 'Tu aimes les mecs? T'es trop trop beau...tu veux rentrer avec moi?' - basically asking if I want to go home with him. I'm slightly creeped out and obviously refuse but I end up giving him my number more to get rid of him than anything else. I mean, he's not bad looking, dressed well etc. but he's the type of guy who makes you shudder.


I've had three missed calls and two texts from him this afternoon - forward much?

Thursday, 17 February 2011

How not to date.



As promised, probably my best friend here had three friends over from Ireland to stay last week. After a long build up I was pretty much dreading having to meet them on my own - I'm awful at group situations/meeting people.

It's Thursday and 9pm rolls around all too fast and the plan is for me to walk round for pre-drinks when I'm ready so at about half 9 I'm dragging myself up the steps to the flat. It's not as bad as I think as they've been drinking in the airport, on the flight, on the bus and are knocking back yet more as I sit myself down awkwardly. I put on my best smile and whip out my 'I'm cute and you'll love me' routine and the conversation flows easily. Hardest part over.

More people come over later on so we leave the flat to go to a bar and bam, not wanting to blow my own horn but it's pretty much straight away, I get individually attacked from all sides when each member of the group starts asking me questions like 'So, what do you think of Neil? He just told me he thinks you're really hot' and 'Do you wanna get with someone tonight?' Now Neil (not his real name) is the newly single gay friend and I actually think he's attractive but nothing happens that night for reasons that are threefold:

1. I hate the whole 'Tell your friend that I think he's hot' situation. Some of my friends do it but I'm a strong believer of 'If he wants it, he can come and get it'.
2. I've kinda forgotten how to deal with guys and aside from the carefully created image of myself that I piece together so I can be seen in public, I do not see myself as a attractive at the moment.
3. I only make the first move on very rare occasions.

Neil and I play the flirting game all weekend - him being slightly too interested in what I have to say, me not being able to hold eye contact. We get a little bit too close at various points over the many nights out but in the end he leaves with only my promise of a visit to Dublin which I think we both know I will not keep. Shame.

A few posts ago I mentioned the horrific November French guy vom fiasco. Well I hoped I'd never be reminded of the event but last week I received this message on Facebook:

'Hey,
Je t'ai vu à la fac de lettre aujourd'hui, j'ai pas osé venir te dire bonjours, que deviens tu?'

Roughly translated this is:

'Hey,
I saw you at uni today, I didn't dare to come over and say hello, what have you been up to?'

I don't particularly like him, don't have any interest in seeing him again but I see him everywhere. I still haven't messaged back. I might make small talk and then if he wants to do something say (lie) that I have a boyfriend. Awful.

Monday, 14 February 2011

I'm not bitter.


Those of you who were met with this brightly coloured, fairly eye offensive logo when you went to search something today will know that it's the big V day. This is even if, like me, you were fully prepared to pretend that today is no different than any other. Cheers Google.

To avoid using the actual word I've decided to come up with a few adjectives beginning with 'v' to describe how I'm feeling:

Vexed
Violent
Volatile
Vindictive
Vicious
Valone.

Hope you've had a good one.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

France.


What seems like years ago and just yesterday at the same time (05-09-2010), I packed my life into a single suitcase and left the country, and I haven't been back since.

The Beginning...
...was really tough. Flight prices meant that I had to fly to the 'wrong' place and negotiate my way to Aix-en-Provence armed only with a few words of broken french, after not studying it for a year, and a (forced) smile. Eventually arriving in one piece I checked into the hotel I'd booked and had just a week to build my life from the ground up and looking back I honestly don't know how I did it. It's strange remembering times when I
sat in Quick at 1am using the wireless Internet, without a place to live and knowing absolutely no one. I had to stop myself from freaking out every few minutes with my eternal mantra of 'You can do this...'

All that seems like a world away now though. I'm enrolled at the local university and have been taking classes and sat exams up to now (in french/with french people) and I actually feel really settled. Insane.


Aix is like a town from a postcard and absolutely beautiful. The home of squares with elaborate fountains, streets lined with designer shops and the people who shop there. Sometimes it doesn't feel like I'm living in the real world. Although I'm brought back to reality every time I go into uni as it's an absolute state/looks like a war-zone. With strikes due to the new retirement age plaguing much of my first months we regularly had to get around blockades of tables and chairs at entrances and stairways to get to class. How exciting
.

Boys
= there are none. At the start there were a few gays from the US that I knew of but they were generally just awful. Okay awful is maybe a b
it harsh, I just wouldn't have gone there. Apart from that I have had physical contact with a total of 1 guys since I've been here and it was a lot less than a perfect experience:

Okay so it's November and I've found out about this monthly gay night which is periodically advertised around uni. After much deliberation I decide I'm dragging two of my friends along as my newly developed phobia of homosexual men has gone far enough. I of course think it'd be too cringe if I wasn't completely shitfaced so I drink two beers and a bottle and a half of wine before I leave the flat. Needless to say I'm absolutely fucked. I remember getting to the club, getting yet more drinks and hitting the dance floor and then blank. Next thing I know I'm waking up in some guy's bed who I do not remember meeting. There is my sick all over his floor and he's talking really fast french to me so I
have no idea what he's saying. I manage clean up a bit and ask him where I am and how I get to back to the centre of town and end up on a walk of shame at 10am with vom down my jeans. - It's nice to know I haven't changed but honestly, I'm too old to be doing things like this.

Strangely enough this g
uy wanted to see me again but I obviously couldn't handle the shame so it nothing more ever happened. I've seen him around uni a few times. Awkward.

Other opportunities to s
tave off celibacy as yet haven't presented themselves. There's a weekly gay night at one of the bars which I obliviously tried to get into but was turned away because it was too late. The bar is called Cha Do and judging by look the type of guys who go I think it might be short for Cha Doh! I got with someone fugly last night. I'll go if I get desperate (/have lost my mind) and report back.

Friends, Old and New
You know they say that when you move away you realise who your real friends are? I have experienced this...in odd ways. A few of my 'friends' have become psychos to the point where I'm not sure I want to speak to them ever again. They seem to have forgotten that I have a life here that doesn't include telling them every detail of my life in a Facebook message every day. This has gotten a bit out of hand of late with one of them deleting me and then ignoring my request. He has since then come crawling back but I'm being ruthless standing my ground.

One of my other friends who I'll call 'Crazy' (for humorous purposes) is just that and more. If you're gonna message me with things like 'I think of you as my boyfriend' and 'I miss the intensity of us' I will not want to pick things up where they left off when I left the country - I'd rather never return.

The friends I've made here, however, have surprised me. I was fully prepared to have acquaintances but essentially spend most of the time on my own. I mean I know they are special circumstances and I don't have any illusions as to how long we've actually known each other in real terms but I have met some really good people. One of them has three of her friends from home visiting this weekend (one of them gay). Seen as I'm a social retard I'm kinda worried. When I've obviously been talked about I always feel like there's some kind of pressure to live up to a preconceived view of me. I should probably just man-up and stop over analysing.

I'll be back with updates.
Over and out.