On Saturday night, Chris and I initiated the interview process. No, Chris isn't looking for a new job. He's enjoying his new role as Mayor McCheese. I might be, but this isn't about weaving my way through the tangled employment process in France. Rather, it's the beginning of our journey to find like-minded friends capable of displaying the quality traits found in our circles back home.
"It's as though we're getting ready for a date," I said as we contemplated our outfit for the evening. In short, we were. The evening could be the start of a lifelong relationship or a short-lived excursion into hell. Either way, our ensemble needed to convey our personal style and understanding of relevant culture and fashions. That, and to make me look as hot as possible.
Our appointment was at 6:00 p.m. Having been told by Semi where to meet but not able to understand the exact location, Chris and left with 30 minutes to spare. We needed 40. The bar was on the flipside of where we thought it to be. By the time we reached our destination, not only were we 10 minutes late, we were a sweaty mess. This weekend, the weather revolted against the norm reaching highs around 90. So there we stood, in front of a crowded outdoor cafe filled with sisters, dripping wet. Not my idea of a good time and the impression I wanted to make. Fortunately, Semi recommended we move to a different location. "Preferably one with air conditioning, a cool breeze, or a cabana boy fanninig me with giant palm leaves," I thought.
After a short walk and a few beads of sweat later, we landed at a small and quiet cafe. Semi and Chris ordered a bottle of wine, I opted for Evian. Mama was dehydrated. For the next few hours, Semi educated us on Parisian culture while psychoanalyzing our behavior. He's a psychotherapist. And from the quick assessment of both Chris and I, a good one at that. However, from our conversation, we now know:
1. We joined a trendy gym filled with models.
2. If you're called a bitch in Paris, it's not so bad. It means you're attractive, intelligent but a flirt with the boys.
3. If interested in clubbing, the "cool kids" don't start until 3:00 a.m. Or, you can wait until 6:00 a.m. for the after hours. You wear jeans and a t-shirt. They won't be on long.
4. Unlike America, it's hard to find a decent, inexpensive meal. Be prepared to pay for dining that meets your French cuisine expectations.
5. If someone is interested in you, they act as though they hate you.
6. Fortunately, Paris is very integrated with all makes and models mingling freely together on the streets, clubs and restaurants.
7. When you get dressed to go out for the evening, you're dressing for sex. Maybe not immediately, but eventually. So when you buy that next shirt, it's not because it's cute. It's because you want to hump like bunnies.
As Chris and I returned home, we both agreed the interview went well. Based on our initial meeting, we feel as though we can progress to round two - which could have been tonight, Sunday, for a cocktail with Semi and his American journalist friend from New York. But unfortunately, our evening social calendar is already booked with friends from Chicago. There's always next time - we hope.