Can the real Paris please raise her hand?



People often ask me - 'What's Paris really like?' I start to tell them and sometimes I see their eyes widen in surprise and their mouths drop open in shock. Oops I think. I'm telling that person about the wrong Paris. Or am I? Is there a 'real' Paris?

Did you know that one international embassy in Paris has an emergency hotline for their citizens? This vital phone number is for those who have come to Paris and been so shocked at what they've seen, and wracked with disappointment, that they need immediate counseling and emergency evacuation back home. (more…)
Posted in Food, France, Living in Paris, Paris, Shopping in Paris | 4 Comments

There’s something about quadriplegia …

From country kid ...

From country kid ...

One day a stranger asked me what my disability was. I generally consider it rude for a person to ask this unless there's a valid reason (and nosiness is not one) but sometimes I get caught off guard. My 'good girl' reaction took over and I answered, 'Quadriplegia'. The stranger looked at me and said, 'No it's not'. I laughed, somewhat bemused, and said, 'Oh okay then, what is it?' He replied, 'Well you can move your arms, so it must be paraplegia'. I don't remember my reply to him but I did instantly curse Christopher Reeve.

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Posted in Disability, France, Paris, Paris/France, Quadriplegia, Travel | 6 Comments

You’re going to London for what?

Well not to visit the Queen. "To eat a fish pie," I grinned at the UK border security person. "So you're going to London from Paris for one day to eat a fish pie?" she confirmed, clearly amused and thinking that it was her lucky day not to get the same old answer. "And you live in Paris?" she continued, looking over her glasses at me. "Why?"

Because it's an adventure I thought as I sat on the train a while later. That's really my only answer. Likewise, I decided to get the Eurostar to London, 2 1/4 hours away, just to eat a fish pie.  It would be an adventure. You sometimes have to create adventures. If you don't, much like life, nothing will happen.  True, it's not that France doesn't hold adventures for me. Of course it does. I have about 70 blog posts to prove it. But I'd got it into my head that I wanted a fish pie and like baguettes are French, fish pie is British. An adventure had to be created!

Easy peasy. Let's go!

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Posted in Disability, Food, London, Motorised wheelchair, Paris, Travel | 6 Comments

Independent, or not?

This is a rewrite of a post from August and something I wanted to expand on. I want to ensure that my life in Paris does not come across as just a daily gambol through the City of Love where everything is sunshine and eclairs. My blog is not meant to be anything but an honest account of living with my disability in Paris.  My disability needs didn't disappear when I left Australia and neither did some of the associated problems or my feelings about them.

Wherever you go, there you are.

I don't completely agree with that saying. However there are obvious realities to my disability that exist wherever I am living in the world. For example, I don't magically morph from snuggled into my bed at night to the snappily dressed, hair flicking goddess I am (in my head at least) each morning gliding swan-like around Paris in my motorised wheelchair. There is a process involved in between, a routine that requires assistance from people I hire. So what does having this help and these employees mean to me?

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Posted in Australia, Disability, How to reach a goal, Paris/France, Quadriplegia | 2 Comments