Sunday, October 24, 2004

The Dinner Party

Last night we were invited to my husband's co-workers house for dinner. The dinner was in honor of a friend from the US who is interviewing for a job in the same office. The wife, who was preparing the meal, is French. We were invited to come over at 8:30pm. We brought over the mutual friend/potential co-worker and showed up at 8:20pm, a big faux pas. You never show up early to a dinner. To be fair, we walked over there and weren't sure how long it would take. I apologized when we arrived and handed over the champagne we brought. She told us that when she was worried about getting everything done before the guests arrived, her husband (who is European) assured her that no one would get to the apartment on time. She responded that Americans were coming and they always arrive early or on time. She had invited a French couple as well and they arrived "on time," meaning the perfect 20 minutes late. I don't think I could live here long enough to get used to sitting down for a meal at 10pm. It was a delicious meal and the company was stimulating, but I have no idea how she cleaned up. We were the first to leave a little after midnight. Do the French just leave the dishes for the next morning?
The potential new co-worker of my husband is looking for housing in Paris. My husband drove him around yesterday to different parts of Paris. He's in his 50s and would be coming over with his wife -- no children. They want a quiet neighborhood that has plenty of shops. The wife mentioned the Montmarte area as a place she really likes (to visit, she has no idea about living there). We suggested the 7th, 15th, (Dupleix) 16th (Auteuil) and 17th (Courcelles.) What would you recommend?

-- said Auntie M in Paris
10:41 AM



People always seem to like the area where Louise has her apartment. I like where I live (near Nation) because there is everything I need (supermarket, really good market, movie theater, big metro station) but it's not the super-picturesque part of Paris. In terms of things to do and eat I'm really more of a fan of the right bank, but of course, I'm po' folk.

# posted by Kate : 12:02 PM  

The only area I know anthing about is the 16th. Quality!
Here in Charente Maritime we have the charente quarter hour, which really means everyone turns up at least a quarter hour late

# posted by Anji : 12:08 PM  

i know very little about paris living-accommodations, but as in belgium, arriving at a dinner on time - or even, shock! horror! early, is a big no-no.

i love this part of the world ... it's pretty relaxed ... and i've lived here (belgium) for 22 years now. even my partner from cumbria has grown to love it. go figure.

# posted by zoe : 8:13 PM  

...as for cleaning up...you go into Olympic training for this kind of behaviour but I'll tell you, it's possible to do wash up the dishes, throw all the bottles out, and do a general wipe before tossing out the lights... if there's at least one helping hand. it's something I can almost sleepwalk through now which is a strange relief. But one can never really complete the job by oneself the night before.

# posted by Anonymous : 3:25 AM  

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