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Fin

Today it’s eleven months after I arrived in Paris.

I’m safely back home in my adolescent bedroom, which is crammed with my adult possessions. Like the Princess and the Pea, I sit on top of my queen mattress, which is on top of a double mattress, which is on top of the double bed my mum bought for this room when I first moved out (climbing into bed is now a perilous exploit).

I’ve been applying for jobs online, finally ready to grow up and settle down for a while. I might teach again but, assuming everything in Melbourne goes to plan, it will probably be a career-break in a few years, rather than a continuation of a long and not-so-prosperous teaching career.

Consequently, not only is it the end of this journey, it’s the end of this blog. A big thank-you to everyone who read – I hope that it’s been useful, or at least entertaining, for people considering giving TEFL a try. Although I’ve loved having a regular writing project, I don’t think it’s appropriate to keep updating Jolie à Paris when Jolie is no longer à Paris. This was originally supposed to be a TEFL blog and, although writing while I was backpacking was a bit of a stretch, writing about my life in Oz is probably a stretch too far.

That being said, if I start a new blog, I’ll let you know.

So, 11 months, 23 cities, 76 students and 372 classes later, and I feel like I’m back where I started. A 24-year-old Aussie girl who has just returned to Melbourne.

Find a room, find a job, find l’amour, drink wine and be merry – should be a piece of cake, non?

Andrew

An Aussie guy commented on my About page at the end of August, saying that he had just moved to Paris and was also teaching English.

I had been thinking about sending him an email to see how he was doing and to see if he’d like to get a coffee some time, but hadn’t gotten around to it yet.

Then, in the BTL teachers’ room on Friday, I was preparing for lessons and happened to mention to Andrew, a teacher who has been at BTL for a month, that I have a blog about teaching English in Paris. I said that I hadn’t been able to find anything similar when I was considering doing my TEFL course, so decided to start one of my own.

He then started telling me about a good blog he’d read, and asked me if I’d heard of it, “it’s something like Julie in Paris . . .”

I grinned, “Jolie à Paris?”

“Yeah, that’s it.”

I laughed, “that’s me!”

“Really?” he said, “I think I left a comment on that – yeah, I remember I made a spelling mistake and complained about the keyboard.”

Small world!

Blogging Anonymity

In a bid to increase my readership, I put the address of this blog on my email signature. I’m starting to think it was a bad idea.

First, Camille, a girl who had a room near Maison Blanche, emailed me to thank me about all of the nice things I’d said about it (she’s lucky that her room was one of the ones I liked!).

Next, one of my room email enquiries was answered with:

Hello mysterious woman:

Autant écrire en Français, puisque vous êtes ici pour le français..

Je suis en vacances pour quelques jours je rentre à la fin de la semaine prochaine, si vous pouvez attendre et ainsi écrire notre rencontre dans votre site de votre vie parisienne… De même, si vous souhaitez découvrir quelques endroits parisien insolite… faites moi signe.

(Bad) translation:

Hello mysterious woman:

I will write in French, since you are here for your French.

I’m on holidays for a few days and I get back at the end of next week, if you can wait and so write about our meeting on your site about your Parisian life… The same if you want to discover some unusual Parisian places… Let me know.

. . . I wonder if he’ll be pleased about making it into the blog?

Then, on the weekend when I was looking for rooms, two of the gentlemen who showed me their rooms commented on the blog! They were both very nice about it – one of them said I was a good writer and the other one thought it was interesting to see Paris through the eyes of an outsider – but I’m a little anxious about losing my anonymity.

The problem is that I’m going to be writing a post that features these rooms and these men, and the knowledge that they might be reading it is making me consider whether I need to censor myself.

I think I’ll just assume that they both have fulfilling lives, and are too busy actually living them to regularly follow my blog :p

Blogging

There were two reasons behind me starting a blog. The first was that I always send ridiculously long emails about my travels and have no idea who actually reads them, so now people can just check the blog if they’re interested. The second was that I was looking for a similar blog when I first decided to do my TEFL course – one from the point of view of a brand new teacher getting his/her first job and starting a life in a new country (when I put it like that, I’m not sure that I’m doing the concept justice . . .) – and I couldn’t find anything. There were plenty of TEFL blogs, but I couldn’t what I wanted, so I figured that my blog might be able to help people who were in my position.

What I didn’t realise, was that blogging has a darker side. It’s something that I never had to deal with when emailing.

Statistics.

On the admin site for my blog, there is a graph that shows how many people are visiting my site every day (so far my highest is 10 hits in a day – how popular am I? :p ) and which posts have had the most views. This would be fine if I were a normal person.

Wordpress Stats - Jolie à Paris

However, I’m afraid that’s not the case. I can get slightly obsessive. The first thing I check when I turn on my computer in the morning is my WordPress stats. When I get home from work, the first thing I check is my WordPress stats. Whenever I’m using my computer, I have one tab reserved for my admin page, and I refresh it at regular intervals to see if someone else has looked at my page.

I might need help.

The only things more aggravating than the 10 hit ceiling I can’t seem to break (what more do they want from me?!), are the low points on the graph. I like that the graph has had an incline over the past month or so, so if I have a day that has less than five hits, I worry about how this will affect my average.

When I sent emails, I would send one every month or so about interesting places I’d seen, and occasionally about the strange things that had happened in my life. When nothing was happening, the emails would stop until life got interesting again. Now that I’m blogging, I’ve easily been doing one or two posts a week, because I’ve had so much to do in Paris.

Until today. It’s been a slow week. And although I’ve been an active participant in my life, I haven’t done enough of any one thing to write a post about a single topic.

If I was emailing, I would wait until something happened and write about that. But now I have WordPress stats, and I’ve only had three views today! So I had to write something, even if it is the last 497 words of inane babble.

For those of you who wonder why I don’t do Facebook – this is why.