80 Things I Remembered About Paris

>> Thursday, July 12, 2007

I lived in Paris for 7 years between the age of 3 and 10. I thought that it was important for me to capture some memories I still have before I forget all of them. So this is what I remember during that time:

The little dingy apartment northeast of Champs-Elysees; Lots of dog poop; My crazy eccentric mean step-grandmother; Her pronunciation of Police in Chinese "BoLeiSi" which means "Glass Shit"; The much nicer two bedroom apartment on Rue Beaudoin; The trash shoot; The painted yellow giraffe in the orange water closet; The douche in the bathroom; Swimming in the bathtub; Talking to the little girl living next door through our balconies; The dog and cat that my grandma kept; The field of grass between the buildings; The black guy who broke in and kissed my mom; My father; His lavishly decorated Chinese restaurant which was once on TV; Being too nervous to sing the ABC song in front of him and then get called stupid at the age of 3; The Chinese restaurants' association; The seemingly nice lady Polish lady called Barbara sitting outside my father's restaurant who smiled at me, which my mom called her the "Evil Fox Seductress" (home-breaker/slut); Sleeping in 6 restaurants chairs lined up like a bed while my mom have late night card and mahjong games with the other Chinese restaurants owners; Buying Triple 5's for my grandma; One of the restaurant owners named her daughter "Puppette" and makes a mean Chinese salad with wood ear in her restaurant in Nation across a slaughter house; Dumping the whole can of fish food in one of my mom's friend's aqaurium and getting beat senseless for it; Gallette des Rois and the crown (Why can't I ever be the king?); Crepe stands on the street; Coconut and Pistachio ice cream; Swirling trash flying in the air in an outdoor shopping center (Very American Beauty); The Chinese groceries stores who sells "Big Buns" and rents out Chinese TV shows; Our VCR; Inpector Gadget; Watching Bambi and "Le Soupe de Choux" in a movie theatre; Listening to a lot of Prudence Tsui and Teresa Teng; Sitting on the floor of the supermarket and reading Smurfs comic books and children magazines; Eating chocolate sundaes in the supermarket's restaurant; Seeing dead rabbits hanging on a meat vendor's rack on a open air market underneath the Metro next to Place D'Italia (That's my Chinese Zodiac symbol and my favorite animal); The light board in the metro where I press things just to see it lit up; Pressing the stop button on an escalator to see what it does (Not Recommended); My mom's Singer sewing machine; The bull costume and the chef costume she made for me during day of LaFontaine; Asking my mom for a Superman's cape and get a detective cape outfit instead; My Bally shoes; My Mickey Mouse watch; The smell of Chanel; Going into Christian Dior; Lido and Moulin Rouge; The folding peacock in my mom's cocktail; Constantly causing trouble and get summoned to the principal's office again and again; Being teased by other boys and get into fights; Being invited for Fanny's 7th birthday party; Giving my teacher a Pierre Cardin scarf for my teacher for teacher's day; Making our own chocolate croissant with a croissant and a little bit of chocolate at school; Being bullied and one of them fuckers stole my electronic game; Seeing him play it across the street from my apartment outside my favorite patisserie; The baguette and buttery, flaky mini baguette that they sell; My toy accordion; My raggedy Andy bedsheet (Does anyone else think that Raggedy Andy looks too feminine?); My Monchichi stuffed monkey; Lego; The crying clown marionette hanging from a store; The moonlit bus trip to Luxemburg, Belgium, Lyons, Marseille and Nice with my mom; Skipping school again and again to go to London, Amsterdam, Monaco and Roma; Fireworks; Mont St. Michel and their buttery cookies; Cow tongue sandwiches; My own little leather suitcase; Spending a summer on my tonton Albert's country home; Going to the beach and catching escargots with my cousin; Eating them; Artichokes; Having an opera cake for my eighth birthday; The chocolate bar that have different animals on it; The art and craft book that my uncle buys and then he cut the pages out and made them into a house; The fights between my mom and my father; My mom asking me to go to the tool box and grab a hammer when my father's around so I can knock him on the head when they do fight; Me actually grabbing a hammer and waiting when he comes around again; My mom getting sick; The acupuncturist's visits; I told my tutor how my mom called her Pineapple Chicken (which means "Depends on the stickiness", which means she takes advantage of others, but I didn't know what it means back then so she flipped); My mom's hospital stays; Doing laundry and cooking for myself; Bringing My mom food from her friends' restaurants while I ate the hospital food; Going to a broken pay phone outside the hospital so we can call Hong Kong for cheap; Wearing pajamas to school thinking it was ok; Red anthuriums and tearing them to see if they are made of plastic.

Maybe it wasn't entirely happy, but it's the only period where I spend with my mom so I do cherish these memories.

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