Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Working as an Au Pair, what the brochures won't tell you.

It's story time again at Chez Waffler, does anyone need to quickly nip off to the loo before I begin ?

As I have mentioned previously (in an enthralling and informative blog post where I shared some little snippets about myself) when I was twenty-one I took up a position as an Au Pair in France. Sounds perfect right ? Lattes, croissants, all the dreamy artistic nooks and crannies that gay Paris had to offer......hmmm, yes, well let me share the reality with you folks.

Actually, today, let me focus on the household, in particular on one member of said household, lets call him...oh, I don't know, Le Idjut.

Le Idjut was the head of the household, well he liked to imagine that he was, but really, just between you and me, I think La Grandmere really ruled the roost, followed closely by Mama, so he more or less slotted in about half way up the ladder.

Pretty much every conversation I had with Le Idjut sent a cacophony of alarm bells ringing in my head, for example :

If you have any problems with the children call me, not my wife (DING DING DING DING)

My wife was not so keen on having a twenty-one year old Au Pair (DING DING DING DING)

Can you keep a secret ? The other night I went out for a drink with my friend Le Sleaze and......(DING DING DING DING DING DING)

I think you can get the general gist of it. He was the man who made you feel like you were doing something wrong by merely existing. These were treacherous waters to navigate at the tender age of twenty-one, in a foreign country, an awful long way from home.

Le Idjut was harmless but managed to make your skin crawl and it didn't take me long to realise that the six months I had intended to spend in France were going to be drastically reduced. As a parting gift I would like to share with you my most vivid memory of Le Idjut.

In the lounge was a large open fireplace. A fire was lit. As we sat on the couch opposite the fire, the log pile began to slip and one of the smaller logs neared the edge of the fireplace. Le Idjut leapt like a gazelle over the coffee table, grabbed the log with his bare hands, threw it back in the fireplace, then proceeded to hop around the living room waving his burnt hands in the air. What an idiot, seems he forgot about the tongs and the fact that his hands weren't made of fire retardant material. DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING.


  1. He sounds like a flaming drongo. Snare drum themed hilarity here. My friend was going to be an Au Pair in Germany, though they probably call it something there that, when pronounced out loud, sounds like the wildcat exhibit at the zoo.

  2. I liked this story. Thanks for the share.

  3. By george Rick, I think you've morphed into Alf, yes, yes he was a flaming drongo.
    Thanks for the giggle, you're unrool.

  4. My pleasure Emjie, glad you liked it.

  5. hahaha! flaming drongo indeed!! you paint a glorious picture... karma anyone?

  6. See, I automatically award brownie points for a french accent, but that may well be because I have not been a 21 year old au pair in France caring for mini Le Idjuts. I shall ask my french accented postman what he would do if presented with the burning log scenario and see what he says.

  7. haha...thanks for the laugh..:)


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