Welcome to my world! My name's Nik, and I'm a British expatriate who has been living in Paris, France for the last five years. Even though I never planned to stay in Paris for very long, now I'm here I've no plans to leave soon - the beauty of Paris has never worn off, and so far it's been a five year long vacation! Enjoy my ramblings...
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Party on the Temple

Last night we had a party. The owner had been wanting to have another grandiose soiree, and the apartment wasn't rented out, so voila, big party time.

A lot of people had been invited, and one of the invitation requirements was to bring a 10€ present which would then get randomly redistributed. Back home in Brit this was called a bran tub, which I can only guess stemmed from the days when we could only afford to give each other gifts of bran, a healthy tradition at the very least. Being Paris of course, rather than bran the gifts were things like champagne flutes and pretty cups. There was a surprising number of magnifying glasses, which I guess is a french thing only because when things get incomprehensible it's usually their fault.

There was an additional rule - we were given numbers to dictate who drew their present from the pile first. Once you had opened your choice, you were given the option to swap with anyone who had aleady picked a present. In other words if you were last in the queue, you pretty much had the choice of anything that was there, while if you were first you had to make do with losing the cool present you'd randomly picked and getting the Kinder egg santa that clearly didn't cost 10€.

It worked quite well, until competition for various presents got quite heated. Many protests about the rules were heard (there was only one rule, which is less than Fight Night, not that you could tell the difference). I picked a bizarre pink thing, and attempted to swap it for some chocolates and it didn't go too well. The host had to charge over and literally wrestle the chocolates from my victim's hands while ignoring cries of 'he didn't choose before ten seconds were up' (a new rule that had suddenly emerged).

This morning, while recovering from a hangover, I decided the chocolates would be breakfast, and after taking a big bite (they were cup-cake sized xmas things), I found it to be quite tasteless. I then took a closer look at the label - they were candles in the shape of chocolate cakes. How sick and twisted is that!