Monthly Archives: May 2011

Les Vacances

After months of stressing over my stage and classes, and trying to balance them with spending time with all my amazing friends, I am finally on vacation. Sunday morning, I woke up around 5 am to go to the airport and pick up my cousin. Sunday we tried to keep busy to ward off Jet Lag. We planned out our week, including a 3 day trip to Germany next week, had lunch with Zipeng, and walked around Père Lachaise Cemetery. Yesterday, we slept in and then decided to head to the Louvre. We walked around the Louvre, managing to see the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Venus de Milo, old Louvre Moat and the Napoleon Apartments.  Then we walked around the Tuileries Gardens, stopping to rest next to a fountain where kids were playing with wooden boats. Then we walked along the Champs Elysée, taking AC breaks in stores like Virgin. Finally we walked up all 284 stairs of the Arc de Triomphe. We ended it all by going home, eating a Kebab, and heading to bed.

Here’s some photos from the fountain.

 

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Je suis maladeeee

When I went to college I realized one of the worst things that can happen is to be sick while you’re living alone. Thankfully, the one time I was really sick at Goucher my mom happened to be visiting and nursed me back to health in the hotel. Unfortunately, there was no possible way for me to have such luck in Paris, unless my mom happened to win a free trip to Paris the same time that the whole Southington school system shut down. Since the world is not quite as topsy turvy as that, me getting sick this Thursday was a little complicated. Looking back I can laugh at it and have lots of “awww” moments at my amazing friends, but I will complain just a little that it still sucks to have my throat screaming and lots of missing pages in my mémoire. But that is all the complaining I will allow myself, so here’s the story.

Thursday, I got into work feeling pretty tired, but I just figured it was because Wednesday had been rough and that I hadn’t slept enough the night before. So, I let myself complain a little to my coworkers, because that is one habit I’m starting to let myself fall into in France, share everything,  and while I will never share my private life like some of the Frenchies do, if I’m having a rough day, you don’t always have to hide it. But anyway, as I’m about to do my visit my boss offers to let me go home early since she couldn’t find anybody to replace me to work Friday night and this would make up for the extra hours. I figure sure, why not, I could use a nap. Only, after my visit, I don’t really remember much of my visit, the kids and teachers seemed happy though, maybe I really needed a nap. So, not bothering to stay for lunch, I hop on the bus to head home. About halfway home, I start feeling sick, only problem is, I can’t get off the bus, because while getting carsick during the 15 minutes left of the bus ride is a risk, getting sick in the street while walking a half hour home with a very very heavy backpack is a guarantee. Somehow I survive the lesser of two evils, only having slightly scary faces respond to my very green one, and I run off the bus, promptly sitting down outside of Las Vegas (the leather shoe shop across from my foyer) and start scoping out the closet garbage can just in case, of course it’s across the street. After about a minute, the owner, who kinda looks your typical big Italian mafia thug, says “You OK?” To which I promptly reply “yeah…. yeah… Can I have a bag? thanks……. I think I can make it home…. I live…. there…. thanks…” And stumble across the street, up the stairs, into the foyer, to discover…. the elevators aren’t running! And won’t be running for another two hours!!! I must have looked like the most pathetic little girl lost in Paris as I told the worker “but…. I’m sick….. and… and I have 8 flights of stairs……” Now looking back, one of the workers probably would have helped me with my bag or I could have rested on the couch for a bit at least, but I really just wanted to get home, so I lugged my bag up 8 flights of stairs, got into my room, and collapsed on my bed, where I stayed until the next morning.

Friday morning, I woke up feeling a little off, but figured since I didn’t have a fever anymore, I could go to work. It being my last day and all, I really didn’t want to call in sick. So, I got on the metro and headed in for my last day. Only, when I got there I still felt off, but I figured some tea would help. However, when the tea didn’t help, and I explain to my coworkers how I was sick the day before, all the dots were connected and they kindly told me some one else could do my tour, it was no problem, just go sleep in the office. I’ve always loved my stage, but this just proves that not only are the place and what we do amazing, but the people are too. Not only did somebody do two tours in a row as I slept in the office, but they found somebody to work the night shift for me, we had been searching all week for somebody to replace me, everybody was heading home on the train, nobody was available, and the day of they found somebody, just so I could go home and sleep in my own bed. And that’s where I stayed for the rest of the night.

This morning I went for my first French doctors appointment, with a doctor who spoke English, and didn’t really give me any other choice. So, I have no advice for language barriers and doctors appointments. However, it was extremely easy to do, he gave me all the prescriptions I needed, and sent me on my way.

Last note about being sick, before heading off for a wonderful antibiotic filled sleep, is about my friend group here. Being sick has made me realize just how many amazing people I’m lucky enough to call my friends. Several people have gone out and bought stuff for me, made me food, checked on me throughout the day, basically if I needed anything there were always multiple people ready to come and help.

Well, I’ve kinda gotten side tracked while writing this and now am too tired to remember what I wanted to write in the first place, so hopefully this post was useful. I’ll be sure to update about my Paris adventures once I hand in my paper and can start having adventures again. 😛 Bonne nuit tout le monde!