Tag Archives: cafe

Une semaine folle

Hello again. This week I was horrible with updating, but for a good reason. My friend Rebecca from Goucher came a visited me! So, I spent my time talking to her and running around Paris instead of updating my blog. 🙂 Which was wonderful, but unfortunately I can’t remember many details since I didn’t update every night like usual. But, here it is.

Tuesday, I work up early and headed to Pere Lachaise cemetary for my course with Theirry (Paris-France-Paris). We learned about the history of strikes in Paris and strikes at Pere Lachaise. Then we walked around and saw various graves of famous historical people, the jewish memorial section, and a famous wall that I cannot remember the name. It was pretty cold, and pretty early, but we survived by finishing at a café for some hot chocolate.

Then we took the bus to class, ate some falafal and went to class. After class I headed up to Gare to Nord to meet Rebecca. Luckily it was very easy (thank you french signage) and neither of us had to wait long. Then we headed to the foyer for some slightly edible dinner. 🙂

Wednesday, I went to my stage and if I remember correctly I helped somebody move around and take pictures of their painting. Then I headed back to the foyer and brought Rebecca with me to Saint Michel so she could spend the time being touristy, while I was in my grammar class. After that we went home and Eliza, Rebecca, and I had dinner at a Thai restaurant off of rue de charonne. The food was good, although I chose not to try the curried frog legs even though it was the first time I had seen frog legs on a menu in Paris. We also found a cute boutique which actually made me want to spend money for clothes. It wasn’t too expensive, but too much for my normal wardrobe. But everything was beautiful and artsy. I may just go back there for Christmas.

Thursday, I sat in on the Art history class again and then went to my grammar class. After words I met up with Rebecca and had awesome crepes. Then we went into Gilbert Jeune so she could buy a Where’s Charlie?(Waldo) and some gifts. We ate dinner at the foyer, and then had an awesome evening finding Charlie with Zipeng and other foyer kids.

Friday, I finished translating chapter titles from an English book about the scientific aspect of Restoration. Then I helped someone to move their painting around and get supplies. Then I watched someone use a usb microscope with the laptop to view the microscopic cracks and details of the painting. She taught me how if the fibers on the back of a canvas are different colors, it means the canvas is made of 2 types fiber. Also, I saw where the microorganisms has starting eating in between the fibers. It was incredibly cool, I never thought a painting could have so much texture to it (except those of Van Gogh of course). After mon stage, I headed back to the foyer and introduced Rebecca to my favorite Kebab place. Then we headed across town to see the Eiffel tower. Luckily the line wasn’t long at all, so after checking out the amazing view we were able to wander around a bit. We found some very cute shops, and some very expensive ones, and wondered about how different the lives in the 7th district must be compared to my side of town. Imagine living next to the Eiffel tower. We were able to see peoples roofs with gardens and terrazzos and hot tubs. Imagine how rich you have to be to have a rooftop hot tub next to the Eiffel tower. Since it was cold, rainy, and public bathrooms don’t really exist in Paris, we headed into a café for some hot chocolate. The waitress was nice enough to let us have a table inside even though they were getting ready for dinner (in france, it seems that the workers eat dinner at the restaurant before the customers come in). After that it was time to meet up with Madame (my wonderful high school french teacher)! We met her at her hotel where I got to speak french with the host, it’s sad but anytime I really really get to speak french here, I’m extremely happy. Then we headed to this restaurant that he had recommended, which turned out to be the café we were just in! We had a wonderful dinner with Madame and her husband. I got caught up on Southington school info and Madame’s travels, and I told her about my internship and my classes at the Sorbonne. We ended up talking until late in the night. I’m so glad I was able to meet up with Madame and I was sad to leave. Four years ago when I met Madame, I never would have imagined meeting up with her in Paris. It’s amazing where life will lead you. After that we headed back to the foyer and ended up just being bums and talking, which is something I miss here in Paris. It’s hard to just relax and have conversations since I constantly have to think of how to say words, deal with cultural differences, and I just haven’t really known anyone here for that long. Erica you spoil me with out since-preschool-friendship!

Saturday we woke up early (9 :-O) to explore Pigalle (Moulin Rouge district). Rebecca had found addresses for a famous bakery and chocolate shop. So, we bought a baguette, which for me was just normal but I think I’ve just eaten too much bread here. Never thought I would ever say that. At least there aren’t hot dogs here so they can’t make me tired of them! The chocolate shop is called L’etoile d’or and was amazing. It’s very small and doesn’t look all that fancy. I wasn’t planning on buying anything, but when the lady opened the chocolate display, oh my god I could not resist that smell. The lady was so nice, she kept saying “you have to take this one” “do you like coffee, ok these two” “you don’t like that, ok try this instead” but she was also nice enough to stop and not make Rebecca buy the whole case. I bought a chocolate with salted caramel and a chocolate with gold leaf. Both were delicious, although I doubt it was because of the gold leaf lol. That night we had dinner with the foyer crew. It was a little crazy at first because we kinda randomly joined the group, and then some people left, and then some people joined. But, in the end it was an amazing night (even if they stole all my cough drops! Halls don’t exist here! It’s only Ricola!) After dinner we thought about going out, but nobody was doing anything except sitting in bars. So, we decided to watch Cinderella instead. 😀

Sunday we woke up early to get Rebecca on her 8:45 train. I had never woken up before the guard gets to the foyer, the streets were practically empty and everything had a sort of eerie feeling. I’m use to being out really late, but for some the morning just felt strange for me. Once I got back to the foyer I took advantage of being up early to do some laundry and other chores with nobody around. For lunch I cooked for the first time at the foyer. I made myself scrambled eggs with ham and toast. Not to fancy, but it made me happy. Later I had an amazing skype chat with all my family. It was my cousins wedding this passed weekend, so my mom got out her mac at the hotel and set up a skype session all by herself. I got to talk to my little cousins and learn how Sammy is going to be a bunny for Halloween, my grandmother asked me why I hadn’t found a man yet and if my grades were good, my mom and aunt started tearing up talking about the wedding, I even got to talk to the bride herself! I love technology! I had to sit downstairs in the common room for a good enough connection, but it was too early for a real crowd and I wore headphones so nobody cared.

Monday I sat in on the Restoration class and learned different techniques for frescos. In grammar class we worked on Imparfait and Passé Composé. Then I had class with Marie where we worked on liaisons and les enchaînements consonantiques. Then we rushed back to the foyer just to realize we were too late for dinner, and to eat kebab instead.

Tuesday, we started early with our Paris-France-Paris class. I finally started taking proper notes because it turns out we have tests where we have to write essays about what we’ve learned. Would’ve been nice to know that from the start. After class Eliza and I ate some pizza for lunch. My first pizza in France, it was very good, I got the ham and goat cheese, only it was good goat cheese, not that American stuff. Then I had grammar class and dinner at the foyer. Dinner was of course nothing all that good, so I was very hungry afterwords. I’m starting to be constantly hungry, even though I eat three meals a day. I think it’s the combination of all the walking I do here, and the smaller meals without snacking. I’m trying to change my habits, but it’s tricky because the French don’t really sell snack food, and everything you can buy on the street is a form of bread. But I’ll figure something out. 😀

Today, I spent my time at mon stage helping somebody do a little experiment. Annette showed us 3 types of “White Spirit” which is used to clean the paintings among other things. One of the “white spirits” was “normal”, the other “de-aromatised” (which doesn’t mean smell-less), and the last one was an organic substitute. She already knew the difference between the first too, but the organic was new and there was question as to whether it could work the same with organic ingredients instead of chemicals.  So, they took an extra painting and we did some tests comparing how long it took for each one to evaporate and penetrate the painting. I’m wondering if France does as many science experiments in school as in the U.S. because for me it seemed very simple, and I was kinda baffled as to why they weren’t recording everything, or just why they did things certain ways. In the end, Annette wanted it like I would expect a typical experiment to be, but I had to leave before we could finish it. I’m getting better about asking what I need to do at mon stage, I’m just annoyed with myself because it’s taken a month to get comfortable. But, that’s me, whatchagonnado.

I had some extra time after lunch, so I headed to Monoprix to buy some school supplies and proper winter leggings. I already have to wear tights under my jeans in order to not freeze everyday. Atleast they turned on the heat at mon stage today, even if they are just portable heaters.

In grammar class we started to learn about the plus-que-parfait and got the dates for our 8:30am final test. Apparently there’s going to be a big ceremony and everything when we receive our certificates.

Then I headed home, ate dinner with the group, attempted to buy some food, and now I’m here.

I might head out to boire un verre with some friends later, alors, bonne soirée everyone!

I’m hungry….

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Café, written august 28th

8/28/2010 2:33 AM

Today was very very long, so I probably won’t describe much, I just want to note what I did.

I woke up, went to IFE early so that we could use the internet there. Went to class, learned about the history of Paris, how certain quartiers are changing, how there’s not an intellectual quartier anymore, and the qualities and defaults of parisiens. It was a cool class because my prof made sure to ask questions that would get us talking and had us read things aloud and then go over them piece by piece. I thought I would have trouble staying awake, but with only four people in class and an interesting class it was pretty easy.

Then Christina, Sophia, et moi went to an algerienne restaurant for some couscous, at a very good price. We stopped by their foyer and I got to see just how very spoiled I am. Then we headed towards the Eiffel tower to explore a bit before our next activity, found out the activity had changed so we just switched the metro to the other direction. Walked around the Notre Dame area, saw le Sorbonne, some touristy spots that are nice because they’re open late, walked along the river. Then we decided it was far too cold so we stopped for some chocolate chaud and ended up talking for atleast two hours, so that it was ten pm before we realized we were starving and needed some dinner. Bought falafas, walked some more, headed home.

Eliza and I played cards with the other students again, although this time they also taught us some games.

And then we realized it was 2 am and the common area was closing, so now I’m in bed and very very tired.

A plus tard.

First Day, written august 25th

8/25/2010 9:09 PM

Today, orientation started, and with that we started speaking only French. This was cool, because it made me work on my speaking skills, but I’m sooo tired now that I can barely understand French anymore and that’s my strong point. I really need to go downstairs and figure out the WiFi, but I’m kinda afraid to attempt to speak French with anyone else. So tired.

So, this morning Eliza and I successfully walked to IFE, but once we got there we realized we weren’t really sure where to go. So we just waited until Emily came to the rescue and explained the door system. We met Thomas, Timothy, et Severine. Talked a lot about the program, signed a form saying we would only speak French, and then ate lunch at a Café. Lunch is supposed to last at least an hour here, it definitely did and it was a very bizarre experience for me. There was nothing actually weird about it, I just prefer to eat and run come lunch time. There was a lot of talking and a lot of noise. My salad was huge, but it had some sort of weird meat which tasted really good, and which I’ve eaten before, know what it is, but just can’t remember right now.

After lunch Jessica brought us to get cell phones (which all come with FM radio! Et pas a camera! Tres bizarre) and then on a tour of the area. We walked on this garden above some stores and I believe the metro. It was really pretty and made me look forward to spring when all the flowers start blooming. Later we went to this see the celebration for the liberation of France. I couldn’t understand the guy speaking, but it was pretty cool to see everyone there and all the fanfare involved. After that we bought some crepes next to the Pompidou, which was cool because we got to see a bunch of street performances. We took a trip to MonoPrix for some necessities and realized that lots of things that are cheap in the US are very expensive here, and the other way around. For instance, I got 3 hangers for  4 euros, but a pillow only cost 11 euros.

For dinner I bought a Ham and Butter sandwich with actual hunks of butter on it, soooo good.

Now I have to decide if I’m going to figure out the WiFi, or go to bed. Hmm, sorry Ma, you may have to wait a few more days to find out I’m alive. 😛