Tag Archives: diner

Lisztomania

Wednesday

Got up and went to my internship, where after finishing my translations I basically just observed what everybody was doing for 2 hours, then ate lunch with them for 2 hours. I should have asked for something to do, but whenever the director isn’t there I know they don’t actually have any work for me to do. Which is something that frustrates me about my stage, I don’t often feel useful. But, I was actually kinda glad to just watch people work, because it’s incredible interesting to just watch them mixing colors and matching the painting completely. Back in high school I had trouble making the color for my painting of a light cover, here they know exactly which color combination to use and how much, I only saw the wrong color appear once, and she just added some more white or something like that and it was perfect. Everyday I see somebody eat lunch from this restaurant called “Parce Que”. Originally I’d try and find “Parce Que” as an excuse to explore the area. However, after many weeks it continues to escape my notice, so I finally decided to just ask somebody where it was. Turns out it was hiding on a corner right down the street, where I hadn’t explored because I thought there were only businesses. “Parce Que” is a little shop where they sell healthy salads, sandwiches, pastas, and soup. The food’s really good, but it’s a little pricey for my tastes. However, I might just have to treat myself every once and a while. Back at l’Atelier, for lunch I just sat there looking pretty and not really talking to anyone, but at least I got to eat lunch with them for once. Silly artists with their lack of schedule.

After my grammar class, I headed home and met up with John who had returned from Switzerland. We had dinner with some foyer friends and then watched The Big Bang Theory chez Zipeng. Sometimes I feel like I spend too much time watching movies or tv shows, but weirdly enough it’s through sitting around watching television that you can sometimes have the coolest conversations. Like after watching show, we got to have an actual conversation about what Zipeng wants to do with his life and all that, I miss actual conversations. After that, I had to be a lousy friend and work on my rapport du stage and call it a night.

Thursday

Got up at walked with John to my stage, where I left him to use the MacDonalds wifi and wander around on his own before he left Paris after lunch to return to good ol Scotland. The students had finally returned from vacation, so I got to sit in on the Art History class again. I missed having the students at my stage sooo much. Not that I actually talk a lot with them, but they’re all really nice, the classes are really interesting, and there’s just so much more activity with them around. In class, we moved on to Italy, where we talked about art in the 14th and 15h centuries (pre-renaissance),with painters such as Trecento, Giotto, and Lorenzo Monaco. Don’t you just love those names? After class I grabbed some pasta from “Parce Que” with a strawberry something dessert. Turns out my pasta came with marinara sauce, which was heavenly since I have not eaten nearly enough Italian meals since coming here, and the dessert was basically the cool whip dip my mom makes with I believe some strawberry yogurt and jello, a very welcome reminder of home. I started eating with the students, but because the other class ran late, I had to move downstairs before their afternoon class started. I kinda awkwardly joined in with the actual workers. They all seem to be in a set group, so I just listened and enjoyed hearing french for an hour. In my grammar class, we learned how to use “Les pronouns neutres: le, y, en” which is basically another way to say “it”, one of the most important words in any language in my opinion. After class I headed to IFE for a make-up class with Marie since we didn’t have class on Monday. We learned about the differences between formal, normal, and informal ways of speaking. We got to watch this amazing comedian do a sketch making fun of teens today and how they pay too much attention to technology and use too many acronyms and all that. (Here’s a link of the first part of the sketch for any frenchies out there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XekUOqjq-lE) I love any chance I get to find little tidbits of French culture, especially since it’s so often hidden by all the Americanisms. After class, Eliza and I ate some wonderful Kebab and then headed to the Halloween Spooky Story event at the foyer. We were a tad too tired to get the full spooky effect, but after our friend explained what was going on later, we were sufficiently creeped out.

Friday

Worked on translating the website for my stage. Staring at a computer for almost four hours straight wasn’t the smartest thing to do. But since I don’t need a smoke break, I didn’t really think about stopping to stretch my legs of anything like that. It’s one of those American habits that’s really hard to get rid of. I misjudged when everybody was going to eat lunch, and ended up just heading out on my own because… No Grammar class today! My prof had a meeting, so I got to start my weekend early, a much needed break. I decided to use my extra time to check out an apartment the family might be staying in for Christmas (turns out its on a normal side-street, nothing special but nothing sketch) and to get some homework done. Then I went for a walk with a friend (we were going to try out the Velibs, but then realized that my American Credit Card wouldn’t work with the machine), had dinner, and then went to bed at 8:30. That’s right, 8:30, I didn’t actually fall asleep until 10:30 but it was still marvelous, I love living here but boy is it tiring, it was so nice to just lay in bed and let my eyes relax.

Saturday

I woke up later than I wanted, 9:30ish. I was still tired which just shows how much this city can take out of you, but I guess the same thing happens in college, no matter what I am really looking forward to next weekend. I tried to get myself motivated and working in my room, but new I couldn’t get anything really done unless I went to a library. So, Eliza and I decided to head to the 15th Arrondissement to scope out the only French public library open on Sunday! Turns out it’s beautiful, almost like Goucher’s library but probably not as green and possibly a little smaller. Of course all the tables were taken, so we somehow ended up sitting in the children’s section where it progressively got louder as the night went on. The library was a great place to get work done, only there are absolutely no plugs, so I was a little limited with how much time I could spend on my computer. I guess no plugs is the catch for freewifi. But, when my computer died I just took more notes, and when I couldn’t stand that anymore, I just went exploring and took out the French version of Spanish for Dummies. I’ve decided that while I still don’t really know what I want to do with my life, I want to speak multiple languages. I don’t have to be fluent but it’s gotta be more than French. And, since Goucher hasn’t been much help in that area, I need to take the initiative and start learning on my own. Hopefully I’ll find some local classes at a library or something for next semester, and maybe take some at a community college this summer back home, but either way I figure if I read the book at least the words will look more familiar to me. After the library, I had dinner with Emily, a Goucherite who’s currently during the program I’ll be doing next semester. We ate at a wonderful Italian restaurant by her foyer in the 15th Arrondissement, where I finally got to have some good Italian spaghetti, oh how I’ve missed you pasta. Emily lives in an all girls foyer, so I wasn’t able to see her room because they’re not allowed visitors, but I was able to see the common area and kitchen. It was huge and in good condition and all that, but everybody was in their own little group. At my foyer it’s hard to just hide in the corner, everybody hangs out together. I’m really glad I chose a co-ed foyer, I’ve met so many people just by hanging out in the common room and the whole foyer itself seems geared more towards meeting people. Emily said her foyer barely has events, and they don’t have a restaurant. My foyer has multiple events every week, and since most people eat in the restaurant, you always know there’s an easy way to meet people. After dinner, I headed back to my lovely foyer where I watched Man Vs Wild with the group. I never would have chosen to watch Bear Grylls trying to survive, doesn’t really sound that interesting, but I still had a fun time, and the episode was in Florida so we got to discuss how Eliza has alligators in her neighborhood and stuff. Important cultural knowledge.

Today

I woke up later than I wanted, again. Got my laundry done, art some lunch, and headed to the library. I got there exactly when it opened, at 1 o’clock, was all ready to get working after lugging my laptop all over the metro when…. Guess what, library’s closed because of the strike! So, I trekked back to the foyer, and got to work in the common room. I’ve gotten a bit of work done, but I’m still really annoyed that I didn’t get to use the library. There’s something about a library atmosphere that actually makes me work. Here, well, I’m blogging aren’t I. Not exactly a productive environment. But, I’ll get all my work done, no worries.

Hope everybody had a wonderful weekend!

Bonne journée!

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….

Lundi est magnifique, au moins aujourd’hui

Looking back on it, today was pretty darn good. I woke up and had the good sense to drink some green tea. Which allowed me to be awake enough to thoroughly enjoy the Restoration class I sat in on at mon stage. The amount of notes the French take is amazing, I had 4 pages by the end of it, and I was missing a lot of what was said. Although, considering it’s basically two hours of the professor talking, I can see where all the notes come from. Basically la prof slowly read off her notes, interjecting tidbits so it wasn’t boring. Then at the end she showed photos illustrating what she was talking about. One weird thing, she took a break for tea at 11:30, which had me worried because I figured it meant half way through the class and I wouldn’t be able to stay for the end. Turns out after the break she only had 15 more minutes to go. Why not just wait for the end of class? I have no idea. I asked Marie about it later, and it seemed weird to her, so maybe it’s just that prof. Another thing, the notes seemed really really structured. For example, the prof would say “the title is such and such…… first point….. a)…..b)…etc”.

Then I head to my second to last phonetics class :-(. We worked on the R, took our last test, and then learned the difference between S and Z, which isn’t really that hard, I just have to stress the Z more because apparently us Americans say it enough.

In my grammar class we worked on opposition/concession, had another mini-debate, the difference between revenir/retourner/rentrer, and took a practice test that’s similar to the final. The practice test was really tricky because there was a section on Vocabulaire which is still my weak point. But, I have some time to figure it out.

Then I headed to IFE for Marie’s class where we practiced more phonetics. We worked on l’accent tonal and how the french don’t talk all singsongy like the Americans. It’s really tricky to keep my sentences more monotone, but I can do it if I focus. Also, while at IFE I talked to Thomas about some forms for the foyer and for OFII. He is incredibly nice, to all future GPP and IFEers, don’t forget that the IFE crew is always there to help, and are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.

We had diner at the foyer with the normal crew. I love dinner au foyer because most of the time we end up just hanging out and talking even after we finish. It helps my French more than the Sorbonne classes. After dinner there was a Pot D’acceuil in the common room to welcome the new residents, basically a happy hour (yacht club style). So, I got to meet new people and just talk with everyone. I stayed way too long, and probably won’t get much sleep tonight. But, it’s worth it. France is teaching me to be a little social butterfly, who knows what will happen when I head home. 😛

To sum up my day, it’s the little things like a good day at my internship and talking with friends that make me want to stay here forever. If it wasn’t so darn expensive I’d be planning out how to stay another year. Silly Euro, go down.

Bonne nuit!

Smexy is the new sexy.

9/22/2010 12:04 AM Some things just never change, like the fact that I really need sleep to function properly. I got around six hours of sleep last night, which isn’t ideal but I’ve done it before plenty of times. However, this morning I had to force my eyes to stay open, which caused my Prof to look at me very very funny, and made for an interesting three hours. So, I’m starting to figure out how I’m going to manage my sleep vs the night life of the foyer. Naps before dinner seem to be the key right now, although that also means I’ve had pillow marks on my face all week during dinner, but I think it’s worth it.

Because of my lack of sleep I didn’t really retain much until after dinner. I know that in Theirry’s class we talked about the division of the city again, and then walked to the Bastille, and to the metro to Republique and Nation to see those monuments. I like the monument at Nation the best because it’s more active and unique. It’s also mostly bronze which I find prettier than stone. Also, note to Lake Compounce workers, apparently the “international crossing sign” is also the “international sign for justice” because it’s on the monument at Nation representing Justice.

After that I had my phonetics class. It’s still the perfect amount of challenging and I’m really sad that’s it’s already almost done. I’m also getting better at noticing just how important the slight differences are. In my grammaire class we worked on subjonctif again, and then did a fun activity of trying to find all the things ending with N in a Christmas picture. It was just a silly activity, but it made me happy how many things we could find, and how creative we got.

After that I headed home to take a beautiful nap. But before that I checked my mail and found a package and a letter! Made my day! Thank you Brianna! Thank you family! Now I have a couple things from home to hang around my room and help with the never ending quest to make my room the opposite of a hotel. Eliza woke me up around 7:30 and we headed to dinner with the gang. Today we discussed the difference between Sexy and Smexy, and what silly bands are. Apparently silly bands haven’t crossed the pond yet. I hope I don’t start a trend *twitch* but one of my friends did request some, so if anyone has some extra dinosaurs around their wrist I would be forever grateful if it was slipped in a letter or something.

After dinner I did some Capoeira again. This time it was just four of us, including my pal Gregoire. It’s so hard but so much fun. I’ve honestly never seen or done anything like it. Today we worked on incorporating cartwheels into the fight. I’ve never been able to do a cartwheel, but it was really cool all the same. Then I headed upstairs, took a shower, did my homework, and here I am.

So, overall good evening, but I need to remember to sleep more. Just because it’s 6pm back home doesn’t mean I can stay up late here. 🙂 Bonne nuit

J’ai un Frigo, with strange frozen things living inside it.

I woke up this morning and headed to the first day of my internship. I made sure to get there early, and look nice and pretty and all that. It turns out though, that it’s pretty laid back except it’s all really chic women, who gossip while they work. Basically I went in, met Marine, who must be high up in the hierarchy because she told me what to do and had the key. She gave me the tour, which consisted of one room and telling me that the upstairs and downstairs existed. We had coffee (me tea), they had a smoke (could not for the life of me figure out the other woman’s name), and then they figured out an estimate for their latest client. It was cool watching them be so comfortable touching and working on the paintings. I even got to pick one up because they needed to take a picture and it was too big for one person to move, (whoohoo, I touched a painting that was probably centuries old or something! I know the other one in the set was 19th century, so who knows).  Then they kept talking, and more and more women kept appearing, and pretty soon I was sitting in a corner reading a book about art restoration while they all worked and gossiped.

Then, around 12:30 I headed out for my classes.

Phonetics is still my favorite class, but it is definitely a challenge. Right now were working on the difference between words like tu and deux. Which I thought was going to be really simple, but when you day a sentence where the vowels switch back and forth every other word, it’s quite a work out.

In my grammaire class we continued to work on the Subjonctif. It’s annoying because I already know it, but practice is always good and I should enjoy the calm before the storm.

Then I bought some falafel, my favorite treat here, and headed to IFE for Marie’s class. She taught us what we would need to do for our final paper. It has to be 15 pages about our internship. She gave us a very structured format so it shouldn’t be too tricky.

Luckily class finished early so I rushed back home for dinner. I ate with Eliza, Zi-peng, Yoann, Julia, Gabriel, Peter, et Gregoire. We tend to always sit with them, which I wouldn’t mind because they’re all really really cool and funny. Like today we taught each other weird phrases in our native languages. Such as Calm down and Simmer down, a way to say “I don’t care” in French that I forget but it involved an onion, and I believe how to say I’m lying in Chinese.

Apres ca, I ran up to my room to wait for Oscar to deliver my Frigo. He was kind enough to get some of his friends to bring it up to me room, so I didn’t life a finger. The fridge itself is a little messy, there’s some sort of pasta like substance in the freezer that won’t come out, but I didn’t have to do a thing, and I think it’ll work really well for my nine months. Also, it’s big enough that I can let other people leave some stuff, so now we can stop buying sandwiches all the time.

Right now I need to go finish my homework so I can fall asleep and dream of the ice cream I’m going to buy tomorrow and put in my noodley freezer. 🙂

After

FFFRRRIIIIIGGGGOOOOO

I basically spent my Saturday in my room being a bum after the big night out.

My big accomplishment for Saturday was that I found a Fridge! There’s a bulletin board in the foyer where people can leave notices like “need a babysitter” or “selling my tv”, and recently somebody put up “Frigo, 80 euros, 1.4 meters”. So, I knocked on the guys door, checked out the fridge, and he said he’d sell it to me. He even said he’d get some friends to help bring it to my room :-D. Also, one of the best parts if that it’s not just a fridge, but it also has a freezer!

For dinner Eliza and I decided to explore and see what we could find. We ended up at Café Leopard by the Charonne metro stop. It had these amazing burgers, which was exactly what I needed after all the french sandwiches I’ve been eating. The only weird thing was they put “cheddar” cheese on every burger, even if there was already another cheese. And the cheddar cheese here is really nasty american cheese.

After that Eliza, Rabi, and I attempted to meet up with Lauren and some friends. We ended up in an Irish pub by Saint-Michel. Everything was overpriced because it’s Saint Michel, but it was nice to meet Lauren’s roommates and just hang out.

So, that was my Saturday.

I’M GETTING A FRIDGE!