Tag Archives: friends

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!

Provins: awesome and enlightened is the way to go.

Since coming to Paris in September, I have only left the city twice, both times the same day trip to a small town called Fontainebleau. So, when the boys decided we needed to do something for the long Easter weekend, and realized that any big trip would be a hassle because of Easter traffic, I was all for joining them. Today, we headed to the small medieval town of Provins. We kinda figured it out as we went, knowing how to get there by train and then asking for directions once we got there. Which turned out nice since we got to explore and take things at our own pace. I got a very good lunch of Goat cheese on warm toast salad, hamburger sans bun and fries, and apple tart for dessert. After that we headed to the Castle, which turned out not the be a castle at all. On top of a hill, there was a fortress that fit on about the same plot of land as my house, maybe smaller. From the outside it looked pretty, but not that impressive, however from the inside we discovered all sorts of nooks and crannies, endless stairs, and incredible views. After the castle, we went to a cute little museum which basically consisted of all the old objects the town has, from stone sculptures to jewelry to cooking utensils. Next was the town church, beautiful white stone inside, but unfortunately all the statues were covered for Saint Saturday. And last but not least, we went on a tour of the underground caves. It lasted 30 minutes, complete with tour guide.  Honestly, it was just nice to get out of the heat for half and hour. After that we explored the town a bit, headed back to Paris, and had some chinois for diner.

I had a great time, but mostly because we spent the whole time joking between friends. I’m glad I went, and would recommend Provins to anyone who’s studying or living in Paris. However, if you’re not here for long, stick to the big sites.

I’m pretty sure this post was incredibly simple and written in some broken English. This is because 1, I’m very tired and just don’t have the time to write a big post, but I had fun today and wanted to note it down, and 2, because I spent my day with two friends who speak English very well, but since English is not their native language, by the end of the day I started picking up their way of forming sentences and simplifying phrases.  So, here’s just a hint of how funny I’m going to sound when I get back to the states. 🙂

Bonne nuit and Happy Easter!

Folle!

Post number 100! Whoohoo!

100 posts in 6 months, I’m pretty impressed with myself since all my childhood journals had the same entry, “Maybe this time I’ll actually keep writing….”

Keeping the blog going has been easier than I thought it would. Partly because I’m so happy here and I know I’ll forget things if I don’t write them down, it’s just how my brain works. And partly because I know my mom (Salut mommy!) and some other relatives read the blog, and I love being able to keep in touch with them, even if it’s in our funky 21st century way. Whether any future study abroaders have looked at the blog (another reason I thought of starting it), I have no clue, but you never know.

This week has been insane, and it’s not slowing down. Monday I had mon stage in the morning, where we continued to clean and clean for the inauguration, and carry lots of supplies all over the building, almost ran out of space. After that I had my class at IFE where we learned about Greece and the EU during a presentation and I believe the institutions… I’ve discovered I’ve had enough of the EU and need to find some way to keep myself interested in this class, we’ll see how that goes.

Tuesday went by fast. In the morning we cleaned all the paint stains of the floor in the exposition. After that we went over the exposition a bit as a group, got dressed in our Keith Haring gear, and got to work. I spent my night surveilling the artwork (Ne touchez pas s’il vous plait, c’est les vrais oeuvres, tres fragile, merci) and cleaning wine glasses, I believe we went through 40 sum odd bottles. All in all, opening night was a great success and I was exhausted by the time I got home.

Today, I woke up and headed up north to the Prefecture de la Police to renew my visa, which thanks to slowpoke bureaucracy and forms is expired (btws, legal to stay in france with an expired visa for 2 months). I got there a half hour early, went though security, and got my number. Everything moved pretty fast, the lady was nice, everything was well until, dun dun dun, I didn’t have my numero d’agreement! What is that? No clue! And whatever it is, IFE doesn’t have it. So, I get to go back on friday and give them a very pretty letter from IFE explaining that we don’t have said numero but here is all the information you could possibly need. I was just a tad bit frustrated after going up north, missing work for the morning, and not getting what I needed, so I grabbed some MacDo and headed to the museum. There I got to observe one of the visits while guarding the artwork, a new task now that there’s real art work at stake. It was interesting to watch since we really are in the process of figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Keeping the kids from touching the work was a whole other story. They understand that paintings are not to be touched, that’s easy basic knowledge. However, there’s a kids size yellow race car which just calls to them. You can see it in their eyes, every kid who passes wants to touch it, heck I want to, it’s freaking cool. It’s really tricky to figure out which kid will just be tempted and which kid will actually act on it. I’m hoping we put up some actual barriers, because it sucks to keep a kid at a distance and have to act like the security guard with everybody who comes in. After work, I attempted to do some shopping because during the beautiful 18 degree C weather we had today, I realize that jeans and a pea-coat aren’t going to be comfortable for long on the metro. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any luck, but hopefully more skirts will be out before the real heat waves. Tonight, one of our Goucher friends came for a visit, so Zipeng cooked us all a big dinner. It was nice to catch up, and just not eat cantine food.

Post 100, fini, je doit dormir. But I’ll leave you with a very important video for learning French.

or alternatively, because I am a vrai connecticutian

La Patinoire

Yesterday, I went ice skating with some friends at Hotel de Ville. Every year the city puts up an ice skating rink outside the mayor’s office. It’s not too big, but does the trick for some cheap ice skating, only 5 euros to rent a pair of skates and the rink is free to use. It was a little crowded and the rink wasn’t in the best of condition, but that was partly because it had rained that morning and was too warm for the rink to refreeze properly.

It took me a while to get going, I still haven’t gotten back to being comfortable on the ice, but I had a great time. I wish I had taken advantage of this and gone more often, now that I realize just how weak my ankles are and how much fun it was. Luckily I’ll be back next Tuesday with my foyer.

Here’s a link with the times etc if you want more info.

After ice skating, we bought some bread and cheese and sat outside Centre Pompidou for dinner. It felt wonderful to be outside for so long after such a cold, wet winter. Unfortunately the good weather didn’t last long, forcing us to hide from the rain halfway through our meal. But, that little picnic reminded me of one of my favorite parts of Paris. I never thought the gray skies of Paris would really get to me, but at this time I really miss the sun and I really miss eating outside, just spending time outside besides walking from one place to the other. So, thank you mother nature, for giving us a couple of days of decent weather during this dreary winter. I can’t wait for April to get here.

La Bellevilloise

Friday night I was lucky enough to tag along with a friend over to La Bellevilloise, an amazing concert/performance space in Belleville.  I got to see a little bit of everything, here’s the list of what was playing.

Nuit Zébrée – Live Radio Nova – SOIREE
le 17.12 – 19:00
Robin Leduc
Yael Naim
Stand High Patrol
La Caravane Passe
Danton Eeprom
L’Oiseau Bleu
Juliette Dragon et les Filles de Joie
Heretik “We had a dream”
Les Vraoums (musique de filles old et hot

Never gonna survive unless you get a little crazy

Saturday night, I went to the train station and was able to find John no problem. So, we headed back to the dorm and had dinner. I know we did more that night, but I’m drawing a blank so I’ll have to update later.

Sunday, John and I headed over to Notre Dame for their organ concert. We got there far to early because I had forgotten to reset my clock for day lights savings time, so we wandered the area a bit. The concert was pretty cool, but I was really tired already so I might have closed my eyes for part of it, just maybe. For dinner we ended up buying pizza, 2 for 11 euros on rue de charonne, best deal I’ve gotten in Paris. Then we joined up with the crew for some Halloween partying. None of us had costumes, but we headed out dancing anyway. The French really don’t celebrate Halloween like we do, I think I say 3 decorations the whole night. Since it was a Sunday, and Halloween isn’t that big a deal, the clubs were pretty empty. But, we had a big group so we had fun just being the only ones on the dance floor. 🙂

Random fact: The French don’t say that Pirates say “Arrr!” because imagine saying “Arrr!” with a French accent, it just doesn’t work.

Yesterday, John headed out to explore the Eiffel tower while Eliza and I tired to find a library that was open. The first one we went to was locked and kinda looked like you needed an appointment for private consultation. Then we went to the library at the Centre Pompidou. Unfortunately there was a two hour wait just to make it into the library. So, we headed back home. But, our journey wasn’t a complete fail. It was a beautiful day, we made a homeless guy laugh in the metro, we recharged out Navigo passes, and I got my 55 euro for my OFII visit today. We tried to get some work done at the foyer, but it’s almost impossible. Whenever I work in my room, I end up on the internet, like now. So, we decided to work downstairs. The only problem there is everyone else is organized and has their work finished on the weekend. So, while we were trying to fill out paperwork, everyone else was watching Monsters Inc. Obviously I didn’t get much work done. Lesson, I will never, ever complain about the Athenaeum (Goucher’s library) again. Open 24/7, interlibrary loan, plenty of work space, open computers, and a quiet floor. I miss it soooo much.

For dinner, we cooked with Zipeng and Yoann. Then we watched some Big Bang Theory and called it a night.

Today, John headed to Switzerland for the day, so hopefully I’ll actually get some work done so I can hang with him tomorrow before he leaves Thursday morning.

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!