April 27, 2011

Les Bébés Canards

Spring has definitely sprung, and unlike last year, the weather has been amazingly warm and pleasant.

I have finally dusted off my rainbow sandals and have worn them twice. They felt a little neglected by me as normally in California, they are year round shoes. Here they are definitely not.

On a pleasantly warm afternoon, while wearing my rainbow sandals bien sûr, FBF and I went for a stroll by the quai (a sort of man-made, cemented in lake type thing) by my house.

And what to my wandering eyes should appear but a M. et Mme. Canard, and their six baby ducklings ever so near.

Naturally I papperazzi-ed them, much to FBF's dismay.










Here's to more rainbow sandal wearing, baby duck filled, lazy spring afternoons!

April 22, 2011

Le Bus

When people ask me what I like so much about France, aside from the bread and the cheese, the public transportation system is definitely something I talk about.

I have lived in France three times now, and I’ve never felt the need to own a car. There are metros, busses, trams and trains galore. You can get pretty much anywhere using public transit.

Most of the time, I am quite content using transports en commun.



The other day, however, I had an experience that almost made me give up public transit forever (alas I am not rich enough to own a car in France!).

After work, I got the same bus I always do to head towards the train station, but something was not right.

This bus smelled like vomit.

This bus had water all over the floor.

This bus smelled. like. vomit.

Putting two and two together, clearly somebody had vomited on this very bus, and the public transportation gods thought they could just hose the bus down and everything would be ok!

IT. WAS. NOT. OKAY.

I was seated by a window, and although it was open to the max, the smell of puke infiltrated my nostrils with no sense of compassion.

I thought I, too, was going to throw up.

Somehow or another, I managed to survive trapped inside the barf bus and not blow chunks.

I had never been so grateful to arrive at my destination and breathe fresh air.

April 18, 2011

En Disant Au Revoir

I am no longer an English language assistant. I said goodbye to my students all throughout the week, and I said au revoir to my colleagues on Friday.

What is it about saying goodbye that makes you really feel a part of something?

While the other teachers were nice to me all year and made an effort to get to know me, and some of them I even saw outside of school or had great conversations with in the teacher’s lounge, I always felt a bit a part.

This was partly because of the age differences, partly because they already knew each other so well, partly because I was only going to be there for a short time, and partly because it was my second year as an assistant, so I already had a group of friends outside of the school thus making me less clingy towards the English teaching staff.

But on my last day there, the English teachers I worked with presented me with a card full of “mercies” and well wishes, as well as some gifts.

It was totally unexpected. It was so nice of them.

I loved all the gifts (a Paris t-shirt and two French novels that take place in le Nord).

I went around and faire-d la bise with them all (as is the polite way to say merci to someone after they give you a gift). I even gave the fellow American teacher an American hug.

Then when it was time to leave, everybody wanted goodbye bises (cheek kisses) as well.

I had honestly never felt more a part of the group than in that moment. It was great to know how much they appreciated my work and that they liked having me around.

Although I was ready to be done with having to wake up at 5am in order to catch the train to get to work on time, saying goodbye to the wonderful teachers I met while being an assistant made me wish I could stay till the end of the year.

With a lot of them, it was the first time we had ever faire-d la bise, and due to the French in me, it made me feel like a boundary had been broken between us. I was no longer their English assistant. I was becoming a friend.

All of them expressed a desire to keep in touch, and I really hope we do.

I hope it really was an au revoir (until we meet again) and not an "adieu.”

April 16, 2011

Au Petit Matin

While my parents were visiting, they spent two days in Lille with me, I met up with them for a day in Brussels, and then we spent a three day weekend together enjoying Paris.

Although I was with my parents and we didn't hit up any night clubs, I got surprisingly little sleep in Paris.

This might be why:

video
(sorry my videography skills leave a lot to be desired.)


Despite getting to bed at a reasonable hour (around 11 o'clock), the people in the apartment next to ours were having a party. So were all the people in the bars on the street.

I finally got to sleep around 5am, only to be awoken at 8 by a horrible drumming sound.

It was the Paris Marathon.

But maybe I saw B's hubby in the mix?

April 6, 2011

Montmartre

On an overcast day in February
FBF and I headed south to Paris.

Lo and behold, I knew the city better than he.
So I showed him Montmatre
and told him about Paris's history.












NB: My Parents are visiting from California, so I'm going to be out of commission until next week. À bientôt mes amis!
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