Monday, May 24, 2010


How is it May 24th? No really, how did it go from being August 30th to May 24th in such a short time?! My time here has gone by so quickly. This year was supposed to help me figure out what I want to do with my life...oops! No i have a little but of an idea, but not really. (NYT dining and or travel section, call me.)

So, Ireland! I'd been wanting to go to Ireland since I was 9 and started Irish dance. It was my dream to dance there in a feis but oh well! While I liked Dublin, I enjoyed the country more. Galway is a "city" but it's extremely small and the whole place is walkable. It's on the Atlantic ocean and absolutely gorgeous. We were lucky and had some good weather which made it even better. Also, we heard Gaelic being spoken! So cool. I wish that it was the only language in Ireland, damn you England. Surprisingly, the food in Ireland was great! And cheap! We went on a day trip to Connemara which was stunning. We were there when the yellow flowers (that smell like coconut) were in bloom which made everything seem alive and spring like. We saw potato crops that failed during the famine and the only fjord in Ireland. I'm already thinking about where I want to go to the next time I go to Ireland-Belfast, Cork, and Kilkenny. There is so much history to that country that I just want to experience it all! It's probably because I'm of Irish decent, but being able to finally go there, see the places I've read about in history books and experience the culture firsthand was really rewarding.

It's HOT in Paris! Finally, sunshine has arrived and appears as if it will stay. I went to the Lucien Freud exhibit today. I got there ten minutes after the museum open, but it was already packed! Still glad I went, I love the way he paints skin. Sounds weird, but it's the truth. An old woman cut me in line at the museum...this has been happening to me a lot lately.

Then I went to the "nature in the city" semi-festival that is going on. Cool idea, but sort of silly in reality. Lets shut down the Champs Élysées for two days and put lots of crops and farm animals in it, that will show how much we value our food! It just seems like transporting everything (I'm not sure what happens to it after the festival) is probably not very eco friendly. There were little signs explaining what crops were, but they were very small and therefore hard to read. In my view, France seems to appreciate food and where it comes from much more than Americans. I'm not sure the festival was necessary.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Food Fail

I just went out to L'Agrume, a restaurant that was recently written up in The New York Times, also known as my bible. It was written up as one of the best restaurants in Paris for a prix fixe under 45 euros. After reading the review I could hardly wait to go and was so excited when my friend got a reservation.

I have been eating poverty pasta the last few days in preparation for my glorious meal. I even had a small lunch today so I would be hungry for dinner. Oh, the letdown.

The restaurant is small and mostly gray. The decor is not very welcoming and feels extremely outdated considering the place opened in December.

We got the 35 euro prix fixe menu that came with five courses. The first course was raw dorado with shavings of crab and a touch of sweet grapefruit. "Eh," was about all I had to say. It was extremely bland and did not make the rest of the meal seem promising. Still, I held out hope.

The second course was the potatoes with a foie gras foam that the NYT writer specifically mentioned. I liked the lightness of the foam which made the foie gras more delicate, but still nothing to write home (or in the NYT) about.

Then, more white fish. I will admit, the leeks that accompanied it were savory and delicious with the light sauce, but I did not pay 35 euros for good leaks. The fish might have been the driest fish I've ever had. I'm sorry, but that is just unacceptable!

The 4th course was a small game bird resembling quail. While the skin had a little crunch and was nicely complemented by the raisins and somewhat fruity sauce, it didn't seem to go with the rest of the meal. Until then, the dishes were light and springy, the bird was more reminiscent of a winter dish.

Finally, dessert. Compared to the other dishes, the dessert portions were huge. The milk chocolate ganache ball rolled in cocoa powder deemed "classic" by the NYT was boring to me. The bitter cocoa powder overwhelming the chocolate, which was too light of a chocolate anyway. While the panna cotta was probably the best part, the raspberry gel on top bordered on tasting artificial rather than homemade.

I realize I sound like a huge food snob, but as a student in Paris who is trying to be frugal I was really excited for a nice meal out. I trust the NYT and was extremely let down by their pick. I've had much better food for 35 euros. There were no bold flavors and many of the dishes lacked basic salt and pepper.

Sigh! I wanted to write a comment on the article, but this is clearly too long. I just had to get out my frustration.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


A friend of my teacher's came to speak in my gender and politics class this week. She works for the UN in one of their many departments aimed at helping women. Anyway, at the end of her talk she said "if anyone is interested in becoming an intern at the UN let me know." A girl raised her hand and asked about the requirements, etc. "Well, you have to at least have a master's degree," said the speaker. She proceeded to tell us how she interned at the UN after getting her master's at SciencesPo and many of her fellow interns had PhDs. I'm sorry, but is a master's really necessary to be an intern? I'm all for education, but how are you expected to get any real working experience if you need a master's to be an intern?

I guess I'm just bothered by summer job hunting. So many things are unpaid and many interesting internships want you to be in graduate school. I've gained so much out of my internships, in many cases more than in classes. I think it's unfair to say you need a certain amount of education so you can intern (without pay, mind you) in a field you're truly interested in. Of course, you should have some general interest or knowledge in the subject, but let's not go overboard. Also, let's start paying interns, shall we? I know the economy sucks, but as a recent NYT article noted, a lot of interns to work that used to be that of an entry level employee. Companies are just realizing they can get people to do it for free because it looks good on their resume. At least pay interns with experience? Or those who have degrees?

Other than thinking about how awful the job market is, I've been studying a lot. I have a paper on Pakistan and U.S. relations, a paper on some film tbd, a commentaire on something also tbd due within a week. I had a "galop" this weekend. It was basically a midterm. The prompt I chose was "to be a nationalist in Europe between 1848-1939." Riveting stuff, my friends. I think my paper resembled that of what a 12 year old French kid would have written. Oh well!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Odd things I've seen in the last couple of days:

1. Police on roller blades. I don't get it. I have no faith that you can help someone while wearing roller blades. Also, are we still in the 90s?

2. A man clipping his nails into a dumpster outside of my building...

3. Prostitutes! I was running today by St. Denis and happened to turn down a little street that was filled with prostitutes. By the way, this was around 3pm. Young, old, black, white, take your pick! I felt very out of place.

Friday, March 26, 2010

To Africa we go!

To procrastinate doing my homework I'm going to write about Africa. This is semi-productive, right?

Maria, Dave, and I went to Morocco for the 2nd part of our spring break. Okay, first of all I've been wanting to go there forever. I was so excited and it was wonderful trip. I am now obsessed with planning future trips in my head to Egypt, South Africa, and part of west Africa to be determined.

We flew into Casablanca at night and took a cab to our adorable hostel (more like a hotel.) The driver tried to cheat us. Mind you, it was only $3 more than he said, but a deal is a deal. I got all up in his face, yelled at him, he got out of the car, complained to the hotel, yelled at me in Arabic, but then left. I WON THE BATTLE. Proud moment.

The next day we went to the Hassan II mosque. Wow, I don't know if I can give it justice. It was so moving to be there. Reminded me why people are religious. We admired all the architecture, took a billion pictures and then went inside for a tour. It was amazing to get a tour, especially because it's one of the few mosques that allows foreigners inside. The inside is ridiculously beautiful. Unfortunately, my pictures didn't do it justice. So much marble. It felt very regal.

After the mosque we went to the colonial section of town which reminded me of the Dominican Republic a little. We went into an abandoned Catholic church that was mentioned in our guide book. All the mosques we saw were very well kept, clean, etc. This church on the other hand...weeds, graffiti, dirty. We went inside and there were no pews, no real alter. I asked the guard "is this church used, is there a priest?" He actually laughed at me. Interesting comparison to all the mosques.

We wandered around the souks before taking the train to Marrakesh where we sat in car with two cute Moroccan couples that offered us an orange. By the way, the three hour train ride cost less than $20!!! We lived like kings in Morocco. Everything was so cheap.

Our raid in Marrakesh was adorable. They put rose petals on our bed! It was in the Medina, very close to the souks. We did a lot in Marrakesh, but I'll try to summarize. We wandered around the beautiful gardens of the Koutobia mosque, spent many hours bargaining in the souks, visited the old palaces, and visited the newer and swankier part of town, ville nouvelle. We also walked through Djemaa al fna square many times. It's filled with juice stands, nut and dried fruit vendors, story tellers, cheap food, and snake charmers. Alright, I loved the square, but I also panicked every time we were there because of the snakes. What happened to be when I was little to make me so afraid of snakes? I almost cried.

In addition, we went to la mamounia, the fanciest hotel in town...they almost didn't let us in because we weren't "chic" enough. It was so beautiful and lavish. Our drinks there were more expensive than most of our dinners!

On our last day we took a day trip to the Ourika valley. It looked like Colorado and Switzerland. Not exactly what I was expecting, but it was breathtakingly beautiful. We saw a Berber house (complete with a cow,) rode camels, and hiked to a waterfall. The hike to the waterfall was probably my favorite part (camels were a little out of place without a desert.) It was a hard hike, not gonna lie. On the way up were little restaurants and souvenir shops. It kept getting steeper, but they were still there. Even at the waterfall there was a restaurant! How they get food up there, I don't know. It was a beautiful hike, as Maria said "it looks like the bible up here." The best part of the hike was when we were halfway there, getting tired, and a little store was blasting "desert rose" by sting. It was so fitting.Everything was in bloom and the air was so fresh, I felt very in tune with nature, ha.

I can't wait to go back to North Africa. It was all so foreign and new, makes me remember why I love to travel so much. Oh, by the way everyone was so nice to us. There are very few street signs in morocco, but everyone we asked for directions was incredibly helpful, some even taking us to our destination. We discovered that the old men in djellabas (traditional hooded robe. Looks a little like a KKK robe, just a little) had the best directions.

Even though many of the sellers in the souks are pushy, once you talk to them they are very nice. When it comes down to it their just trying to make a living. Still, I like to think I got very good at bargaining there.

It really bothered me when I saw westerners dressed inappropriately. It wasn't even that warm out, but many women were wearing shorts and tank tops. I'm sorry, did you forget that Morocco is a Muslim country?! Just be respectful and wear sweater, Jesus (or should I say Mohammad.) Especially around a mosque!

It was a fantastic trip, I was very sad to leave, but hopefully I will be back!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Real World: AIX

I don't think it gets any better than a house full of friends in the south of France. We were such a cute little family. We decided that our stay would be like the real world aka "when people stop being nice and start getting real." We even had a confessional room. Some highlights:

1. Cooking. I love cooking and eating with friends. There is something very satisfying about it. We ate very well, but underestimated how much food to buy, so at times had very little food in the house. Each man for his own with no food for miles creates an interesting group dynamic.

2. Watching Spartacus and taken. Spartacus, wow, you are long. Hilarious (maybe because of the wine?) but long. I have to say the ending was a let down. Also a let down when I looked it up on wikipedia and realized most of it was fake. I saw parts of taken 3 times over that weekend. Somehow, it has become a big part of my life and I bring up Liam Neeson a lot.

3. Feeding donkey's! Everyone was surprised at how "country" I was.

4. Strolling through Aix and Lourmarin. It was quiet and laid back. A nice escape from Paris. Lourmarin is a quintessential little french village. With a castle next door, bah oui!

5. Watching the gold medal hockey game. It was a tough night for team USA, but it was so fun. There were two Canadians, two Americans, a Norwegian, and a Nicaraguan. Things got heated. I have to paint the Canadian flag on my face and go to a bar as punishment for USA losing. We'll get them next time. Watching it in French was so funny. I think the correspondents France sent over were drunk the whole time. They kept showing clips of them singing songs and playing in snow.

The whole weekend was wonderful and I am so thankful for Martin for inviting me into his beautiful house!



It has been such a nice weekend! Sunny and warm, just the way I like it. Springtime in Paris! I went running in the tuleries gardens to start off my day which was delightful. And by delightful I mean the scenery, my running was sub par. I had a little "I love Chicago" moment where I ran past the U.S. embassy while listening to go go gadget flow (I'm from a city in the Midwest, best city in the whole wide wide world.) It was cute to me, probably cheesy to whoever reads this other than Chicagoans.

Pierre Herme was giving out free macarons yesterday. I had been wanting to try them for ages, of course I decided to try them on Thursday. If i had waited two more days they would have been free! Oh well. The flavors are more interesting than ladure, but I like the consistency of la duree more.

Then I went on a lovely date with my girls. Strolling by the canals, vintage shopping, browsing through art books, and sangria. It was a perfect afternoon. I want to live by the canals. I kept saying "I want to raise my kids here" which my friends found odd, but hey it's the truth. I think part of the reason I like it is the water. I never realized I like to be by water until I went to D.C. One of my absolute favorite things to do is to drive down lake shore drive in the summer (naturally to go pick up hpk people who don't drive. You know who you are.) The lake is so beautiful and huge. It makes it seem like the world never ends. Anyway, I liked being by the water. I also enjoyed all the cool shops and how friendly the neighborhood was. I just felt at ease. Over Sangria, we decided that once we're all jobless next year we're going to come back and open a 24 hour coffee shop in Paris for students. I am actually considering doing this.

I got in a fight with a cabbie at 4 am. Trying to cheat me. Unfortunately I lost the battle. Funny how I can win a fight with a cabbie in Morocco, but lose in France.

Will I wake up to a passed health care bill?! I think so!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I will write about Copenhagen, aix, and Morocco soon!

How is it mid march?! I have so little time left here! It's making me sad...can I just live here forever and not go back to gw? But also not stay at sciences po...can I finish out my BA through exploring paris? Pleassssssssse.

So much food to eat. So many neighborhoods to explore. There really is no time for homework...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pickpocketers and Victor Hugo

So, after babysitting Alenor ( I swear she gets cuter every week) I hopped on the metro. 8:45 pm, minding my own business, doing reading for a class, when all of a sudden a girl bumps into me, and then her friend bumps into me. I'm sitting down, it's a pretty empty metro. So the woman next to me says "hey, watch where you're going" to the girls and then one of the girls tries to slap her in the face! They had a little fight and then the girls moved on. By then it was clear, they were pickpocketers. There was a "gang" of them, if you will. A gang of teenage eastern European pickpocketing girls.

There were 4 of them, actually. The two that were bothering me were working together and the other two were working the other end of the car. First of all, are you stupid? If you want to successfully pickpocket you might want to separate from your friends. You also might want to stay away from trying to pickpocket multiple people in the car very blatantly. They would bump into you, one would ask for directions or start a fight with you, while the other one (who had a coat over her arm so you couldn't see her hand) tried to get your wallet.

Luckily, no one got anything stolen and they got off at the next stop, but it was a little unsettling. I wanted to say something when the one tried to slap the lady next to me, but I honestly thought they would have beaten me up. Great times!

On another note...Sciences po stop bringing me down. I suck at exposes, the french kids can do them better, they can also speak french better, they win, i lose. Come across the pond and I challenge you to...? What is our version of the expose? OH YEAH, we don't have one because we realize exercises like that are a complete waste of time.

I had my commentaire on victor Hugo and universal suffrage today. The girl who did her expose on him after me was "parfait." The teacher said perfect! They never say perfect! The whole time I was looking at her thinking "god i hate your beautiful French accent, I hate how much you know about Victor Hugo, I hope you do poorly in your study abroad year." Not really, but I was frustrated. I hate getting questioned in front of the class and then getting told everything I did wrong. I get nervous speaking in French in class, and yeah I don't know as much about Victor Hugo because he's not my country's national treasure and therefore I haven't been studying him since I was 5. I just feel stupid, but I know I shouldn't because I don't think the French kids are stupid when they mess up in the English classes.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I guess I should post about classes since that is, after all, the reason I'm in France.

U.S. Foreign Policy: So far so good, although a little basic. I like my teacher, he's French Canadian and very sweet.

French language: complete waste of time! She asked us weird questions the first day like "do you like the smell of apples?" Um...sure?

L'histoire Politiques: Idées culture & tempérament: The lectures are too broad and abstract for me, but the discussion is alright. It's basically about how writers view/write/influence history.

Education policies & Social inequalities: Love! My teacher is so cool, she works for the ZEP program here. We will mostly be focusing on the U.S. and France. Today she told us about how a former student was "traumatized" by a teacher at Sciences Po who told her "I know you're American and your president says 'yes we can!' but in France we say 'no you can't!'" HA HA HA. He was basically telling her to quit being a smart ass and stop questioning what he, the teacher and man with the PhD, says.

Gender and Politics: Unfortunately there is only one guy in our class and he is gay...why do straight men never want to take classes that have to do with feminism? It would be interesting to hear their views! Plus you'd be tons of girls, duh. It seems like it will be interesting, but my teacher is sort of a bitchy glass half empty kinda gal.

Cinéma français et identité nationale: I've seen a lot of the movies which is both good and bad I guess. The French love to talk about national identity so that will be fun and by fun I mean frustrating.

I can't really say much because I've only had my classes one or two times, but I'm excited about them!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chez Paul

This past weekend Alice visited me! The whole weekend was great, but my favorite part was our lunch on Sunday. She hadn't yet had a traditional French meal, so I looked up places open on Sundays. We arrived at Chez Paul, which is in the 11th close to Bastille, at around 2. It's so old school, i love it. I don't know how long it's been around, but at least from the 40s. So off the bat I loved that it felt like I was in a little time capsule.

Anyway, we sit down and a few minutes later the table next to us is filled with two french woman and three french men. The one man was so excited to say hello to his friend that he accidentally spilled red wine on her shirt. So, she takes off her shirt. She was sitting there in her beautiful lace bra for a few minutes while she tried to get the wine out of her shirt. She looked at us and said "oh I'm sorry, but you know, we're french!" No big deal, just a 40 year old woman (in incredibly good shape) stripping at lunch.

Then they ordered SO many appetizers. Oysters, risotto with fois gras, sausage, cheese, and on it went. I thought they were having a lunch out of appetizers, oh how I was wrong. They all cleaned the plates of their main dishes. Of course, they were all skinny as well. As their eating and drinking was going on, one of them was drawing caricatures of the waiters on ten euro bills. He was clad in tattoos and had an awesome skull ring, but seemed oddly young and childish. You could tell this group frequented Chez Paul often, they knew all the staff. Throughout my meal he would turn to me and say odd things like "did you catch the flu in Mexico?" when I coughed and asked "are you trying to kill me?" when his chair broke. All in a very lighthearted way, though.

I should mention what Alice and I ate. I had pepper steak that came with a huge portion of potates au gratin-delicious! And Alice had a nice piece of salmon in a cream sauce. We also split a tarte tatin which was quite nice. I would definitely good back for the food.

As we were finishing our meal the guy with the tattoos looked at me and said "you're not going to have an apartif? Have an apartif! It will be our treat! He's the boss, he can do whatever he wants" and he points to his friend who had the coolest red glasses and also a skull ring. So they bought us creme de menthe which looks and tastes like listerine. As we're drinking the listerine the tattoo man started sketching me! It was cool, but also awkward because he was blatantly staring at me. I wanted to ask him for the sketch but was too embarrassed. But hey, that is the closest I will probably come to being a "muse" in Paris.

I guess Chez Paul is where cool Parisians go because the British couple next to us told us they saw Jean-Paul Gaultier the last time they were there. They said he was there with a little boy and "an incredibly glamorous woman." All of a sudden the entire place went dark and waitresses brought out a birthday cake for the little boy and sang him happy birthday.

Anyway, it was a great lunch. I strive to be cool and rich and spend my Sundays eating enormous amounts of food with my friends. I can go without the stripping, but hey if the mood strikes...

Later that day Alice saw a guy propose to his girlfriend at the Eiffel tower! How adorable. He had a band, all her friends and family, and a banner asking her to marry him. She cried, ha. Although I'm sure I would have too, I cried watching the Google Paris commercial from the Superbowl.

On a completely different note, I loved this article.
Stop making out next to me, nasty french couple. And stop turning around to see if I'm still here, I'M HERE. I'm not leaving this public place that is a coffee shop so you all can get it on. Feeling someone up in public is not allowed. AH, France. This happens to me way too often.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Haute Couture

My lovely friend dave interns for Joseph Thimister. Thimister is a Dutch designer who has shown at couture week before and was invited back again! Every year they (being the gods of fashion?) invite one guest designer to show. Supposedly they were impressed with him eight years before so they asked him back. Dave invited me to the show and it was amazing!!! It was cool to be on the other side because when I dressed models for Elie Saab I didn't actually get to see them walk the runway.

The show was in Palais du Tokyo on the second floor in a square room. It was all very modern and sparse. I liked the layout though because since It was a square and the models walked around it everyone had a great view. Plus, you got to see the clothes from different angles. The show was called "1915, opulence and bloodshed" and was inspired by the bloodshed in Russia in 1915. Thus, the blood stained t-shirts. I loved the Russian military jackets on the men, so crisp. Even though I'm not a fur fan, there were some gorgeous furs, like the red cape and huge white coat. Some of the later dresses made looked like tinfoil and made a lot of noise, but they moved beautifully. I read that they were based on the blankets that were used to warm the soldiers and whatever material that was makes a lot of noise. My favorite was the last dress. It was really spiky and masculine, but also such a beautiful classic gown. The way it wraps around her arm in the back, ah so pretty!

I think I saw bill cunningham, but i'm not sure, i have to research to see if he was there. I saw grace coddington! She's anna wintour's right hand man and after seeing the september issue I have so much respect for her and think she has much more of a vision than anna. I also think I saw Lilane Bettencourt, the chief shareholder of L'oreal aka the richest woman in Europe.

It was surreal to be around such fabulously dressed people with amazing jobs. I got to pretend for a little I was one of them!

Here's the link to all the pieces!
I still don't have school! It's the first week of classes, but only lecture classes. I'm taking two lecture classes, but only one is meeting this week...oh Sciences po. I'm not complaining! Since I don't have school I've been trying to go to museums and neighborhoods I've been meaning to try. On Friday I went to a little free museum in the marais. It was someone's house in the 18th century so it's basically a museum of their things. They had some beautiful tables back then, let me tell you.

My favorite part was the collection of paintings of women fully clothed, except for their breasts. It was as if someone just ran into the picture and pulled down their shirts. They had great titles like "indiscreet" "frivolous love" and "beautiful dream." They cracked me up.

Yesterday I went to Angelina's with Ari for their famous hot chocolate. It was delicious, but so rich. We walked by the American embassy which was reassuring because I'm pretty sure I'm an illegal alien right now (I'm working on it.)

So, I'm trying this whole jogging thing again. Being a poor college student and sciences po not having a gym, I've succumbed to the streets of paris. It's a lot different than running in Chicago or D.C. In Chicago you've got the lake and there's always a million people out. In D.C. there are also always a million people out because everyone in politics jogs, I swear. It's what motivates me. I'm like "alright, if Bush ran 3 miles everyday I can do it too!" I was watching the west wing last night and they had a meeting while running-so D.C. Everyone works out, so that's my motivation there. Here, I'm like "hmmm, I could be having an espresso or some chocolate right now." But I'm gonna keep trying!

I got another babysitting job! "teaching" English to children who are already fluent in English, it's great. There apartment is amazing. I want to sit the parents down and ask them how you get to a point in your life where you have such a stunning Parisian apartment.

Speaking of kiddies, there was a swarm of them outside my door yesterday waiting for the actor who plays Zorro next door to sign their playbills. Adorable! He was so nice to them too.

I saw "Gainsbourg" the other night...not what I expected. There was lots of paper mache involved and a giant "jew" with multiple hands. And lots of smoking and sex. I didn't really know much about his life, but I walked out so confused! My friend Dave who loves him and knows everything about him didn't like the movie either so that reassured me of my opinion. It should have been called "Gainsbourg: his life on acid." But, the theater was filled with 20 something french hipsters and art students so it was great people watching. And a ton of previews were for American movies! I'm excited to see "in the air" here which is "up in the air" in America. Why leave out the up??? They didn't even translate it into french, it's the exact American title minus the up.

I walked by one of the butcher shops around the corner from me and for the first time I looked at the sign. It's called "the white rose." Since I live in a Jewish neighborhood I'm assuming that it's named after the non-violent student resistance group from Nazi Germany. How cool! Not only was that group amazing, but the fact that it's remembered here (and what better a place than a butcher shop) I thought was so clever and... sweet? sad? I'm not sure, but I liked it. I should go buy something from that butcher.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Crazies Love Me

Today I went Chez Jean to do my usual studying. I love it there because the coffee is cheap, they have free wifi, they are super nice, and it's not usually busy. I go, get my little window spot and this lady starts yelling at me. At first I didn't get she was yelling at me, but then I turned around and she's swearing and saying she hates people like me. I gave her a glare and then went on with my work. Turns out, she's crazy! She had three plate settings, but it was only her. She was having a conversation with three other people...that were all her. Then she spent 30 minutes moving the table and chairs. Drove me crazy/thought she was going to yell at me again so I left.

Later, I was taking the metro home and going through Chatlet (or shitlet as we fondly call it) and I ask this man if I can walk by him on the moving walkway. He turns around and makes a surprised face and starts running full speed ahead. I thought he was being funny, playing a little joke on me, but then he gets off the escalator and starts yelling at me too! Yelling obscenities as I walked away...great times.

Alright, let's talk about laundry. I HATE doing laundry here. 3.70-6 (!) euro depending on the size of the machine plus 1 euro for NINE minutes of the dryer. I'm sorry, but what the hell dries in 9 minutes? That's right, nothing! Everytime I go to the laundromat I put in an ample amount of soap but it never gets all nice and sudsy! I feel like everyone is judging me on my lack of suds. So, I always look crazy and add more soap, but no suds. It gets clean though! mystery. I also can't keep my eyes of the machine when I'm doing the laundry. Partly because I want to see if suds will appear, but also that circular motion sucks me in. I'm like a cat or a baby...not sure which one is better.

Finally, Christmas trees. The tallest Christmas tree I've seen here was up to my shoulder. So sad. I don't even think that qualifies as a Christmas tree. Anyway, it's what they have. Since I've been back I've seen all of these wimpy little trees on the streets, waiting to get picked up by the garbage men. It looks as if someone beat them to a pulp. Hardly any branches left, slumped on the side of the street. For some reason I find it so depressing. Teeny tiny trees all beaten up and left out to die.

I got to see so much family this weekend! Cousins, great aunts, aunts, more cousins. I love old family stories. Makes me miss St. Paul and my grandparents' old house.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I'm going to try and embrace Cole Porter's lyric from "I love Paris" the rest of the winter: "I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles."

It drizzles 24/7! and SO GREY. I'm very envious of people who get to see sun. I might write a haiku on the weather soon. Ha, I should really focus my energy on studying for my immigration final instead of writing haikus on rain.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Paris 2010

So much for blogging while I was home! Oh well. I think what I was going to write about were my trips to Brussels and Barcelona. Barcelona was way cooler. Would not mind at all having my own vicky cristina Barcelona story there. Brussels was interesting, but everything was built by Leopold and if you've ever read King Leopold's ghost you'll get why that was creepy.

I rang in 2010 with all my Chicago lovers. We freaked out and realized that in ten years we will be 31 (gasp!) and decided to predict each other's lives then. I will be married but with no kids.

I'm back in my little studio. I sort of missed it, actually. I have a final on the 5th republic for one of my classes in French on Wednesday so until then it will be mostly studying.

I can't believe this is my second semester here! I'm going to try to do more in Paris. Don't get me wrong, I definitely feel I took advantage of living here, but sometimes I would get lazy. So, i'm hoping to do some sort of excursion every week, museum, new area, etc. Also, i am going to attempt to work out like the Parisians. By this I mean run in a park, not on the streets, it must be in one of the big parks. I may not be running in vintage lacoste tees like the rest of them, but I'm going to try to fit it. Anyway, they will totally be jealous of my Chi Omega and GW t-shirts. Finally, i'm going to try not to use my computer as much. What is this nonsense I talk of? As much as I love this little box, it is so easy to look at the clock and realize I've been wasting my time for hours. I love gchat, facebook, stupid websites, and netflix watch instantly as much as the next college student, but I'm going to try to distance myself and read more, especially in cafes.

I can't believe I get another semester here! I found myself missing Paris (don't worry Chicago, you're still number one.) Just silly things like waiting 15 minutes in 10 degree weather for the awful CTA, seeing a French movie trailer, or not being able to go out with all your friends to a bar because America has ridiculous drinking laws, made me miss this place.