vendredi 21 septembre 2007


Okay, why does Friday deserve an exclamation point? CUZ IT WAS THE BESTEST FRIDAY EVER! As I write this (and it's 9:30pm), loads of Parisiens are outside watching the France vs. Ireland rugby game being projected on screen in front of my church. They're cheering, "Allez! (Go!)" It's totally surreal. I've been watching a bit now and then, but I don't really understand the game. I'm sipping espresso that I JUST learned to make (thanks to Google). My landlord left me a stovetop espresso machine called a macchinetta, and it is amazing. I think I'm hooked. I'm still a tea lover, but espresso gives me an extra caffeine kick that makes sure I don't miss le metro. Also, I'm going to call my friend back in Cali around midnight (my time), so I need to stay awake.

Here's my Friday. And it may sound so mundane and normal to you, but when the setting is Paris...come on. It's going to be amazing. I woke up and went to MICEFA to take care of my carte de sejour and student card. Then I took a different way home, finding all sorts of new graffiti, but I didn't bring my cam. Dang. I found a boulangerie by my place that sells smaller baguettes for cheaper, which are great since I can just eat it in a day, and it'll still be good. Then I found another outdoor market, Place Monge. I browsed around, and it was pretty cool.
I went home to get ready for class, and from my window I can hear a marching band. I peered out and saw a band of students wearing outrageous clothing. They were playing the tetris theme song! It was so cool I went outside with my cam and took pictures and filmed them. Then I got ready for class, which was okay. I kept making beaucoup de fautes, but now I know what I really need to study.

Afterwards, Keisha wanted to show me this thrift store. She had told me that the place was a mess, but, oh gosh, she wasn't kidding. Imagine piles of clothing 4 feet high. I KID YOU NOT. You had to DIG through everything. It was absolute chaos, and totally lovely. I didn't get anything, but Keisha bought two scarves. We waited for Lucia, and she said she got a haircut, and we were excited to see it. Keisha and I were walking, when we see Lucia 100 feet away, and our jaws dropped and we literally stopped in our tracks. She looked so amazing with her new haircut. Her hair is long, below the shoulders, and now it was layered and amazing. She's a total knockout!

We were discussing what to do for dinner. One of us suggested buying a roasted chicken at a boucherie and some salad at the Franprix (that's my supermarket). I suggested a boucherie by my place. The three of us were eyeing the roasted chickens, and we got one. Here's how it went:

Keisha: Un poulet roti, s'il vous plait.
Boucher: Un poulet entre trois filles? C'est triste! [One chicken among three girls? That's sad!] (Laughs)
Keisha, Lucia, et moi: Hahahaha...

It was so hilarious, what he said. I guess because it was a Friday night, and he assumed that it was just us eating and no guys and so forth...I cracked up so hard. He was nice, I think I might go there again. I went back to my place to set the table and get my place ready while Keisha bought rice, salad and white wine; and Lucia bought dessert. Each of us spent around 7 euros, which is pretty cheap for a full dinner including wine and dessert. I swear, it was the BEST dinner ever because it was a full meal for all of us. We were savoring everything like it was our last meal or something. Living here has made me appreciate how easy I have it in America cuz I just take things like a nice, roasted chicken in the States for granted since it's so cheap and available. When things are expensive and rare, once you have it, it's so special.We talked for an hour or so, really enjoying our meal. Outside a band was playing songs live, and I could see my landlord dancing. Such a cool sight. With a full tummy, lots of laughs, live music outside your, that's an amazing Friday.

Roasted Chicken a la taragon
Roasted Potatoes
White wine: Vin D'Alsasce, Pinot Gris
Dessert: Vanille ice cream with caramel and pecans

mercredi 19 septembre 2007

glimpse into the future and school matters

I forgot to mention that the night I visited L'Opera Garnier, I was thinking about my visit there and how much I loved it, thought it beautiful, and for the FIRST time I realized how hard it's going to be to leave Paris at the end of the year. I know that sounds crazy, and I didn't think I'd feel that way so soon. There's so much that I love at home--mostly family and friends--but not places, exactly. I love San Francisco and Los Angeles, but I don't love those cities as much as I have come to love Paris. And I've only been here 3 weeks or so. Who falls in love that fast?

I don't want to think about the future. One of my New Year's resolutions was to not think too much or worry about the future. But I know it's going to be very hard to leave next year. Very hard.

In other news, I'm getting ready for St. Denis, or Paris 8. St. Denis is part of the Universities of Paris--that includes the prestigious Sorbonne as well. I'm not all about prestige or anything, but my school is on par with a community college, and that's cool with me. Mot. Also, I've been saying "mot" a lot (pronounced like the name "Moe"), which translates in English to "word". Word. Mot. I'm such a dork. But it makes my friends laugh.

This week I'm getting lots of things finished:
1. my student card
2. my carte de sejour
3. class schedule: I'm banking on 2 French oral and written classes, a French cinema class, a French history class, and another Cinema class. I've been looking at the cinema class schedule, and it's getting me super excited!! There are cinema classes being offered in English, and that might be a good. We'll see. We have to have 15 units completed each semester. If I have free days, I'm going to look into doing tutoring or babysitting on the side for some extra euros. Mot.

I couldn't stop laughing today, so many funny things happened. In our cultural adaptation class, Kathy said "watering hole" instead of "water cooler"--as in the place where a lot of information is exchanged between co-workers. I know that sounds stupid, but it was so hilarious to me! And then after class, my classmate Romina said to my other classmate Kris, "Kris, you should get out more often!" Kris is sort of shy and doesn't seem like the party-goer type. And Kris says, "Go out? Why? I'm going out to buy a tv today." And I just laughed so hard. And then, later, Lucia was over using my internet, and she was trying to explain xenophobia to me, and she was all, "It's a fear of...these people, who aren't from your country, and a l'etrangere..." And she was searching for the word, talking in English and in French, and I was all, finally, "Foreigners?" And we both laughed SO HARD because we both recognized how we're forgetting English. It was just too hilarious. I swear, the only time I practice my written English is when I write in here.

UPDATE: I added 2 more blogs at the left, and they're both from SFSU students. Woot! Check it! "I Wanna Be Expatriated" is from my friend Meghann, and "Donnez-Moi Les Escargots" (translates to "give me the snails") is my friend Taylor.

mardi 18 septembre 2007

L'Opera Garnier

L'Opera Garnier is my most favorite thus far. When the tour started, our guide was telling us that women were not allowed to attend the opera by themselves, that they usually were with their father or brother or a chauffeur. And I thought that was cool, to go to the Opera with your Dad or brother and maybe you'd see your friend there with her Dad. I don't know, I just started thinking in the frameset of that time (late 19th century).

I walked into the foyer, which was okay looking, nothing extraordinary, but when we started the actual tour, I swear, my mouth was open the whole time, it was so beautiful. It was just so ornate and extravagant, and, the weird thing was that it felt like HOME. Not like home home, like I've actually lived in the Opera [oh God, maybe I was the phantom of the opera? ;)], but it felt like I've visited this place many times, known these statues, these halls, looked through these windows. And it first occured to me, near the end of our tour, when we were descending the le grand escalier--the main staircase that leads to the opera house. I was walking down the staircase carefully--it's pure marble, and I didn't want to slip--and the WEIRD, BIZARRE thing was that I held my left arm in a way so that someone could have his right arm slipped through it. It was as if I was being led carefully down the staircase by some imaginary ghost chauffeur. C'EST TRES BIZARRE! And I had no idea why I did that, I just did it. No one saw me, thank God, I must've looked absolutely ridiculous.

I turned left to follow the rest of the tour, and we reached the ground floor where the old entrance used to be, and there was this mirrored wall there. It was put there so that women and men can fix their clothes before going up the main staircase. And I stood there to see if I looked alright--I was wearing a skirt and had my long scarf draped over me cuz it was cold--and even THAT felt bizarre to me. Like I stood there before in another life. Weird stuff like that always happens to me.

Well, I LOVED the Opera Garnier even though we didn't get to see the actual opera house since there were dancers practicing, but my friends and I plan to see an opera or ballet sometime while we're here. I just can't wait to dress up and get all fancy! With or without a French date...Us girls can go the opera by ourselves now...sigh...

Anyway, this weird episode just adds to all my deja vus and other weird episodes that explain my inclination towards France and the french language in general.

I just re-did my whole "des photos" section of my blog using my limited html skills acquired in grade school, and now you can look at my photo albums without leaving my blog. Yay! They also show when they've been last updated. Yay for improvements!

dimanche 16 septembre 2007

indian summer at the Luxembourg gardens

It's rare for it to be so sunny and beautiful and warm in Paris this time of year, but while it is, our academic advisor Nancy told us, we might as well soak it up and enjoy it.

It was gorgeous Sunday. This past weekend was the Les Journees du Patrimoine, and a lot of state monuments and buildings that are never open to the public open their doors for all of Paris to visit. Keisha, Lucia, and I went to the Palais du Luxembourg in the 5th arrondisement. It was absolutely amazing. We went inside the chamber were the Senate meets, their library, as well as many of the other rooms. It was so cool to see where everything goes down. I'm not much of a political person, but I love being surrounded by history. It makes me want to visit my own capital, Washington D.C. Here's the chamber were the Senate meets:
We got lunch and brought it Luxembourg gardens where everyone else was picnicing and enjoying the sunshine. Children were out sailing boats in the huge fountain. It was nice. I've never seen so many people outside taking it easy. Back home, a picnic is such a huge, rare treat with something behind it like a birthday. Here, they just do it for fun.

Went to L'Opera Garnier today before class, and it was AMAZING! Probably my most favorite of all the places I have been to since my arrival. I don't know if anything will ever top that. I'll post about it later, 'cuz I haven't uploaded the photos yet. That place is abolutely STUNNING.

As I've probably written before, I love lists of things.

Things that are in my fridge:
1. Milk: milk is pretty good here, and for some strange reason, my tummy can tolerate it. Back home, I drink Lactaid.
2. Cheese: The tummy can tolerate that too.
3. Sangria: My landlord made it for a party he had here a couple weeks ago, and it's still good. He let me have it.
4. Salad and salad dressing: my main meal with crackers and number 5.
5. Hummus: Always good to have. See number 4.
6. Yogurt: So much better here than the yogurt in the states for some reason. And okay for tummy.
7. Juice: it comes in small cartons here, the size of half and half cartons in the States. And it's expensive.
8. Pasta sauce: Comes in small jars, a third of the size of pasta sauce jars in the States.