30 September 2008

Family time.

In order to save a couple of euros, appreciate a healthy meal, and embrace each others' company; my friends and I will cram into my tiny Parisian kitchen to enjoy our "family dinners". The majority of these meals consist of poulet (chicken), a few baguettes, a beautifully presented salad (with my roommate always throwing on some capers, while joking about the heart-burn they cause), and some bottles of cheap wine. Many times there are so many of us, that we are sharing plates and forks, and sitting on one anothers' lap. It has become a wonderful go-to place for laughter, discussion of philosophy, religion, and politics, and to simply enjoy our time in Paris.

This has quickly become one of my favorite things about this city.












26 September 2008

Sacré Coeur

A man was singing the Beatles. At that moment, the world felt at peace.


23 September 2008

Dear Skype,

Thanks for making the world feel a little bit smaller.

Kind regards,

Meggie

22 September 2008

Reims, France

My wonderful French friend, Mickaël, invited Alanna and I to stay with his family in Reims, France this weekend. What a wonderful opportunity to embrace French culture! Reims is located in the champagne region of France. Extremely picturesque and full of history, we were welcomed to sip on the sweet sensations that the region has to offer.
Embraced into his family as if we were their own; Alanna and I were encouraged to join the (French speaking) conversation as much as possible. With my brain on over-translation mode, I mostly stuck to my "oui's" and "merci's", however, occasionally throwing-in an attempted-grammatically-correct French sentence. All I could be of is proud if I picked-up a word here and there.
One of the most culture-shocking experiences this weekend was my consumption of les cuisses de grenouilles (or frog's legs). It was an experience, a bit salty, looked exactly like the animal of what I was eating, but over-all not too bad!
Merci beaucoup
Mickaël!


Notre Dame de Reims

My hero: Jeanne d'Arc



Champagne tasting with some modern art.


Mickaël's home.

The French start them young...

19 September 2008

Run Forest, Run.

Conundrum. Do the French work out? Sure they have their sporadically placed "Club Meds" and dainty floraled parks. But even in those, I haven't seen all too many Parisians breaking a sweat. Many a times, I bet they are tourists. I'm a New Englander, I need to get in a good run outside, several times a week, or my mental and physical health will become very unstable. I thought the amount of walking that I was doing would be sufficient, and skipping stairs in the metro would pump enough endorphins. However, on accounts of my spastic mental health the past few days, my hypothesis equated negative results.

I finally bit the bullet. Weird looks and all. I decided to be the solo-runner in my arrondissement of Paris. If I hadn't, I would have never found the open-air market that I saw a few Sundays ago! It turns out that it is just a street down from my metro stop.


See, everything happens for a reason.

15 September 2008

Good citizen.

I registered to vote today.



Be proud.



-- If you are abroad and you still want to vote here is the website to register:
www.votefromabroad.org

Your vote counts too!

14 September 2008

My French Professor.

What I learned from Amsterdam...

1. That I have the most amazing friends in the entire world.
2. People in Amsterdam don't believe in monogamy.
3. That Americans are extremely naive when it comes to sex.
4. Old people can party harder than I can.
5. Dutch is grammatically reversed from English and French. "Good is you?" vs "How are you?"
6. I call Paris "home".
7. You can smoke weed inside bars, and cigarettes outside of the bars.
8. I like my goat cheese warmed.
9. Cafes have coffee, Coffee Shops have blunts.
10. A bottle of wine is good at any meal, especially breakfast.
11. The Dutch are extremely nice.
12. The night bus sucks.
13. I have a stronger desire to become fluent in another language, only knowing English doesn't always cut it.
14. Hostels are scary.
15. Don't expect to shower.
16. Hookers only give handys- lesson taught by the sex museum.
17. Ali favorite smell is Fall.
18. Bicycles are the means to travel.
19. Comfortable shoes are a must.
20. Just about anyone will help you with directions... or drugs.
21. Amsterdam is a very international city.
22. Everyone speaks more than one language, mostly Dutch and English.
23. Its freezing in September.
24. Beware of unicycles- they take two lives per year.
25. If you need lots of cheese, go to "Lots of Cheese".
































12 September 2008

When birds attack...


Picture this... You are starving, you have just purchased a delicious fromage baguette for 4€ by a charming street vendor, you and your friends decide to enjoy your delectable meals in the sun and amongst the flowers in the Luxembourg Garden. You take a bite out of your sandwich, before you faint from hunger. You look away from you meal for one second and... oh that's right, a bird decides that it would like some too! So in a panic, you toss your freshly purchased, freshly harassed sandwich at the friend who poorly chooses the seat to your side.

The birds in Paris are aggressive-they scare the day-lights out of me. I have been mocked by several people for this absurd fear that I have, but if I have to fight over my food with an animal that could peck my eyes out- don't expect me to be handing out my goods for free.

07 September 2008

Je voudrais un café au lait, S'il vous plaît

video


Creative Idea and Photography by E.P.

06 September 2008

Wind-up Doll

Whelp, le jour deux of my Sorbonne classes. The word "intense" would definitely be an understatement. Luckly I was placed into the level I was hoping for, Beginner Intermediate. Even more luck came my way on my weary Thursday morning when I discovered that the lovely Laura will become my unofficial French survival partner for these coming months! I was uber excited. Sorbonne is located all over Paris. With the little sense of direction we both attain, we rode the line four metro to Raspail, found our beautifully ornate building, and climbed five very steep,treacherous, levels of steps to reach Salle 18. All twenty of us -- mostly American female and relatively close to my age -- staring at the door in fright to see what our fate will lead. The clock turns 17:00 and we meekly pile into the classroom. Nos professor is an extremely energetic Asian women who speaks as those she is a wind-up doll -- in French, with an Asian accent.

The first day of classes went by in a breeze. I was hopped up on espresso -- we were not told class began that day until moments before, so I was slightly upset with myself for not being mentally prepared-- and she threw another exam, a dictation, and an essay at us. All I can say is that I crawled-out of that class shaking.
The second day wasn't nearly as bad, but an certainly experience. We learned that our additional phonetics class will commence on Monday at 15:30 and conclude on the 3rd of October (Dad's birthday!).

The classes are intense. I just need to remind myself I will leave Paris feeling so much more confident that I have ever imagined.

02 September 2008

Musee D'Orsay

Its official. I can now live in a box for the rest of my life and be content. Well, not really, but I have seen, face-to-face, the piece of art that had inspired my childhood: Degas's Ballerina. Musée D'Orsay is so beautiful and ornate; each exhibit guiding you through another style, era, or artist. There is noway this museum could be fully appreciated within one day. Here's a couple of artworks I was lucky enough to see while exploring...











Centre Pompidou

Yesterday, we saw an exhibit in the Centre Pompidou after class. Lucky enough, Paris opens majority of her exhibits to the student population. With as many museums as there are cafes and lovers, I will always have something to see and explore!










These pictures were taken on the way up to the exhibit. We were shown a whole new side to the city!