Thursday, October 30, 2008

Metro Riding Tips

Now that I have been working for several months and enduring a tedious
commute to work I've figured out some tips and tricks to increase my
chances of getting a seat and thus making my ride more enjoyable.

Since I've taken the same route a number of times now one of the first
things that I have done is remember where my exislts are. This can be
a huge time saver because the last thing I want to do in the morning
is spend five minutes walking across the platform that time can be
better spent doing other things (five minutes extra sleep anyone?).

Now if you want a seat in a crowded rush hour train the key is to not
stand by the door where the rest of the overflow is standing. If you
happen to get a seat in that section of the train chances are you will
have to relinquish your seat before you know it and you'll end up
packed like a sardine at the next busy stop. The key is to stand in
between the two four seat sections. After one or two busy stops you
are all but guaranteed a seat for the rest of your ride.

And there you have it folks. This post was written from my cozy seat
on the 9 line.

Envoyé de mon iPhone

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Social Media Etiquette

Several weeks ago I attended the Paris Motor Show with a friend (PMS as my French colleagues amusingly referred to it as). I wrote a big long post about it but I have since deemed it not worthy of publishing. What is worth publishing, maybe only marginally so, is the following question:

What is the proper etiquette when one sees a fellow blogger's husband at an auto show? Mind you Blogger #1 has never met Blogger #2 in person or by other means and therefore by the law of syllogism one can assume that Blogger #1 has never met the husband in question that was spotted at the auto show.

And as an ancillary question how should one handle the awkward situation when they see a person that they recognize from a friend's <insert social network here> friend list?

No one wants to come across as a weird stalker freak. Trust me I know this from first hand experience.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Yoga Classes Revisited

I am off to check out a second yoga studio in Paris (Rasa Yoga for those curious minds out there) after weeks of procrastination. One thing that I've realized is that even after the last yoga class I took two months ago and after two weeks of intensive French lessons I still haven't learned the vocabulary necessary to understand what's going on around me.

Maybe I'll have some sort of zen like experience and it will all end up making sense. On verra.

Envoyé de mon iPhone

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

In Case There Was Any Question

Today is a twofer. In case there was any question after yesterday's post I present you with the following:

Photo copyright Millsy

Big thanks to my friend Dave in NYC for the care package. It fits!

Palm Trees in the 11th

I saw this peculiar site as I was taking a detour on my way home yesterday. I didn't investigate as to why the palm trees were there maybe someone in the mayor's office wanted Millsy to feel more at home while he's job hunting in Paris.

Monday, October 13, 2008

On Voting

Last Wednesday I finally received my absentee ballot after several weeks of worry and fear of disenfranchisement. I quickly and carefully filled out my ballot paying close attention to not make any mistakes and accidentally vote for the wrong candidates. On Thursday afternoon I walked to the post office closest to my office and mailed off my absentee ballot without further ado.

So you're probably wondering to yourself why I'm even writing this uneventful blog post especially since I've been MIA for such a long time. Well for one I'm not to impose my political views onto you, I'll leave that to the news media and some of the political blogs out there. I'm writing this post more so to have an open dialog with my family you know who you are out there. Family, I love you and I know that I should probably call and write more often but you see, since I already cast my ballot and it probably won't even be counted anyway, I want to let you know that it is no longer necessary to send me email forwards trying to persuade or convince me to vote a certain African American candidate. As a matter of fact it was never really necessary in the first place. You see, if I recall correctly, I think I was the one that introduced you to the candidate in question and I was the one that taught you how to pronounce his name correctly.
Oh and mom I was the one that corrected your mistaken beliefs that he was a Muslim not that there is anything at all wrong with being a Muslim.

And while we're on the topic family and those of you that are still reading, I was an early supporter of my presidential pick, not because of the color of his skin but because I agreed with most of his political platform and I appreciated his international perspective on American politics. It should be noted that I am more likely to not vote for someone based on a complexion connection than the reverse as bad as it may sound. I can think of a number of times when my father invited me to Harlem to meet some representative, hoodwinked me into volunteering my time at a phone bank or encouraged me to attend fundraisers and to donate to specific candidates but I always had a moral conflict because I usually had no idea what their political platform was all about.

So, to bring this post to a close for those of you that are still reading, I encourage all expats to follow up the appropriate contacts to ensure that you receive your absentee ballot on time if you haven't already. Those of you currently residing in the US I urge to get out there and register to vote if you haven't done so already and I urge all of you to get out there and vote on Election Day, November 4th. The results of this election will be historic regardless of who wins however, the results of this election may determine whether or not I ever decide to move back to the United States. So if you don't vote I think the maternal unit will hold you all personally responsible.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Language Blues

I've been oscillating back and forth lately as to whether or not I want to maintain this blog. Partly because I'm lazy and partly because I'm less anonymous now than before causing me to think carefully before publishing certain posts. I've decided that for the time being I will keep the updates coming and I will try to be a little more disciplined regarding the frequency.

So what have I been up to? Well I celebrated my 1 year anniversary in Paris several weeks ago (please feel free to send presents my way). I also took a 1 week long intensive French course. Overall the course was great and I'm thankful to the company for paying for it. However, I'm doing myself a huge disservice by not speaking more. Even though I've listened to my fair share of Frenchies stumble to speak English on my behalf I'm just really not comfortable enough to do the same, yet. Honestly, I'm not sure I'll ever be able to do the same.

Before I came to France I had this fantasy that when I arrived in Paris, I would magically, through some sort of osmosis be able to speak perfect French. Now that that isn't the case I'm really struggling. When I first got here people were a lot more understanding of my lack of language skills but now that I've been here over a year their expectations have definitely changed and I'm almost embarrassed to tell people how long I've been in France these days.

Things will get better I'm sure. I have my second intensive week of one on one French classes in two weeks. I think I need to change my mindset and step out of my comfort zone more so than I have done in the past.