Friday, May 30, 2008

Surprise Surprise

On Wednesday I decided to use my return ticket to fly to New York City to surprise my family especially my sister. Normally, it's incredibly hard for me to keep secrets but because I decided at the absolute last minute I was able to pull it off. The reaction on my sister's face when she saw me was totally priceless. I'll be in town for about two weeks and then back to Paris for me. I've got one more surprise to pull off on Sunday and hopefully it's as good as the first.

I spent the day pampering myself getting my hair done with my mom, pedicure, shopping and massage. No, I didn't win the lottery I just thought it would be nice to take advantage of the weak dollar. I also hand delivered my application for the FACC program and was able to meet the person that would be handling my case on the US end. So now my fingers are crossed and hopefully everything will be wrapped up in 5 weeks or less.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

French is Still Challenging

Below is a summarized conversation that I have with a friend of mine a few days ago who is visiting Paris. Mind you I first met this friend while studying French at the Alliance Française in New York City several years ago.

Friend from NY: So we're in town and settled into our hotel.
Me: Oh, so where are you staying?
Friend from NY: We're staying near Montparnasse.
Me: Oh, so you're near the Denfert Rochereau métro stop?
Friend from NY: You're telling me that you've been in Paris this long and that's the best you can do with your pronunciation.
Me: Uhm, yes? For the record I plan to kick your ass when we meet up.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

In Limbo

It's been a while since I've written an update on my job situation reason being because there really hasn't been anything to write about. I've been waiting in limbo for weeks for the company to complete the necessary paperwork for me to proceed with my FACC sponsorship to no avail. There have been weeks I thought that the company changed its mind regarding the offer because I hadn't heard from them.

Fast forward to today...as it stands the company is a little hesitant about hiring me through the FACC program because my contract would have to be a CDD and can only be for up to 18 months however the company wants to offer a CDI contract. Now in my eyes this is a no brainer, sign me up through FACC, get me in as soon as possible and in the meantime try to find ways around the limitation. However, my future employer and I are currently running in circles trying to find a way for me to change my expired assistant CDS into a new salarié CDS.

So to make a long story short I'm in job limbo right now. While it may seem like an ideal situation and one that I should take advantage of I find that I'm very bored.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Someone Please Call the Fashion Police

Normally, I think that French and European men are much better dressed than their American counterparts. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to ride the Paris métro and to not see every guy wearing Dockers khakis (a size or two too large) and a light blue button down shirt (again a size or two too large).

However, now that the weather is getting nicer in Paris I've witnessed a fashion crime far worse than the khaki and button down uniform of NYC men. A crime so bad that it can almost be called a crime against humanity. Ladies and gents, I'm referring to manpris which are cropped pants (capris) wore by men. The first offense, which pains me the most, was committed by a close friend and I initially shrugged it off. However, my eyes were assaulted yet again when I tried to pick up some groceries at the supermarché. French fellas, if any of you are reading this, just say no to manpris for the good of all.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Footloose and Fancy Free

Yesterday afternoon my friend Mr. Blackberry picked me up and took me for a ride on his Vespa. Once I got over the fear factor it was actually quite fun. Since this was my first scooter ride I spent the first five minutes with my eyes closed tight scared out of my mind (apparently American women are scared of everything according to this particular French friend.) It didn't help that at times it felt as though he was speeding up and down the boulevards and playing chicken with oncoming traffic. After the ride we stopped for a drink at a sidewalk café near the Pantheon where I really enjoyed the company and the conversation. Most of all however, I enjoyed being back home in Paris feeling footloose and fancy free.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rome: In Photos

I'll blog about my trip to Rome later but in the meantime feast your eyes on these photos that I took while I was there. If you'd like to see more click on the link to the slide show on the right.

Pantheon Dome

Roman Forum

Roman Forum

Colosseum

Italian Police Officer

Red Poppies

Sistine Chapel (M Unit made me take this photo even though photos were not allowed. After being yelled at by security M Unit's only concern was whether or not I got the shot)


St. Peter's Basilica Dome

St. Peter's Square

St. Peter's Square

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Barcelona: In Photos

I took so many photos this past week that it was hard for me to select a handful to post here. If you like what you see here click on the link for my slide show to the right.

La Pedrera, Gaudi



The National Art Museum of Catalonia (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya)

Street Lamp

Joan Miró Circular Tile Mosaic on Las Ramblas


Flowers on Las Ramblas

Treats at La Boqueria Market

Fresh Fruit Juice at La Boqueria Market

Gaudi Tile Work at Park Güell

Gaudi Tile Work at Park Güell

Hola From Barcelona

I haven't blogged in a while but I've got good a good reason for that. M Unit has been visiting me since the 25th of April and I've been a little preoccupied with not killing myself or anyone around me. Our time in Paris was a little touch and go because honestly I was a little worn out from being the "Parisian Tour Guide". I feel like I've visited all of the main sites and museums too many times to count and at times I just couldn't bear to do it again but all in all we managed and now I'm in lovely Barcelona.

As much as I enjoy traveling I initially didn't want to leave Paris for fear of missing out on something. Now, by no means do I live a very exciting life in Paris but the thought of leaving for a week especially when the weather is just starting to get nice wasn't all that appealing. Also, now that my assistantship is over I only have a limited amount of time to spend with the friends that I've made over the last 7 months before they leave for home.

But I digress! Barcelona is absolutely amazing. The architecture is amazing. The people are amazing. Even though I'm here with M Unit I think we're both managing to have a good time. M Unit even mentioned wanting to retire here in Barcelona, imagine that. I'm going to try to post some photos in my next post because a) I got a new camera lens for my birthday (thanks M Unit) and b) I've fallen in love with Gaudi and I have a newfound respect for Picasso (thanks Picasso Museum Barcelona).

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