Friday, August 29, 2008

Dear Readers

This very well be my last post to you all. I'm riding the metro on my way home from work and my oxygen supplies are dwindling. If I don't die from lack of air I very well may be knocked unconscious from the awful scent emanating from the woman directly in front of me. And I'm sure my belongings will be plundered by the little gypsie children that frequent this metro line.

Yours truly,
LE

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Endearing Myself to My Colleagues

I've been spending quite a bit of time with a certain male friend of mine watching the Olympics the past two weeks. Because France sucked most of the time my male friend spent a lot of time saying "oh putain" and as a result I've picked up the habit.

So I'm at work today and it's approaching 6:30PM and I want to wrap things up and head home but I can't because another colleague is working on a document that I need to update before heading home. So as the minutes pass I get more and more frustrated. It's gets to a point where I let out an "oh putain". I thought my sigh was inaudible but my colleague sitting across from me heard my exclamation and was obviously shocked. Shocked in part because I never speak French at work and probably even more shocked by my first forary into speaking French in the office. I tried in vain to prevent colleague #1 from sharing my comment with colleague #2 to no avail. Next thing you know the three of us are all laughing in our corner of the office. And that concludes lesson #1 on How to Endear Yourself to French Colleagues.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Who Are You Calling An Animal?

I just had the most surreal moment in all of my time in Paris. I was walking down the street to get some lunch (alone of course) and I see some guy shouting at the top of his lungs. So I did what I normally do when I encounter crazies, I went along on my merry way but in this case I made the mistake of passing in front of him. Bad move, all of a sudden I became "Exhibit A" in his maniacal tirade and he proceeds to say in perfect English "look at this animal...blah blah blah George Bush this George Bush" and my initial reaction was to let out a "are you fucking kidding me" sign. But he wouldn't stop he proceeded to say something bad about my main man Barack Obama and called me an animal once more for good measure. So I did what any Bronx girl would do in a similar situation, I flipped him the bird (to the cheers and laugher of the onlookers) then went along my merry way.

Paris, j'adore!

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

My friend Amy gave me all of these nice Indian spices before leaving Paris. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before on my blog but Amy is an excellent cook and can through a great meal together out of the simplest ingredients. She can work wonders with a box of frozen peas.

Yesterday on my way home I stopped by a cute little store called Casa and purchased some glass containers to store the spices. Now I'm a little ashamed to admit this but transferring the spices from their previous containers to the new glass ones was the first time that I have touched the spices since Amy left. The problem is that Amy failed to tell me what the spices were and how to incorporate them into my cooking. So for the time being they will sit idle on my kitchen counter as decorative pieces until Amy gets her butt on a plane and comes back to Paris.

Amy also left me some spices for making homemade chai tea however each time I try to make the tea on my own it never tastes as good.

Mysterious Amy Spices

Friday, August 15, 2008

Velibing Here, There and Everywhere

Before I left Paris to get my visa in early July I send off my paperwork for a 1 year subscription to the Paris Velib' service. My thinking was that I would have my subscription waiting for me when I got back to Paris and I'd be velibing here, there and everywhere. Well it turns out that I'm lacking a few brain cells and it occurred to me that I failed to sign my check which explained why my Velib' subscription was never activated. Once I realized the error of my ways I sent off another application and included a signed check this time.

Several days later I get a letter confirming my subscription and once again I'm ready to go velibing here, there and everywhere. Well, not so fast. It turned out that my Navigo pass was never associated to my Velib' account for some reason and I couldn't figure out why. I went to the website several times to update it to no avail. Finally after several weeks of a non functioning Navigo pass I figured out the problem. Instead of providing my actual Navigo pass number located on the back of the card I provided the folks at Velib' with my Navigo client number. Honest mistake really because the client number is written in black bold print on the front of the card and the pass number is imprinted on the back of the card nearly invisible to the naked eye.

So today for the first time I was able to take a Velib' using my Navigo without any hassle and I rode a bike home from spending a lovely afternoon with friends in Montparnasse. I managed to not die which is a pretty big accomplishment. I just have to remember to not wear a dress the next time I decide to take a Velib' because thanks to the wind I think quit a few people got a free show.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

RTT

Like most foreigners that dream of moving to France I was enticed by the idea of "free" health care, 1.5 hour lunches, a 35 hour work week and 5 weeks vacation. Well it turns out that I don't get a 35 hour work week because of my job category and my colleagues don't really indulge in 1.5 hour lunches. However, there was one pleasant surprise that no one ever mentioned to me and it's the concept of RTT (Reduction du temps de travail). Basically, because we don't adhere to 35 hour work weeks at the firm we are entitled to an extra 10-11 days off during the year. And for all you math whizzes that adds up to 7 weeks of paid vacation per year. Holla.

In other news it took precisely 1 month of working with my French colleagues before any of the decided to invite me to lunch. Go figure.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

On Working

So it's been almost a month since I started my gig at the company and I'm just getting around to posting an update. One of the main reasons for not posting sooner is because I've been completely exhausted and wiped out when I get home from work. My exhaustion is compounded by the fact that my friend John has been staying with me since the 17th of July. Add to that the numerous activities to partake in during the summer in Paris and you get very few blog posts from me.

A few things, I received my first month's pay last Wednesday and it was nice to see a sum that wouldn't be eaten up completely by my rent. Hooray for that. It was perfect timing as well because my bank account was very close to negative territory. Lastly, my office has a nice view of the Eiffel Tower from the terrace and an unlimited supply of Nespresso coffee the only thing that's missing is George Clooney.

Me Drinking Nespresso on the terrace

The view from the terrace

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