Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Coming from New York I am used to seeing rats scurrying on the subway tracks while waiting for my train. As gross as it may be it's pretty commonplace and accepted by most subway riders. Occasionally, and a little less tolerable I have even seen large rats on the actual platform where straphangers wait for their train. In Paris instead of seeing large rats hanging out down by the tracks I'm more likely to see little mice instead which are not nearly as ugly or threatening as their NYC counterparts.
This morning however, everything changed and a barrier was crossed. As I sat enjoying my commute to work as best as I could just days back from my holiday I came face to face with none other than Ratatouille himself. He was perched on the shoulder of his owner oblivious to his surroundings. On the big screen Ratatouille came across adorable, endearing and talented but when confronted with him in person I was less impressed with his personality traits.
Throughout the ride I tried my best to maintain my composure and to pretend that there was nothing out of the ordinary going on around me. I even resisted the urge to change seats but I think that was more so out of fear of not being able to find another one. I did however break down completely into a fit of laughter after witnessing another passenger completely freak out when she saw the giant rodent perched on the shoulder of the passenger standing next to her.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
So I'm finally in a cab heading to the airport to start my much needed holiday. Athens, Santorini then Mykonos which means no new updates for at least 10 days (except maybe a teaser photo here or there).
In the meantime, for all you fashionistas out there check out the brainchild of my friend YM signature9.com.
Oh and one last thing Happy Birthday M-Unit!!
Envoyé de mon iPhone
at 4:32 AM
Friday, September 11, 2009
As I sit at work reading the various status updates on Facebook, twitter and stories on various news outlets I cannot help but feel overcome with emotions. Thinking about that fateful day eight years ago my emotions resonate as if it were yesterday. I can remember exactly where I was, what I was doing and how I was feeling. Just thinking about gets me all choked up and teary eyed.
I remember when I first moved to Paris a lot of people that I met would ask me about my experience that day after learning that I come from New York. I understand their curiosity in wanting to know my experiences, emotions and thoughts but at the same time most of they could never possibly understand how raw and close to the surface my emotions remain concerning that day and most of the time I would respond as I fought back tears.
As much as I don’t enjoy experiencing this deep sadness, it’s nothing compared to the great loss that so many others experienced that day, and I welcome them because they serve as a reminder that allows me to never forget what happened on that day.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Last year when I started my job with company x they paid for two weeks of intensive one on one French classes in Paris for me. The classes were good and I learned plenty but the problem with an anglophone trying to learn French in Paris is that so many people speak English it's difficult to apply what one has learned outside of the classroom. Or maybe I should say that it's easy to not apply what one has learned if she chooses to. So after those two weeks my comprehension improved tremendously and I was able to understand when my colleagues spoke in French but I continued to respond to them in English.
As dysfunctional as that system sounds it worked for a while and I was a happy worker bee. During this past spring I started toying with the idea of taking a two week holiday to the south of France and enrolling in another 2-3 week intensive French course. My plan was to sneak away without telling anyone where exactly I was going and to return speaking more French than I had previously. Around the same time, my colleagues that are in charge of external training and development told me that there was still training budget left over for the year and it could be used to some additional French classes if I felt so inclined.
That's when the wheels really started turning. I put it out there that I was intending to take some French courses anyway on my own using my vacation days and if company x was so inclined I'd be more than welcome to have them absorb the costs of my
holiday training course especially since communicating more in French is listed as one of my objectives for the year. To my surprise they agreed and so at the end of October I will find myself enrolled in the Instituit du Français in Villefrance sur mer just east of Nice. Sounds lovely doesn't it?
Well not so fast. Because my manager doesn't want to feel as if the company's money is being tossed out of the window, as of yesterday I was told that my dysfunctional system that I've come to love and enjoy will cease to operate. Going forward all team meetings will be conducted 100% in French and my contributions will have to be in French as well and participation is not optional. This is probably the kick in the ass that I need but the anxiety that I'm experiencing isn't pleasant.
So stay tuned to find out if L'Étrangère Americaine let's this French nonsense get the best of her and packs her bags and moves back to New York or if she steps out of the way of her own growth and achievement...