Things I will do when I get back to the US

Whiten my teeth. I love coffee and so do the French. The problem is that since they are obsessed with avoiding cellulite they have forgotten to stock their pharmacies with teeth whiteners.

Target. It was a tragity when I realized I had put all of my men's white Hanes V-neck shirts in storage! Good Lord-- this is a staple in my weekly wardrobe. A trip to Target will be a must.

Nordstroms. Both my watch and a pair of sunglasses have broke, and where do you take things like that in France...?? You dont, you wait to go to Nordstroms, the store that fixes everything in the world. Such a service based store--by nature-- could not be located in France.

Buy Running shoes :-) Running shoes are expensive here! Because only 5 people in France run, the six pairs of running shoes they sell are in very high demand, making them expensive.

Walgreens and buy lotion, dental floss and fingernail polish all for under $15. In Paris each of these items cost about 8 Euros each!

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Madrid: a town of many flip flops


This past weekend I was in Madrid meeting my friend Brooke. It was very warm weather, but was better than rain. The first day I ventured off to the Sophia museum that Devon had recommended. It was my favorite museum and I spent about two hours there (which for me is a long time!). Then i sat outside and at lunch: tuna and some peanuts (I cant eat at restaurants, so traveling is difficult). Then I made my way to Puerto Sol which is the downtown shopping area it was nice but nothing special really. My trusty areo-soles sandals were giving me blisters after walking about 8 miles so I invested 20 Euros in a pair of flip flops known for being comfortable. I continued walking and went to the Royal Palace and the Cathedral which is next door. They have some very nice parks there and great fountains! I made my way back to my hostel to have my tuna and grapes for dinner and then found a movie theater that showed American movies. Angles and Demons in Madrid :-)
The next day I met up with Brooke and Jenny and we made our way to the Thyseen Museum. It was a smaller exhibit but very nice, and their normal exhibit is very good and has a broad range. Next we went for some coffee-- I noticed how bad my feet hurt and it seems that my new flip flops were also giving me blisters so we stopped for band aides and kept on trekking! We walked along the Salamanca area, which is an upscale neighborhood. That's where I could no longer handle the blisters. After two sets of band aides that would not stay put due to the sweat on my feet I thought I was going to dieee!!!! So we started searching for new shoes for me (we had walked 10 miles thus far). The only thing we could find for under 30 Euros were a pair of clear plastic sandals with silver polka dots on them. They were being sold in a perfume store and i went in to try them on. As I tried them on I could see the owner of the store looking at my dirty, blistered feet-- thinking that I had BETTER be buying those sandals :-) I did, and we walked home. I immediately broke my Europe rule (no running shoes, unless I am running). I put on the running shoes and we headed out to continue our adventure! So when I am asked what I brought back form Madrid-- I brought back many flip flops.
The next day I headed out to the local flea market (in my Nike's). There were SO many people!! I could hardly move, it was a sea of people. I walked for about an hour then abandoned the flea market-- it was so crowded I couldn't even see anything. I walked around the town a bit more and took my last pictures. After my last can of tuna I packed up my bags and made the way to the airport for my flight back to Paris. A nice trip, but good to be back home in Paris where I have shoes, the cool breeze and uncanned food :-)

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Going to America: Summer

This Sunday I make my way back to the U.S.-- which is wierd to me. I will have a busy just setting 2 months. My schedule is the following:

San Francisco-- June 28- July 8
Oregon-- July 8- 12 (For my Brother's wedding-- YAY!)
New York -- July 13- July 27 (School in New York and a visit with Timmy!)
San Diego July 28- August 15 (Home to see Dad and relax)
Los Angeles-- August 14-17 (To see the my sister's family)
San Deigo/ San Francisco-- August 17-26
Paris-- August 27....til whooo knows when :-)

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No finance for me???


So I was suppose to have class today but received an email from my school saying that International Finance would be postponed to June 28th because the teacher had an emergency. They said that they were aware that some students would be out of the country, as it is right before our seminars in New York and to alert them if this was your situation. So it is my situation and I emailed the school to ask them what my options were. The response was that I could write an extra paper to make up the units or use my "pre" examination grade in it's place (this was basically a paper written with my application). I wrote back asking if this meant that I wouldnt receive any schooling in finance, as I didnt find it a responsible (especially considering the recent financial turmoil) to send another MBA grad into the world with a complete lack of knowledge in finance. So I asked if maybe there was an online class I could take or maybe they could buy me a book...."finance for dummies"....I dunno maybe they could replace "human resource development" with finance, as it is easier to fake knowing how to manage employees as it is to fake knowing finance.

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I cant Beleive I didnt think of this before!


In my quest to speak french in some sort of functional manner I turned on the TV and changed the station from my British news to a french station and there it was....like a golden ray of light....YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS-- IN FRENCH. How have I lived here for 3 months and only discovered this NOW??? For those of you who don't know this is a soap opera that my Mom, sister and I have watched for the last 20 years. Its the same characters ect, just taped over with French words. They are about 3 years behind in the plot line. But that actually helps because I already know whats going on, so it gives me some context for the words that I dont understand. Anyways its on at 2 in the afternoon, perfect for my lunch time, so try to not call during that hour :-)

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A boat trip on the Seine!

Tower and then around to the The other night I went on a boat ride on the Seine. My friend Monica from school invited me. Monica is from Peru and moved to New York 4 years ago, not knowing any English, went to school and became an accountant. She always mixes English and Spanish on accident which makes our conversations fun, and our teachers confused. Anyways! Her friend organizes events and invited us on a tour of Paris. It was just starting to get dark and when we left and we went by the Eiffel Tower, Musee D'orsay, Concorde, then turned around just before the Lourve to head back. On the way back it was dark and all the sites were light up with bright orange lights. It was beaaaaautiful!

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French man purse...

Men here have purses. Real purses. I think they are holding them for their girlfriends and then I look for the girlfriends and there arent any. I was in french language class and my teacher -- Boris, was teaching me how to say hand bag "sac du main" (hand bag). He said "and you will also be seeing the men with the sac du main here, you like to call it the man purse. LOL. His wife is American so she had filled him in on the man purse saying and how silly it seems to us. I of course moved on to other subjects and taught him what "man-dals" are (men who wear girly sandals).

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Picasso Museum robbed!

I live abou 4 blocks from one of Picasso's houses which has been turned into a museum and was robbed! Read this:

http://perezhilton.com/2009-06-09-worth-millions-picassos-sketchbook-stolen-from-museum

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Trip to Versailles!


This was a busy weekend! Saturday my friend Jessica and I hopped on the train to Versailles. We got off the train and you walk a few blocks and see this enormous monstrocity! Versailles is HUGE. We walked in the main building and saw the famous hall of mirrors. There are several churches inside the compound because the King went to church every single day (cant imagine!). The gardens were even more amazing, they make up the size of a normal town-- so big! We walked around the gardens and the several fountains. I immediately felt like we were in sense and sensibility, the movie :-) There were even a small pen of sheep! Next was the chateau of Marie Antoinette which was some what humble compared to the rest of the estate and PINK! (and was far away from the rest of the estate), but if those walls could talk...! She also had a miniature theater built for her so she could take acting classes to improve her French (she was Austrian). The whole trip was fun, but tiring and defiantly recommended. I cant imagine living somewhere like that, it was really amazing.

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Normandy!


This Sunday we headed off to Honfleur, a small town in Normandy. My friend Pascal drove and it took about two hours from Paris. I have driven the french countryside and it really just looks like driving through America. Similar to areas east of San Francisco. Its this cute town with very old and narrow streets, built on a hill. We got there and had lunch at a nice restaurant (well they had lunch at a nice restaurant, I had my sac lunch on a bench). Then we walked around the town. There was a really pretty wooden church. It was built 100% out of wood, which is very uncommon here. Then we walked along the harbor in a few little shops. Then it started pouring rain! So we ducked into a small tea shop, which was straight out of Alice and Wonderland. It was this very narrow building with about 4 stories. They had a large selection of tea and delicious looking pastries. After our round of tea we headed back to the car and started the drive home, which turned out to be very long! Sunday night every Parisian drives back into the city from the countryside and there was ALOT of traffic. I did get to see a French fireman, and they wear the funniest silver, chrome helmets with like a little skirt around the bottom of the hat. I took a picture, but I dont think that it was very clear (as we were driving).

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I AM going to Normandy!


Yay! So a few weeks ago I wrote that I would be going to Normandy with a group of people from my church. Well for some reason they canceled the trip and I wasnt going to be able to go. This year is the 25th anniversary of D-Day (June 6th) and they are having a week long festival and ceremonies-- which made it even more sad that I wouldnt be able to go. Well this morning I got a call from someone (Pascal) I had met a few weeks ago at an International meet up event and he said he would be going to Normandy on Sunday and asked if I and a friend would like to come. So my friend Jessica and I will go with Pascal to Normandy on Sunday. France road trip!

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Paris Flea Markets


Last weekend I made my way out to the famous Paris Flea markets. I went to one (Saint Ouen) out by the Sorbonne (not the niiiiicest area by the way). It was alright. Most of the market is overridden with modern day brand names and clothes. Its a good place to get sneakers or random clothing items, but it wasnt the antique gold mine I had thought it would be, which was a little disappointing. The sales people were very un-french like. They tried for a hard sell and basically chased you down the street. Typically in France sales people will only talk to you unless you approach them. They think it is rude and bothersome (and i agree).
It was a glorious day. I walked around in the sun for a few hours and checked out the area. I ended up buying a pair of linen pants, nothing special but will be good for school on hot days. I think maybe smaller markets might have more unique items....all that means is that I have to go to those too!

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French bad for my health....

I think that speaking French is having a negative effect on my health. I have had some serious TMJ (my jaw hurts) the past week. It might be from stress-- when I get stressed out I grind my teeth in my sleep, but I Reeeeeallllly think its from speaking French and trying to pronounce all of these words. My Rosetta Stone is wearing me out!

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Madrid, Madrid!!!


I'm going to Madrid! YAY. My lovely friend Brooke will be going on a trip through Spain and I will meet her in Madrid. I will be there for 31/2 days in between classes. I leave Thursday the 18th and will be staying in a hostel near the Pardo Museum. I am a little worried about speaking Spanish as I have tried my hardest NOT to think or speak in spanish because it makes talking in French very difficult, but I will figure it out. This will be the frist time I am traveling to a place without a kitchen so I will be eating ALOT of canned tuna, nuts and fruit since I cant eat out (so that part will be interesting). Any ways, cant wait to go and I'll let you know about the trip!

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Risk Management

Today in Risk management (which is really boring) my lovely French friend Monet was asked to solve a question: if his wife was on a plane and it crashed, what would be the monetary value of his wife and what is the probability his wife would die? He sat and thought for a few minute then asked- "which wife?" we all laughed and Gianluca (Italian) immediately raised his hand and asked "what is the possibility that he will get a new wife". The American teacher just kind of sat there a little confused. But I thought this conversation summarized European Men's point of view.

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Socialized Medicine

Before I left for Paris I had alot of trouble getting health insurance because I have Celiac Disease. I finally found a company that would accept me, but at $300 a month. I was really upset about how hard it was for me to get insurance and could only imagine how difficult it would be for someone who couldnt afford a ridiculous $300 a month. I really do think it is a problem in our country and that something should be done about it. ATTTTT the same time. I was perscribed Thyroid medication yesterday, because I am boarderline hypothyroid. First of all it was very difficult for me to find a Dr that would treat me because my condition as far as blood tests say, is boarderline when you refer to the lab ranges. But my symptoms have been completely debilitating (anyone who has seen me in the last 2 years knows that). Its hard to get Drs to treat it because the large medical associations say its not necessary. This is really disturbing to me, as a Dr's job is to treat the individual and everyone's body is very different. This is a problem that exists both in America and France. But something else came up last night as I ordered my perscription from Belgim. Yes Belgim. I am taking natural Thyroid that is taken from Pig thyroid glands. You cannot buy it in France because of the medical socialization and in the U.K. it has recently been made illegal, meaning people who have taken it for years can no longer get the medication they need to function. THAT IS CRAZY! You can buy it in America but it is not FDA approved (because it comes from an animal each does is not 100% exact-- but contains a necessary combination of 2 different hormones that synthetic thyroid medications do not contain), and you have to hunt to get a Dr who will perscribe it because it is not FDA approved. Yet among Thyroid patients it is VERY recommended and is unanimously claimed to be the best. The only reason why its hard to get a perscription is because of the FDA, the same FDA that approves medications that kill people every year. I wish Dr's could just treat patients with medications THEY understood and could feel comfortable to perscribe on their own, without a big organization telling them how to treat symptoms instead of the individual. Kristy youre in drugs-- do something! :-)

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I caved...ROSETTA STONE! My new love!


I finally caved and bought Rosetta Stone. For those of you who dont know it is a language company that teaches you languages on your computer. It is really expensive, but they have an option to not buy the CDs and to go through their server and use the product online for half the price. So this was the option I chose and I am really liking the program. It doesnt explain alot of gramatical sturucture and what not, it just jumps in and starts by associating pictures with sentences. I think I would have been really lost if I had started Rosetta Stone without ANY knowledge of the language but I recommend it for someone who may be a level 2. My French has gotten a lot better, but I still cannot have a normal conversation with people. I can usually get across what I am trying to say, but I know I sound ridiculous. Maybe I will sound like a 5 year old by the time I leave-- heres hoping!

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North Korea is crazy


I think the problem will solve itself as they are likley to blow themselves up trying to make their statement of military force. But really they are crazy. I am probably in the safest country in the world right now, as I doubt that North Korea even knows France exists and i know that France wouldn't voulenteer for a war, it simply isnt their way :-) I havent heard many conversations over here though about North Korea's military action, other than on the British news channel I get. But in all seriousness...this is very concerning.

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I had to shop

Yes-- had to. There were two consecutive days of 80 degree weather when I discovered I did not pack any shorts or skirts. My packing was centered around bringing the more expensive things that I would not want to have to buy once I got here, so shorts were not on that list. I made a trip to the H&M and bought two pairs of shorts, two skirts and a tanktop-- and a pair of sandals. Its funny to think that these will probably be my only warm weather clothes for the next year! I woke up the next morning to rain. Murphy's Law.

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Yes...I have been busy

So sorry for not writing for so long. A combination of good weather, then school work, then not feeling well, then school work AGAIN has lead me ignoring my blog. I will try my hardest to remember everything that has happen the last week!

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Roller Bladers-- Welcome to 1980 in Paris


but I have recently noticed that roller blading is the cool thing to do here in Paris. This was a common sport when I was about 8 and then it gracefully exited and left to Paris. Here you will see people roller blading all over the city and its really weird. It is usually middle aged people and you have two groups. The one who is a professional roller blader and is doing all sorts of tricks and making a spectacle of himself or the cautious roller blader who is head to toe in pads like a sausage. I thought there were only two groups...that is until the new group I discovered today: Roller Blade Police. Yes sir. They have roller blade cops. I dont even really know what to say about it I truly feel that it should be self explanatoryin case not-- I have included a picture.

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Studying with foreigners

OK so I know that I am a foreigner here in France, but the people I go to school with are also foreigners who dont speak English as a first language. Let me start by saying that everyone I go to school with is really nice and they are all pretty smart. We have an architech, lawyer, accountant...people with very good resumes. One of my favorite things to watch is not only our cultural differences but the language barrier. A few weeks ago I was in a group with two boys and a girl. Both of the men were French (one was from the Congo, Africa-- but went to high school in France and now works in Paris). They always agreed on everything especially when it came to issues of employee treatment and cultural greetings. While the girl (Jamaican) and I always thought they were wrong (which they were). The language barrier really is the best though. On Wednesday as Guian Lucca (an architech from Italy) gave a presentation he discussed how the CEO of the company was very "humil and so he was accepting the praises of the other peoples". He used the word humil about 10 times and I was trying really hard not to laugh. He meant humble, but since the word comes from humility he thought humil was correct. Guian Lucca also finishes every sentence with "maybe"-- for example "the CEO is very humil so he does not accept the praises of the other peoples maybe". Even when there is no need for a "maybe" it will undoubtedly finish off the sentence. Later that night we had a glass of wine after class had finished and Bahar (a lawyer from Turkey) was making fun of our pier and said "oh Yann is a bit gay I think, he is half gay". That one got me going for a while-- she meant bi-sexual. Then of course as I ordered my wine I asked for "a mug of the red wine please" and everyone started laughing, so I am not immune to the barrier.

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French Reggae...


No it wasnt good at all. On Saturday night I went and met my friend Mandy out at Cite Universaire. It is this huge compound with a big park and tons of student housing similar to dorms, but dedicated to international students studying in Paris. There was a big party there with a concert out on the lawn. It was raining-- big time. So i wore my 10 layers of clothes and God bless the French for not only having beer-- but wine for little Celicas like me. There was the STRANGEST music EVER. We werent quiet sure what was going on. My favorite of the night was the French Reggae-- priceless really. It was really not good music- lol. Anyways I headed home (she lives out there) because the metro closes at 2am. I sat there with my book (that I LOOOOVE) waiting for the train to come, to take me to the metro. A nice man came over about 3 minutes later to let me know c'est ferme-- "its closed". Of course its closed, because i dont have a cell phone and no money because I hadnt received my bank card yet. SO awesome. I figured out how to walk to the metro station....in the rain...at like 1:30am-- BUT i got there. And was so happy to finally be home. I put on my warmest 1 pair of pajama pants and my extra blanket and curled up in my Murphy bed. A fun night with a little complication!

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C'est normale.


I woke up yesterday morning and started my normal routine. I went to wash my face and heard a funny noise and....no water...?? Thats strange. So I went around to all my faucets and no water. Hmm I thought-- maybe they are doing work on my building. So I poked my head out the window into the court yard and didnt see anything going on. I emailed my landlord, I am pretty sure water is included, but I havent received any sort of bill so I wasnt sure if there was something I should be paying that I am not???? I ate my breakfast and washed my face with what little water I had left over in my water bottle from the day before and went out to get a water and coffee. On my way out my neighbor was leaving and I asked him if he was having a problem with his water. He said "c'est normale a Paris" meaning-- its normal for Paris. He said it is normal for the water to be turned off in Paris and that it would be turned back on by 3. I stood there happy that I hadnt done something wrong, but totally stunned...its normal for Paris to have the water turned off....why? I got my coffee and then came home and Googled it. I couldnt find anything. Later that day I had a hair cut, so I asked my hair dresser (who speaks english) and he looked at me like I was crazy. He said that didnt sound right, but that I live in one of the historic districts so maybe, he wasnt sure. Allll I know is that it would be very Parisian to just not have the water on, cause someone was on a lunch break or something. By the way, in case you are worried that I am working too hard, there is another holiday this Thursday. There have now been 5 holidays out of the 6 weeks I have been here.

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I have my Visa

Yesterday I got my Carte Sejour-- my long stay visa. This was given to me after a medical examination that included a chest x-ray?? So weird. They weigh you, do an eye test then ask you to take off your clothes for a chest x-ray, like you are a carrier of tuberculosis. After that you are interviewed about your health-- nothing weird asked. Then you go to another little room where this lady takes your money and give you your visa. This step is where it got a little sticky. I guess she wasn't having a good day or something because she completely flipped out and kicked everyone out of the room. The only thing is that most of us didn't speak french, so we had no idea what was going on. A nice young man told me we had to leave and stand in the hall way (I haven't been sent to the hall way since high school Algebra). She kept on yelling it was soooooo confusing. Clearly she understands that we have NO idea what she is saying to us! Any ways after standing in the hall for about 10 minutes she let us back in and I got my visa. YAY! no more going to the prefecture!

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My thesis has to be how many pages???

100. Seriously it has to be 100 pages. I wasn't really afraid of a thesis since I have already written one, no big deal-- I'm writing 20 page papers every week, whats a 40 pager?? NO 100 pages. I found this out the other day walking form class to the metro station and my friend said she was really going to have to get working on it (she graduates in January). I was shocked when she said 100 pages or 45,000 words-- you choose. So first things first: Dad, I am going to need a new computer so that I am really excited to type 100 pages, the just came out with a new Mac Book we could donate my current one and make it a tax deductible :-). I have no idea what I am going to write about, my undergrad thesis was about 40 pages about, American Holidays: how they were effected by immigration and capitalist culture. Maybe I could just expand that by 60 pages. Either way a new computer is called for

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I'm talking like I'm british


My eyes are cross from looking at the computer screen ALLLLL day long working on my paper. But when I was writing today I realized something...I am starting to talk like I am British. And no-- not on purpose. The only television I have the is in English is from the UK ans do I find myself using all of these words that I would never use under normal circumstances, for example: as well, or when I was in University, the list goes on. Any ways its weird and if I'm not going to be in a Harry Potter movie or meet Rob Pattinson anytime soon it must be stopped. OR I could be like that friends episode where that girl who lived in the U.K. for 2 months and came back with an accent. Any ways-- its funny.
Speaking of British news, I am sure none of you are aware of British politics because I didn't even know they had politics before I moved here-- BUT- there is a huge scandal over their government employees (that are similar to Senators) using their expense accounts for some really cool stuff. My personal favorite is the guy that had his "moat" cleaned out for like 8,000 pounds. He has a moat around his house...seriously. Dad's favorite one is the guy who bought a pant press-- everyone is really making fun of him. Any ways there is a HUGE fuss and its really funny hearing what all of these people spent money on-- 2,000 pounds to have 25 light bulbs changed.

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I got an A :-)

Hello! I got an A in my very first class. I was excited and thought I should tell everyone.

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Out and about at night


This weekend I had an unexpected visitor. My friend Alex who has been traveling the last 6 months decided to pass through Paris to visit. This was my very first visitor...if you don't count my friend from class who came to fix my T.V. We planned on going to the Louve's Friday night special for people under 26 it is free! Unfortunately because of the holiday it was closed :-(. So instead we went for a lovely walk along St Germain and got a cocktail. We saw the cutest puppy and Alex drank a Mojito (who does that-- lol). We made our way to a restaurant his mother had recommended and the food looked great (I cant eat out at restaurants because of my special diet--no, not a loose weight diet, its a dont die diet). Alex ordered Salmon and mushroom soup. The salmon was 100% raw fillet and the mushrooms were sauteed-- not a soup. BUT he said it was all REALLY good. And now I know a place I can order a meal (I can eat raw salmon). We sat next to this lady and her two children and started talking to them. They had moved from California to Switzerland for the past 2 years and were in Paris for the weekend. She said they just up and moved and its been great (I think you need to be rather wealthy to do that-- she had HUGE diamond earrings). Any ways it was a lovely night. Alex had to fly out the next morning and missed out on the barking dog, who barked from 8am- 7:30pm when his owner came home. When he arrived home he received a nice note from me asking him if there was something that could be done about the last 11 hours of barking I had just endured :-) The dog has been quiet today.

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Nefertiti Fake!


Last summer I went to Germany with my Brother and his family (hes my half brother). While in Berlin we went to a museum with an Egyptian exhibition. The Exhibition' prized piece was the mask of Nefertiti. What makes this piece so special is that it is almost fully intact and the paint is still very bright. It was a beautiful piece and my sister in law (to be) Emy actually got yelled at for taking a flash picture of it. It turns out that this piece is a fake! I read an article where some tests were being analyzed on the mask for historical purposes, and they realized that it is only about 100 years old, not 3,400 years old. There was no documentation of the piece EVER being found! The dig where it was supposes to have been found has no description of the item, which would be un- heard of considering the type of find. So it is basically a huge fake and it doesn't even look like anyone tried to check to see if it was real! This piece, which I am sure was VERY expensive for someone, at some point-- has traveled the world and been thought to be one of the best archaeological finds ever. Well it looks so good cause its not even 100 years old people.

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Another Holiday weekend in France

Tomorrow is another holiday weekend. This is now the......3 or 4th holiday since my arrival in Paris 6 weeks ago. 66% of the weekends have been a holiday. Now this holiday I actually think should exist-- the anniversary of D-Day, and in fact I am a little surprised that we don't celebrate it in America (we were a part of that one right?). I am embarrassed to say that I didn't even know that it was May 8th. Anyways, the whole city will shut down again...through the weekend, and then you know, its always nice to make a 3 day weekend into a 4 day weekend, so Monday most things will also be closed. They wont give me citizenship to this country.

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Some thing are worth paying for...

One of these things would be admission to Musee d'Orsay. This is now the third time I have attempted to go to this museum. The first time was the very first time I came to Paris. After missing my flight to Europe and not sleeping for 48 hours I arrived in Paris and attempted to site see...where upon I slept on the steps of Musee d'Orsay and didnt make it in. The second time was the first Saturday I moved the Paris, Saturday is not the day to see anything in Paris because it is just too busy to enjoy. So I decided to come back when it was not as busy. I decided to go this past Sunday because the first Sunday of the month the admission is free. I thought Sunday might be safe, because this is such a religious country. NO, the line was two blocks long. The regular admission is 5 Euros, and I will gladly pay this some time next week DURING the week, and enjoy the museum in peace and quiet. Lets hope that Free Friday night at the Louve is not as bad!

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Champs de Elllyyzzzlkaf;nv;arv


Nothing here sounds like it is spelled. On the metro they will announce every stop and the names are NEVER what you think they are, but the announcer has served as a good tutor for me. Today I stumbled on Champs de Elysees. I was on the way to a Dr appointment and there I was. That is the fun thing about his city is that you will just be going about your life and OH! There is..... the 10,000th cool thing I've seen. So I have grown accustomed to carrying my camera in my purse because you cant leave the house without seeing something cool-- but today, I forgot it :-(. It was a beautiful spring day and all of the flowers were blooming. It was really pretty.
There is every store you could imagine there and some delightful restaurants that look very un-gluten free and expensive. There is a GAP and they are not having a sale (in case you were interested-- they are really expensive here!?). Any ways, I have a walking tour in my book for Champs de Elysees so I think I will go back one day early in the morning and have a coffee there, then go on my tour. ** I just realized that I have not seen a hill in over a month....WIERD.

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Things France and I have in common


We both create our own holidays. However, I understand when people don't close their place of business on my "Whitney Holidays" but France closes everything. May Day...have you ever heard of it? I have heard of it but it is an actual business holiday here. Grocery stores, banks etc will all be closed Friday May 1, many staying closed all weekend for the "holiday". According to Wikipedia it is similar to Labor Day. I really don't know how they do it, technically I mean--because the fridges were are SO small, if you have more than one mouth to feed, you cant stock enough food in your house and most restaurants are closed.
Another thing we have in common is we both stop everything for lunch. You cannot go to the bank and several other stores during lunch, because they close. I am just fascinated by this....it would never occur to anyone in the US to just close down an entire bank branch so that everyone could leave and go eat lunch....for an hour and a half. It sounds great! Easter closed everything down for about a week! So any ways I need to go prepair for May Day so I don't run out of food.

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Funny things I have heard Since I moved

I realized today while I watched the news that I have sure heard a few funny things about America. The quote that made me think that was by an NBC news anchor in reference to the recent death of the 23 month old in Texas from Swine Flu. He said: "In Texas-- that HUGE state in America...towards the bottom of it".
The French love President Obama, and when they find out I am American they say-- "Oh Obama"...I'm not sure what I'm suppose to say...yes?? There was another quote on the news "I like Obama more than Bush, because he is better".

Those are two of my favorite :-)

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Why you should always buy travel books


During my last trip to the book store I bought a "walking tours of Paris" and attempted to go on my first tour. I only got half way through because I had an appointment and ran out of time. While on the tour I walked down the oldest street in Pairs (which I have walked down before and never would have known) and I saw the oldest house in Pairs, built in the 1300's (there is some controversy about if it is-- its also pictured above). I kept walking and also saw the Templar square (which isnt marked), this is where the Knights Templar had their church/ castle...place of residence (lol), when they came in and took over Paris during the Roman times. They basically drained the Parisians of money and were later over thrown, but it was a cool site to see. The funny thing is that it is about 4 blocks from my house and I have walked by about 20 times and if I hadn't had my book I never would have known that it was anything but a park (there is a park on the site now).
I remember when I was in Spain a few years ago and my tour guide showed us the steps that Christoper Columbus met the King and Queen to tell them he had discovered America. But if someone hadn't told you-- it would have just been a normal set of stairs. This is why I love going on tours instead of just going it alone, cause there is so much value added to a place when you can connect it to it's history and some REALLY cool things that have happened there. Now I know why my cross street is Rue de Temple-- because of the Knights Templar.

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I WOULD get the Swine Flu

I started feeling a bit like I am getting a cold a few days ago. This isnt terribly abnormal for me, so now i probably have the swine flu too-- which is fine. I am really glad that I am not in America, because I WOULD definetly get swine flu there. It seems to be spreading pretty quickly! I only get the news on my television, so all i hear all day long is about thr recession (I know IT ALLLLL people), and now the swine flu. Although I just heard that several French tourists are feeling symptoms.
I have been eating garlic 3 times a day -- yes raw full cloves, to help detox my stomach (I have a staph infection in my stomach-- no im not making it up). In the middle ages prisoners were forced to burry the dead from the plauge. They ate raw garlic in large quanities and none of them died from the plague (just from smelling gross- lol). So I might actually be safe from the Swine Flu. I can only imagine the CRAZY amount of people reporting to hospitals with the sniffles- lol. Any who, no one die, eat your garlic.

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un week-end a Pari


This weekend was some what non-eventful. I was feeling pretty tired so I spent a lot of time at home trying to rest. On Friday I made my way over to the American library in preperation for my next paper. The library is really not impressive. It kind of looks like a prison, a very small prison. There are a lot of books smushed into a very small building and the ceiling is maybe 12 feet high (for 2 floors). I was really suprised, it looked like it was from 1970 and nothing had been updated since. VERY...UN-PARIS. Any who, when I make the Dolla Billz I will pay to update the janky library. So I checked out the only 2 books they had on supply chain managment. I also got over to the San Francisco bookstore, an American bookstore. It was cute, very crowded with books and I hadnt realized it was a used bookstore (nothing is wrong with used, but if you are looking for a particular book, they are unreliable with what is in stock). So I was a little disappointed. I did today manage to get over to an English bookstore "the red wheel barrow" which was realllllly cute! The owner is a lady in her mid 40's and she knew about every book they had. They didnt have the one I was looking for but she recommended another that I bought instead, as well as a "Paris walking tour" book so I can go on tours of neighborhoods. It looked like it should be Devon's bookstore :-) I started walking around the Marais, where the bookstore was, and it was really cool. It is one of the districts that is almost 100% preserved, so the buildings are all original. It is also the jewish quater so there were tons of Jewsih backeries and sandwhich shops (i wishhhed I could eat one). There seemed to be alot of people, I'm not sure if they were tourists or if because the Jewish quarter--people arent in church on Sunday. In any case, it was VERY cool, and I need to do more exploring there. My professor from my last class hasnt posted the paper topic yet, so I havent been able to work on it. I emailed him asking for it-- letting him know, that for personal reasons I wont be able to work on it later so I need the topic so I can get started (personal reasons being that I would like to get it done :-)).

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Why is no one emailing me?

Hello, I have been gone for a month today-- and no one is emailing me :-( I need emails people. I write my little blog and try to call all of you and keep you updated, now its your turn-- what is everyone doing!?? EMAIL ME--- GOSH-A.

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Shout out to the brother-in-law!


A few weeks ago I shared my dilemma with dental floss-- yea its like a million dollars here. While heading out yesterday my little building manager let me know that I had a package waiting for me (in french....im getting better:-)). So I got the package and there was this little gold mind of Glide (my favorite) dental floss-- ENOUGH, to last me the entire trip:-) My wonderful Brother in-law is single handedly responsible for the my dental hygiene. THANK YOU!

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Strong Coffee

I love coffee, and I have for along time. It was outlawed by my track coach while I was running, but I did sneak it in occasionally in college when it was very much needed. Since I have stopped running I have begun an emotional relationship with coffee-- with soy milk and 2 sugars please.

2 months ago I started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet-- prescribed for those with chronic digestive diseases--I have Celiac. The diet cuts out all grains, most starches, all sugar and lactose. SO basically I can eat some fruits veggies, meat and home made yogurt (which removes the lactose). Anyone who knows me knows that the no sugar was the kicker. I actually looked at the diet several months ago and read the "no sugar" part, and said "no, absolutely not, there is no way in Gods name" (side note: this includes chocolate, or coco in ANY form). Any ways going on this diet drastically changed my relationship with coffee. My creamy, slightly sweet cup was now brown bitter water- ewe. It took several months of training before I could enjoy it.

Yesterday while out on the town I stopped at Starbucks to get a coffee. It is the only place I knew would have coffee to go. I will also add that it will be my last time to Starbucks Paris, as I paid 2.60 Euros for normal coffee (about $3.00). I took my first sip and thought....this is soooo weak! I have been in Paris for a month now and I have become so accustomed to drinking black strong coffee that my previously favorite coffee now tastes like brown water (still bitter, but nothing I can do about that). It is possible (business school is teaching me to examine both sides of a situation) that it was just that pot of coffee, or that location so I will reserve TOTAL conclusion. BUT I am going to integrate coconut milk into my repertoire of food so there may be a resurrection of my sweet coffee, and then the world can go back to normal.

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What Business School teaches you


Business school has taught me that I do not want to work as: a Conflict negotiator, or in Supply Chain Management. Who would like to guess which classes I have taken so far....RIGHT! Conflict negotiation and Supply Chain management!
Its not that the subjects are not interesting-- they are. I think it is the way that my school is set up that makes you feel dizzy. We study one subject for 2 weeks straight, all day, at a very intense level. So the three days that you are in seminar there is #1 a lot to learn VERY quickly, and #2 a lot to apply VERY quickly. If you skip one beat, one step you will be in a fog--which will stress you out when you have to apply a months worth of knowledge (which will be in about 2 hours after your introduction to the topic). Mix that with a very competitive atmosphere, add two people to your group that dont speak English well....and you get to do it all on your own! YAY! This has driven me to become very acquainted with the French culture of coffee and wine in excess. Coffee to wake up all day, wine to go to sleep all night. BUT I have always been a person of excess, so really I am having the time of my life. PS- I DID FIND THE STARBUCKS!

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Dad- Can I go to Law school too?

This is a public request. There is this girl in my class from Turkey who is a lawyer and is now getting her MBA. I have always thought that people that are lawyers and dont...practice (is that the word?) are sooo cool. Any ways I really enjoy being in school, something that I have realized after sitting in a cubicle for 2 years, so I am making a formal request to my Father: can I go to law school too. Just think of the benefits this will bring you. You will have a CPA, Lawyer, MBA and Drug connection--from just your 3 daughters. Most celebrities dont even have that many employees on retainer. I have always found law to be fascinating and that would have been my direction had I not decided on business school. So let me know what you think and I will figure out what country I'll be moving to for that, America is so yesterday.
**As my back up-- Terry Sheldon DID say he would pay for me to go to Law school- please remind him of this, perhaps there can be a deal stuck (see I'm already thinking like "Whitney Schmucker, Attorney at Law, MBA, Hello Kitty Collector")

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Everything is closed Sundays :-(


Last night I stayed up late and finished my paper. I decided that my reward today would be a trip to sephora to buy a face wash-- I currently do not have one, and its not pretty people. If you have spoken to me lately I have told you about this plan, because I was very excited! Now-- I know that almost everything is closed on Sundays, with the exception of some grocery stores and some restaurants, but I thought that in the super touristy areas that things would be open. Wellllll-- they arent! These people are missing out big time on some dollar bills! Every store is closed!
So after going to 2 different sephoras I just walked around, visited Notre Dame, Hotel D'ville and some other things that were in walking distance. It wasnt a very nice day, drizzling. But it was nice to get out and see some things I hadnt had a chance to see sense I arrived.
Tomorrow i have class again, so I am working on the readings for the class right now and still need to finish up my paper (proof reading etc). Then on Thursday I will finally make my way to sephora.

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My neighbors have really cool apartments..


I know because I look in their windows. My building has a small court yard in the middle of it so you can see right into other people's windows. When I was looking for apartments they were all some what similar, small, half sized stove tops, etc. I had gathered that thats what apartments were like in Paris, what do you need 6 rings on your stove for? Well-- after being a peeping tom I realized that there are some really cool, normal people apartments here too-- and my neighbors have them. One neighbor has a full sized kitchen sink, stove AND fridge! This is unheard of! There is a full on dining room table with Chandler! Then when I was leaving the other day I saw the unthinkable....an elevator!!!!! right across my building! I dont have access to that side, so I cant use it. But I think the nice apartments are on one side of the building and the ....nice, but really small and non-American apartments are on the other side. I would like to also include that today while laying on the sofa I reached behind my head to the dining room table to get my cup of coffee...without moving my body an inch. I also blew a fuse--4 times while cooking this weekend, because you cannot have the lights on while the stove and oven are on at the same time :-) 4 times!

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I made Chestnut Butter...

And now, to aviod working on my paper-- I will tell you about it! YAY

Last weekend I bought some chestnut puree. I dont know if you know but chestnuts are not like other nuts they are more like a fruit. So Chestnut butter-- not oily like peanut butter or almond butter. I decided that it was good...but not what i wanted. So today I played chemist-- adding melted butter, salt and honey and now it is delicious! I have put it on everything I have eaten today and tomorrow I will probably be sick of it and throw it away. :-) Ok im writting my paper now. "No" guy is singing a song.

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Juciy Gossip over at ISM :-)

Earlier this week I got an email from one of my classmates Guianluca -- yes that is his name, he is from Italy. He is one of the "class presidents" --there are like 15 people in our class, we dont need a president (and we have 2!). It was about concerns with the program. There was along letter about a meeting with the Dean and how we need to be prepaired etc etc...I'm like yup whhhatever your talking about. At the end he said "Whitney, you probably have no idea what I am talking about, I will fill you in Monday at class". LOL. All of these students have been in the program much longer than I have so aparently there are "issues". This is how sad my paper writting, dr going, no sugar eating life has become; I get my thrills out of the "no" guy and "issues" about people I dont even know yet. Any ways the meeting is this Friday at 6pm (I know its scheduled at that time so no one comes). That is the night I wanted to go to the Louve-- its free if your under 26 (sorry Geoff), on Friday nights :-( But its too early for me to isolate myself already--and not go....or issssss ittttt?

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They let me in the door!


Yesterday I went to get my Visa trip #4 at 10:45am and was asked to come back tomorrow (a Friday). I said..in French :-) I came last Friday and was told no visas on Fridays. She said tomorrow there will be visas come back at and then held up a paper that said 8:30.

SO I went home and worked on my paper ALLLL day long (For those of you who think that because I am in Paris and am completing an MBA in a year, that this is a joke...I have a 12 page paper due every 10 days-- that paper will be 75% of my grade for that class).

I have just started laughing now at the "no" guy because the situation is just completely ridiculous. I CANNOT wait for someone to visit so they can hear what I am talking about. He is always home...and I hear his "no"-ing at least 6 times a day (and thats just when I'm here). I want to know what this joker and his dog look like!

I am afraid I am getting off topic-- I get up this morning make my way over to the Visa office, that I no longer need a map to find and have almost completed a book I've read exclusively while on the metro to the visa office. The man lets me in the door! I am behind the magical cubical that blocks my way into the entrance. I am finally next in line, I have all my documents ready when she informs me I need to go retake my picture because there is a bobby pin pulling my hair back (you know, where my bangs are growing out on the side). RIDICULOUS. I take the FLIPPIIN picture (that I have to pay for again), but am magically sent onto stage 2 where I fill out a crazy paper (which takes 30 min, with my electronic translator, my writing the equivalent of a down-syndrome 6 year old) and the lady says all of this stuff to me. I sit there and she says-- "Alor....Avior" which means "okkkk.....bye...". I asked about the medical exam and she re-repeated slowly for me what I had missing "they would send me my medical appointment in the mail and take these papers with you, then you will be issued your visa". I swear not knowing the language would be hysterical if i had someone here to laugh with me, so instead I just feel very (insert euphemism). SO THAT WAS THE HARD PART OF THE VISA THING. I am told that after this its a breeze, if you don't mind tons of random people looking at you naked, which literally is what the medical exam is.

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The neighbors are loud..."no"

I havent written for a few days for a few reasons. I have been pretty tired due to my noisy neighbors. I don't understand the hours these people keep. I live in an big old building with the center cut out where there is a court yard, so everything echos; if windows are open you can  hear whats going on etc. Also when you get in the building there is no carpet, all hard wood and a spiral stair case up 6 flights (I'm #4), so again with the echoing. For some reason people just aren't concerned with holding conversations in the halls, or court yard at any hour. You would think people would need to sleep to get up for work in the morning, it is the strangest thing. Additionally someone in my building has this little barking dog. The barking is annoying, even more annoying is the man who is trying to train the dog, who repeatedly says ....."no".  But then I swear they have training sessions at like 11pm where the dog repeatedly barks and then you hear the ...."no".  SOOOO ANNOYYYING-- SHUUUT UP!!! I can also hear the man upstairs on the phone late at night. There is no way that they don't know people can hear them, because they can hear everyone else too. SO I haven't slept well the last few nights and finally had the idea to turn on the fan to help drown out the noise. That went well...but then I was cold. 

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I did the laundry 4 times (same load)


Today I took a go at washing some clothes. I don't have many to be washed but my washer is very small so I thought it best to do it now before I have a lot. The owners left me some directions...which were inaccurate. I loaded the clothes, added soap, then it said in her directions -- push the "marche" button to start. There is no button that says that. And so I pressed every button at least once. Some did things, others did not, but none of them started it. I got out the translator to try to translate the manual, that wasn't very easy. You have to press a series of buttons in order for a light to go to "start"-- no button, just a light. Then you hit the "debut" button....debut. Lol, my laundry had its debut. OK that was the easy part. I did this one load of wash 4 times today. Not because it was really dirty, but because I couldn't get the clothes out of the machine. The door locks when you wash it, then after a VERY long cycle (about an hour) the light next to "STOP" lights up...but the door is still locked. If you look at the picture there is a metal casket you close inside the machine, that clamps locked. I tried pushing a bunch of buttons and it would just restart, and i couldn't get it to stop. So I did the laundry 4 times and finally got it out.  Now it is drying in my living room on a drying rack next to a fan. PS the washer machine is made by a company named: "Candy". 

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I am afraid to take out the trash


This afternoon on my way out I carried with me a grocery sized brown bag with my trash in it. Since everything is so small here (kitchen, fridge, etc) my trash is very small, so I take it out often. I got outside and walked to the court yard where there is a row of several trash bins, one small plastic dumpster and what looks like recycling for bottles. Now, a week ago this older lady in my building helped me take out the trash (please refer to "things I did wrong today"), showing me that I cant just put the trash any where.
Sooo....I still dont know where to put it. I think some are recycling for specific things: plastic, glass, cardboard (in seperate containers) etc, and only one is for trash. Well there are no labels and they are usually pretty empty so I cant tell by what is already in there. Going back to my story--I walked through the court yard and the same older lady was out there with her child/ grand child...somone's child. I paniced. I couldn't put it in the wrong place in front of her-- like I have done every other time, she would know I was the guilty party.
So I kept walking...with my trash...towards the exit. I'm thinking to myself "what are you going to do with all of your trash when you get outside!??". Luckily at that moment another couple came out and started talking to the older lady providing a distraction. I stopped pretending to check my mail and quickly went back to the trash cans and put my trash in....which ever one I'm sure isnt the "right" one and rushed out of the building. Theres gotta be something on Google about French trash. (PS-- mine are all the same color)

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An unproductive Saturday

Today was pretty unproductive. I got in bed last night at 9pm (wasnt feeling well), then woke up around 8:30. Made a trip to the gorcery store--which I have learned is a much better idea on a Saturday than on a Sunday. Much less crowded, so I could preruse and check all of the food labels etc. You do need to go to about 3 grocery stores to get everything you need because the stores are so small. So I hit up the 3rd store later in the afternoon. One thing I did discover today on my way home was...pigeon. Yes at the butchers. You can buy it to eat, as if it were a miniature turkey. I have been fascinated with food taboos ever since my American food class at Berkeley. Why would it be wierd to eat a pigeon? It a bird, and we eat birds. No, I didnt buy one, but I think it would be interesting to maybe try it out (who ever visits first, gets to try the pigeon with me!). They also have a bunch of other animals that look like they might fit in the same taboo category so i will make it a point to go back with my electronic translator.
I came home and wasnt feeling well still so I sat on the sofa for most of the day, which was a shame because it looked really nice out. I also need to get going on my school work, but when im not feeling well it is impossible for me to function. I did manage later to make may butternut squash loaf. Its kinda like pumpkin pie, but with no crust, and with whatever squash is available. I found a nice looking butternut squash at the farmers market, and its delicious! Hopefully tomorrow I can get some school work done so I dont fall behind so soon! Stay tunned....I have to do laundry too, with my 4x4 washer and no dryer.

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J'ai achacte nouve chaussures!

I bought new shoes :-) they are just white Adidas stan smiths  (their normal white tennis shoes), but I havent had tennis shoes for 2 weeks so I was really excited about getting them. 

    Sorry for not writing for a few days, I have had some problems getting my medicine for my stomach (meaning i cant get them- lol) so i have not been feeling well since, it made me very productive in class on Wednesday. Any ways...
    Class finished out well and I was able to meet a few new people who offered their phone numbers for any help I might need. So I the goals of being social I will make sure to call them and ask them to get a glass of wine or something. I have also applied for membership to the American Women in Paris society. They have events and field trips like: learn how to antique shop in Paris, or learn to pair wine with food classes ...etc. Even if it is older people I still think it would be fun and a good opportunity for me to meet interesting people. 
Yesterday I planned on going to Bastille and site seeing, but wasn't feeling well so I took a nap instead then was ok to run some errands. I am so glad I did because it was such a nice day! I walked all around and it was gloooorious! Today I am going to drop off my birth certificate to be translated (this costs 50 Euros and takes 5 days). Then I start to do some school work and study  my French (which needs serious help).  I found a movie theater that is showing "Milk" in English, so tonight I will take myself to a movie! Stay tuned for next week's Visa round 5.
   

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Things I did wrong today:

Did you know there is red champagne (or sparking wine I should say)?? Well there is, it is from Spain and I have a bottle of it. Its with the red wines and looks like a red wine. So one might buy this sparkling red wine and mistake it for a red wine. Much was my surprise when I went to try my new bottle of wine and there was a loud pop when I took the cork out. Its not very delicious and will now be used to marinade my meat for tomorrows dinner. No bueno, or should I say-- pas bien.

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Rainy night in Paris


    Last night after a beautiful day, I sat on my sofa with the widow open, candles lit and wrote my blog post. I got into bed and was a little wrest less. I havent slept well the past few nights, probably the anxiety of starting a new school. All of a sudden there was this huge cloud burst and it started pouring rain! Outside of my window is a tin roof and it was soooo loud! It was really nice, especially because it stopped by the morning leaving everything crisp and clean but didn't get me wet. Which was even better because I don't have an umbrella yet (its suppose to rain the next 3 days).  It made the walk from school to the metro so nice. You walk along this garden right by Invalides with flowers and trees every where.

    VISA UPDATE: I have a feeling this will be a reoccurring title in my blog. I have been told by my classmates that the carte sejour (my long stay visa) is annoyingly hard to get and will take several visits to the prefecture and months before its complete. I have been informed that I will not be able to go on Thursday as planned because I will need to get my birth certificate translated into French by a sanctioned translator-- not a joke. That by the way will cost about 50-60 Euros, and can take up to a week. After that, I go to the prefecture and submit my paper work, and receive an appointment for my medical examination (which may take...a month). Yes, after showing proof of private insurance and declaring that they are not responsible for your health, you then must have a medical examination to monitor the health that they are not responsible for (???). This also costs about $50 and I am told includes a chest x-ray and being naked in front of several people. Fortunately for me-- this frees up a large part of my Thursday, so maybe I will go to the Louve. 

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Dental Floss

I wanted to make sure that everyone was included in my troubles abroad. Dental Floss is one of them. I have spent the past week looking for dental floss. They do not have it in the grocery store, next to the tooth brushes (they do have Veet hair removal...go figure). I have been using thread. Yes--thread. And before you judge..what would you do?? Just not floss. Ewe, yea now who is gross. So tonight while out on an after dinner walk I passed the pharmacy who had a nice little display of dental floss. I was so excited! Then looked at the price. 6 Euros. That is like 8 dollars people! With tax $8.50. OMG. I kept walking. Could not believe it! I am going to have to bargain shop for floss!! This is added to my list of things when i go to London...who knows when (next to LaraBars, and possibly Farmers cheese if they have it).  Outrageous! OK off to bed!

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My first day of school


    Today was my first day of school and I enjoyed it. It was from 9-6...so a long day. I should say it was a seminar not a class because of the way the school is set up. We have 2 seminars a month each are 3 days long. During this seminar we are assigned a case study and a group in to work with and we solve the case or make a recommendation to the class after deliberating and researching for 3 days. Then we are given a new case study and 2 weeks to basically become an expert in the field (on our own) and write a 6 page paper-- then we start again. So its a lot of do it on your own. But it really is nice to be back in school. Loves it!

    My class only has 15 people in total. They are from all over the world, some are nice, some are not :-) But I think i should be able to make a few new friends. My friends goal is to exchange phone numbers with one person before the seminar is over on Wednesday. I also think I am going to look into a social group, maybe a wine tasting group, to help me meet new people. Or maybe a weekend traveling group! I will research tomorrow. 
That is another thing I have established  few new rules. See most  people to move out of the country to try to escape rules and I am just making more:-) I will travel to one new city/ country every month. I think the first one will be London (the easiest to do on my own).  I also learned today that I get free admission to the Louve! The French love students-- your student ID is like your golden ticket. So I plan on having a month where I go every Thursday (no class, and not a weekend crowd).  
    After class I walked with a few classmates to the metro, and we made a long detour through Invalides (hard to believe my school is right next to it),  past some great sites (that I wont try to spell publicly, or say for that matter), including Champs D.E.. It was a beautiful day, probably around 65 degrees so it really was a great walk-- true Paris in the Spring time!

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Things I did wrong today


Since today was Saturday I couldn't go to the prefecture to try to get my visa again so I thought I would do a little site seeing, since I have not done anything but try to get settled.  So, I decided to go on over to Muse d'Orsay, which is one of the most admired museums in Paris. It is in an old train station and is really pretty. I took the long way, getting off of the metro by Invalides and walked around a bit before I arrived-- noticing just how heavy my bag was (since i have to carry any food i will need throughout the day). I got there and it was a bit crowded. I had planned on going in but decided otherwise, and that I would return on a weekday when it might be less crowded. I was also feeling a little brain foggy because i ate some cheese last night that I wasn't suppose to-- its so hard to stick to my crazy diet when I cant understand WHAT the labels say!!!  A true testament to my diet's effectiveness was that the moment i ate the cheese I immediately felt like i was drunk and still a little fuzzy this morning. SO bottom line-- I didn't go in and will return at another date.

     So then I started to take a stroll and realized I needed to use the bathroom.  This has been a problem for me since arriving....where are the bathrooms??? GOSH. So I get walking around and end up on St German street, which is a very beautiful and famous street. There is was-- the public bathroom. They have these little pods in the middle of the side walks (there arent a ton, so you're lucky if you find one), that are public toilets. In most places you have to pay. So I get out my wallet and cannot figure out why I cant get my money in. A few minutes later someone comes out of the toilet, and I realize it was occupied. She then looks at me trying to put my money in and shakes her head telling me no money. She motions-- like wait one minute....then she presses the button and it opens without a problem. There is nothing like not knowing how to use a restroom (this is the second time I've had this problem) that makes you feel like a looser. This made me think about all of the things I have done wrong since I have arrived and decided that in each of my posts I will include a "things I did wrong today" section so that we can sufficiently laugh at how Americanly incompetent I am. Then I ate my little lunch on a bench under a tree, it was nice. Made a stop to buy 3 plain t-shirts, so I now own 13 t-shirts :-) still no addition of pajamas....which I also didnt bring. Tomorrow I plan on staying in my neighborhood and walking around--thats it! Just a relaxing day before school starts, and hopefully finding an alarm clock so I can wake up FOR school. Ta Ta!

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Visa...round 3

Or should I say 4?? I tried today again to get my visa. First I needed to make photo copies of my documents, where on earth do you make photo copies in Paris? So i went to my school to make the copies. The seminar building was in a really pretty area, just across the street from Invalides-- which is gorgeous, very old Paris. The class room is tiny, out class sizes are for about 15 people. So then I made my way to the visa office and finally get there. There is a nice little sign saying a bunch of stuff in French and then underneath reads in English "no new visas today". Let me remind you that the nice man yesterday said "yes" when I asked "I come back here tomorrow for my visa". SO i sat outside and ate my lunch on a bench. This seems to be the way that things work here...it takes about 3-4 times of going places before you actually get done what you had set out to do. Ce la vie!

Its funny too all of the little things that are different that I dont know how to do yet. I took the trash out to the wrong place-- a little french woman stood there watching me, said something in French and I told her I didnt speak french very well. Basically I was putting my trash in the recycling-- which needs to be sorted out, and the trash is out in front of the building. I have yet to figure out if it is always out front, or where I find the trash during the day??? And at the grocery store you are supose to weigh your own produce and apply a sticker that prints out telling you how much you owe. The nice lady at the store was thrilled when I came to pay (with a long line behind me) and had not applied any of my stickers.

Also for the love of God can someone send me DVDs. I can only watch the news so many times in one day and you cannot get websites like Hulu here to watch moveis/ tvs shows online. BORING-- yes i am in Paris, but everyone needs some down time PEOPLE!

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I am here! I'm here!

Hello there! 

After a long journey I am here. Excuse my typing I just severely burned my right index finger while cooking diner. i have one of those electric stoves with black hot plates where you cant tell if one was turned on and Burrrrrnn there goes my finger- ewe. It hurts. SO anyways. The first few days have been really busy. But lets start from the top!  My flight was good, no problems with delays etc. Although there was this guy who sat next to me who was from India, he was nice, but bothered me a little. He would sing random songs to himself, then have conversations with me which was nice-- but then i would try to read, or listen to my I-pod and he would keep talking.....i was like...ehhh i'm busy now. LOL.  I left my watch in the Frankfurt airport (my nice "big-girl" watch) and i was so tired and had just walked about a mile to my new gate when I realized it was missing. I  sat had some coffee then sucked it up and went back for it.  There it was waiting for me :-) I had to fill out a form and the security lady said "you have an American passport, a German last name, and you live in Paris?", I guess I had never thought about it!
         Also i dont know why i thought it would be warmer here...but it is winter and I am cold. One of my first stops was to buy a new jacket (dont worry Dad, I paid for that :-)).  I wasnt able to bring very  many clothes because of the baggage limit-- which despite my every effort I was STILL charged $200 for!!!!! So  I have 1 sweatshirt, one pair of PJ pants one pair of running shoes. I packed the most expensive clothes first because they would be the most easily replaced. 

  Day 1: I got kitchen and bathroom necessities, and groceries. 
  Day 2: Bedroom necessities, and opened bank account
  Day 3: tried to get long term visa (have to go back tomorrow--grrr).

There-- there is the summary of what I have done. I haven't really been able to do any fun stuff yet, just trying to get all of the business type stuff done before school starts on Monday. But tomorrow is Friday and after getting my visa (which by the way-- where do you find a photo copier in Paris!??) Then i plan on having home cooking day and a site seeing day before school starts AND sllleeeping!

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