Wednesday, December 28, 2005

German Snow

I have decided to stay in Germany a while longer. Right now, I am enjoying the snow. It has been snowing for the last few days. Since I am from Arkansas, this is a real treat for me! It is so pretty.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Christmas in Germany

I will be in Germany with my cousins for the Christmas holidays. I hope everyone has a great holiday season!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Dear Friend


This is Sebastien. Well, one of the Sebastiens (the other Seb is great, too!). He is a really important person as far as I am concerned because if it had not been for him, I really would have never made it to France. This blog isn't big enough for me to explain all of the hassels he helped me get through before I even got here. I certainly cannot sing his praises enough. I think there were a few times I would have gladly gotten on a plane and went home if not for him. He has introduced me to most of his friends and has, in a large part, helped me to not hate France. I won't go on anymore because I do not want to gush, but if you ever see this man, give him a big, warm reception because he certainly deserves it. He really should be the #1 reason I love France, but since I have already given that to a big metal monument, he will have to settle with being #5.

Warmer Days in Paris




I love the picture of the pyramid. I even love the little guy who came out of nowhere to get right in the frame of my fantastic photo. Yes, this is the famous I.M. Pei pyramid in front of the Louvre. This is my 4th reason to love France. I have read so much about this pyramid and wanted it to be all I thought it could be and was afraid it wouldn't live up to my expectations, but I was not disappointed. It kind of takes your breath away when you see it for the first time. I remember thinking, "Wow, Mr. Pei really had a stroke of genuis here." For a moment, I regretted not being an architect. And for those of you who are fans of Da Vinci Code, the picture of the inverted pyramid in the mall of maddness (of course there is a huge mall under the street and before you get to one of the Louvre's entrances) is the very one that is so important in the book.

Semester Rush

Well it is my favorite time of the year: the end of the semester. I am so excited because I actually have everything graded and am figuring class grades at this moment. I am a MONTH ahead of schedule. I am sure I am setting some kind of teaching record here. I gave 5 classes their finals on Monday, and by 9 pm., had them all graded. I gave 6 classes their finals today. It is 11 p.m. and they are all graded. I am a teaching genuis!!!! I have 4 classes tomorrow and I WILL have all their tests graded before I leave school. What brought this on, you might ask. I am going to Germany for Christmas and do not want to come back to work, so I just decided I would get everything done. I feel so very sufficient.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

French People REALLY Are Nice

I really must revise my opinion of French folks. A lady who works in my department just loaned me a television for the duration of my stay. She also invited me to lunch. AND a French couple took me to lunch today. Other than the first day of classes, nobody from the University has invited me anywhere, so now I really feel like I might be able to like some people here.

All French People Aren't Evil

I said some nasty things yesterday (all true), so today I will say nice things. I do like some French people; my friend Sèbastien is amazing and I would have already gone home if not for him. Many of Seb's friends are really great, too. Most of my collegues are friendly as well. Today, I am getting a television from a lady who works at the university. She is really nice and has really gone out of her way to make my life a little more comfortable. Days like today give me hope!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

My 110th "I HATE France" Day

Well, I don't know if I have been here for 110 days or not, but I can assure you, it feels like much more right now. I really hate France today. Some days it just hits me harder than others; However, today I think it might be the combination of almost being hit last night while running, this terrible cold I have decided to catch, staying up until 2 A.M. for the last 2 nights making tests, French class and French people in general. So I apologize for the ranting that is coming. Just consider it artistic license. However, the following are some of my major complaints about this lovely country.

First and foremost, why I hate French people: the majority of them never even remotely make any attempt to understand me when I speak French. I can say a perfectly grammatically correct sentence in French and, if I do not say it with the right accent, forget it. Most people will not even attempt to help or to understand. Whereas in the U.S., we go out of our way to understand people when they speak English, no matter what the accent. Yes, we may speak louder and slower, but we at least try to help.

Second, they are constantly touching each other. In the metro, in the hallways, on the street, at the supermarket, in the bathroom; they cannot seem to keep their hands off each other. I do not need to see 45 year olds making out on the train or caressing each other in the library. I expect that type of behavior from kids, I don't like it, but I know it is part of growing up. However, I can live the rest of my life without sitting next to middle-aged folks undoing each other's clothes in public. Save it for the house, ladies and gentlemen! There is a certain dignity in social reservations.

Third, of all the things the French could have imported from the U.S., things like Wal-Mart, democracy and soap, the two most popular items are McDonald's and Rap music. Nothing makes me prouder than walking by a group of teenage boys who are rapping along with Snopp Dogg and eating a Big Mac. Why, oh why, when the U.S. has so many great things to offer, would the French only choose to like crap. Well, I think I know the answer.

Anyway, I must say, I am in a horrible mood today and it seems like everyone is going out of their way to irritate me, so I might be a little biased.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Christmas in the Dorms


I know it isn't much, but I love my little Christmas tree. It has really put me in the spirit of Christmas and almost makes living in a dorm, with hundreds of 18 year olds, tolerable. Well, the tree and industrial ear plugs. Happy holidays everyone!

Galeries Lafayette


The Galeries Lafayette, a huge shopping mall in central Paris, is fantastically busy all of the time. This beautiful Christmas tree is four or five floors tall. I was almost knocked down by a billion Asian men while trying to take this picture, but it was worth it.

Christmas Champs-Elysees


Champs-Elysees is impressive year round, with its very, very, very expensive stores (think 5th Ave.), but during the Christmas season, the streets are decorated with lights and it almost seems welcoming. These pictures really do not do it any justice; trust me, it feels and looks like a modern setting of "It's a Wonderful Life" when you surface from the metro.

Arc de Triomphe


The Arc de Triomphe, located at one end of Champs Elysees, is my 3rd favorite thing about France. It is a gigantic moment build in honor of the French military and it is quite a site. There is a massive intersection surrounding the Arc and it is a complete mystery to me as to how there are not hundreds of wrecks daily. The best thing about the Arc is the view from the top. It isn't cheap, 8 euros, but it is well worth it, especially at night. The view it affords of the Eiffel Tour and its light show is breath-taking.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Peanut Butter and Such

I recieved my second package from home and it included some of the material things I miss most, other than my car, my apartment, my bed, my books....well you get the picture. It is amazing how a few things can brighten your day. There was never a happier American living in Paris than I was when I opened my box and found Jif peanut butter, Secret deodorant and American salad dressing. Thanks mom!

Monday, November 28, 2005

International Friends




Here are some folks who put up with me occassionally: Andy and Tino, me and Eva, Eva, Tino, Jessica and me.

Holiday Weekend

Well, Thanksgiving was a bust. I think I can safely count it as the 2nd worst day of my life. Retrospectly, it still seems like an incredibly horrible day. I woke up from a 2 hour night sleep and the day got progressively and aggressively worse. I hope to never repeat anything like it again. However, the rest of the weekend made up for what I will now refer to as "Black Thursday". I spent some of the weekend with friends, consumed much great wine and ate enough for an army. Saturday it snowed in Paris and of course, I did not have my camera with me, but it was beautiful. I woke up and saw huge snowflakes falling. It was terrific! I do think I am going to love Paris in the wintertime

Monday, November 21, 2005

Burrrrrrr......

Well, winter has finally arrived in France, and yes, it is very cold. I celebrated its arrival by trying the Beaujolais Nouveau and running through the streets of Paris at 2 in the morning. I do think I will like France in the wintertime. I went to the Galeries Lafayette on Saturday and saw the most amazing Christmas tree I have ever seen (I think it could compete with the one at Rockefeller Center), and bought Christmas presents for the family. I hope to send them this week, but haven't actually figured out how to send boxes home, or for that matter, even where to buy boxes. So for those of you reading this (mainly family) I am thinking about you and have bought you real Paris presents, but you might not get them until next year. I also volunteered to serve Christmas dinner at the two American Churches in Paris, but neither one wants me, so there goes that idea. I plan on eatting at the Hard Rock Cafe for Thanksgiving and then having a dinner with my friends on Friday. If anyone would like to donate ideas or recipes for Thanksgiving, that would be great! I hope everyone has a nice holiday weekend and, if you can, eat some extra pumpkin pie for me.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Weekend in Normandy





I went to Normandy this last weekend. Friday, the 11th, was a holiday, so my German friends and I decided to get away from Paris. I am really glad we went because Normandy made my list as the #2 reason to love France. It was beautiful.....cold, but beautiful. We spent a lot of time walking on the beach and driving through sea-side towns. Honfleur, Deauville and Etretat were are three major stops. Honfleur is a busy, little town where many people from Paris visit during their holidays. Deauville is much bigger and has a 'big city feel' to it. It has a rather large casino and many resturants that cater to tourists. Etretat is located alongside large cliffs and is also a large tourist town. I liked each of these places, but was mostly just glad to get out of the city for a weekend. On our way back, we stopped at several D-day invastion sites. Driving was a little terrifying in Paris and the toll bridge charges were way too much (I think we paid about 25 Euros just to drive on the highway the first day and then 10 Euros the following days just to cross the bridge.). It was nice having a car for the weekend though, because we got to see a lot more things than if we had just been on foot. However it was not nice paying for gas (over 40 Euros to fill up). If you are coming to France, you really must go to Normandy!

D-Day Battle Site

I was lucky enough to see some of the actual D-day landing site and I must say, this one was the most impressive. The Army Rangers scaled 100 foot cliffs to overtake the Germans at this site. It was a stroke of military genius, amazing training and luck, but the Rangers were able to secure this post even with several initial setbacks. Amazing! As a thank-you, 30 acres (the entire site) was giving to the American government, so for about 30 minutes, I got to stand on American soil in France.

American Cemetery

The American Cemetery for the people who lost their lives during the D-day invasion is amazing. I am only posting a few pictures because it is mainly a bunch of grave markers (crosses and the star of David). A chappel and a few really nice memorials dedicated to the Americans who landed on the shores of Normandy dot the landscape as well. It is a very respectful and peaceful place and gives due tribute to those killed in battle. The most emotional part is reading the comments in the guest book in the reception hall.

Etretat Cliffs at Night

The cliffs at Etretat were even more beautiful at night. We arrived with only about an hour of daylight left. Unfortunately, it was cloudy that day, so we did not get to see the cliffs at sunset, but we did get to see them at night. The view of the town from the cliffs was also amazing. It almost reminded me of a Christmas card.

Cliffs of Etretat


Everybody has probably seen a picture of these cliffs, but nothing can aptly prepare you for there manificence in person. They are fantastic. The wave slapping on the rock beach are deafening. Standing between the two largest cliffs and hearing the waves is such an unique experience! Of course, I had to climb up and down and around and through the cliffs. It was exhausting, but a worthwhile experience.

The Promenade of Honfleur


This is the promenade of Honfleur. A walkway bordered by the sea and a lovely garden built for and by the children of Honfleur, it gives a terrific view of the open bay, the town, and the hills surrounding the town.

Honfleur

These pictures are from Honfleur, a sea-side town in Normandy. It is very quaint town, busy with tourists even in the cold month of November. I did not get to spend much time here, but I think most of its charm springs from the small shops selling homemade candies, wines, beers, preserves, etc., the miles of beautiful beach, and the view of the bay.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Things to Love About France

I know I tend to complain about France and the French so occassionally I will post things I love about France. The Eiffel Tower is at the top of my list because it always catches my eye. Although it is made of metal, from a distance it looks like a completely natural part of the Paris skyline. The French might not agree with me, but I think it is the best part of Paris. I have to stop and stare everytime I see it, especially at night. That is why it is reason #1 to love France....

Exciting Plans for the Weekend

Good news concerning the riots; it looks as if they are calming down. There was a sharp decline in burnt cars last night. The helicopters fly overhead about every 20 minutes throughout the night and I think that may deter many people from acting like fools. Anyway, I am keeping my fingers crossed for a quick resolution.

In other news, I went to a play last night. Tartuff, created by Molière in 1664 (?), is comedy about an imposture who befriends a few members of a family and wrecks havoc with the other members of the family. I would give a better synopsis of the play, but as it was in French, I only understood about 8 percent of it.

But the best news of all concerns my weekend plans. Eva, Jessica (the Germans), and I are going to the beach. Nevermind that it is the coldest weekend of the year, we are going to have a lot of fun. We rented a car, a Puegeot (which hopefully is french for indestructable) and are going to drive to Honfleur. It is in Normandy and is about 2 hours away from Paris. Unfortuantely, I will be driving and I must admit, I am not looking forward to it. Navigating through Paris just seems like a nightmare. I am sure we will manage and have a wonderfully cold weekend.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

A Break from Complaining





These pictures show some of the positive aspects of living in France. These lovely views can be found about 2 miles from where I live. My German friends and I rode on bikes on Saturday to get away from the ugly site of the burnt vehicles. Eva took these pictures as we were riding. It was a really lovely day, perfect for riding bikes and taking pictures. It made us forget about the riots momentarily.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Trouble in France

France is the country of lovers, right? Not so. For those of you who thought I was exaggerating about living in the ghetto, let me just fill you in on the recent developments. In last two weeks, a girl was pushed to her death from her window(not my dorm, but another student's residence down the street). She apparently invited a few guys back to her room and for some reason they decided it would be good fun to push her out of her window. At another student's residence, a fire started in the parking lot and damaged the building. As if this wasn't enough fun, riots started in the Paris suburbs a week ago. I LIVE IN A PARIS SUBURB. The police cannot control these riots and they are spreading. My roommate and I thought we were relatively safe in our neck of the woods, but this morning around 5:30 we heard two explosions and then a bunch of noise. It was so loud that it shook the walls. We didn't want to investigate the noise, so we just stayed in our rooms. This morning when we got up, we decided to look around. We went to the emergency exit and saw that two vans in the parking lot had exploded. They were burnt to a crisp and were obviously responsible for the explosion. The parking lot is only about 15 feet away from our rooms. Now we are both a little worried as we do not have a contingency plan for escape if something like this happens again. We have bars on our windows so if a fire spreads to the hallway, we are stuck and will have to die in this horrible, horrible country. It isn't really that bleak, but still cause for a little worry.

Burning Vehicles

The locals decided to have a party last night and these two vehicles are the result of the celebrations.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Germany Vs. France

Before I start, let me say some good things about France. First of all, there are some really beautiful sites to see in France. Also, there are many great foods, such as a large selection of cheeses, yogurt and bread. Finally, public transportation is almost always prompt. That being said, I will now explain why I like Germany better.

Most importantly, in German the people are friendly and, if they do hate Americans, do not feel it necessary to tell visiting Americans their feelings. Next, Germany is so very, very clean. In addition to having beautiful scenery, it has to be one of the cleanest countries in the world. They recycle everything! Third, the people are not small; they are comparable to Americans in size and, for the first time in 2 months, I did not feel like I towered over everyone. Most importantly (for traveling Americans), just about everybody speaks some English. I know, English speakers are lazy and think everyone should speak English, but honestly, if somebody just wants to go on vacation, they obviously cannot become bilingual before the trip. Germany is the one country I have visited where the people do not make you feel like a moron for not speaking their language. There are so many more reasons to love Germany, so many in fact that I cannot list them all, but these are the highest on my list.

My welcome back to France was less friendly. I traveled by train, the Thalys, and it is a 4 hour trip from Cologne to Paris. I was quite loaded with stuff because I bought a few essentials in Germany such as lotion, shampoo, peanut butter, etc., so I got out of my seat about 20 minutes early to gather everything and to get out of the way. I was standing with my very heavy backpack and suitcase at the door of the train for about 15 minutes when this lovely FRENCH man pushed me out of the way, stepping all over my feet in the process, just so he could stand by the door. Traveling makes me cranky anyway and this just sent me over the edge. I started thinking about how much I hated France and most French people and how much I already missed Germany. I tried to just blow it off, but it was really eating at me, the rudeness, the smelliness, the dirtiness, etc. When the train finally stopped at Gare du Nord (not the safest place in Paris), I was really fuming. I was trying to get off the train, when another nice FRENCH man decided I was not moving fast enough so he shoved me so hard I fell down/off the platform with my suitcase and very heavy backpack. Yes, Angela, France welcomes you back with open arms........

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

German Love

I am visiting Germany this week and am staying with my friend, Mary, who I met in Arkansas. Guenter, her husband, worked in Jonesboro for a year and a half. They have a very entertaining child, Leon, as well. I am enjoying my visit so far and have been reminded how much I love Germany. It is such a beautiful country! Unfortunately, I left my camera in France and do not know how many pictures I will be able to take. I have already seen so many things that are picture worthy that it is driving me crazy.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Eiffel in the Mist


I took this picture from the top of a building. It is usually pretty hazy in Paris, but I like this picture. It is a neat shot on a gloomy day.

Long Live the Doors!



This is Jim Morrison's gravesite. It is pretty unspectacular for a rock star. Located in a really famous cementary, Pere Lachaise, his site is really hard to find, mostly because it is so small compared to the rest of the "residents." He is behind a much bigger monument and there is a fence around his site to keep away unwanted graffiti artists. Many people have told me that he is in danger of being evicted because nobody is paying his rent.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Paris Skyline


Here is a view of Paris at dusk sans the Eiffel Tower. It was a really beautiful, hot day and I just happened to have my camera at the ready, so to speak.

Hap, Hap, Happy Day!

Yesterday was a big day for me because I bought a bike. I am so excited about it; I feel like a little kid. It is green and has a quick release wheel and seat. I had no idea what this was until my roommate Jessica and my friend Andy showed me. I think it is a decent bike and it will entertain me when I am bored. Plus I can get around Cergy better now.

I also bought my train ticket to Germany. I am going to visit my friend Mary and then go and see the town where my roommate lives. I don't know if I am more excited travelling or just the idea of getting out of France for a while. I am really looking forward to this trip because teaching is really exhausting for some reason. I have done this before, but I don't remember it being so tiring. Oh well, I guess it is the price of getting older.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

One Free Thing to do in Paris


This is Sacré-Coeur in Montmatre. It has the best free view of Paris I have found. The inside of the church is unimpressive, but the outside is great. It is always packed and there are artists outside begging to paint your picture or draw you. It is a hassle, but it is worth it. I have been 3 times already.

A Feminine Touch

This is my room now. A trip to Ikea fixed the drab aspect, but it is still not a place I can call home. I guess I will just "visit" this country for a year instead of living here. Notice the bars on the windows, nice, huh? Posted by Picasa

My Palace


Just to give everyone an idea why I have been complaining ....my room. I pay about $300 a month for this lovely hole. I am pretty sure prison cells have more flair. This is what it looked like when I first moved in. This among all of the other problems (the toliet broke the first day and the shower didn't work) added to my deep love of France.

Friday Night Party

Well, I guess the dorm party was a success, because around 3:00 a.m. I woke up to the sound of shopping carts running into the walls. Apparently, riding a shopping cart up and down the hall is fun. Anyhow, the children decided it would be a good idea to run the shopping carts into the fire extinguishers at the end of the hall. I'll make this short and sweet, loud noise, lots of toxic fumes. I was furious, but again, I live in a freaking dorm, so I couldn't really complain, especially since it was a University sponsered party, so I just put my trusty earplugs in and went back to sleep. The next morning, I had a bloody nose and a horrible headache. Will the fun never end?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Yet Another Gripe

It is Friday night and there is a massive party tonight in the dorms. So instead of sleeping, I will be listening to very loud rap music and drunk teenagers. Life is good. I sometimes forget why I wanted to move across the world, away from family and friends and then suddenly, something like a dorm party comes up, and I am kindly reminded why I thought this would be a good idea.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday, Mom. I have stuff for you and dad but I can't figure out how to ship things here. I hope you have a great day!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Twenty-Six and Welfare Bound

I just went to get the paperwork for housing allowance. Yes, I am going to be a recipient of the French welfare. Oh happy day, I finally get public assistance. I have never gotten it before, nor have I ever wanted it, but since everyone in France gets it, why not? I have no idea how much I will get each month, but it will be a partial reimbursement for my rent. Seriously though, the French government SHOULD pay people to live in the hovel I live in. This experience is teaching me to be very humble.

You Can Take the Woman Out of Arkansas but You Can't Take Arkansas Out of the Woman

My roommate, Jessica, and I went to Paris on Sunday. It was a beautiful day; the weather was nice and we had a great time shopping and just looking around. We stumbled onto a wine festival and got a few free samples of some local food. When we finally decided to call it a day, we headed for a metro station. When I am in Paris, I always leave my backpack on my front to keep an eye on it, but this particular station was not too busy, so I put my backpack on my back. Big mistake! Almost as soon as I started walking down the stairs I felt a tug on my bag. I turned around and a little kid, probably around 11 or 12, had my bag unzipped and his hand on my wallet. I caught a would-be mugger! I gave him some American attitude, checked his person to make sure I got everything back and throughout it all, the little creep never acted ashamed or apologetic. I CAUGHT HIM RED HANDED and he acted like it was all in a day’s work for him.

The worst thing about this “incident” is that I went to a party later that night and told a bunch of Europeans about this and most of them told me I was lucky because I caught the guy. Most of them had been mugged in the past! So let this be a lesson to anyone who comes to Paris, never let your eyes off your wallet.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Wrong Profession

I hate teaching. No, not really. I just hate my students. No, that is not even it. I just hate some of the little maggots in a few of my classes. I am almost hoarse from yelling for nearly two hours yesterday and two hours today. I actually had to threaten and then discipline some of the students. I don’t want to discipline people; that is one of the many reasons I don’t have children or teach elementary school (hats off to you, Jen). For the love of money, all of my students are in the University and they can’t seem to behave as well as most 13 year olds. What happens is that 2 or 3 of them start whispering, then the rest start, then before I can blink an eye, it sounds like a sports stadium at half-time. It is deafening and I have to talk over all this noise. Yesterday, my first impulse was to walk out. No, that is a big, fat lie. My first impulse was to throw my books at the ones who kept talking, but seeing how physical violence is usually frowned upon in school settings, I refrained. So it is the end of the week, I am exhausted, my throat hurts and I hate all people under the age of 25.

Just to inform all of those who wish to know, this is my schedule:
Monday
11:00 Oral Comprehension
12:00 Lab
1:00 Lab
2:45 Lab
4:00 Lab
Tuesday and Wednesday
No classes, but I spend these days preparing or taking French lessons.
Thursday
9:00 Lab
10:00 Lab
11:00 Lab
2:00 Lab
3:00 Lab
4:00 Lab
Friday
10:30 Lab
11:30 Oral Comprehension
12:45 Lab
1:45 Oral Comprehension

While this may seem like an awesome schedule because I only have to prepare 2 classes a week (I thought it was great at first), it is incredibly boring. Clever things I say at the first of the week somehow don’t seem so clever after the 8th time. Teaching lab, the same lab, 12 times a week is NOT fun. I just wanted to say, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,” for an hour today.

On a positive note, I had a great time last night visiting with my friends Seb 1, Seb 2, Cecil, Joann and Dr. Allen. I think we all had a great night. At least I know I really enjoyed myself.

I think I will call it a day. My suitemate, Jessica, and I are going to Paris tomorrow to do some shopping. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

A note to all of my European friends: It is SOCCER, not football.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Arrr......

So my first French class was today. Four glorious hours of feeling really, incredibly, enormously stupid and incompetent. I really do not think I will ever get this language. It makes my head hurt. I really dislike feeling stupid as well. Sometimes I feel like saying, "Can't we all just speak English?" Really, if I was smart, I would learn Spanish or Chinese. But no, I have to learn French. Will I never learn........

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Sunday in Paris

I spend Sunday at the Louvre because it is free on the first Sunday of every month. It was packed with people. The gallaries have paintings everywhere. There are too many pictures on each wall to really appreciate any of them, but I did get to see the Mona Lisa and Venus. I know some people think these two works are overrated, but I was really impressed by both works. Awestruck, I think would be a better term. Of course I had to stand in line forever to see both, but it was worth it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Great Time in Paris

I spent most of last week in Paris with Joe, a guy I met through Sebastien. It was great having my own personal, American tour guide of Paris! Thanks Joe!

Stupid, Stupid Me

I just got done taking my french test. I will know tomorrow which of the A groups I will be in. Of course, A is the lowest group. I did my best on the test, but I really think I will not ever learn this stinking language. Oh well, I guess I will just be a typical American and just speak English the whole time I am here. Speaking of the U.S., could someone say hi to a bathroom for me. I really miss them. French bathrooms are horrid.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Greetings from France

Sorry this entry is so delayed, but the technology in this country is way behind. I have tons of pictures I would like to add, but I have no way of uploading them to the dinosaur of a computer in my office. Wireless is virtually non-existent in this country and it takes about a month to get internet. I do have some really great pictures to add, though.

So far, I am not impressed. This program is not run by very competent people. Everything I was told was incorrect, including my pay and my living conditions. I am teaching a crazy amount of classes and still do not know if I will get paid for this month. I am looking for an apartment, but I will have to pay the first 3 months rent in advance and have a cosigner. Fun stuff! Right now, I live in the dorms (which are right by the housing projects) with my students. I am starting to feel like a real moron for moving here in the first place!

However, Paris is beautiful and the weather has been great! The monuments and old buildings are amazing. I must also give credit to my friends Sebastien and Vincent. If it wasn't for them, I would have come home the second day. They have been fantastic!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

STRESS, STRESS, AND MORE STRESS

Well, the time is approaching and everything is falling apart. The visa work is incomplete and I still don't know if I will actually get to go. I do, however, have a very expensive, non refundable ticket that will make a nice conversation piece at my next dinner party if I do not get to use it.

On the brighter side, I no longer have to work at my hideous job. That is enough to brighten one's day. Everyone wish me luck, please. I will return the favor at a future date.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005