Saturday, July 15, 2006

Bastille Day 2006

National Assembly building decorated for the 14th of July.

I have not been posting a lot recently because I did not have many positive things to say. After the last few posts and out of consideration for my French friends, I swore to myself I would write something positive about France or French people in my next post. Nevertheless, it has not been the easiest thing to do; mainly because I am looking for an apartment and it seems like it is going to be impossible to find one. For those of you who do not know, I signed another year contract with my university, but if I cannot find an apartment by September, I will be coming back to the U.S. So American friends, start getting your spare rooms ready! The longer I look, the more I feel coming home is highly likely.

Planes flying over Champs Elysees with the colors of the flag. I couldn't get the blue.
Anyway, I have not been feeling much love for France or the people and I do not want to complain every time I post so I just decided not to write about the two crazy, scary experiences on the metro, or the guy who took my picture WITHOUT my permission, or all of the insanity around Zidane. I am getting ready to go to Germany for two weeks and I think this visit, followed by another two weeks in the South of France, is really well timed. Hopefully I will come back with a better attitude.

I feel sorry for these guys because their berets look so stupid.
But for the time being, I do have a few positive things to say. First of all, yesterday was Bastille Day and Paris was alive with people, parades and fireworks. I got to Paris around 9:30 and stood behind a ton of people to see all the military personnel march down Champs Elysees. I expected a little more from the air show than just planes flying in formation, but overall, it was a nice experience. I stood next to a man who kept letting me stand on his step stool so I could see. He was really nice; he told me all the names of the military vehicles in French and then told me I should marry a Frenchman. I laughed a lot at the suggestion until I realized he was serious.

Yes, that is the Eiffel Tower in the background.

I met some friends around 9 p.m. for a picnic by the Eiffel Tower and to watch the fireworks. I have to say, the show was awesome. It was fantastic seeing the Eiffel Tower turned off to then be lit up with fireworks. (I have a few videos for those of you interested). To top it all off, the weather was incredible yesterday. The worst part was getting back to the ghetto because the trains are being rerouted this weekend (not such a smart public transport move by the powers that be); it was just really crowded and slow, but not dangerous.

The second positive thing involves a church. And no, I did not burn one down. I am going to start volunteering at the American Church in Paris. Although I do not buy into organized religion (by product of being raised in the South and having it shoved down my throat everyday of my everlovin’ life by everybody, after which a person either love it or really, really, really, really, really hates it, but that is a whole other blog), I am excited about it. I think I will probably meet some nice and/or interesting people there plus I will get to help the community. My week picked up after these two things and I was able to end it on a positive note.


Expat Traveler said...

Angela - your pics were great. We were talking about that parade. I went in 2003. I loved the Eiffel and fireworks the most, but it was terror getting back to our hotel..

We had a picnic too and saw other English speakers around. IT was so nice of that man though!

Hope things keep looking up. And well I should think so since you are going on vacation. YEAH! Take lots of pics for me of course. :)

Pardon My French said...

We were there, too, on some patch of grass behind trees! We didn't have a crystal clear view of the fireworks but it was an improvement from last year. I am sorry about the apartment hunting -- I hope it goes well and that maybe some new contacts from the American church will hook you up with something nice.

Matt said...

I Love air shows too... Unfortunately I don't get to go to any all that often. However, I found a video that is pretty cool and the pilot survived the crash with only minor injuries... It's pretty amazing...

Vanessa said...

Good luck with finding an apartment. Hopefully your friends and contacts will be able to help. Have a good time in Germany. You'll love Southern France. It's beautiful, especially Nice. You should also go to Monaco while you're down there and take a look at all the wealth. It's really something to see!

Angela in Europe said...

Thanks Expat! I know the pictures aren't great, but my camera isn't good enough to get fireworks.

Pardon my French-We were probably next to each other. I was behind some trees too.

Matt- nice video

Vanessa-Thanks. Here's to hoping that by keeping my fingers crossed I will find something.

Diamond Lil said...

Good luck with finding a place to live...that's never fun, no matter what country you are in!

# said...

C'est le france, Wow it's beau, i really want to go there, maybe sometime soon..#

D said...

Sorry to hear about your situation. I feel that you and I might be in the same boat when it comes to complaining about certain things.

As unfortunate as it may be if you can't find an apartment, would you breathe little a sigh of relief if you had to move back home?

Sebastien Blache said...

hi angela!
we're back from greece: awesome!
yes, as "pardon my french" says, the american church contacts might be a plus to find a flat! good luck anyway from both of us, hoping that you will still be there in paris when we arrive, on 24th August...
bonnes vacances dans le sud!