Un blog Travellerspoint

Les Invalides, Shabbat, and more museums

overcast 15 °C

My dear readers, I profoundly apologize for the lagtime in blog posts. My internet has had more mood swings than ever. I likewise apologize for not putting photos up on this post. This takes a while and it being 1:40am, I do not have the strength to do so (I wrote this blog entry beforehand but did not post, hoping to add photos). I promise to add them to the next post. So, let the stories begin:

Friday, my friends and I were supposed to have a lovely picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower. The Parisian skies decided otherwise. It rained Thursday and the skies were yucky grey Friday morning with a chance of drizzle. Instead, Sam and I hung out by ourselves, everyone else too lazy to come out.

We went to Les Invalides, the big building with the golden dome that houses Napoleon's Tomb. Adjacent is the Ecole Militaire (Military School) that is now the Musee de l'Armee (Army Museum). This is befitting, because Napoleon attended this school. The Tomb and the rotunda around it were "impressionant," as the French would say. I like using this world, as it intends a longer effect than "impressive." It's great being a student and an under26 year old - we get in mostly for free in the state museums :-)

Then, Sam and I ate our lunches on a bench. Baguette with cheese; tomato and cucumber slices. And a banana. French much?

For my French Politics and Society class, we have to do a presentation at the end of the semester on a certain topic. Since I joined the class late, Professor Habibi assigned one to me: Le Musee de Quai Branly. I didn't know anything about this museum; luckily, neither did Sam, and she was willing to go with me. The museum is beautiful and new - hardly 4 years old. It sits right near the Seine near the RER Point de Alma. I don't know where the Parisians found enough space to build such a huge museum, complete with a mini garden!

Apparently, the museum houses a humongous collection of artifacts from Oceanie (Polynesia), Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Sam and I barely got through Oceanie when our heads were already spinning! Masks from Papua New Ginea, canoes from Tonga, jewelry from some other little island that no one has ever heard of! It was the most amazing collection I had ever seen! And, I don't know about you, but I've never seen artifacts from Polynesia before. We got through a little bit of Asia (the Indian collection) when we decided that enough was enough. Luckily, we are students and under 26 years of age, meaning that the state-run museums are free! I am going to have to come back at least two more times to get through the museum! But...what does this stuff have to do with French Politics and Society? I'm going to have to ask my professor...

Shabbat at Danielle's went the same as ever, except that the weather was GORGEOUS. Sunny, warm...Danielle and I took a walk to the synagogue's mini park after lunch. It was super cute. Kids playing around, senior citizens reading on benches...green grass, flowers. When Danielle went back home, I ventured on to the Parc Montsouris, which I had discovered close to my apartment on one of my runs. The grass looked so perfect that I couldn't help but lay down in it. So nice...

With 2.5 more hours to spare until the end of Shabbat (9:11pm?!), I finished reading my book, The Girl with the Pearl Earring. It was so good! I'm glad about the ending, though it was sad that Vermeer died...Danielle asked to borrow the book, and I asked if she had any that I could borrow. She recommended Guy de Maupassant's "Une Vie" (A Life). I gingerly started reading it. It's so nice to read French books while IN France. There's a whole new meaning to them...

Sunday, my friends and I were supposed to go to Versailles. Again, the weather decided against it. Instead, Daniela and I went to two more museums: Choco-Story, a private chocolate museum by Bonne Nouvelle, and Monet Marmottan, also a private museum. We liked both very much. The chocolate museum featured 3 levels: One, telling about chocolate beans and where chocolate came from historically, the second about the uses of chocolate, how to make it, and the utensils/serving things used, and the third and best, the demonstration and "degustation" (tasting) room. The nice lady there explained, in French, how to make chocolate praline-filled pieces to us, the Japanese mother and child sitting next to us, and to an English couple. And, of course, we got to taste. Mmm! Upstairs, we didn't buy any in the gift shop. A few pieces for 6 euro? I'd rather go to Carrefour (my grocery store) and buy a Lindt slab for 3 euro.

The Monet museum was amusing because there were no Monet paintings on the first and second levels. It was not until we asked someone working there that we found out there was a basement. Poor Monet, banished to the basement. But nah, it wasn't like that. The basement had nice lighting and lots of space for Monet's works of art. There was a piece from his series "Nympheades" (Lillies), a bunch of pieces from his psychadelic bridge series, one foggy English Parliament painting (not the most famous one), and some others. The paintings upstairs, I realized, were from Monet's "life." They were painted by his friends, of the area where he lived in Paris and in Giverny, ect. Even his colored eyeglasses (he had cateract surgery in 1923! didn't know this was possible...) and painting palette were displayed!

The rest of Sunday, I devoted to doing homework. All in all, a great weekend! This Tuesday, Margarita is coming to visit me! I can't believe that I get to see her again in Paris, of all cities! She did the JUF internship program with me this past summer and subsequently went back to Kiev, Ukraine, where she lives. Then, she Facebook messages me (thank you, dear FB), telling me that she's coming to a Jewish youth conference at Disneyland Paris (what a place to have such a conference!). She asked if I knew of anywhere she could stay for two days after the conference. I knew the perfect place! Thank you, Danielle, for having rented me an apartment with two rooms! There is a huge bed in the other room, fit for two people! Margarita is going to call me, and we're going to have a blast for two days! Except that I need to pack for Ireland (leaving Thursday! Margarita is also leaving for Kiev on Thursday) and clean for Pesach (Passover). Oy vey!

A bientot!


Posté par parischica 16:41 Archivé dans France Commentaires (0)

Musee Rodin, Amelie, Rango

overcast 10 °C

Sunday morning, Amir and I went to the Musee Rodin. Apparently, this is the only museum that Danielle hasn't visited in all her 30 years in Paris! It's basically a large house, but for a museum, it's pretty small - there are four rooms full of status and a nice garden outside. We went through the four rooms first. I really like most of Rodin's statues and especially the ones that have to do with Greek mythology. It's helpful that I took Prof Dobrov's class Sophomore year.


Then, we ventured outside into the garden. There is a long walkway in the "backyard" garden with a pond. There is also, amusingly enough, a small family area with a few wooden lawn chairs and a sandbox for children. We finally found The Thinker (original, big version) on the other side of the museum. We also saw the famous Gates of Hell. It's pretty scary, to tell the truth! Amir was, of course, reassured, since Jews don't believe in hell :-)

Random_026.jpg Gates of Hell
7Random_028.jpg The Disc Thrower?
0Random_034.jpg The Thinker!

We wanted to go walk around Les Invalides (Golden Dome with Napoleon's Tomb), but I had made plans with Jenny and was running late. We parted, and I took line 8 to Jassieu, where Jenny and I met up. We went, on Daniela's recommendation, to a tea room adjacent to a mosque. It was SO cute! I didn't know what to expect, but there were tons of French people lounging around round tables, drinking tea and eating Middle Eastern dessert. Jenny and I did the same.


Jenny and I walked around the Jardin des Plantes on our way back to the metro. Some tulips had been planted and some trees were already in bloom!


Monday, Genia and I finally finished our paper for Business French. Most vague assignment ever (each group of two had a different assignment): Pick and present a U.S. state. Ok...no more detail than that. We decided to choose California, it being a state of extremes. Hmm...businessy aspects of California...We came up with four: Hollywood, Silicon Valley, the University of California system, and unemployment. Genia put together Silicon Valley and unemployment, while I researched Hollywood and the UC system. We called our paper "California - the State of Extremes" (pun intended). I learned that Hollywood doesn't always make money on its movies from the box office. Sometimes, it actually makes up for a negative difference with movie sales and licensing fees, instead.

Lions Bar was really nice this Monday around, too. Me, Daniela, Henry, Amir, Sam, Ran, Alex, Vanessa, David, and David's Australian friend, Fanny (I think?). We have a pretty great group! Ran made me a paper boat and Sam made a paper crane. Pretty sober, mind you. I'm sad because David didn't get accepted to study abroad at Loyola. This was his first choice. And I would've been extremely happy to have him in Chicago as a reminder and a friend from France...Instead, he'll be studying in England. Not too bad, either.

Tuesday passed by uneventfully. I'm almost done reading The Girl with the Pearl Earring; I do a lot of reading on my commutes. The metro is pretty smooth, so it doesn't hurt my eyes. And I take the "metro" newspaper as well, to glance at the news and to cut out the recipes that are toward the back. This week seems to be soufflé week. Salmon soufflé, Roquefort soufflé, and Coconut soufflé. Mmm! When I get back to Chicago, I’m buying some soufflé molds!
After my Negocia class, I decided to walk around the 17th arrondissement. I looked up the nearest Naouri (kosher store) and walked there from the metro Malsherbes. There is so much to photograph in Paris!

Random_054.jpg Favorite French word: Rubber
2Random_055.jpg Domino's Pizza, even in Paris
Random_056.jpg Jeans? Jews?
Random_061.jpg Bought some French cheese from Naouri

I borrowed the French movie Amelie from IES. I’ve seen it before with my parents, but it was such a long time ago that I need to be refreshed. There are way too many people talking about it over here…I watched half of it because I was trying to cook carrots with nut coating at the same time.

Today (Wednesday), I went to the movies with a discount from my previous outing of 5 euro for a movie. I wanted to see L’Agence with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, but the hours got changed on me from yesterday. So, not wanting to go back home, I wanted Rango, the Version Francaise (French version). This means that Johnny Depp and all the other actors got dubbed over by French actors. The story is about Rango, a lizard who is a “nobody” and finds himself in a dusty town (Dirt Town – translated to Dust Town by the French). He tries to “invent himself” by inventing a story about being the most well-known cowboy as far West as the eye could see. He accidentally helped kill a falcon that the town hated, so everyone believed him. The town suffered from a lack of water, so everyone needed someone/something to believe in. That someone became Rango. So, story in the Wild Wild West. Boy, was it hilarious hearing the French language in the Wild West. They even tried to imitate the Mexican accent that the owl musicians and the armadillo possessed in the original English version…Verdict: American Westerns shouldn’t be dubbed in French.

Then, coming out of the movie theatre, I had about three things in my head at the same time. One of which included my having to go to the bathroom. This resulted in me walking straight into the movie theatre’s glass door. Yep. That’s right. I walked into a door. For the first time in my life. It hurt a bit. I don’t want to know how many people were watching…I visited Danielle in the evening and finished watching the other half of Amelie. I personally would not rave about the movie as much as everyone does, but it’s definitely cute. I think the French can connect to Amelie because she is such a dreamer. The French are dreamers, for sure. But did they really have to have sex the first time they actually met?? So French!

I’m looking forward to the rest of the week. Tomorrow, Alex is having a movie/poker night at his place. I hope all the Israelis show up. He has a big, flat-screen tv, so it’ll be great for movies. I wonder what we will watch? Don’t Mess with the Zohan? An Israeli’s favorite movie…just kidding!

Friday, a bunch of us are going to have a picnic on the Champ de Mars – the grassy area in front of the Eiffel Tower. Then, we are going to the Chocolate Museum for dessert! Sunday, Daniela, Deb, and I are going to Versailles! I’m hoping for good weather for the rest of the week!

A bientot!

Posté par parischica 14:01 Archivé dans France Commentaires (1)

Musee Nissim de Camondo; Boulogne

overcast 15 °C

A few eventful days!

Wednesday night, I watched a movie that I borrowed from IES again. It's called L'Auberge Espanol. Really cute. It's about a French guy who goes to live in Barcelona for a year in order to ameliorate his Spanish so that he could use it for the corporate job that he has lined up. He goes to live with a bunch of other people to save money and they have wonderful adventures together in the Mediterranean city! Lucky him, he gets a whole year! I feel like my time is almost over, though I do have two months :-( I already made a list of things I need to do before I leave...

Thursday morning, since both of us didn't have class until 2:30pm, Amrita and I went to the Musee de Nissim de Camondo in the 17th arrondissement. It was a grand house built by Nissim's father, Moishe. Yep, Spanish Jews, though Moishe's father came from Constantinople. His father was a banker, so that is how he made his fortune in France. The house is beautiful; Moishe collected furniture, vases, paintings, tapestries, you name it. Lush lifestyle. His kitchen is crazy modern for the time, with a HUGE rotisserie and oven that takes up most of the space. Amidst all the finery, I managed to find a small bookshelf with holiday prayer books...

But, the Camondo family has a really sad history. Nissim died in WWI at a really young age. Moishe basically retreated into his home, heartbroken. The house was supposed to be for Nissim. Moishe also had one daughter, Beatrice. When Moishe died in 1935, he left his home to the city of Paris, with which he was more than generous when he was alive. Then come the Nazis. Beatrice and her family (husband, two kids) thought that they were safe, since her father did so much for France and her brother died for the country. Nope, not the case. France decides to repay the Comondo family by sending the rest of them to the concentration camps, where their line died out.

8Random_040.jpg prayer books
4Random_045.jpg painting above Moishe's bed
7Random_055.jpg very modern bathroom
0Random_063.jpg stove/oven and rotisserie

To get out of a bit of a somber mood, Amrita and I got sandwiches and ate them at a park near the museum. It was lovely, but we had to hurry to make it back to class, so we didn't have that much time.


Our Finance professor invited a guest speaker. M. Mathieu Gex who works in the Financial Stability Division of the French Central Bank. Yup, that's right. M. Gex gave us a PowerPoint presentation on CDSs - Credit Default Swaps. I kinda sorta understood it, though I have to do some research on my own I think, in order to really understand what's going on. I think I'm missing something fundamental in the securities discussion, because I've never learned about securities before.

After French class, Genia and I went to her apartment in Boulogne (West Suburbs - really nice area) to work on a Business French project. We have to present one State in the U.S. Very vague. We picked California, since it's easy. Hmm...business in California. We decided to focus on Silicon Valley, Hollywood, the UC schools, and unemployment. We got this far in our musings and decided that we were hungry. I found a kosher restaurant nearby, so we went. It was called LOL cafe. But the LOL kinda looked like one pacman eating a smiley face and then another packman next to it.


Genia got yummy pizza, and I got potato gratin with salmon. Mmm...we went back and decided to split up the work and get it done my Monday (presentation Wednesday). I always find it much easier to work separately than together. I know teamwork is a huge deal in the States, but still...it's not as efficient, though it can be really good for generating ideas. I think teams should generate ideas and then split the work between people. I hope that's how it's done in our corporate world.

Then, Caroline (who lives in Boulogne) and I went to meet up with Daniela, Alex, and a guy from CouchSurfers that messaged Daniela on the website and asked if she wanted to hang out. His name is Sergio, and he's from Columbia but living in Paris for the moment. We went to a bar near the Montparnasse skyscraper. It was nice, but there was live, loud, country music playing, so we could barely hear each other chat.

Friday, my French Politics and Society class went on a field trip to the Goutte d'Or area in the 18th arrondissement. Getting off the Barbes metro station was a nightmare, even at 11:30am in the morning. Arab guys trying to sell cigarettes and who knows what else to "Mademoiselle." Our teacher took us around and we eventually ended up in an institute for Islamic cultures. A French girl explained to us that the institute's goal was to bring together Parisians and Goutte d'Or residents to get to know each other, learn about Islamic culture (secular), and disperse stereotypes brought about by the media. Not sure what those are exactly, but I'll take her word for it. The area is actually controversial because every Friday morning, more than 1000 people pray outside of the mosque in the streets. The block off two streets to accommodate all those people. Traffic basically stops for 15 minutes. This is because the mosque isn't big enough to hold all the people that want to pray. And the ones outside are all male, since women must pray separately and out of the mens' sight. This is controversial beacuse France is a secular country where religious adherence is illegal to show in public. But, Paris doesn't want to build a bigger mosque. And in the Constitution, it says that all people must be able to have a safe, normal place to practice their religion. So, it's kind of a sticky situation.

Then, Daniela, Sam, Deb, Liz, and I went to the nearby La Chappelle area in order to find the famous street full of really good Indian restaurants. This was also a bit of a sketchy area. We failed to find the street...I'm not sure how. So, we went to a cute Indian restaurant in Montmartre that Daniela had been to before.


Then, we walked around the cute streets near the Sacre Coeur and sat on the steps in front of it, watching a group of break dancers. Alex joined us for this, since he lives nearby. Then, we all went to the Opera Garnier to meet up with a few others to see if we could get ballet tickets. It's funny that Opera Garnier is where they show ballet, and Opera Bastille is for operas. Cheapest ticket? 89 euro. Pass! But, we were told that we could get super cheap tickets if there are cancellations right before a ballet starts. Daniela and I may try to go next week. They're showing Coppelia! I like that story :-)

Random_080.jpg craziest vest ever! courtesy of second-hand story
Random_086.jpg opera garnier

Then, Shabbat at Danielle's. I'm currently reading the Girl with the Pearl Earring in French, so I read some of that. I went to shul (synagogue) the next morning. It went later than usual since there is a marriage on Sunday. Danielle knows the family and told me to tell them a huge Mazal Tov. The mom was crying. Some men threw what looked like candy near the bima (where the Torah is read - it was put away already, of course) and some women did the Sephardi "ooo-lai-lai-lai" shrieking that is done at marriages and, I assume, other happy occasions. For once, Brigette arrived before me, since I only got back at 12:30pm. We had a nice lunch, and then the three of us went on a walk. In two hours, we walked there and back from Alesia to Denfert Rochreau. That's my morning run of 20 minutes!! That's because Danielle, since she doesn't get to go out much, likes to look in the stores (of course, the ones where there's no electronic door). Not exactly in the spirit of Shabbat, but I go with her because I understand. I tried to keep walking afterwards, but it started raining. It's supposed to be cloudy/rainy all week. Yay. At least it's warm! I heard it's snowing in NY...

A bientot!

Posté par parischica 15:00 Archivé dans France Commentaires (0)


sunny 10 °C

Friday, Daniela, Sam, and I went to an old French cafe for coffee at 11:30. Sam heard that it's the oldest cafe in France. Sam and I remembered that our Business French professor recommended Indonesian coffee, so that's what we ordered. It was pretty good. I was brave and drank it black, no sugar. I was surprised that my heart didn't start racing.


Afterward, we went for falafel in the Marais. Mmm a good 5 euro spent! Then, I had to leave to go on a walking tour that my Finance prof had prepared for our class. Sam decided to go along. Prof Moreau took us around the 1st arrondissement, talking about where the old French banks and stock exchange were. I couldn't retain a lot of the info, but I was happy to be out walking during a nice, sunny day!

0Random_014.jpg "Office of the Laundry Lady"

I had just enough time to go back to my apartment, grab my Shabbat-filled backpack, and go to Les Halles to catch the RER D to Brunoy. It started raining by then. Freida came to get me from the train station. Luckily, I had my umbrella.

Shabbat passed by nicely; it was great to be back chez les Gourevitch. Saturday night, we women went to Freida's sister, Chami's, house in Creteil, a suburb not far from Brunoy. She and her husband run the Chabad House there. It's nice that she lives so close. A good amount of people from the community showed up to hear the Meghilla and partake in Purim fun. Chami had prepared a nice dessert table - not to forget the hamentachen! Which, in French, are also called "Les Oreilles d'Haman" (Haman's ears). Beats me why. We heard the Meghilla read, and, thankfully, the booklet had the French translation, so I was able to follow along. The kids loved their part, where they had to stomp and rattle noisy toys a few times when Haman's name was pronounced. When we got back to their home, everyone started packing their Mishloach Manot (Hebrew. Or, in Yiddish: Shlash Manos), the treats customary to give to other people on Purim. This consists of hamentashen, drinks, cookies, and whatever other goodies one pleases. Went to bed at 1am.



Here's a little synopsis of the story of Purim: King Ahasheverosh was looking to replace his wife, Vashti, because she had disobeyed him. He called all the beautiful girls in the land. Esther, a Jewish orphan adopted by her uncle, Mordechai, pleased the King the most. He made her his Queen. All this time, she did not divulge that she was Jewish. Meanwhile, the King had made Haman his top minister. Haman, puffing with pride, was walking when he saw Mordechai. When the latter did not bow in respect as is expected for the King's top minister, Haman became very angry. This happened a few times. Haman decided to kill Mordechai, and with him, all the Jews. The King told Haman he could do what he wished with Mordechai and the Jews. Mordechai found out and told Esther, who devised a plan to bring the King and Haman together at a feast. Meanwhile, Morchechai overheard two members of the King's court planning to kill him. He told Esther, who warned the King. The King rewarded Mordechai with splendid clothes and had him paraded on the King's horse in the palace. When the King and Haman came to Esther's feast, she begged the King not to let Haman kill Mordechai and the Jews. When the King found out it was the same Mordechai that had saved his life, coupled with this desire to fulfill Esther's wishes, he became furious with Haman. In the end, instead of the Jews being killed, Haman was killed instead.

During this whole story, G-d had not been mentioned even once. This is because He hides himself in this piece of history in order for us to be able to make a choice to believe that, either He was involved the whole time, or it was just a great coincidence of circumstances that the Jews were, once again, saved. This "hidden" concept of G-d evolved into dressing up in costumes :-)

Sunday morning, Freida took me along to the school where she works in the norther Parisian suburbs. The kids came all dressed up bearing Mishloach Manot. They did their prayers (very cute) and exchanged their goodies. Freida brought goodies for her colleagues, and she received many in return! Then, somehow, they and their parents were all settled down in a big room to hear the Meghilla. These kids went all the way - they stomped and made noise at EVERY mention of Haman's name.

Random_028.jpg The class; Freida is the clown!
Random_031.jpg IDF soldier!
Random_033.jpg Cowboy!
Random_034.jpg Mickey and Johnny Depp!
Random_040.jpg this is how small a French Coke bottle is
Random_041.jpg two cutest kids ever; not in Freida's class
Random_042.jpg class, with me
Random_044.jpg a funny Mishloach Manot that Freida got from a colleague - "El Al airline"
Random_047.jpg the Gourevitch table full of goodies

After, we went back to Freida's, ate a quick lunch, and took the car to distribute her, Eidla's (her sister), and her mother's Mishloach Manot. That was quite fun. Sometimes, the people weren't home because they were also out distributing! It was only at about 7pm that we sat down to eat the customary Purim meal. In fact, it makes up for one of the mitzvahs that we do on purim. There are 4. 1) listen to the Meghilla twice, 2) give tzedakah (charity) to the poor, 3) give Mishloach Manot to at least 2 people, and 4) eat Mishteh, the customary meal. Pretty great! The meal was delicious. In the middle of dessert, the neighbors (Pinsons) invited us to their desert table. That was very sympa, too! Guess who was there? Madame Pinson, mother of Rav Pinson, who is the neighbor. I met her in Nice!! We spoke in Russian, again, and, of course, she wanted to know if I was getting engaged anytime soon. I laughed and said that I'm waiting a little while longer. Then, she told me a really nice shidduch story that took place in Russia a long time ago.

Random_057.jpg with Freida
Random_059.jpg with Madame Pinson
Random_055.jpg the Pinson table
Random_045.jpg challah in the shape of hamentashen!

I slept over because, apparently, the RER is pretty dangerous to take in the morning. I woke up late and, after 10 minutes, was at the bus stop. Missed the first train, caught the second train, and made it to my 9am class 2 minutes before my professor. Nice! And all this while with my backpack, a huge Mishloach Manot package for Danielle (Mme Gourevitch received two beautiful ones and told me to take one for Danielle. So nice of her!), and my own Mishloach Manot package from the Gourevitchs, complete with raspberry jam and peanut butter!

Monday after my Business French class, I had nothing to do (since we just had exams), so I took a really nice walk to the Jardin de Luxembourg. In the processes, I took some fun photos.

Random_060.jpg ever wonder how French people move out of their tiny apartments?
Random_063.jpg the funniest menu ever. "Canteen Bus" restaurant
Random_065.jpg very safe...
Random_066.jpg "85% of French people think that the French are the best lovers"
Random_067.jpg Jardin de Luxembourg
Random_075.jpg Institute of SLAVIC studies
Random_076.jpg how would you like this to great you every evening after work?

After PolySci, Daniela and I went to have icecream at Amaretto's, a place that she absolutely recommended. You can try every flavor, and they put each sliver into the shape of a flower!


Had a really nice time at Lions Bar Monday night, where Ran (one of Amir's Israeli friends) told me a crazy story of his friend who almost died, saw Gehinnom (the place where you go after you die to do teshuvah (repentence) and then from there go to Heaven), got judged, and was allowed to come back. Wow. That blew my mind.

Yesterday (Tuesday) night, it was the last night of Cinema de Printemps, where movies at participating theatres are only 3.50 euro (instead of the regular 8 euro or so for students). I took the chance and went to see Le Discours d'un Roi (The King's Speech). Wow! What a great movie!

Today (Wednesday), I met up with Daniela and Sandrine, a French friend of hers, in the Marais at a restaurant called "Breakfast in America." There are two of them in Paris. Guess what it serves? Hahaha. We all had eggs and pancakes. They had bacon and I had potatos instead. It was actually really nice to have American breakfast. Then, we went to Rue des Rosiers (the Jewish street in the Marais), but we got a bit lost. Daniela didn't make it, since she had to leave for class. But, Sandrine and I finally found it. I showed her Korkacz, my favorite Jewish bakery. I got a millefeuille and a baklava for Daniela, since that is what she had wanted. Sandrine didn't get anything because she wasn't hungry and is leaving for Rouen, the city where she's from, tomorrow. I think she comes to Paris for an internship.

A bientot!

Posté par parischica 06:18 Archivé dans France Commentaires (0)

Midterms Over, Festival Weekend

semi-overcast 8 °C

Thank G-d midterms are over, that's all I can say. Cramming study from Sunday to Thursday was quite exhausting. The finance midterm, as expected, was very hard. Most of my classmates feel the same way. Thankfully, our professor told us that it will be curved if there is a need. I hope that will be the case! The French midterm was easy. I was actually worried about it a little because of the oral portion, where we had to watch a clip from the movie Paris, Je T'aime and fill in blanks of what people were saying. The practice round Tuesday was very fast, with one viewing. During the exam, we saw another section of the movie, twice. This section was actually a lot easier to understand. EVERYONE has seen this movie, so I decided to borrow it from IES. The school has a little DVD collection.

After, Daniela, Henry, and I met up at Mikey D's (as Henry likes to call McDonald's) to plan our Ireland trip. Sam joined us because she didn't want to go home. We figured out a rough itinerary: Thursday, Daniela and I head to Belfast. I figure out how to spend Shabbat in Belfast...Saturday night, we meet up with Henry. Sunday morning, off to Dublin. Monday, Limerick. Tuesday, Cork. Wednesday, back to Dublin. Thursday, fly back to Paris. Henry is renting a car, so we are super excited that we will get to drive through the Irish countryside!

Then, being St. Patrick's Day, my friends decided that there was a need to celebrate. They went to see the Moulin Rouge, which supposedly turns into Moulin Vert (green) on this day. I wasn't impressed, seeing as the whole Chicago River turns green. My standards are quite high...Then, they planned to go to an Irish pub to meet up with Amir and some of his Israeli friends. I was so exhausted after the exams that I decided to take it easy, go home, and watch Paris, Je T'aime. What a superb movie! It's a series of vignettes about different kinds of love in Paris. Some happy, some sad, some amusing. I definitely recommend it! I wanted to cheat and put on French subtitles, but the French DVD didn't have the option. I was able to understand most of what was said, thankfully.


Also, I couldn't stay up late because I had to wake up at 6:30am this morning. I went for my morning run, then to Nation to buy Purim patiserrie for Danielle and a bottle of Moscato (didn't get carded, of course) for Pessy's family in Brunoy (with whom I'm spending Shabbat and Purim). I got to Danielle's just in time, before the ambulance came to get Richard to take him to the Center. Danielle gave me a Purim gift! She and I went for a walk one Shabbat, and I saw a really cute French placemat in a store, and it wasn't cheap. She is so thoughtful - she got it for me! She also gave me a fresh challah role and two pieces of Purim gateaux (cakes) that she finished making, a la Tunisienne (Tunisian-style, meaning with honey! (sorry, Grandma!)) She said she's going to make more gateaux and will give me some Monday. Miam!

I'm meeting up with Daniela at 11:30am at IES to finally buy our flight tickets. Then, she, Sam, and I are going to what Sam claims to be the oldest cafe in Paris, Le Cafe Verlet. After that, my Finance class has an excursion at some financial building in Paris near Hotel de Ville. I won't bother going back to my apartment only to go back to Les Halles (near Hotel de Ville) to take the RER to Brunoy. Meaning, I have to pack for Shabbat/Purim right about...now.

Shabbat Shalom and Purim Sameach!

Posté par parischica 02:35 Archivé dans France Commentaires (0)

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