Un blog Travellerspoint

Correction to Previous Blog, Ciné

overcast 5 °C

My dear readers,

I apologize for some incorrect information in the previous blog due to my lack of time to write and quick writing pace.
The internship hours, instead of "Monday and half of Friday" include Wednesday, too.
Also, Daniela spells her name with one 'L'

Last night, I worked on my presentation for Business French. The article I chose to discuss was Sarkozy's tv spiel on the 10th, which 8 million French viewers watched. He spoke about an additional 500 million euros that he would like in order to help young people and those who have been unemployed for a long time. The money would come from other Ministry departments. I'm sure those departments will not be happy. Presentation went well.

After finishing it, I went to the movies with Emi to see Au-Dela (Hereafter) with Matt Damon. I was surprised to find out that the movie is actually half in English, half in French with French subtitles during the English parts. It was good, but sad. And I didn't like the end, because it didn't make sense to me. It seemed random. Like Hollywood just couldn't hold itself back from making the two main characters, who have barely met, fall in love at first sight. Ewww :-)


Then, I randomly met a young French guy by my apartment. I decided to make friends with him - nothing to lose! And I'm well protected by my shomer negiah (no touching) status, about which I made sure to inform him. He said that it is 'interesting' and definitely diffrent. Tu parles...of course it's different; it's the opposite of French people haha! If he calls me, maybe I'll invite him to come out with me and my friends tonight for Daniela's birthday (which is actually on Friday, but she's starting early because we go on break that day).

Speaking of which, I just called Chabad of Nice to faire le point (get on the same page) about whether I can sleep over or not. I wish I had called them earlier, because they said that there is no place. Now I either have to scramble (just called Freida to see if her family knows anyone) or try to walk to Chabad from the hotel that is probably not Shabbos friendly. Hoping for the best!

Also, I went to choose my professional photos yesterday, too. Gosh are they gorgeous! It was so hard to choose. I limited myself to 5 and paid 70 euro for them!! Expensive, but once-in-a-lifetime :-)

Lunch with Henry and Caroline today. Time to work on finance presentation (I scheduled all my presentations before the break haha)

A bientot!

Posté par parischica 02:21 Archivé dans France Commentaires (0)

Successful Interview = No Job

rain 8 °C


Robotics company Gostai, in the 13th arrondissement, called me in for an interview today. It was supposed to be at 11:15. I got there half an hour late. I was so lost because there was terrible construction. I called M. Seret to let him know. The office had big glass windows, perfect for looking out on the construction site and the factories blowing smoke. M. Seret told me that his only concern was my French skills over the telephone, but that there were other things for me to do, such as make powerpoint presentations, help organize company lunches, so research for prospective customers...just business.

I had a feeling that Seret would take me on. I would have to work Monday after 10:30 and Friday for half a day. When would I enjoy Paris? I have been having the time of my life, exactly what study abroad is supposed to be about. It would have been a tough decision if I had really liked the job offer, if it was something that I could be passionate about. But robots...not really my thing, though Gostai's Jazz, the telepresent robot, is pretty cool. www.gostai.com/connect

I called Amanda and told her my worries. She said to talk to Nathalie, the woman who runs the program, before I make a decision. In Nathalie's office, she was pretty hard on me. It has been 3 weeks and I kept pushing for an internship, so she didn't understand why I would give up all of a sudden. At one point, I started crying. I remembered that it was so difficult to work at the JCC, even though I liked the job, while being in school, and how I didn't have time to not only study but also to have some sort of social life. Nathalie told me to ask myself what I was hoping to get from the internship, the real reason why I signed up for it. And then sleep on it.

The real reason is social pressure. This one-time opportunity to work in France and have it on my resume. But my heart isn't in it. The work doesn't appeal to me, and should I ruin my study abroad experience in order to experience working in France? I decided that no, I shouldn't. M. Seret should be calling me within the hour, or else I have to call him. I will tell him that I need to concentrate on academics. This isn't a lie - I definitely don't want to end up with bad midterm grades like last semester. Plus, my internet problems aren't helpful, and I do a lot of work at school. If I were to work, I couldn't use the daytime hours at school to do homework. Then I would be dependent on the free wifi and Danielle. I don't like working at her place at all, because either the tv is on, or she's on the phone.

Instead of the intership, I will join the French Society and Politics class Monday Wednesday at 4pm with Daniella. The prof hasn't given too too much yet, so hopefully I can catch up. Field trip tomorrow for that class already!

Weight lifted, thank goodness.

Lions Bar again, with Henry, Daniella, her host sister, and Amir. David came back from Bilbao, so he joined us, too. Wonderful night. Could I have done it if I worked? There's plenty of time to work in Chicago. Paris c'est la "vie"

Tonight, I'm going back to Montparnasse to get the professional photos! So excited!

A bientot!

Posté par parischica 04:15 Archivé dans France Commentaires (0)

Shabbat, Ziv's Important Friend

overcast 7 °C

Ziv's flight was at 3am Friday morning from Tel Aviv to CDG. I came to Gare de l'Est to get him at 10am. It was a very low key morning/afternoon. Checked into his hotel, he slept, I attempted to do some homework. Shabbat dinner was really nice. Danielle knows some Hebrew words so between the three of us, we kept conversation flowing :-)

Shabbos morning, Ziv and I went to Danielle's old synagogue. It is Sephardi, so I thought Ziv might feel a little bit at home, since his dad is Sephardi. But he told me that since he's been more often to Ashkenazi shuls in W. Rogers Park, he likes them better. We were there for a bit more than an hour.

Shabbos lunch was animated - Brigette came, of course, and Richard's old friend from way way back in Tunisia, Dede. They've known each other since they were 6! Danielle made Brigette and Dede's favorite dish - a spinach/bean meat stew that is supposedly a festive Tunisian dish. It was super good! It's salty, so I couldn't eat that much of it, but nevertheless, it was quite something! I'm going to have to try to get the recipe from Danielle, although it requires a few days of cooking, little by little! Danielle also made home-made ice cream!

It was a bit difficult for Ziv during lunch, because it's hard to listen to French for that long, even though he understands a lot of it. So we left a little before everyone else. We went for a really nice walk up north toward the Seine. We stopped a little bit at the Jardin de Luxembourg, which must be beautiful during the spring/summer seasons! We then veered west a little bit, which is why we didn't quite reach the Seine. We got rained on somewhat, so we stopped at a cafe. There, we met a Finnish couple who decided to come to Paris for the weekend. FOR THE WEEKEND!!! I wish I could just come to Paris for the weekend :-) They are staying for Monday as well because it's Valentine's Day.

Saturday night, Ziv and I met up with Amir at Trocadero, the huge plaza near the Eiffel Tower where you can see it at it's best! Daniela, Genia, Caroline, Jenny, and Sam joined us a bit later. They were all going to a club afterwards. We went to a bar near the club and hung out until 12:30. Amir's friend, Hillel, also an Israeli, joined us for a little bit at the end. Ziv and I didn't go to the club because we were going to wake up early Sunday morning to meet with a businessman, Shimon Eliezar, whom Ziv met a few years ago...somewhere. Ziv is very brave and proactive - he just called up Shimon and asked if he could meet up with him. Some background info on Shimon: Moroccan Jew, travels all over the world, lives part-time in Israel, Paris, and Switzerland, speaks a few languages. He also collects old government bonds. Apparently, these bonds are actually worth something for some governments. He said he has millions of dollars worth of these old papers. And Shimon has a dream. A dream of building a city in the middle of the Negev desert. A city for students, for Israelis fresh out of the army, and a hospital for sick children, but a special hospital where they wouldn't be stuck inside four walls all day. Cost of city: 200 billion dollars. Investors found: 200 billion dollars worth. Time until city can come to fruition: soon.

Ziv and I took the metro Sunday morning to Wagram, in the 17th arr, where a lot of Jews live.


Shimon and his assistant, Zehar (Yemenite Jew), picked us up in Shimon's car and we all went to an antique paper/other market in the 13th arr (near where I live...). Shimon was interested in finding some bonds there or at least making some contacts. The antique market was sooo cool! I LOVE antiques...get it from my dad. I bought a bit of jewelry (found a nice broach for Danielle!) and tried to scope out old cameras for my dad. Didn't find any, though I did find these...whatever they are:


I also found old violins! It's really too bad that my dad wasn't there!!


And a Hebrew book!


Shimon made some important contacts who said that they have bonds worth a lot more money at home than what they bring to the market. We were all hungry, so we went to the Marais, ordered falafel sandwiches, and ate them in the car (no close parking to the restaurant). Shimon was so funny...he said he knew that he would get his suit dirty before he even ordered. Shimon invited Ziv and I to join him as he met up with another friend of his near the airport at a shopping mall (to shop for what??) I declined...too far and I needed to do homework. But for Ziv that worked out very well, since he wanted to spent the night near the airport in order not to worry about his flight later. We got his suitcases from my room and I bid them all farewell. What an interesting day! It's so cool what Jews do for other Jews! Just unbelievable. I'm glad Ziv visited me; it was a lot of fun.

Homework time so that I can go to the couchsurfers bar tomorrow, again. And Amir wants to get amazing crepes beforehand. I make a little exception for crepes when it comes to kashrut ;-)

A bientot!

Posté par parischica 06:48 Archivé dans France Commentaires (1)

Shopping, Professional Photoshoot

overcast 8 °C

Right after I wrote the last blog, I got a call from Amanda, the academic coordinator, saying that the guy who wanted an intern from "Check'in Paris," who hadn't replied to calls/emails for a week, finally called Amanda and told her he wanted me to come in and interview. FINALLY! Gosh French people really take their time ;-) The interview will be around 1pm on Friday. And I have to pick up Ziv from Gare de l'Est (train station - he's taking a bus there from Charles de Gualle) (by the way, little tidbit of info...in Paris, no one says Charles de Gualle. They all call the airport "Roissy."). So yeah, Ziv at 10am. Then, take him to the hotel if I have time, and then go to the interview. If no time, he'll have to go to the hotel himself.

Then, right after, Freida called me. We were going to hang out yesterday. Both of us were tired. She, after working all day at school, where she teaches, and I, after sitting in the Institute Catholique class. But, since the "soldes" (sales) are ending next Tuesday, we dragged ourselves to the Galaries Lafayette at Montparnasse. This is a very well known store; it's sister store, in the 9th arrondissement, is the most famous. But Montparnasse (15th arr) is closer to me, so I asked Freida for that one. We didn't end up buying anything at GL, because, despite the sales, stuff was still expensive. It's like Nordstrom having a sale. Possible to find stuff, but difficult. But, GL is located in a mall, so we checked out other stores. One of Freida's favorites is Burton, an English store. I ended up buying two shirts and two skirts from there! It's more of a professional clothing store, but this is perfect, because everyone needs nice work clothing.

Freida and I trying on clothes at GL: 6First_Days..ris_044.jpg

When we went into GL at the beginning, we saw a setup for a photoshoot and a little makeup center. There was a girl who had a fan blowing her hair and a photographer taking photos. We asked what this was all about, and were told that for 20 euros, we could have a makeup session, photo session, and then one professional photo printed out (and other photos if we want, but we'd have to pay). I jumped at this opportunity!! Photoshoot in Paris in a Nordstrom-like store? I'm in! I made the appointment for today at 11am. Génial!!


So at night, I chose an outfit that I thought would be super cool and chic for a photoshoot. My fantastically interesting Israeli skirt, a plan black shirt on top, new cute shoes that I bought chez les Chinese (by the), a cool Spanish-like scarf, and my Turkish earrings. I was ready!

This morning, I literally bounded out of bed. Gosh, do I wish I could be so excited to get out of bed every morning! (Ziv tells me he is. What an optimistic guy. Lucky!). But before the photoshoot, I had a little rendez-vous at 9am! With Alex, the sister-in-law of Anya Alkhovsky, by whom I've spent Shabbos. Alex is from Paris but now lives in China. She's visiting Paris and her family for a week. We went to a cafe and chatted for a bit. She was super nice and bought petite kosher croissants and pains au chocolat (croissant-like pastry with chocolate chips inside). She's super nice, and I'm really sad that she isn't staying more. I would have loved to hang out with her.

Then, time for the photoshoot! My friend Vanessa wanted to go with me, but she ended up only coming toward the end. She accidentally went to the other Galeries Lafayette location! Oops. But we took a few photos together at the end. First, the makeup artist, a cool guy named Marc, spent about half an hour painting my face. He asked me what I like, and since I don't usually put makeup on, I told him to do something "dramatique!" He laughed and told the photographer, his good friend, that all the Americans say that. Then he said that in French, the world "dramatique" has more of a negative connotation. Too dramatic, too theatrical. Um...then why not say "trop" dramatique?? But whatever!


I/my friends took these photos, becauase I didn't get my professional photo yet:


A bientot!

P.S. Some random photos:

Hanging out at the Lions Bar, left to right: Amir, Henry, Vanessa, Emi 4First_Days..ris_035.jpg2First_Days..ris_034.jpg

Funny metro station names 1First_Days..ris_029.jpg
Random French building 0First_Days..ris_032.jpg
Where Bastille used to be1First_Days..ris_008.jpg

Posté par parischica 12:48 Archivé dans France Commentaires (0)

Ciné and Institut Catholique

overcast 7 °C

Tuesday. The longest day of the week. Schedule: Negocia class 9am-10:30am. Commute time: 1 hour. Finance 2:30-4pm, French 4pm-5:30pm. Whew. Finally gave the presentation at Negocia with my French parner, Montaine (Monty). We did well. Monty basically made notecards that had our essay on it, so she was essentially reading off of the paper. I hope that's not going to impede us. But she's French and it's hard for her to give a presentation without seeing text. I, too, had to write up some notecards. I'm so glad it's over, and now we don't have to worry about work for a while. Though the prof did assign us homework that could only be done in the Negocia library using a textbook. I'm going to try to find it online, though.

In French class, our teacher spontaneously announced that instead of a cinema visit on Thursday, we were going today. Cool! We went to see "Emotifs Anonymes," also starring "Rien a Declarer" 's star, Benoit Poelvoorde. He looks a lot older in this movie. Either they did that on purpose, or they made him look younger in Rien a Declarer on purpose. Or he's just so good at acting that he can do it himself :-)


Directly afterward, I ran to Danielle's, because she was at the dentist's and asked me to watch her husband for a bit. I wish Richard could go out more often; the ambulance comes to get him on Fridays to take him to a senior citizens' center so he can get some social interaction. But that's not enough. Also, the ambulance is super socialist and comes late or even refuses to come sometime! Danielle is infuriated - she says that the government pays them 100 Euro to take Richard to and from the center, and they're basically spitting on it!! Grr. If only people back in the states knew...

Amanda, the academic coordinator, told me that I may not be able to have an internship after all, because she doesn't have any more options for it. I would have to take another class, instead. I need one more religion class to complete my general classes at Loyola, so Amanda suggested taking a class, in French, at the Institut Catholique de Paris, which is about 15-20 minutes from the IES center. So I looked and found two possible classes that I could take: Asian religions and Christianity in the modern day. I decided to sit in on both classes and see if I could handle them.

I had to stand up Henry and Amir for lunch in the Marais in order to go to the Asian religions class today right after my Business French class, which ended at 10:30. The ICP class was 11am-1pm. Amir ended up sleeping through lunch, though, because he ended his airport shift at 11pm yesterday.

Boy, was I tired after listening to French for two hours. I was kinda stressed out because, first, I have to hurry from one school to the other. And then, I started worrying about not taking good enough notes in French to be able to pass exams/write papers (eek! hopefully none of these). I don't want to end up getting a bad grade and put myself through hell when I can just take another IES class in English. I'm going to the Christianity class next Monday and then I'll decide.

Freida (Pessy's sister) and I are going to the Galaries Lafayette (near Montparnasse) to go shopping before the sales end. I'm kinda tired to shop, but it's worth it because sales end next Tuesday. Saidie is going to see Black Swan tonight with her friends; I said I'd pass because I had seen it twice in the states, already. But I love going to the movies here, so hopefully I'll go again soon.

A bientot!

Posté par parischica 06:35 Archivé dans France Commentaires (0)

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