Un blog Travellerspoint

Grocery Shopping and Cooking - Finally!

overcast 7 °C

Did some stuff around the apartment...Danielle came over to change the trucs (things) that make the lights go on and off. Very old kind of system. This is because I blew the fuse of the bathroom light, trying to dry my hair. I must be the millionth girl to have done this. Didn't bother looking at the watts that my converter could hold...opps.

Went to Carrefour, the grocery store. Chez les Francais, you have to weigh your veggies/fruits/loose items. They don't weigh for you at the counter. Weird. You put your bag on the scales, press the corresponding photo of the goods, and it prints out a sticker for you to put on your plastic bag. I got a bit confused at one point and asked the woman next to me where a photo of a huge cucumber was. She told me that if they sell by "each," then I don't need a sticker. We ended up talking for some 15 minutes. She's been to NY and in other countries like China and Egypt. Interesting lady.

The French have the biggest tomato aisle I've ever seen. All kinds, all sizes. There's a funny one called "tomates pour salade" (tomatos for salad), that is all funky and curvy on all sides.

tomato.jpg

And, I don't know where you get your lychees from, but I'm now getting mine cheap from Madagascar :-) All the loose goods have the country of origin written by the price. Avocados from Israel (! I definitely got a couple to show my support), Coconuts from Reunion (island near Madagascar), and other stuff from Brazil, the States, Spain, ect.

Went back home and made a recipe that Danielle made for Marie and I yesterday. Pasta with sauce made out of tomato paste, olive oil, and capers. Danielle added anchovies and thyme. Instead, I had basil and garlic. It was yummy. I also made the mushroom/potato burekas that I bought at the kosher store. Very filling! Unfortunately, only one out of the four burners on the stove works. This means that I have to learn to be patient and slow...like the French. Thank goodness the oven works. But it's difficult to know if it's off or not. And I'm paying the electricity, which Danielle says is expensive in France.

My kitchen

My kitchen


My food space

My food space

Tried to go to Orange again today to buy the 3G USB for internet. 30 Euro a month. Not terrible. But they need my bank account info, which I didn't take with. Hopefully my parents can scan my checkbook page and I can print it out here.

IES orientation starts tomorrow. Can't wait to meet everyone!!

Posté par parischica 09:03 Archivé dans France Commentaires (0)

Mauritanian Jazz, Bike Tour, and French Asians

sunny 9 °C

Got back at 1:15 AM in the morning with Marie. We went to a jazz club in the 5th arrondissement in the St.Michel area. It was bustling with young people hanging out. We went to a club called Caveau des Oubliettes, translated to Prisonners Underground. But it wasnt scary like that at all. It was full; Marie and I couldnt find a place to sit where the musicians were. We had to watch them on the tv in the other room. But we snuck peaks. I even took a bit of video. And I got ripped off on my Kronensburg beer - 9.5 euro!! Never again. I'm bringing my own ;-)

Jazz Club!

Jazz Club!


Band at the Jazz Club

Band at the Jazz Club


Marie and I

Marie and I

I talked to a few girls sitting by me - Sara, Vanessa, and I forgot the other girl's name. They were from Maurice (island of Mauritius - off the coast of Madagascar!) They, but more so their husbands/boyfriends, definitely looked different. Kind of like a mix of Indian and African, which, I imagine, is the case.Very cool! I have a photo with them!

Mauritanian Gals

Mauritanian Gals

First thing in the morning today was kosher shopping. Nearest store is in the 15th arrondissement. Bought fish, pate, cheese, burekas, and, of course, gummy candy.

Then, Danielle dropped me off at the Tour Eiffel to meet Marie for the bike tour we wanted to do together. Except Marie didn't show up. Later, I found out that the metro was unusually slow. I felt so bad because Marie really wanted to do the tour.

The tour ended up being really fun. It was a gorgeous, sunny day. Saidie, the tour guide, is from Pennsylvanie. She's working on a work visa and wants to live in Paris permanently. She did a fantastic job. We saw le Louvre, les Invalides, Napoleon's tomb, le Champ de Mars, l'Esplanade, l'Obelisk, and many other things. Lots of photos and even video!!

Eiffel Tower - bike tour

Eiffel Tower - bike tour


Arc (not de Triomphe) by the Louvre

Arc (not de Triomphe) by the Louvre


Obelisk

Obelisk


Seine

Seine


Cles d'Amour

Cles d'Amour


Invalides/Ecole Militaire

Invalides/Ecole Militaire


Invalides

Invalides


Arc in front of Louvre

Arc in front of Louvre


SMART car!

SMART car!

Then, I got Saidi's number so that we can go out sometime. Then, I took the metro back. I sat next to two Chinese guys who were speaking English. Henry, from Texas, is studying to be an international journalist/photographer for 3 months here. Jean Paul, who is actually from Paris but has great English, is a flight attendant on AirFrance. No, he can't get me free tickets :-(

I ended up hanging out with them. We found Henry's school off of Rue Raspline; his classes start tomorrow. Then, we walked to St. Michel, where Marie and I were yeterday at the jazz club. More about that a bit later. Henry and JP got food and we went to sit by the Notre Dame to eat. Just like that. Amazing...

Par my best friend Diana's request, I found a French speaking Chinese guy. I was supposed to take a photo with him. I did one step better. I video-ed him in front of the Notre Dame giving Diana a "tour" of the surroundings. Really, it was n'importe quoi (random ranting), but hey, she won't know the difference. Unless she is reading this right now :-)

Back at Danielle's right now. I just accompanied Marie to the metro - she is leaving back to the states via Munich. She was super sad to go and wished me to take advantage of the time I have in Paris.

Signing off and bonne nuit!

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Posté par parischica 11:57 Archivé dans États-Unis Commentaires (2)

Chabbat in Paris

semi-overcast 12 °C

I had a wonderful Chabbat! I slept until noon today; darn! I wanted to go to synagogue. Oh well, hopefully next Chabbat.

Danielle's cousin's daughter, Brigitte, came for lunch. Very nice person! She offered to take me out to expos or theatre if I wanted. OF COURSE!
We ate lunch for like 3 hours. Danielle cooks so amazingly! She and her husband are from Tunisia, so she cooked up some mean Tunisian dishes. And there was homemade apple pie and ice cream (not homemade).

After lunch, I went for a walk. Danielle recommended the Jardin de Luxembourg (gardens), but it didn't happen. I got distracted. First, I realized that, ten minutes into my walk, I was already near the streets where the IES Center is located! I found it; the school is on rue Deparcieux, a tiny street off of rue Daguerre, which is off of rue General Leclerc, where Danielle lives.

Rue Daguerre is bustling! There are street vendors selling fruits, veggies, cheese, charcuterie (meat), and, of course, chocolate/pastries!! I can imagine myself already, buying a few lychees (the French are into them!!) and apples on my way to school in the morning. OF COURSE I'll be walking to school! I can feel my weight shrinking already :-)

Then, I kept walking on rue General Leclerc. I walked until the metro station Danfer Roucheau, smiled to a guy passing me, and stopped to think. I didn't see anything interesting ahead, so I debated going back. My thing was, I have to keep walking straight, because I didn't want to get lost. Since it was still Chabbat, no metro/bus/cell phone for me. My only source of info was other people.

I decided to turn around and walk back. I saw the same guy passing me and smiled at him like "haha, we're both lost/don't know what to do with ourselves." I kept walking a bit and looked behind me. He was looking behind himself, too, at me. I chuckled and kept walking. A few steps later, I looked again. So did he. We laughed and he waved me over. This is how I met my first friend in Paris (my age), a Chilean guy, Daniel.

Daniel is studying math at a school here, and has been for 2 years. He didn't know any French when he first came. Very brave. We ended up walking to St. Michel, a beautiful area with a fountain. On the way, we passed the Sorbonne (oldest French university) and the Pantheon (where famous people are buried). Daniel doesn't believe much in cell phones, and doesn't actually have one. So I gave him my email address.

Oh yeah, cell phones. I stood in line at Orange, the French equivalent of T-Mobile or Verizon to buy a SIM card. I bought 20 minutes for 15 Euro. EXPENSIVE! I'm going to try to find an alternative. Either they may have less expensive options when you buy more minutes, or the neighboring Tabac (where they cell cigarettes, lottery tickets, and...SIM cards) will have a cheaper option.

Marie, who is staying by Danielle for a couple days, wants to go to a jazz club tonight. Can't wait! Tomorrow, we want to take a bike tour around Paris and go to a Marche de Puces (flea market) afterward. I need to figure out when to do kosher shopping, because it's not walking distance. Maybe Monday.

Signing off for now and bon soir!

Posté par parischica 10:02 Archivé dans États-Unis Commentaires (1)

First 24 hours in Paris

semi-overcast 12 °C

France and I hit off to a good start even before my plane landed. I made friends with Susan, who was sitting next to me. She was born in Angleterre (England), but now lives in Reims, outside of Paris. Got her contact info and everything, if I want to visit. Kitty corner to us was Elaine, who overheard me talking about my study abroad program. She is on another study abroad program through Trinity University. Somewhere in the 10th arrondissement, she thinks. I'm in the 14th. Got her info, too. We can share friends, I don't mind :-)

Hit the runway in Paris...oh la la, cloudy day, looks like it will drizzle. Typical. No problems getting my luggage, thank goodness. I keep remembering how I was without mine for two days in Israel. My host mom, Danielle, suggested that I take the AirFrance shuttle to la Gare de Montparnasse (train station), which is close to my apartment, on rue Alphonse Daudet. Then, a taxi the rest of the way. This would save me money. Indeed, I paid 16.5 Euro for the shuttle and 10 Euro for the taxi (extra for the nice driver). Much better than the approximate 60 Euro from the airport to the apartment. The airport was some 45 minutes away.

Danielle's friend, Sylviane, introduced herself and opened the door for me. Huge double doors, another locked door inside, and thankfully, my apartment facing straight at us, up a couple of steps (good for grocery shopping, though there is a tiny elevator). Danielle met me a few minutes later, coming over from her apartment on rue General Leclerc, just around the corner.

The apartment is SO FRENCH! I'll post photos later, though it will be hard to grasp the tininess of the studio because there's nowhere that I can stand to take a photo that encompasses the whole thing! It's pink and vintage. The kitchen is tini tiny! I'm not sure how I will manage to cook in it. The bathroom is likewise, with a stand-up, tini tiny shower! But hey, I'm not complaining. I have my own space. But it's cold. The heat hasn't been on in the 6 months that Danielle has been visiting her children in the U.S., and the heating company still hasn't come to fix the problem. Typical socialism.

Danielle let me unpack and showed me the nearest food store, Marche Franprix, which is very close, thank goodness. But the prices!! I bought some cleaning stuff for the apartment (toilet paper, paper towel, soap) and some fruit from the nearby Carrefour, a supermarket. Total spent: I don't remember, but a lot more than the U.S. ! I took a 1.5 hour nap (hadn't slept for some 30 hours). Then, off to Danielle's!

I'm at Danielle's apartment now. I slept over because of the lack of heat at my apartment. Danielle's is even more French than mine. So vintage! But cute. I had a good night's sleep, but I'm still tired. Hopefully I'll get over the jetlag in the next couple of days. I can't imagine what my peers will be going through on their first days of orientation while I'll be as chirpy as a bird!

Danielle's daughter in the U.S., Isabelle, sent a friend over, Marie, to stay for a few days. Marie was in Allemagne (Germany), but didn't have a good experience there, so she's in Paris now. She's fun. She and I will hopefully be going to a jazz club Samedi soir (Saturday night) after Chabbat (Shabbat, as they spell it in France). Danielle's been cooking up a storm (French style - portion control).

Loving it so far. French music is on. Vive Paris!

Signing off for now, and bon journee (good day)

Posté par parischica 19:55 Archivé dans États-Unis Tagué paris abroad study Commentaires (0)

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