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Friday, February 18, 2011

Rungis

Today we went to Rungis, the biggest market in Europe, and possibly the world!
Rungis is a "market" in a series of warehouses containing everything you could ever want to eat by category.  Every category has several warehouses.  For example the vegetable section is made up of 9 different warehouses, that being long halls FILLED with veggies. 
First they made us put on these REDICULOUS plastic gowns and caps.


We started in the veal warehouse.  This was the most frightening.  I said to my host mother later that it was strange to see meat on a rack like that because I'd never seen it before.  She thought that was strange.


Then we saw the poltry warehouse, but it was closing so there wasn't much to see.  Oh, did I mention it closes at 8AM?!??!  Rungis does the majority of it's commerce between 3-8am.
Then we saw the cheese warehouse.  People from all over the world order food from Rungis!  But if it is going to the United States most things need to fly in to New York then be shipped out from there because customs (except in ny) won't accept most of the food from France. 
The cheese was ENORMOUS and smelled great (for the most part).


 Rows and ROWS of cheese.
 They told us that for this cheese it won't sell unless it is brown like this.
The cheese wheels got pretty big.

Then we went to a flower warehouse.  Flowers were flown in from all over the world!  Bamboo from China, Tulips from Holland.  You name it, it was there.








And finally we ended in the Fruit and Veggie warehouse.  There were things there I had never seen in my life!  And we got to sample a pear.  I HATE pear, but this was so fresh and sweet and juicy that I LOVED IT!  Everything was as Fresh as if you had just taken it off the tree.









 It was great!  Or as the French might say, "C'était génial!"

Friday, February 11, 2011

Doubleur

Everyone seems to have a French twin.  I swear to god I have seen everyone I have EVER KNOWN in France, except not.  And for the most part it is people I haven't seen in years!  For example, I was walking down Rue de Revoli the other day and I saw someone who I swear to GOD was Evan Yandel, this boy I went to high school with and haven't seen or thought about in years!  This happens every day.  And it is never logical.  It is never someone I am used to seeing every day.  It is never a Sarah Arrington or a Lisa Jablon or even a David Powell, but always some obscure person I haven't thought about in FOREVER!

Side note, went to see Oscar Wilde's grave.  Religous....Experience.  Its traditional to kiss it while wearing lipstick, but totally illegal.  Don't tell the French government, but I might have...
Photos Below.

LOVE YOU ALL!





Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Premier Semaine du Cours

Hey gang,

So I have decided in order to be the more efficent I am going to make a list of things I have notices over the past couple of weeks that you might find interesting in no particular order.  I am calling them "Funny French Facts".  Enjoy!

Funny French Facts:
  1. There is no sun in France.  I have yet to see it anyway.
  2. Because of this, the French don't wear sunglasses.  This sucks cause I bought 4 pairs for the trip.
  3. ALL French people wear scarfs.  All of them.  They don't have to look good or be functional, they just have to be worn at ALL TIMES.
  4. The French can make work Fashions NO ONE ELSE CAN.  I saw a woman wearing bedazzled acid-wash denim bell-bottoms to work the other day.  You know what...it didn't look terrible on her.
  5. Homeless Frenchmen have dogs.  It definately makes be want to give them money just so they will buy dog buscuits.  
  6. The popular American Social Networking site "FACEBOOK" when pronounced with a French accient sounds like the French phrase "Fesse Bouc" which means "Goat Ass."  Therefore a lot of French teenagers and 20-somethings call "Facebook" "Goat Ass" as a joke.  This includes when writing it which can be very confusing.
  7. Even people on the Metro are going to be better dresses than you.  Every time.
  8. Unlike in NY or Boston you DO push the button to have the bus driver stop at your stop.  If you don't you may go from your very rich neighborhood in the 16th quickly into the woods outside the city known for transexual prostitutes and drugs.  
  9. There are no dryers in France.  The French think they ruin your clothes.
  10. Everything around you may be written in English (ads, posters, flyers...) but don't be fooled, no one wants to talk to you in English here.
  11. "J'ai hate," though it may not look like it, means "I can't wait!"
  12. People really do shower less in France, but they double up on the cologne.  
  13. French boys think American girls are easy.  Don't be that biddy that proves them right.
  14. The French ALSO have crazy overly enthusiastic gay lit professor that talk to fast.  This would be cool if French was my first language.
  15. "All Roads Lead to Rome" works in Paris if you substitute the Eiffel Tower.  Still, it could be a long walk.  By law it is the tallest building in Paris and you can see its lights at night from almost anywhere.
  16. I saw a bunch of Twinky French guys on the Metro the other night singing Ke$ha.  Though Ke$ha isn't popular here AT ALL, she has her niches. 
And thats all I have for now.  Questions?  Comments?  Concerns?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Une Semaine

So it's been one week since I arrived in France.  Wow, that is crazy.  I have seen and heard a lot of things.  Check my facebook for more photos.  An update.
  1. My host mom is soooooo sweet.  She is very accomidating and very kind.  But as is French culture meals take FOREVER because there are like 19.7 billion courses!  Cocktails, appetizers, main dish, side dishes, cheese, fruit, desert, coffee, it is OUT OF CONTROL!  lol
  2. I am still nervous talking to people in public but I am getting better.  There have been a few times I have walked in to stores and the shop owner started speaking English to me because he knew I was American and it is very discouraging.  However I am finding if you continue to speak French to them they will go along with it and seem to appreciate it.
  3. The French electrical system is stupid.  I already blew a fuse and am VERY NERVOUS I am going to do it again.  Come on France, lets up the voltage.
  4. French showers are equally as annoying.  You have to hold the shower head the whole time.  It is FREEZING.
  5. French wine, cheese and coffee (which is cheaper here than water, go figure) are the SHIT!  Never had a bad wine cheese of coffee, however after about 10am if you ask for coffee they will give you espresso.  Thanks Starbucks for preparing me for that one.
  6. Signing up for French classes is very difficult.  You actually have to go to different departments around the city to sign up for different classes.  THis is something I think Americans do better with the online system.
Oh god, so much more, but I need to get some sleep.  It is almost 1am here (but for the French it is 0:51 cause they use a 24 hr clock).  So goodnight toute la monde!

PS, IMA add a photo just for fun!
PS, it has been really rainy and overcast, but so the photo isn't great (thats Parisian winter!) but this is a fountain at La Place de la Concorde.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Le premier jour

So I got in and they set me up in a hotel for the night because my host mother had a long standing party arrangement (I think I am going to like her) and asked for me to move in tomorrow instead.
So I set up in the hotel and then went back to the center to meet the other kids in my program. They all seemed really cool. I was just so tired that I went back to the hotel and passed out at 8! Who am I, my mom? Lol, jk, love you mamen!
Then there is today, my first full day in Paris. Well I woke up At 2 so it's not gonna be a late night, but hey, I am not on Paris time yet (though waking up at 2 here is 8pm on the US east cost so I dont know who's time I am on).
Things to do:
10h- tour of the hôtel de ville
4h- move in with host family
Other:
-get a French cell phone. Didn't think I'd need it but I already feel out of the loop.
-get outlet converters. Forgot to get these at the airport and my laptop is gonna die and I can't plug anything in.
-call Powell, I should let him know I am here.
Alright, let's go day 1!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

J'arrive!

So I finally made it to Paris. Oh my god what an ordeal.
First I flew to Zurich. The Alps were beautiful! And the airport had wine everywhere and smoking lounges, how odd!
After an hour and a half layover I began to fly to Paris. CDG was an interesting place. Then a taxi to the API center. O felt weird when the CABBY had trouble understanding me! Jeeze!
Then I got lost in the plaza where the centre is.
More later.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Le Retard

Truth is I should have been leaving for France tonight, but my visa has yet to come through and I have no one to contact about it: not the program manager, not the consulate, not anyone I am going with.  I feel so helpless and wish I could just go!  But no, I have to wait for the French consulate to flex their political muscles.

French burocracy: 1
William in France: 0

I am sure this is not the last time we will face off.