I saw one of the best things ever the other day....I was shopping in Carrefour which to me is the closest I am going to get to a Target. It's kind of amazing. Helps to quell the burning Target desires by the way...
Anyway, there is an area for "Foods of the World" ou "Produits Du Monde" and there is a section for America. LOOK AT IT!
It makes me laugh out loud to see in the photo even though I've seen it in person already a few times. Please note all of the Oreo products, the marshmallow fluff, barbeque sauce, peanut butter, ranch dressing, etc. I love it and it is hilarious to me. Please also note the "Mexican" section to the left, and if you are looking for the fabulous detail that is so amsuing to me, feel free to click on the photo for a larger view. :)
Are our "international foods" sections in the U.S. this stereotypical???
Well, I haven't posted in a little while because things have been semi-hectic.
I have been continuing the apartment search again with little luck. It's amazing to me how little the apartments I have been seeing resemble the advertisements that describe them. This morning I visited a place that I read was a two room (meaning one-bedroom) apartment that was supposedly fully furnished and 40 square meters. When I arrived, I was sad to see that all that was there furniture wise was a beat-up old futon/bed and a table with two chairs. And, it was definitely a small studio- maybe even HALF the size of what it was advertised. UGH. I am about ready to throw in the towel and pay out the nose for an agency. Usually the agency apartments are a lot more expensive, and renting this way includes needing to pay an agency fee that is usually at least 10% of the yearly rent. It just might be worth it though....I'll keep you posted.
In other news, I went to see the Devil Wears Prada yesterday- the first time I have been to the movies in France! The movie was in English with French subtitles, and I was surprised at how much the audience was enjoying it! Guess working with a boss from hell is translatable across cultures. :)
I am at school waiting for my class to start. Luckily we only have the one afternoon class today, so I had time to run errands and look at apartments this morning.
Whenever anyone tells me they have good and bad news and asks me which I want to know first, I always choose the bad news. Don't know what that says about my personality, but I will treat you all with the bad news first, followed by the good.
1. I cannot CANNOT for the life of me find a place to watch baseball in Paris. I am looking everywhere, without seeming like too much of a "stupid American." But seriously- I predicted successfully that the Dodgers would be in the playoffs and I would really appreciate a venue through which I could enjoy this....
2. In a totally opposite "success," I have identified an INSANE karaoke bar that has 4,000 songs in English including one of my favorites to sing- "Bitch" by Meredith Brooks. They have it! Now, I just need to find someone who wants to go to karaoke to witness such a spectacle....
Well, as tempting as it was to not do anything today (because I had NO class for some strange reason) I was surprisingly productive and I am proud of myself! :)
Today can also be known as "the day that I searched for apartments like it was my job!" Honestly- I've done close to eight hours of research, emailing, calling, etc. and still I feel like I am no closer to securing a place. They weren't kidding when they said it's tough to do these things in Paris. (Not sure who "they" are exactly...but you follow me...)
Anyway, I also went to school for a few hours to meet with my group for my globalization seminar class. I am working with two French students who are so so sweet and really a lot of fun. We are tasked with writing a 15 page paper (in English thank goodness) about a specific company and explore various effects of globalization. We chose the United Colors of Benetton, and like a nerd, I have really been enjoying doing the research. Turns out a lot of those controversial ads we remember from the early 90's were not even the most controversial at all! We have been studying some of the ones from the EU and they are totally out of control.
I also did something amazing this evening and went to stock up on school supplies! HOORAY! Those of you who know me well know I am not kidding when I say that this is one of my most favorite things! Now I am all set for the semester and even got an agenda/calendar book that will help me keep track of my random class schedule and due dates.
I've found a SUPERIOR internet cafe and will definitely be coming here more often so hopefully the updates will be regular.
Bisous! (kisses! everyone signs their emails and notes like this here and I just love it!) KEF
Well, after years of wondering "what if," and talking incessantly about it, I took the plunge and am finally in Paris and will be here for the next year or so....
I am attending the European Business School here in Paris and am in a one-year masters program in Marketing and International Affairs. There are only ten people in my specific program, and I am most definitely the only American. I may even be the only American at the whole school which I guess you could say is good and bad. I don't know what I was thinking to arrive here on Sunday and start classes at 10am the next day, but needless to say, last week was BRUTAL. I finally feel like I am not jet lagged and am finding time to explore the city and am on a seemingly incessant apartment hunt.
The bureaucracy here is unbelievable. I had heard stories and warnings but it truly is more difficult than I had imagined. For example, I can't get a cell phone contract without a bank account, can't get a bank account without an apartment and can't get an apartment without both of the other two. UGH. I am surprising myself with how patient I am being and how easily some of these frustrations are rolling off my shoulders. I think that maybe the fact that I am finally here has something to do it- there is something new, exciting, and so "Paris-like" around every corner so it's hard to be mad or frustrating. Quite a change from the U.S.! :)
While the weather has been cloudy and rainy this weekend and the beginning of this week, I haven't let it stop me from exploring the city. I have been doing a lot of metro riding and my favorite thing to do is ride to a stop I've never been to before, get out, walk around a bit, and then get back on the metro and repeat the process at another stop. This is not only a fun game for me to play but also helpful in my apartment search- I am getting a better idea of the area very quickly and learning where to go and where not to go.
My French has come back to me very quickly, but I still feel like I am speaking like a five year old half the time. While so far half of my classes have been in English, it's really going to be a mixed bag this semester so I am going to have to get on track quickly. It's really great to be back in a learning environment and I am meeting a lot of people through school, which is awesome.
I am of course obsessed with the cuisine- the French make even the simplest things like a mozzarella tomato sandwich (my FAVORITE) into delicacies. I have sampled crepes, fondue and even SUSHI since I have been here. The sushi was surprisingly good, but was nothing compared to what we Angelenos are used to. I miss Kabuki already!!!
Anyway, I have set up the skeleton of a blog that I am hoping to force myself to use in order to keep everyone better updated.... Please visit kefinparis.blogspot.com if you want updated on me and my adventures. Depending upon my very BASIC blogging skills, I will try to include photos and more info about Paris and my surroundings. I will do my best to update it regularly but it will probably take me a little while to get it off the ground.
Well, that's all for now. I know that I haven't spoken with some of you in quite a while and would really love updates on what everyone else is up to. Please do let me know how you are doing, and also if there is a better address for you, and I will update my address book.
Of course the Dodgers are in the playoffs and the third season of Grey's Anatomy is amazing apparently- these are things that I KNEW would happen once I left L.A. and are definitely things I would love to be updated on during the year. I miss little things like that already but couldn't be happier to be here.
I hope this note finds everyone doing extremely well and that you are all having a wonderful fall. I miss you all!
Please do keep in close touch and I will look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
Not only have I made a blog.....but I am actually in Paris. Even though it's been a week already I am still finding this hard to believe.
Anyway, there is much much more to come from me later- I just wanted to set this up as a place for everyone to visit to hear more about my adventures. Being as technically challenged as I am, let's see how good it can get.... :)
I followed my dreams to Paris for business school in September 2006. Since then, I've finished school, an internship and found a real, permanent job in the City of Lights. Stay tuned for semi-regular accounts of my adventures.