Monday, July 22, 2013

The End Approaches

Despite the heat and lack of air conditioning, these past few weeks have been some of the best of my trip.  Last weekend I spent my birthday with the best friends I could have asked for here in Paris.  We had dinner at my favorite pasta place and then spent the rest of the night hanging out in the park at the Eiffel Tower.  The next day, some of us took the train to Deauville in Normandy and spent the day at the beach.  Then, on Sunday, we watched fireworks at the Eiffel Tower for Bastille Day which is France's equivalent to Independence Day.  

This weekend was our last one in Paris, so those of us who were not traveling did our best to have fun without dying in the heat.  On Saturday, we went to an exhibit about the little black dress and then spent the rest of the afternoon walking around and exploring parts of Paris that we don't usually go to.  On Sunday, we got up bright and early to rent bikes because we were participating in a celebration of the 100th Tour de France.  The public was given the chance to ride the final route of the Tour de France when it arrives in Paris, a few hours before the professionals.  We got our bikes at 9am because we didn't want them to be sold out, and we spent our morning riding across Paris to the Champs-Elysées where the ride began.  All the participants were given yellow t-shirts and we rode the route in a giant mass as people cheered us on from the sides.  It was really cool to be able to participate in this event and to ride down such a famous road that was closed to all vehicles for the race.  I also went back at night to watch the actual race arrive around 8:30.  It was hard to tell what countries any of the bikers were from because they zoomed by so fast, but it was fun to watch and to be part of the huge crowds cheering them on.  

This week is my last before I head to the airport on Saturday... quel dommage.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July July

So the last few weeks have been kind of a blur involving interesting French parties and not a lot of sleeping.  I enjoy mixing with the locals even if it means not knowing what is going on half of the time.  Thankfully, last week involved a lot of English speaking festivities because both Canada Day and the 4th of July had to be celebrated.  We have a Canadian in the group, so we went to the Moose Bar on Monday to celebrate his country with him and tried some strange Canadian dish involving fries covered in gravy... gross.  Then, on Thursday, we all had a lovely American feast of KFC in a park to celebrate the 4th and went to an American bar that was strangely full of French people and playing music that did not resemble country in any way.  Big let down.  

This week at work, I have been working on preparing for our photo shoot this Friday of the pictures that will go on our new website.  I will be getting up bright an early on my birthday to assist in all the photo taking needs that arise during the day.  Hopefully I can make my hair cooperate since I have to have my picture taken for the corporate employees section.

This is the terrace of our showroom where we were working yesterday...

And this is my boss's bunny :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Fete de la Musique

This weekend was Fete de la Musique, which is an all night party with music and dancing all over Paris.  Everyone is out in the streets and the Metro runs all night long.  My friends and I spent the night at Canal St. Martin and observed the drunken splendor.  Looking down from the bridge, we watched the giant mosh pit rocking out to some strange French band.  We also got to witness some drunk locals lose a bet and have to swim back and forth across the disgusting cesspool of a canal.  They are definitely dying from some disease by now I'm sure.  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

One Month Down, One to Go

This past weekend was a little crazy, hence why I couldn’t force myself to do any blogging, I was just far too tired.  On Friday, we went to a fun little Scottish bar called Wos, where everyone spoke English and was actually friendly.  We met a fun British kid named Tom and adopted him for the rest of the night.  I particularly enjoyed swapping stories of weird things we do in our respective countries and the different expressions we have that make no sense to each other.  I love cultural stuff like that.  We were having so much fun that we couldn’t tear ourselves away to make it on the Metro before it closed, so we decided to stay out until it opened back up around 5:30 AM.  This seemed like a good idea until 3 AM rolled around and all I wanted to do was turn the bar into my own personal bed for a few hours.  We lost Chloe to the back of her eyelids for a couple hours but we figured that if she was dedicated enough to her sleep that she could do so sitting up with her mouth open in the middle of a noisy bar, then she deserved to be left in peace.  The rest of us struggled through by listening to Tom and Neil swap stories of the ridiculous drunk hazing activities that went on at their various rugby team parties.  I’ve come to the conclusion that boys are weird in every country, such a shame.  After a while, we decided to walk to Notre Dame and watch the sun rise.  When the Metro finally opened, I went back to my apartment and tried to sneak in without waking up my host mom, even though she was probably already woken up by the aggressive sunshine that was blazing through the windows.  As exhausted as I was, it was so hard to fall asleep with the sun on so bright.  Fortunately, I was eventually able to sleep until 2 in the afternoon and then meet everyone out for dinner at our new favorite 50s diner for my second time that week.  There’s nothing like a cheeseburger to make you forget that you stayed up all night and feel like you’ve been hit by a bus.  

This week has been a prime example of how bipolar Parisian weather is.  Monday was a miserable monsoon all day long with the largest raindrops I have ever experienced, and then Tuesday was sunny, ridiculously hot, and drier than Africa.  Of course those were the two days that I had to go into the office for work, and now the past two days that I have been working from home have been a nice 68 degrees with only occasional bursts of rain…go figure.  Anyway, according to my friends, I have no right to complain about anything because I’m in Paris and anything that goes wrong here is far less horrible than if it were to happen anywhere else.  Surprisingly, I have found that this is actually a fairly true assessment of things.

At work, I have been given the lovely task of determining what needs to be done to the company website to update it and make it more attractive.  Right now it looks more like a powerpoint presentation than an actual website, so I’ve been comparing it to other sites and trying to figure out what can be done to improve it.  We have a meeting with the website designer next week, so I get to pitch my ideas and help develop a plan.  Apparently we will also be getting our pictures taken for a bio section on the website, so I’m about to be famous ;) 

Friday, June 14, 2013


I had my first official day at Au Boudoir de Babou yesterday and I am already in love with my job.  Besides the fact that my boss is awesome and I may have a tiny girl crush on her, I get to do what I love for work.  I've started by translating the company's website into English and also researching luxury U.S. fashion blogs that we can reach out to for advertisement.  My boss, Emilie's, goal is to build awareness of the brand in America because many of her clients are American, and I am basically in charge of this.  I have always thought that I would like a job that involves social media marketing for a fashion company since I am studying both fashion and communications in school.  This job is basically perfect for me because I love fashion blogs and I follow several brands on different social media outlets already.  I now get to use what I know for work and I am doing things that I like to do on my own time anyway.  Win, win!

Here are some pictures of our cute little office:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Homestay Life

Homestay life has its difficulties, mostly because it involves living with a complete stranger in their house, with their rules.  Thankfully my house mother is pretty chill and she buys me a baguette every day so she obviously knows that the way to my heart is through food.  

My room is actually a really good size and I have plenty of storage, which is rare.  My only major complaint is the world’s worst mattress that I am forced to sleep on every night.  It's made of three sections of the hardest material known to man placed together on top of some wooden slats about an inch off the floor.  I don’t think I have ever slept on anything as uncomfortable and sometimes painful as this so-called mattress.  I never knew something could be lumpy and hard at the same time but this lovely torture devise manages both.  I think a prison mattress would be more comfortable.  I wake up with my body aching in the middle of the night and I walk around all day doing weird gymnastics moves trying to realign my spine.  I’m definitely going to need a chiropractor when I get home.

Here are some pictures of the shoebox I share with her...

A Little Taste of Home

On Monday, my friend Chloe and I both had off of work so we decided to meet up for lunch in the Latin Quarter.  While wandering the streets looking for a place to eat, we stumbled upon this strange woman in rollerblades that seemed to jump out at me as I turned the corner.  On closer inspection, we saw that it was an advertisement for a 50s inspired American diner.  It was so cute, we had to try it, and I am so glad that we did.  The menu had all the diner classics like burgers and milkshakes, and even had a section for "New York bagels."  The waitress spoke perfect English, which is always slightly annoying when you're trying to practice your French, but it did add to the American feel of the place.  I had the best avocado burger ever and a chocolate milkshake that tasted a little like peanut butter.  It's hard to explain just how good it feels to have a real American hamburger when you've been living on baguettes and pasta for the past three weeks.  It's my own fault that I can't cook anything for myself, and I do love the meals I have at French restaurants.  I'm not complaining but that meal just really made my day.  

After our meal, we walked around a little bit and found some people giving free massages in a little square by a church.  I was a little skeptical at first, but it seemed that they were there to practice from some school, so we gave it a try.  I don't know if it was just because I've been sleeping on a rock for three weeks or because I've been walking hundreds of miles a day, but that massage was the best I have ever received.  After my free ten minute rub down, my body felt like butter and I happily strolled over to the Luxembourg Garden where we sat on the grass and wondered how we ever got so lucky (at least I did).