Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
- People are BIGGER here. Try riding the train. The majority of people do not take up a single seat.
- American bus drivers are similarly crazy to French bus drivers.
- The sun comes up much earlier here. When I left Paris, sunrise was 8:42am. Here I woke up at 8am and the sun was already up! I like that.
- People in Boston dress much more casually than in Paris. And not just around MIT. Also, my new French miniskirts might be inappropriate for conservative New England.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Then today we did gifts. A wonderful and perfect Christmas all around! I'm particularly pleased with my surprise for Diego; he loves surprises and I'm really bad at not giving them away. But this year I was successful - he never guessed the camera that was under the tree!
Of course, that meant he needed a model.
"Wait, who, me?"
Saturday, December 17, 2011
In other news, last night I met up with Thomas again for dinner and sightseeing around Montmarte. Wow, is that place touristy! But its also a cute old part of Paris. It started to rain so we walked around inside the Sacre Coeur Basilica, but there were no photos allowed.
Thomas and I are setting some sort of friend record by seeing each other three times in three different countries in three months. I guess we're both big travelers now. :-)
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
I'm gearing up to head Stateside on Sunday, if, fingers crossed, the French processes don't suddenly speed up and I end up with an unchangeable medical appointment in the next two weeks. So everyone please hope that the bureaucracy is bureauCRAZY until January 1, and then it becomes extremely efficient so I can finish all the paperwork before heading to the APS conference in February. Yes, I realize this is probably too much to hope for. So I'm taking charge of the only thing I can and knitting frantically. Good enough.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Maybe it was the seeing the huge tree at Galleries Lafayette with my MIT lab mate Thomas...
Maybe it was shopping with him at the Christmas Market on the Champs Élysées...
Maybe it was the kind man who threw in a "little something extra" when I bought a few things from him at the Market...
(sorry, no picture on this one, can't ruin the surprise for the 4-year-old who will be unwrapping it soon!)
Or maybe it was thinking about last year's Christmas...
But whatever it was, after weeks of having no desire to get ready for Christmas, today I bought a tree.
Her name is Lucy. From the song "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds". She's 17 cm tall, and I decorated her with a long pearl necklace and some ribbon that I cut out of a shirt. The very nice woman at the store assured me that she can make it through a Paris window outside, but at least until Christmas, she's going to stay inside with me.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
The conversation turned to weird American food, how processed everything is, and how everything lasts forever. The expiration on the bag was more than a year away, and I mentioned how the cookies might already be more than a year old and yet they were still fresh because they had "so many preservatives in them!" My lab mates burst out laughing.
I just stared blankly. I'm getting really good at that. Friendly lab mate managed to stop laughing long enough to say, "Les préservatifs... in French...
Yes, I just told my entire lab that I think that American cookies stay fresh longer because they are filled with condoms.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Previous probability of me asking friendly lab mate to hang out this weekend: 85-90%
Current probability of me ever asking friendly lab mate to hang out outside of work: 0%.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Today was the first time I ever wished that my lab did the bises (kisses). I'm leaving today for two weeks. And I'm actually sad to go! I'm not sad to leave my tiny apartment, or the shoving and pushing of rush hour, but I am sad that I will miss two weeks of knitting nights, more adventures in the lab cantine, the start of the lab's Christmas baking contest, sarcastic conversations in the chem lab, and hearing french every day. Sometimes it takes leaving a place to figure out why you want to stay...
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
You know its fresh from the farm because there are still bits of hay attached to the back of the cheese.
Its a medium-hard cheese with a pungent smell but subtle taste. I liked it, but didn't love it. But it was a perfect dinner with a demi-baguette and a fresh chocolate mousse (also homemade from the cheese shop!)
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
I hate crowded museums, and since I only live about a 10 minute walk away, I figured I'd come back another time. Instead, I went on a walk through the Invalides gardens.
Fall has definitely arrived in Paris!
Here is me cooking in my kitchen. Oooh, look how cozy!
And finally ready to eat!
(4-5 crepes, serves 1 generously, can be multiplied easily)
1/2 c. flour (US: All Purpose, FRANCE: grade 55)
3/4 c. milk (US: skim or 1%, FRANCE: entier)
1 egg, large
There is no butter or oil in the recipe or in the pan, so make sure that you have a very good non-stick pan and a very thin plastic spatula to flip them. Top with fresh fruit, jam, nutella, honey, goat cheese, etc! Enjoy!
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Good: My Auntie found the cutest Halloween card for me! All the way in Oregon! :-D
Thank you Auntie!
Monday, October 24, 2011
2) There are little red baskets near the stairs in case you are carrying too much stuff and do not have a free hand to hold the handrail, you can put all the stuff in a basket and then carry the basket up the stairs while holding on to the handrail.
3) You are required to back into your parking spot in the lot. Seriously.
4) Forklifts have the right of way. Watch where you walk.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
She needed a few things so we went to try our luck on Bd. Haussmann. We went into the Galeries Lafayette, which was beautiful!
But it was also overwhelming with a million people all trying to shop on Sat afternoon. We poked around a bit and then ended up heading for the greener (and cheaper) pastures of the H&M nearby.
Afterwards, I went to meet David Lebovitz! Although people were asked to respond on Facebook so that the place would know how many people to expect, the line stretched down the road. A French couple even stopped and asked me what I was waiting for. :-P Yea. And even though the cake store said they would have copies of his books, they had run out ten minutes after the beginning of the event! So, sadly, all of you that were hoping for an autographed copy for Christmas, you'll just have to keep on waiting.
Friday, October 21, 2011
I am sitting here, stuffing my face as I write. My cheese of the week is a wonderful stinky brie, completely unpasteurized and definitely banned in the States due simply to its awesomeness. And I am smearing that cheese onto the most glorious baguette. It was the one I was searching for - warm, fresh out of the oven, so crispy on the outside that it hurts your hands to break it, but the inside is so soft and shiny that its like a beautiful golden egg! And then I'm taking these brie-laden pieces of soft crunchy heaven and dipping them into squash soup. (Ok, admittedly the soup is from a carton, but OMG do the French know how to put soup in a carton!). This is heaven. I might never go back to the States. But if you need to find me, I'll be in Paris, surrounded by the most glorious food on the planet.