dimanche le 17 juin

Bonne Fête des Pères ! Father’s Day is the same day in the US and France – the third Sunday in June. Which is slightly less complicated than Mother’s Day, which is the second Sunday in May in the US and the last Sunday in May in France – unless that last Sunday is also Pentecôte, then Mother’s Day is the first Sunday in June (which is what happened this year.)

Today is also the second tour des élections législatives. Unfortunately, since David’s father works for the mairie, he had to be at the polls all day and couldn’t join us for lunch.

My own father is 3,000 miles across the ocean and six hours in the past.

Happy Father’s Day, wherever fathers may be!

Je suis toujours là !

The new apartment is perfect for David and me. We still have to attach the douchette to the wall and hang some curtains, but we’re all moved in. Except the electric oven doesn’t work yet, the dishwasher is too far from the kitchen to be plugged in, we have yet to buy a microwave, and we still don’t have internet.

However, David’s parents live about two blocks away, so that is how I can get online to tell you that I haven’t disappeared.

Wonders

I just visited the last remaining Wonder of the World (pyramids at Giza) and came upon this site yesterday: New Seven Wonders of the World

You can vote for new Wonders out of 20 candidates, such as Taj Mahal, Chichen Itza, Great Wall of China, Acropolis, Stonehenge, Easter Island Statues, etc.

Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but I kind of like the pyramids being the only Wonder left… Or maybe it’s because I will feel an overwhelming urge to visit all of the new seven Wonders when I know I don’t have the money to do so.

Le retour

I’m back in France, once again. I feel really tired even though Egypt was only an hour later than France, and I still have this weird stomachache that is not going away. I definitely think I’m done with travelling for a while. Wasting time in airports and on planes is not how I want to spend my life, especially when it makes me so sick.

Egypt was a great experience though. The pyramids, the mosques, Coptic Cairo, modern Egypt… I saw it all. Though if I had to describe Cairo in one word, it would be chaos. I’ve uploaded my pictures to the Travel Photos section, and I’ll type my journal when I’m not so tired.

So now it’s back to regular life here in Haute-Savoie. The weather is being a pain (rain, then sun, then rain, then sun…) and we are still waiting to get into our new apartment. We’re staying at David’s parent’s apartment until Sunday morning. Luckily they have internet.

Unfortunately, we may not have internet in our apartment for a few weeks. I will have no idea what to do with myself.

Greetings from Egypt

I’m in Cairo!

It’s hot and there are a bazillion people everywhere. But I’m liking it. Even after an 11 hour wait in Milan and Alitalia losing my luggage (which I still haven’t got back.) It’s so chaotic and crowded, and the gap between rich and poor is ridiculously wide, but it’s still interesting and fun. I guess there’s just something about being in a place where you can’t understand the language or read any of the signs. I feel giddy like a little kid discovering something new and so different from what I already know.

Tomorrow we go to the PYRAMIDS!!!

DAEFLE

David went to Lyon today to take an Alliance Française test. He’s hoping to get the DIPLOME D’APTITUDE A L’ENSEIGNEMENT DU FRANÇAIS LANGUE ETRANGERE (DAEFLE) so he can teach French in Canada. First, the candidate must pass a written exam to determine their command of French. We were thinking it would be a grammar test, but actually it’s just two essays that seem to have nothing to do with teaching French as a Foreign Language. (sample test) Then, there are 6 modules that you are supposed to do over the course of 2-3 years. However, David is doing the accelerated course so he can finish within one year. Lucky for him, they’re mostly linguistics modules, so I will be studying them as well so that I can learn the French vocabulary for all of the English linguistics terms still stored in my head.

We are moving out of our apartment tomorrow night, and then I go to Cairo on Friday to visit a friend. We move into our new apartment on June 10, but I don’t think our internet will be set up by then. We still don’t even know for sure if we are in a zone dégroupée, so there’s a possibility that we won’t have the “cable” TV channels.

I hope to completely finish my thesis by the middle of June. Then one of these days I’ll get back to working on my website…

In happier news…

Vancouver is the world’s best place to live, a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has found. The EIU ranked 127 cities in terms of personal risk, infrastructure and the availability of goods and services. All the cities that fell into the top “liveability” bracket were based in Canada, Australia and Western Europe.

Top Ten Cities
1. Vancouver (Canada)
2. Melbourne (Australia)
3. Vienna (Austria)
4. Geneva (Switzerland)
5. Perth (Australia)
6. Adelaide (Australia)
7. Sydney (Australia)
8. Zurich (Switzerland)
9. Toronto (Canada)
10. Calgary (Canada)

I’ve only been to 3, 4, and 9 so far. I was supposed to move to 5 this year. If David and I don’t end up in Montreal, we might end up in 1. I will definitely go to all of the Australian ones someday…

Do you agree with 2, Rochelle? :)

Oh, those red states!

“A Web site operated by the Alabama Department of Homeland Security identified gay rights organizations, anti-abortion groups, environmentalists and people opposed to genetically-altered foods among those who could be classified as terrorists.”

“Allison Neal, attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, says she has looked at parts of the Web site and is concerned about anything that pinpoints people “exercising their constitutional right to protest” as potential terrorists.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/27/national/main2856311.shtml

Sometimes I’m still amazed by the stupidity.

Some French things that I may never get used to

Showers. Or lack of. Most apartments have bathtubs with a hand-held showerhead that is not attached to the wall. There is usually no shower bar or curtain. I’m still mystified as to how people take “showers” this way. The hose that connects the showerhead to the faucet is not very long, so it must be impossible to wash your hair unless you kneel or do it upside down. And how do you stop the water from spraying all over the bathroom? How do you not freeze to death? How are you supposed to wash your hair and yourself when one hand is always occupied?

Television. The daily news is on at 8 pm instead of 6 and 11. The “primetime” shows usually don’t begin until 8:50 or later. There seems to be no pattern as to when when the shows start, so that if you want to watch two different shows on two different channels, their times may overlap and you’ll miss part of one. Everything is dubbed, not sub-titled, in French. And France is apparently 3 years in the past because CSI is still in season 4 here.

Grocery stores. Smell like raw fish. No bag boys. Must put a euro in the cart to unlock it. Shortest aisles ever. Whose great idea was it to leave only 5 feet of space for the check-out lanes? Stores are always so packed here (regardless of the time or day) so the line of people waiting continuously extends into the aisles of food, making it impossible to shop in those aisles or even go around the corner of those aisles.

Erratic hours. For example, the library: Closed Monday. 11 am – 5:30 pm Tuesday. 9:30 am – 12:30 pm and 2 – 6 pm Wednesday. 3 – 6:30 pm Thursday. 2 – 6 pm Friday. 10 am – 12:30 pm and 2 – 5 pm Saturday. Closed Sunday. WHY? Whatever happened to open Monday-Friday 10am-6pm? BTW, banks are closed on Mondays and national museums are closed on Tuesdays. I’m sure there’s absolutely no reason for this either.

Late dinners. I’m hungry by 6 pm, please let me eat then. I don’t like waiting until 9 or 10. That’s what time I go to bed.