Category Archives: Random

Vacation time!

By   December 19, 2008

Classes are finished and grading is done!

Vive les vacances!

No No No. I refuse to be sick.

By   December 9, 2008

Headaches, muscle pain & fatigue, sore throat, urge to vomit… And of course, these symptoms are the worst during my classes. Luckily the bathroom is next door and the students don’t think it’s weird when I run out of the room.

Though the best part is having the urge to vomit while driving home on the highway. Fun times, I tell ya.

If I disappear for a while, I’m just in bed and can’t move. I’ll catch up on my e-mails one of these days…

First Fondant au Chocolat

By   December 7, 2008

This is about as complicated as my cooking gets, mostly because I’m too lazy to look at the recipes before going to the store so I know what ingredients to buy… and also because I hate washing dishes afterward. But this weekend, thanks to Karina, I decided to make:

Fondant au chocolat!

So easy to make and so good! I may need to try this baking thing more often.

Je suis en week-end ! Et la neige me manque…

By   December 5, 2008

I love having 3 day weekends. With my job, private lessons and baby-sitting, not to mention this awful rainy weather, I am exhausted. Only 2 more weeks until vacation!

And once again, as soon as I complain about not having snow here, my parents get a ton of snow and make me even more jealous. My mom’s school even had a snow day on Monday. ::sigh::

It’s weird how I think of snow as a symbol of what I miss about home. Of course I miss the pretty snow (but not so much driving in it), but it also reminds me of Thanksgiving and Christmas and all the aspects of American culture that come with these holidays. More specifically, it’s the food that I miss most because I cannot get it here and I do not particularly like French food that is normally eaten at Christmas. Every year I’ve been making pumpkin pies for David and me, even though I never ate it in the US!

Though I suppose if we did get a lot of snow here like they do in Michigan, it would be more of a nuisance anyway. We don’t have a big backyard to play in and driving would be a nightmare since no one is used to it. And there are few outdoor Christmas lights to glimmer off the white snow and somehow make me feel all warm and happy.

(Almost) Ready for Christmas

By   November 30, 2008

Christmas decorations are up.  Presents have been bought. Cards have been sent. Music is playing nonstop. We’re getting a real tree this week. Vacation starts in 3 weeks. I am so ready for Christmas.

Now where is my snow???

My doigts are croisés that it will look like this in Annecy, but somehow I don’t think that’s going to happen.

Oh well, there’s always next year when I (hopefully) go back to Michigan…

Mexican Food! Finally!

By   November 8, 2008

November 5th was David’s and my 2 year anniversary, so we decided to go out to eat last night. I had been wanting to go to a Mexican restaurant forever (since I’d left the US…), but we never got around to it somehow over the past 24 months. Either we’re extremely busy or there aren’t many Mexican restaurants around here – I’ll let you guess the answer.

But last night we finally went to Adelita’s in Sevrier (just down the lake from Annecy) and had a nice dinner of Frenchified Mexican food. As an entrada, we ordered Nacho Jalapeño which looked like this:

I was expecting nachos that you could eat with your hands, but then I remembered that no one in France uses their hands to eat. Needless to say, it was very strange using a fork and knife to eat this.

For the main dish, we both ordered tostadas. (I had already started eating before I remembered to take a picture, so the plate looked better than this when it first arrived.)

Overall, it was good, but I was really missing cheddar cheese. That bland emmental just doesn’t cut it.

The decor of the restaurant was cute though. I’ve missed bright colors in the land of gray and black.

Sombrero & toucan in the corner:

Happy anniversary, mon amour !

Change Your Clocks in Europe

By   October 26, 2008

Europeans: Daylight Saving Time has ended and you need to set your clocks back an hour (except in Iceland where DST is not used.) DST will begin again on the last Sunday in March.

North Americans: Your DST will end next Sunday; except for those in Saskatchewan, a small part of British Columbia, Hawaii, Arizona (excluding the Navajo Indian Reservation), the state of Sonora in Mexico and all of those other random places where DST is no longer observed for some weird – and oh so logical, according to the people who decided it – reason. Oh, and I believe Mexico uses a different schedule for DST, so border towns never know what time it is. DST will begin again on the 2nd Sunday in March for the US and Canada.

North America wins the “things that are unnecessarily complicated and confusing” contest!

The Past, Poverty & Perspective

By   October 5, 2008

Thanks to David’s dad and his generous gift of Chèque Lire, I got yet another French as a Foreign Language book at Decitre today, in an attempt to improve my faltering French since I can’t afford actual classes. The first chapter was about traveling, and more specifically, Quebec. The second chapter was about rencontres and had an excerpt from Nadja, by André Breton.

I’ve obviously taken a break from studying to type this in English, not because I wanted to, but because I couldn’t stop thinking about studying in Quebec and being a French major in college, circa 2002, when I first read Nadja. There are a few things I wish I had done differently back then – studied in Europe in addition to Quebec, for one – but I don’t regret the choices I did make.

I suppose now I’m just longing for the student life because things were so much easier then. I knew what was going to happen for the next few years and I had hope for the future. That’s not to say that I don’t have hope now, it’s just that life is different now. I’m different now. I know I will have a job for two years, but beyond that… I have no idea. I would still like to move to Quebec or at least leave France for a while, but that’s going to cost a lot of money and it’s too hard to think about the future with the current state of the economy.

Being poor has really gotten me down lately. I was poor in the US too, but now that I’m further away from friends and family in a country where prices are twice as high and salaries twice as low as what I’m used to… let’s just say it’s a never-ending challenge. It’s frustrating to be so close to foreign countries and not be able to visit them and learn about their history, culture, and especially language, firsthand. I would give anything to see the world, but instead I’m worrying about paying the taxe d’habitation. I’m not even sure yet how I’m going to afford both of my siblings’ weddings across the ocean next year. I doubt David can come with me since we can’t even afford repairs on his car right now.

My habits have changed too. I used to read so many books and study languages constantly. Now I have very little motivation or dedication to do so. Apparently I’d rather check all of my accounts and worry about paying bills than learn something new. My mind keeps wandering whenever I do try to read or study. I can’t concentrate on anything anymore (as evidenced by my blogging while I was supposed to be studying French. ::sigh::) Maybe it’s just because I’ve been out of the university mindset for two years, but I really miss being productive and accomplishing something.

I realize it’s all a matter of perspective and that there are definitely many, many people in the world in worse situations than me. I have my health, my job, my families, my apartment, my car, my boyfriend… I just wish I could feel that there is more to life than worrying about money and dealing with all of the ridiculous bills that France throws our way. And I absolutely hate having to leave David out of my family’s functions just because of a lack of money. I feel like I’m being punished, but I don’t know by whom or for what. I do feel like it will last an eternity though.