Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Layers and Layers to a Dress with Cardigan.

I wasn't going to address the fact that I SUCK at blogging right now, but I will. I admit it, I am terrible. And I am sorry that I have been so boring for whoever reads my blog and I am also sorry for never giving you any updates on my Thanksgiving.

Real quick recap:

Thanksgiving was a huge success. 13 showed and the turkey was EXCELLENT. Everyone was so thankful ;) including me. I was so happy that I was actually able to have a real Thanksgiving with people I care about and people who could actually appreciate it. I now understand why my grandmother is always so exhausted after making a Thanksgiving dinner.. IT IS TOUGH WORK!!!!! The irony of my Thanksgiving was that the package I was waiting on that carried all the essentials for my dinner arrived the next morning, AT 9:00 AM!!!! Awful. haha But I managed, and managed very well.

That is me in the back, leaning over the oven, with the striped shirt. hehehe

One week later, when my darling Melissa Hernandez came to visit (SMILES!), we cooked a Thanksgiving Part II, with the stuff from the package, and again, IT WAS SO GOOD!!! She brought cranberry sauce, which was the icing on the cake for a perfect Thanksgiving meal... ;)

Now, the reason I wanted to write this blog in the first place. In one week's time, Lyon has gone from -5 degrees (Celsius) last weekend to 18 degrees today and tomorrow 1 degree. WHAT IS THAT?!!?!?!?!?!!?!?!??!! That can't be good for my health!! Last week I was wearing layers and layers and today, I'm not kidding, I wore a dress with a cardigan and that's it and I was totally comfortable!

Besides my shock by the drastic change in temperature, I did enjoy 3 days that the snowed lasted. One of the days, I went sledding ;) There aren't really any hills in Lyon, but we created and managed. ;)

Tonight is La Fête des Lumières!!!!! SOOO EXCITING!! =) Watch a clip from the event last year =) (which I was also at, remember!) Its not the best video, but you get an idea of what is called "THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS!" (does anyone else think of Adam Sandler's Hanauka song? lol)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Continues.

My classes are going well, although I still never work haha. No complaints. I love my days! They are so relaxing, and I am so happy. My lessons from last week and till today have still been on Thanksgiving, and they have all gone really well.. It is special to be able to share your maternal language with another, but to share your culture, I find it even more special. =) I'm pretty sure this is simultaneously my most anticipated Thanksgiving ever and the saddest Thanksgiving ever. With teaching about Thanksgiving a week before it actually happens and then celebrating the meal a few days after the actual holiday, the anticipation has been drawn out over a period of like 10 days! Usually the day just pops up around the corner and the excitement lasts for that one day and then its gone.

I'm SUPER excited for this Thanksgiving though because my good friend Jess and I are hosting a traditional Thanksgiving dinner this Sunday. My lovely parents have sent me a package with the essentials and today we special ordered the 6 kilo (13.2 lbs) turkey!! OH LA LA =). We are super lucky that we got the turkey because A) Thanksgiving is obviously not celebrated on any other continent than North America, so they don't have easily accessible whole turkeys like we do at home and B) It is a little late in the week, so we are lucky that the nice man at Carrefour placed the order for us. It's costing us 40 euros, which is mad expensive, but it will be worth it =)

I am very sad about this Thanksgiving at the same time as being so excited for it because I am not home with my family. And you know, last year I wasn't home either, but the thing is that I didn't celebrate Thanksgiving at all last year, so it wasn't really a big deal, cause it just didn't exist. But this year, with teaching all my students about the holiday and hosting the dinner myself, I have had too much time to think about it and it makes me really sad that I don't get to spend this special time at home with my family. It is okay though, it is times like these when you REALLY appreciate what you have and hopefully the next time I have Thanksgiving at home it won't just be another holiday to pop up and go away so quickly, but I'll be able to soak in the family tradition and really be thankful for my family and the my blessings in my life.


The French might think we eat too much and consume too large of portions, but it is the holidays!!!!! I don't care!! hehe To all of you: EAT EAT EAT and be MERRY ;)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bringing Thanksgiving to France

I taught the story of Thanksgiving to my children at school today. I love Thanksgiving.. it is such a great holiday, I mean it is a day to recognize all that you are thankful for and just eat eat and eat amazing food!! I was so proud to share this with the kids. hehe. And what was pretty impressive is that I taught the whole lesson IN FRENCH.. not easy lol.

Next week I should be receiving a package from my family, a special Thanksgiving package!! =) yayyy!!! I am going to attempt to make a Thanksgiving dinner for all my friends, so my family sent me everything I need! Can't wait! hehe =)

Lastly, I saw this french movie a couple days ago that was AMAZING! It is called "No et Moi," and here is the trailer. It is not a sad movie, but at the end I wanted to cry just because the story was soooooo good, and I get really touched when people are selfless and just want to help others.. I was so impressed by everything in the movie.. The story, the actors, the cinematography, the music.. *sigh* so good. Watch =) There are english subtitles.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Some Snapshots

Over the past week, I took some pictures with my new handy blackberry phone. Take a look.

Perhaps some of you have already seen the Nov 2 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle, but I find it SUPPPPERRRRR COOOL that I had it mailed to me all the way to France! =) My friend James mailed me a World Series Champs t-shirt, accompanied with this newspaper.. this is awesome. A piece of Giants history, love it =)

I had to take a picture of this because it is classic romantic French. Whenever I see "je t'aime" written/painted on any surface in France, I get all giddy inside.

Now THIS is hilarious. You tell me what you think of when you see a sign that says "ATOMIC PRICES." Naturally, I think of a bomb, an explosive, something enormous, and so when you call prices "atomic" doesn't that mean that they are large, hence expensive prices? Hmm.. I hope you are following my logic here, because I certainly can not follow Pimkie's logic.. See, what Pimkie is trying to do is advertise their huge sale ( hint: -50% on the left. )

Lastly, my favorite. Whenever I look at a calendar, I always turn to my birthday month, March, to see what the picture looks like, yanno, to see if I like it or not. I couldn't believe that this calendar had the most perfect quote for the month of March... my moto for life. If you know me pretty well, then you understand that I hate planning for the future and I always say that I take life as it comes. If you can read french, then you know that the words on this calendar say "Take life as it comes." I didn't buy the calendar, because I already have one for the 2011 year, but I thought is was picture worthy.

Friday, November 12, 2010

10 little indians

Today at the school, the teachers wanted me to teach numbers. They suggested that I bring some sort of song to help the kids learn. Well, the other day another teacher used this one song called, "Ten Little Indians," and it was perfect because the song is very simple, so then I decided to use it. I imediately regretted teaching the kids this song, because I find it a little racist, no? You tell me. haha

Thursday, November 11, 2010

eleven eleven.

Today was a great day, but let me be honest, do I really expect anything less on the best date of the year!? November 11th -> 11/11

You see, I have an obsession with the number eleven, but even more so when it appears in double. This is à cause de my youthly, yet perpetuating obsession with the song "Konstantine" by Something Corporate.

Anyway, why was today amazing?

1) I spent the day with someone very special.
2) The weather was fabulous, so we had lunch in the Parc Tête d'Or.
3) The park had a wondeful surprise: La Fête des Feuilles. It is a public exposition - art meeting nature - in the middle of the park. There were objects constructed out of the very branches and leaves that surrounded them. It was absolutely beautiful, especially with all the different colors of fall. Just the idea of using natural materials in their natural setting like that really created a serenity that I have never experienced with any other sort of piece of art. Below is a photo of a butterfly, completely made from sticks and leaves. I'm sorry that the blackberry-taken photo does not do it justice =|

4) After the park, we went to the Contemporary Art Museum of Lyon. There was much to see, but my favorite exhibition was of the artist and dancer, Trisha Brown. Trisha is an American choreographer and can be described as "experimental." The quote that the curators used for this exhibition was perfect - she said, "So that the audience does not know whether I have stopped dancing." See Trisha finds her inspiration in natural human gestures and daily activities then turns them into a fluid dance piece. If one's daily motions are a dance piece, then like Trisha said, who knows if she has stopped dancing or not. Another reason I love that is because I find dancing as a resource for my happiness, and if I never stop dancing, then I never cease to be happy. =)

After the museum, the whether turned cold and rainy, but no complaints =) it was a great day!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

J'adore ma vie

This past weekend has been absolutely amazing. First of all, it was Halloween weekend and I had the opportunity to dress up twice!! hehe which I did not expect at all. AAANND Melissa came to visit me!!! =D

Even though Melissa's stay was WAY TOO SHORT, I was so happy to have her here and we had a blast!! One day we just stayed in bed all day watching all the episodes from this season's Modern Family (obviously lol), including the awesome Halloween episode twice, making that 5 times that I have now watched that episode.. it is NOT embarrassing, okay!? That night was Halloween and we dressed up as matching black cats. It was quite simple because all we had to do was layer every black piece of clothing we owned (to stay warm of course), put on kitty ears, draw whiskers on our faces et voilà! I'll post pictures when I get them uploaded. The next day Mellie and I went on an amazing shopping spree together, which I don't regret at all because I don't think I have had so much fun shopping before hehe =) Then I took here to one of the most amazing views of Lyon from the Fouvriere Cathedral. After that, I showed her one of my favorite things about Lyon, which are the Roman ruins. Hopefull you all remember me talking about these specfic places in Lyon before, but I will also post pictures later with the Halloween pictures. At night she got to meet some of my closest friends from Lyon and we all just had a great night on the town. I'm sad she left this morning, but she'll be coming back. I mean, NO ONE can just come to Lyon once.

A friend of mine said last night that it takes a special person to not like Lyon, and I couldn't agree more.. so you know what that means? I need some more visitors!! Lyon is a beautiful and I will even say magical place and I know everyone would love it.

I just cannot get over how blessed I am. My life is so awesome and I am so happy.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Proud to be an American

Here are some reasons that confirm my pride as an American:

1) So you know the strikes and riots that I spoke of? Well, the government had a vote and decided to raise the retirement age. So yea, all those strikes and the vandalism to the cities was for NOTHING. But you see what the problem is here? The people don't have a say. Maybe there wouldn't be such fight if the people got to vote and decide themselves on legislative propositions. Now, I don't understand the French government completely, so maybe I have something wrong here.. but regardless, I would not want to live in a country who has to riot in order to get what they want.

2) I went to a Halloween party last night and every person I told that I was from California couldn't believe it. Being from California is like being a movie star. haha I had to actually show my California license to someone because he thought I was lying.

3) When cute French guys admire your American charm, they dedicate songs to you such as the one below.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Depuis Une Semaine

Since one week ago when I posted, I have done a few exciting things worth sharing. So starting last Friday, I'm on "vacation." haha Yes, I know, you are probably thinking, already!? What? The holiday is called "Toussaint" it is a national school holiday, so no one has to go to school, meaning, I don't work. This was the same vacation I had last year when Meg came to visit me and we went to Italy =) (Best time of my life). The universities get one week off, but primary (the level I teach) gets two weeks off. Too much time for me considering I don't have much to do anyway haha.

This weekend, however, Mathéa and Gaby invited me out to their town by Geneva, Switzerland. I went here last year also. If you remember reading about that trip, I LOVED IT. And again, this time I loved it. The girls took me to visit Annecy, France which is a beautiful city on the edge of "the cleanest lake in all of Europe," says Mathéa. And yes, the lake was completely clear - amazing. Here are some pictures from Annecy, including a couple "hispter" style pictures haha because they look super hip, and I like hip. ;)

Classic view of Anney.

Super hip. hah. But really, this is an application on my iPhone, isn't it great!? This particular lens, if you can call it that on the iPhone, really saturates the colors in the buildings quite nicely.

This photo is taken from the "Pont des Amours," the bridge of lovers. I understand why that is the name of the bridge because the view is very romantic with the canal, the canoes and the trees. This particular lens was perfect for this shot too! I didn't know I was using the lens, but it really accentuated out the beautiful yellows and oranges of the autumn leaves. =) Looks all vintage.

Annecy was one day, but another day Mathéa and I went to Geneva to visit the United Nations Headquarters, one of four, I believe, in the whole world. The largest headquarters is in New York, then there are 3 others: Geneva, Switzerland, Vienna, Austria and Nairobi, Kenya. At first I was really confused why one would want to visit the United Nations, but it was actually very cool! The area where the headquarters lays is considered "international territory," a bit trippy, right? So we were technically no longer is Switzerland when we were in the building. Here are some pictures:

This is an amazing sculpture outside of the building. One leg of the chairs is blown off, symbolizing the tragedies of many victims who died or were severely injured in the countries where they used to have landmines. These countries would use children to run out into the fields to check for mines - sort of like Russian roulette. So terrible =( This installation was created to encourage all landmine countries to sign the Mine Ban Treaty and to honor the victims.

This is also in front of the headquarters. Where is the America flag? hehe It is pretty much impossible to find, but I can tell you, it is ONE of the red and white striped flags towards the back end. The picture would have to be enlarged on order to MAYYYBBEE see it.

This is an AMAZING piece of work by the Spanish artist Miquel Barceló. It is a sculptural installation that weighs like 4 tons and hangs off of the ceiling in one of the meeting rooms. Barceló used plaster to construct the dripping effects off of the ceiling and then he blasted several colors onto the ceiling. I believe that the concept of all the colors is to symbolize the many different thoughts and ideas of all nations, and how in the end they come together as one compromising and functional unit. The colors change depending on where you stand in the room.
This is an example of one of the meeting rooms. 6 different languages are available for translation in the meeting: English, Chinese, Russian, French, Spanish and Arabic.

Finally, when I got back from my weekend in Geneva, or wherever I was on the border of France and Switzerland, I had a package waiting for me: an AWESOME Giants t-shirt from the Postseason games. Thank ya thank ya James! I am SOOOOOOO excited to see that the Giants made it to the World Series!! And they won their first game last night... oohh la la, keep it up Giants!!! =) I wish I was there.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Gaga Won't Even Come to France.

Nice job French rioters.. only thinking about yourself and not the others around you.

Now all the poor little monster fans who bought tickets to Lady Gaga's show in Paris and Bercy, France, cannot enjoy the voice of the talented young pop star due to "logistical problems" that arose from the insane barbaric behavior of young strikers all over the country this past week.

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images (

I don't blame Gaga.. She doesn't even have to blame it on "logistical problems," I would still respect her if she just said that the people in France are too disrespectful for her tastes. Maybe this is the type of punishment that France needs since their own President won't step in and do anything about it.

Anyway, the dates are postponed to later this winter, and everyone who had tickets to this weekend's shows have to either turn in their tickets for a refund or exchange them for the later dates.

I saw an ad for Gaga's show a couple weeks ago and seriously concidered buying tickets. . . HAH. good thing I didn't.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October 19, 2010 in Lyon

I know that I already wrote about the riots that occurred yesterday, but I wanted to accompany my words with photos. I found these photos on another person's blog, so I do not take credit for them, but they do a good job capturing the mess, so I here you go:

This is Place Bellecour, our "Downtown." You can see the beautiful Fouvriere Cathedral above the cloudy mess of smoke. It is a shame that people can't even respect the beauty of their own city to put it up in smoke like this.

"Riot Police," but as far as I am concerned, they don't help much. It is ridiculous that something like this is even possible to occur. Remember, the instigators were high school students. I just think that the law in America would not let this kind of behavior pass.

I have actually used this public telephone to call home before.

An example of one of the many cars/objects that were caught on fire. The rioters also broke windows of shops and stole things. It just doesn't make sense why it is necessary to act so barbarous.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Latest News in Lyon: Riots.

So remember how I was talking about France workers going on strike, and I find it really inconvenient? Well, these strikes have turned violent, and frankly I find it extrememly irresponsible, juvenile and dispresectful to one another. I don't care if that is the point of a social movement or not, IT IS RIDUCULOUS and they need to find another, more respectful way to protest.

French high schoolers have decided that they want to strike against the retirement age as well because it will one day affect them. Well I just think that they don't want to go to school and want an excuse to act immature. Their "strikes" have turned violent. They don't go to school, instead they chant down the streets, use trashcans to block the entrance to their schools and have began to vandalise the city i.e.: smashing car windows and setting cars and streets on fire. This behavior is absolutely unexcusable.

Apart from the vandalism from the highschoolers. In Marseille, the garbage men have quit picking up trash.. So now, for a week or more, the streets of Marseille have been piling up with trash. THAT IS UNSANITARY! And just plain disgusting. Someone is going to have to pick it up someday, so pull up your big boy pants Frenchies AND PICK UP YOUR TRASH!!!

Claudia, my housemate, went to her university today to go to class, but it was blocked off too, just like the high schools. There are people who want to learn and be educated - these people PAY for their education - don't deprive them because of some childish social movement, goodness gracious.

And lastly, my friend Mathéa told me today to not go down town because the riots in the streets are comparable to Baghdad.

Everything that I have spoken of, I have not witnessed with my eye, but I have heard about it from my friends and read it in the newspapers. All I have to say is thank God I have been blessed with an apartment in Villeurbanne. People might choose not to live there because it is not the nicest area aesthetically and it is small, but if it manages to avoid riots like those that are happening in the center, I 'm happy.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I wouldn't call it a "homesickness."

Even in a beautiful, cultural city like Lyon, France, one can get lonely.

To be honest, I haven't really even been busy yet. Last week I went into a few classes to "observe" and then this week I had teacher training, if you will, but that is all that I have done. This next week I will go into my classes to teach (I think), but remember, I only work 12 hours a week and plus the 2 hours a day with the monsters (the little boys I babysit) it only equals about 20 hours a week.. the rest of the time I daydream or just walk around the city with my new friend, Jess. I have been pretty lonely.

I have now received 2 cards in the mail from my grandparents and a care package from my friend Clark (details below). Being assured that there are people back in the states that love me and think about me sort of makes me miss home a bit. =| And I'm gonna be honest, it kills me that I really haven't talked to my family at all since I have been here. A few emails back and forth and a 5 minute conversation on the phone DON'T count, considering it has been 26 days since I arrived. A couple days ago I went down to "SFR" to set up the account for a fixed télé and home wifi, but because it is France and people like to take forever, I still won't have these luxuries until Nov 1. So until then, I still have to make daily stops to MacDo to get wifi. Someone told me last night that with GMAIL, you can make telephone calls for free to the U.S. Well, I downloaded and installed the program that allows these calls and right when I was SOOO EXCITED to click "call" and wake my parents up at 6:30AM, the button didn't work... and it still wont work. what the heck!!!! How much does it take for a daughter to just make a telephone call to her family!?

Anyway, in addition to missing my family, I have been following the success of my dear San Francisco Giants =) and since they have made it to the playoffs I'm REALLY just missing California. I wish I could be there so I can cheer on the Giants, in their presence, to the World Series!


In the package that Clark sent me hehehehhehee =) He was able to put aside his Dodger pride for a moment and buy me a "Beat LA" Giants t-shirt! Even though we killed them long ago and it wouldn't be so useful for this season anymore ;) I can surely sport it next year! He knew that I really wanted a "Beat LA" shirt, so it was so nice of him to remember and get me one =) And you better believe I have been wearing it to bed the last two nights in a row. haha.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Something called "Les Grèves"

Assurance to all of you in the United States:


Mark my words, okay!! Or at least repeat them to me if I ever express desire to move to France. See, the French people like to strike (word for srtike: grève.) I am sure that I brought up the greves in my blog posts from last year, but currently it has become the bane of my existence.

Since I arrived in Lyon, 3 weeks and 2 days ago, I have been trying to get my french bank account up and running. I did open the account, but it is not yet "validated" because the post office has not verified my address. Since everyone has been on strike I think that this is affecting how long it is taking for the post to verify my address... In addition to this irritation, I am even more upset because I realized that you must have a french bank card to get a phone contract - I want a phone contract because it is a lot cheaper... France likes the "pay as you go" concept, but the thing is that texts alone cost so much, so I find myself recharging my stupid phone every week and it's expensive!!!.. Anyway, I need this card really bad RIGHT NOW and the bank has it, but they wont give it to me because the post office is taking to long.. I blame everything on their stupid stikes.. The post office isn't the only number of people striking though, it is everyone - schools, transportation - everything that I am involved with pretty much. Sarkozy (the french prez) and his crew have been trying to raise the retirement age, by 3 years for goodness sakes, and the french won't deal with it, soooooooo LETS STRIKE EVERYONE and make everyone else's lives AWFUL.

To lift my spirits a bit, and maybe yours too, check out these adorable pants and jacket that I want. All the frenchie girls wear these pants and I must have them.

My inspiration is Inspector Gadget.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Children are consuming my life!

Above is a picture of a sign in the park right in front of my apartment. I was passing through the park one day, read the sign to myself, registered that it says, "Thank you for respecting this green space," and then I immediately turned my head to find a man peeing in a bush.. Oh the irony.

I now present to you the little monsters that I babysit. haha.. actually they haven't been too bad ;) Baptiste is on the left and Quentin on the right. We actually had a bit of fun this day. We played with playdough and pretended that we were our own Patisserie (bakery). The boys were very impressed with the playdough macaroons that I made.. you can see them in the picture below Quentin. They now ask me every day to make "plein de macaroons" - a lot. lol

I have now visited the children in all the classes that I will be teaching. It is great because they are all so fascinated by me since I come from halfway around the world haha. I have teacher training next week though, so I won't go back to the classes until the week after. If any of you have some ideas for games/activities that will help me teach the kids English, please share in the comment section =). I would greatly appreciate it. Today in one of the classes, the teacher had the kids do little skits to show me the English they already know. This is how the skit went:

Kid #1: Hello!
Kid #2: Hello!
Kid #2: Please. (Kid #1 hands over a water bottle and Kid #2 pretends to drink.)
Kid #2: Sank you.. baaaiii!!!!!!!

haha. This one kid said, "sleeve," in place of "please." All the kids laughed at him, but little did they know, the boy just said another English word that none of them knew! haha It was very cute though.

One last thing.. I had the chance to visit my former hostmom, Anne!! =) It was surreal to be back in her house!!! But so great!! Gosh I am so lucky to have had the chance to come to France and even luckier to get to return. Anne told me that out of all the students she has ever housed, I am the only one that came back.. I really do love my life. I am very blessed.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"I would love to be in the streets of Nantes, listening to the song Nantes."

A friend of mine shared with me that he would like to be in the streets of Nantes, France, listening to the song "Nantes," by an amazing band called Beirut.

Since he told me this, I have wished the same.. so I do plan on traveling up to Nantes one of these days while listening to the song. What reminded me of this, however, was this man playing the accordian on the metro that I was on today. This is actually quiet popular. They obviously do it for money and have their small children walk around asking people for donations, but I don't mind, the music is beautiful, and they are so talented to play an accordian!! Those things are difficult. Anyway, when I heard the beautiful tunes that the accordian played, I thought of it as my personal Beirut show, right there on the metro in Lyon.

Have a listen to the song "Nantes," it is great!

For those who are wondering how school is moving along, I went to my second school today to meet the teachers. This school is just around the corner and much smaller, so I won't spend nearly as much time here as I will the other. The teachers again we VERY nice. One teacher offered to meet me later in the day to show me where I can find the "MLIS" - the library of books and images. This place is awesome!!! Here I can find children's books in english =) so then I can bring to class to read/show to the kids. This is perfect because I was worried since I brought no books from home - this should be a huge help. En plus, there is a floor of images and paintings!! They also hold mini exhibitions - very cool. The teacher who took me said that I am welcome to take the images out to bring to the schools.

A couple short highlights that I just wanted to share:

* I bought a fresh baguette from a boulangerie today to make a sandwich with, and oh my gosh, it was the best baguette I have ever had. I am getting a fresh one everyday! They are only 0.85 centimes, so I find it worth it. It was warm, fluffy, soft and a bit sweet. =)

* I have now spent two days talking to French adults at the schools now for about 2 hours each day and it seriously just puts a smile on my face.. Even though my progression with the language is slow, each day I understand more, and after my conversations, I litteraly walk away with a smile and walking with a slight bounce. haha

* Lastly, The San Francisco Giants are the NL WEST CHAMPIONS!!!!! WOOO HOOOO!!!!!!! Off to the playoffs. I see that Tim Lincecum is pitching the next game against the Braves =) exciting! I wish I could go! Best luck to my favorite team back home!! =) Let this be our year!!


Monday, October 4, 2010

David Guetta welcomes me to France

I am sure you all already know this song, but I didn't hear it until I arrived in France and it has become THE song that will always remind me of this time of my life.. I think that higher forces planned it like this because I automatically associate David Guetta with France anyway, and of course Mr. Guetta would not reveal a song like this to me until I was in his own country. ha.

Let me give you a little update on how my work life in France is going so far. So I am working in two primary schools, one of which I visited today and another that I will visit tomorrow. Today I met the staff of teachers that I will be working with and they were all very nice =) Tomorrow I will do the same at the other school. Thursday and Friday will be the days that I meet the children. Next week I have orientation and so the week after will be when I actually begin teaching I believe. Today I started babysitting...


those ellipses are to interpret my sighs and loss for words.

So the littlest one, Baptiste (age 3) WAS A HANDFUL!!!!!! It is so hard because I don't know how to properly tell him to behave in French.. Of course I can use English with him and he understands that I am mad, but otherwise I don't know what to do. He would not listen to me when I would tell him to stop, then he would run from me and throw himself on the floor.. my goodness, I was so embarrassed because I am sure people were looking at me in public and thinking, "Straighten that kid out!" I am so glad I don't have kids of my own yet.. after only 2 hours of babysitting him, I was already tired... actually exhausted. I give true props to single moms. I do not know how they do it.

I wish I had a camera to take pictures and post them for you =( That is one of the reasons I posted the David Guetta video, it is just more interesting to look at something. When I get paid, I am going to buy a camera and take many pictures for your little eyes to see! =)

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Guido Frenchie? ..yes.

I would like to address the cilché of going to France and falling in love.

I believe it is false.

Of course, I did not come here with the notion that I would fall in love, however, the liklihood of that happening seems slim to none - at least with a Frenchman. I have been to France twice now and up until this point, no Frenchmen have caught my eye. I was on the phone with my friend Melissa and we were actually discussing this subject. In Toulon and here in Lyon, we both do not see attractive men!! These are the faults we find in Frenchmen:

1) They are tiny (skinny and short) and feminine. I mean, usually I am into skinny guys, but their pointy shoes, skinny jeans and scarves are not very flattering or attractive to the female eye.

2) There is this awful track suit trend. What guy wears a tracksuit? Well, 1) Jay from modern family or 2) ghetto French dudes.

3) The existence of the Guido Frenchmen (I give Melissa credit for coining the guido term for the French). They put obscene amounts of gel in their hair, wear diamonds in their ears and chains around their necks. Many of these guidofrancais wear the tracksuits too.

Are we in the wrong parts of France to find this clichéd love? Or is it just too good to be true.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Highlights on my rainy day.

It is a rainy day in Lyon and I don't have much to do, alors naturally, I come to MacDo for some wifi thievery. =)

The day is still young, but I thought I would tell you a couple of highlights so far.

1) On my walk to MacDo I saw some graffiti on a wall, which some might find ugly according to its monochrome scribble, but it read "Jusqu'au la mort, et même après. Je t'aime." The fact that it is written in French alone makes it pretty, but in English it means, "Until death, and even after. I love you." My heart became warm and I smiled. I can't wait till I find that one person who is searching for the same thing I am searching for. (Sorry for the mushiness. =| Now on to more uplifting highlights)

2) Modern Family. If any of you don't know what Modern Family is, it is a television program on ABC, Wednesday nights I believe. Anyway, one season has already passed, but the new season started last night. YOU MUST WATCH IT. It is by far the best show I have ever seen (well, with the OC as an exception hehe.) I had to download the lastest episode on iTunes because websites that stream the show do not work outside of the U.S. I immediately watched the episode, in MacDo of course, and it was one of the best episodes I have seen. Haha. I was cracking up OUT LOUD in McDonalds and everyone was staring at me.. love it. This show reminds me so much of my relationship with my family - so dear family, WATCH IT!! ;)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


It has taken me long enough to get my France address, but here it is:

Mallory Venema
132 Rue Anatole France
Villeurbanne, 69100, France.

If you want to send me mail, care packages, postcards from the states, I will gladly accept! ;) hehe And if you want anything mailed to you as well, just let me know. I love browsing postcards. You can just comment on this post or write me on facebook to tell me your request and address!

MacDo.. aka: McDonalds has free wifi in France. I totally forgot! hehe =) Also, their food is better here - It doesn't make me sick... In conclusion, many of my blogposts might come from McDonalds.

In France.. McDonalds sells macaroons.
love it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Toulon, France... but more importantly, Melissa Hernandez.

I have had the wonderful opportunity of visiting my dear friend, Melissa Hernandez, in the south of France this weekend! =D I took the train from Lyon to Toulon Saturday afternoon (it took only a little over 2 hours) and met Melissa at the train station. She was so cute - she was paying for something at a cash register, when I snuck up behind her to tickle her and when she saw me, she shed tears of excitement! =) teehee, I guess I have that effect on people ;) Naw, really though, it was SOOO exciting and so refreshing to see her beautiful face. Two weeks without seeing her after 9 months of seeing her everyday was killer.

Melissa has taken me around her Marine city of Toulon - which sits on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, where we explored the tiny streets, le marché en plein air (open air market), seaport souvenir shops and any other thing that is very "french." Below are some pictures that we took today while adventuring out in Toulon.

Beautiful, classic French apartments that lay just above the public shops.

THE HIGHLIGHT of Melissa's day. Haha. We were walking around the marché, when we saw this classy old french man, walking around with his cane, fedora and none other but a GOLD DOLLAR SIGN necklace. haha. I take full credit for the very very sneaky work that this picture took to take.

Here lies the Toulon marine base on the Mediterranean Sea - apparently it is the largest military base in France.

Melissa and I enjoyed our first crêpe together in France =) It was SPECTACULAR. And I dedicate my pose in this picture to my friend, Clark Barbieri. ;) Be proud.. and jealous.

Et voila, an up close of the crêpe. Inside were fried bananas, chocolate and kirsch. Mmmm..

Melissa lookin' good with her captain's hat.

And this is more proof that Toulon is a large port city.. with all the striped baby sailor clothes. Very cute.

To end our day we went to the cinemas and saw the American film, The Town. The movie was in French.. unfortunately.. and with no subtitles. Melissa and I understood the gist of the movie and we both concluded that it was probably a really good movie.. BUUUUUT we couldn't understand it. haha. When we came home, we googled the synopsis, and we did, however, understand the movie, but I would like to see it again.. in English of course. Fun fact for everyone, Jeremy Renner - Jem, the supporting actor - grew up in Modesto, CA and I know his half brother!!

Anyway, tomorrow is my last day with Melissa, sadly =( but we are going to the beach, so that should be fun.

À plus tard, mes petites canards.
;) (French equivalent to "See you later alligator.")

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Saving Grace.. BD en bulles.

So I arrived in Lyon 2 days ago, and why is it only NOW that I am making a post? Well, it is because I do not have internet at my apartment. BAAHh, it is the WORST!! Anyway, thank goodness that I am already familiar with Lyon and I knew of this internet cafe from my last trip here. My friend Sam and I would come here all the time, and it is still as hip as I remember- the japanese-looking cartoon drawings on the wall, the smell of croque-monsieur and coffee, and the same heavy-set, yet stylish, short-haired girl at the counter to take my euros.

Things have been okay so far. I got to see my friend Mathea, which was probably my highlight of yesterday. It is really hard because I don't really have anyone to hang with yet, and because I still suck at French, I don't really talk to anyone. My housemate, Claudia, is really sweet and she speaks English, but I don't see her often because she goes to school in the daytime. Fortunately, this weekend I am going to visit my lovely Melissa in Toulon =) I can't wait!! Also, things should get better after next week, I am going to start babysitting these two adorable boys, ages 6 and 3, and then school will start.

Until I can get internet again,
Mallory. =)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Another Adventure?

So, as you see, I never began my French cooking adventure.. I mean, I began it, but failed miserably and just gave up. Bla. That is besides the point, however, I can't believe I have not shared this yet.. I am moving back to Lyon, France!! And when I say I am moving back.. I mean, I am leaving in 5 days. Holy moly.

Some background info:

*In Januray I applied to be a Teaching Assistance for the English language. This is a job, NOT another study abroad program, and it is through the National Ministry of Education in France.
*In April or so, I was notified that I was put on a waitlist, which really bummed me out. =(
*One month later, the program pulled me off the waitlist and placed me in my number ONE choice city, the great Lyon. =)

Over the past months I have not prepared at all.. of course, what do you expect of someone who got her degree in Procrastination? lol I did, however, have an AMAZING summer. I spent it in the beautiful Palos Verdes, CA with the the lovely Melissa Hernandez (check her blog out too: My summer was filled with beaches, sunsets, best friends, Disneyland, weddings, stargazing and concerts. Possibly the best summer ever.

Anyway, now it is crunch time for France. I will be teaching in Villeurbanne (a community just outside the center of Lyon) and I am placed at two different elementary schools. The age group of kids that I will be teaching is ages 8-11. Age 8 is when Frenchies begin to learn English, so lets hope they are eager and enthusiastic! I have no experience in teaching at all, so this is definitely going to be a new kind of adventure for me! I embark this Monday, September 20.. so I will be sure to fill you all in on all things worthy once I am there.

Wish me luck! =) and a Bon Voyage.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Une Cuisinier Francaise

C'est moi!

I have decided to come back to blogging about my french life! I initially started my blog to document my experiences while studying in Lyon, France, which I did, but YOU GUYS, my french life did not stop there! I love france, I love the language, the culture, the art and the food! When I came back to the states, I started my winter quarter back at UCLA with 2 french courses so I can continue learning the language. Now the quarter is over and it was a sucess =) Next quarter I am taking another french course so I can continue to master this beautiful language.

Well, my new adventure, or project, whatever you want to call it, is to begin documenting my French food experiments. My lovely roommate, Melissa, brought home a cook book called "Barefoot in Paris" and the moment I opened in and read the first page, I started freaking out. Every recipe in that book brings me back to my time in France, so it is a MUST that I attempt to make all the recipies in that book! =) Okay, I guess you can kind of say that I am a little inspired by the blogging success of Julie in the movie, Julie and Julia, but I am not execting her publishing success, more so the success that Julie had at accomplishing all those amazing recipies! =) I am not much of a cook, but I have been sincerely trying to accomplish the skill while I am in college so I will be well-experienced later in life.. you know what I mean! ;)

Even though I just discovered this book, I am started now. Cheese puffs. I have all the ingredients and it doesn't take long to make! My next blog will be the outcome.

Thanks! =)
Bonne chance, Mallory.