Monday, December 28, 2009

Au Revoir Paris!

So tonight is my last night here in Paris. It feels really strange and surreal, I don't think that it has quite sunk in yet that tomorrow I will be back in Toronto and in a week from now moved into a new apartment and back in classes. I have a feeling that Paris will seem like a distant dream in no time and it makes me a bit sad. These past four months have flown by, but I feel like I have lived a lifetime as well. I have a completely separate world here with a different school, friends, lifestyle, etc. and once I leave, it will never really exist again. I guess that is just how life goes though, nothing stays the same forever, and it would be boring if it did. My sister has been with me for the past 10 days and has asked me a lot of questions about how I view the Parisians, Paris in general, etc., and for some reason I find it really difficult to answer her. I've lived here for 4 months but I haven't really formed a concrete image of what Paris is, maybe that means I will have to come back to figure it out? Who knows. Anyways I think I will end off with one last list for you.

Things that I will miss about Paris:
1) my friends
2) hearing people speak French (it really is a beautiful language)
3) speaking French
4) my apartment
5) my "quartier" (I love the canal, and the fact that it's not a touristy area)
6) the metro (it is really convenient, cheap and well organized)
7) the centrality (it's really easy to travel to other cities/countries from Paris)
8) boulangeries (freshly baked baguettes and pastries.... yum)
9) cheap wine
10) being able to watch french movies at the cinema

Things that I won't miss about Paris:
1) dog poo on the sidewalks
2) homeless people/beggars
3) creepy men
4) american movies/tv dubbed into French
5) almost everything being closed on Sundays
6) expensive prices
7) constant sirens
8) the bad smell in the metro
9) bad service
10) smokers

Friday, December 18, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Language Similarities

While I have been here, I have really started to notice the extent of similarities between a lot of French and English words. Most people who have studied some French will have noticed that many words in French are pretty much the same as the English version with a different ending, an accent somewhere or simply with a different pronunciation. I am always jealous of the people who come from more "latin" countries like Italy, Spain, etc. because they seem to have an easy time picking up French and with a less noticeable foreign accent. But having made friends with people from many different countries here has helped me to appreciate some of the benefits of having English as a first language when learning French. There have been many times when someone will ask about a word in class, that to me is so obvious because it is practically the same thing in English. I think that a lot of anglophones take this fact for granted.

It's getting cold in Paris!

This past week the weather in Paris has been cold!!! Cold enough at least that the ever-present and mysterious trickles of water on the sidewalks have started to freeze. Paris cold seems like a different type of cold to me, but maybe I am just not used to the cold anymore. It has been mild-warm for most of my stay so far, so I was really just hoping it would hold out until I left. At least the sun has been shining brightly, that makes it bearable. I am not so excited to go back to Canada now that I remember what it's like to feel cold though... brrrrr.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I am going to miss my musmus friends!

So dinner was a success, above is the picture of my friends and I! It wasn't really dinner, more like lots of bread, cheese, dips, and veggies, then some dessert, but it worked out really well. It was great to get a big group of my friends together one last time before I leave. It was a very relaxing evening and though I was happy to celebrate my time in Paris with my friends, it also made me a bit sad because I will really miss them. I have met some great people here, who have basically been my life for the past few months, so it will be very strange and sad to leave them, not knowing when I will see them again. I hope to come to Europe sometime in the next few years and do a backpacking trip, so hopefully I will be able to meet up with a lot of them then. When I lived in Europe before as an Au Pair, I didn't really meet as many people so it wasn't as difficult to leave. In Quebec last summer I was there for a shorter period of time and since everyone I met lived in Canada it didn't seem like as large a separation when I left. This time I feel like I have just met a lot of people that I genuinely like and it will be hard to say goodbye knowing that I probably won't see them for years. But I should be optimistic about things I suppose, at least I have had the opportunity to meet so many different people, and now have contacts all across Europe as well as some other countries. I will always have the great memories of our time together in Paris and I hope that I will be able to keep in touch with them into the future.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Menu Suggestions?

So I have decided to throw a little dinner party at my apartment this weekend with about a dozen of my friends in Paris. A lot of my friends are leaving to go home for Christmas at the end of next week and won't be back until January so this is the last weekend that we will all be in Paris together. I'm starting to wonder if everyone will fit in my apartment... haha, but I invited the people that I have spent the most time with here and that I'd like to spend a nice evening of wining and dining with. I've asked everyone to bring a bottle of wine and some sort of food item, but I think that I should maybe make some sort of main dish and I am wondering if there are any suggestions for something simple to make in large quantities. Let me know if you have any good ideas!

Monday, December 7, 2009


Picard is a store in Paris that only sells frozen food. When I first passed by Picard stores I had no idea what they were, inside they just look really sterile and white, because there are just rows of freezers (not the stand up kind though, more like the ones you would have in your basement, but with a glass top). In Canada I associate frozen food with being mediocre and unhealthy for the most part. It's the lazy option and more for satisfying hunger than actually enjoying. Picard however is on a entirely different level, it seems that France really knows how to make good frozen food. I have bought a few different things from Picard previously and they have all been really good. Picard has pretty much everything from pizza, pasta, veggies, fish, potatoes, etc. and a huge variety of desserts and appetizers. You could probably make a really good full course meal just buying from Picard, and it is also not too expensive. I would definitely recommend trying it out.