Monthly Archives: August 2009

And I thought my life was really boring…

…Ahh…maybe it is, but I seem to have proved myself a bit wrong with the help of a mid-day intruder in our apartment on Wednesday. I was in the process of giving my mom a Skype-tour of the apartment when all of a sudden a woman, dressed very scantily and in her 50s (never a good combination) walked into the apartment. I was so surprised that I didn’t give her any time to explain herself, yelled at her in French (which seems to be the only French I am really good at) Putain!!, and pushed her out the door, locking it immediately. While all this was happening, my laptop closed and my mom, who thought I had fallen and given myself a concussion, was sitting in Charlottesville, Virginia trying to think of a way to call the police so I wouldn’t die.

So, lesson learned: the one time you do not lock your door you will have an intruder. Therefore, ALWAYS LOCK YOUR DOOR!

On Friday night Olivier gave me my birthday present – A CLASSIC POLAROID CAMERA !!! I remember that I used to have a JoyCam when I was little and I have always loved Polaroids. I am SO thrilled to own a Polaroid camera and to have it with me here in France! Especially considering I didn’t bring any camera with me to France. No, don’t freak out, you haven’t missed my birthday, it’s on the 28th. Olivier wanted to give me my present early so that I could bring it with us to Corsica on the 20th. And I cannot wait to take pictures with this amazing camera – it’s SOOO COOOLLLL! (By the way, if you are struggling to think of a birthday present, Polaroid film, PLEASE! 600 Instant Film. It’s been discontinued and I want to be able to use this present for as loooonnngggg as possible!)

Photo of Dieppe friends.

This past weekend has been absolutely wonderful too. First, 4 friends from Olivier’s high school and a Japanese guy who was visiting France came to visit while on their way to Brussels. Then, Olivier’s brother, Bruno, came to visit with two friends. The three of them are on their way to Copenhagen and were very pleased to have me give them some tips and a brief lesson in Danish. Tak, Hej hej, and things like that.

ack! no...i've just got a strapless dress on, thank you!
Photo of Arthur and Nicolas, two great friends from Lille.

Now I am in the process of packing, because we are off Corsica tomorrow!!! I cannot wait to be under the sun and in the ocean, swimming with fish and eating delicious sheep’s cheese and yummy charcuterie.

I will write when I get back in 10 days and tell you all about my adventures and include some photos!!

Ohh! And I finally got a haircut yesterday. It’s not bad!

Please write back and let me know how you are doing! It’s soooo wonderful to receive messages from you all. I am so excited to read the comments every time I see that someone has written to me! Thank you so much!! Please keep writing back!



Filed under Daily Life

A French Tango

This week began on an extremely romantic note. On Sunday, Olivier and I went out to a delicious dinner, as we do every month on the 9th, to celebrate being together. It’s really fun because we get to try all these fancy/non-fancy-but-very-yummy restaurants and now I can discover what kind of eating establishments exist in Lille! (And you know how I love food!)

(courtesy of picasaweb)

(courtesy of picasaweb)

As we were walking back to the apartment from the Vieux Lille (the old quarter of the town), we heard a mellow 2/4 tune floating out of the Vieille Bourse, the old Industrial Commerce Chamber. Quickly, Olivier and I ran to the main entrance of the Bourse to discover the most magical event I’ve seen in France yet. There danced forty-some Lilloise, their legs twisting and turning through the courtyard, all elegantly managing not to bump into each other! We just stood there, arm in arm, gawking at the beautiful tango, the dancers slowly fading into the twilight. This, we agreed, was something we’d have to learn!

(courtesty of Peter Forret)

(courtesty of Peter Forret)

– As a side note, I’ve been dancing tangos for the past two nights with some nasty French mosquitoes. They seem to love me just as much as any other mosquitoes in the world. And drinking bountiful amounts of wine does not seem to deter them. Damnit. Must find new French vice to keep them at bay. I hope this doesn’t mean I should take up smoking…jamais! –

Here’s the video that Olivier took from his mobile phone!


Filed under Daily Life

To blog or not to blog?

As most of you know by now, I am terrible at keeping up correspondence. I also hate blogging but a friend, who has been diligently blogging about her summer travels, inspired me to start one. So here it is – my blog.

To whom I have sent this blog, I deeply care about you and don’t want you to think that I am a good-for-nothing niece, friend, daughter, etc. I know that I have not kept regular correspondence with many of you and even though these posts are not personal letters to each of you individually, they will be written with the same integrity, honesty, and love. This is my way of keeping in touch with you, in my little way, and I apologize for sucking so much at writing letters. I just hope I will be able to maintain this blog, otherwise I’ll have to start apologizing for sucking at blogging too…(ough, maybe this isn’t a good idea…).

My goal is to update at least once a week to tell you about what’s going on in my life right now. I’m not really sure what to anticipate but I think the blog will be mostly filled with my trials and  tribulations of living in France, university life, and such. If there is any information you think might be helpful to someone, feel free to pass the blog along. Also, PLEASE PLEASE comment on the post if you read it and want to tell me something. I want this to be a dialogue, not a one-sided conversation.

Current update:

I live in Lille, France with my boyfriend Olivier. I am on the longest summer vacation of my life and have so far: moved out of my student apartment in Charlottesville, gotten 4 impacted wisdom teeth out with a recovery of 2 days, saved a woman’s life by giving her CPR when she had a seizure and will now have CPR classes re-established in the Charlottesville public schools, studied in Falmouth, Jamaica for a month with a graduate level architecture course learning drafting and doing my own sociological studies on Caribbean masculinity for my Gender Studies major (I am a Sociology and Gender Studies double major at the University of Virginia), and am now in Lille.

This weekend my friends Hannah and Arthur, Olivier and I went to a music festival, Les Nuits Secretes, and had a great time dancing until early in the morning to some really awesome bands. (More to be written about this later, I think…)

I’m learning that the French language has many, many more exceptions than rules. That little French women stay skinny because they smoke like chimneys and eat like birds. And that some French men won’t stop saying Bonjour to you if they like your ass (though definitely not as annoying as the tttsssttt noise that Jamaican men make). Also, that I really need a haircut but am absolutely terrified to get one because I don’t want anyone to butcher my hair.

In short, this is a feeble (or maybe grand, depending on my level of laziness) effort to reach out to you and tell you what’s going on in my life. I know…this is a long long post, but it is the introduction and wanted to make it satisfactory and informative.

I hope you are all doing well and I send my love to each of you.


Olivier and me in Paris, March 2009


Filed under Introduction