Tag Archives: Lille

Smell Update

Today Olivier had some big news for me…something to confirm my suspicions…something to make me feel somewhat more sane…THERE IS A YEAST FACTORY NEAR LILLE! He found out today because someone at La Voix du Nord was talking about the factory.

YESSS. I am not crazy. (Although you might still like to think otherwise.) I knew it smelled like yeast. I guess that’s what you get from working in a kitchen (besides many other wonderful skills) but I am damn good at recognizing smells and tastes.

If you’d like more information about the factory: patrimoine-de-france.org


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Summer, Summer, Summer, Where are you?

I can’t have summer, but I can listen to this and pretend that I’ve got the beach, the waves, the sun, the sand, and a cold hummingbird cocktail in my hand. And, of course, my friends, we’ll all fly to paradise together and live there for the rest of our lives.

And here’s a recipe for the hummingbird (in case your mouth was watering or you were confused and thought I was talking about the bird)

For one serving:
1 oz bananas
1 oz coconut cream
1 oz creme de bananes
1 oz rum
1/2 oz Tia Maria® coffee liqueur
1 oz strawberries
crushed ice

Please leave me songs that remind you of summer! I need some more sunshine tunes!


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The Fragrances of Lille

When leaving my apartment each day, I’m always welcomed onto the street by various funks:

– Sewage
– Yeast
– Old man body odor
– Stale beer
– One of my friends, Jenn, thinks she smells chocolate and one night I slightly understood what she meant, but it still smelled like yeast to me.

It’s never all of the odors at one time, thankfully, but it can still be entirely overwhelming and extremely off-putting. For example, a lot of the time I don’t want to go to school, solely because the stairs that lead up to the school smell like poop central.

But TODAY – HOLY SHIIIITTT. Literally. In the morning when I went to school, no problem…no big funk, just the normal city stench. But at around 11 am when I exited the metro and was walking the two blocks home…I almost ran. I had to! It smelled like a stink bomb ( x A MILLLION) had been set off. I even tried to cover my nose and mouth with my scarf to protect myself from the awful reek but it was no use!

Does anyone have any explanations as to why Lille smells so terrible? I’ve been through a list of things in my head such as: factories, paper mills, sewage issues? It’s GROSS! Tell me whyyyyyy, whyyyyy???

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The other night a few friends came over and we all made sushi. And, who, you might ask, taught you to make this wonderful sushi? サー Yuki Eriguchi!

Here are some photos from the night. There are no photos of the final result (although I think Yuki might have one). We ate them all too fast!!

Yuki fanning the rice with his grandmother's fan, Jasper observing.

Our master watching over the ingredients: cucumber, avacado, salmon, tuna, egg, rice

...roll your sushi with love and zen...


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10am: Just ate the leftovers of a peach tart for breakfast (uhm…fruit, that’s healthy right?) and waited for an hour for a friend to Skype with me (no luck) so I’m now getting off the couch and going to check out the madness of the sales. (YES, you heard me, Sale Season here in France!) I didn’t go out yesterday on the first day of sales because, honestly, I didn’t want to get killed by the stampedes of psychos – and, yes, that does really happen. But I promise myself that I’m not going to buy anything, unless I need it, and it’s a really good price (ha, good luck Lise, courage and restriction!). No, but seriously, it’s just after the holiday season and I’d much rather keep my money for more important things, so we will see how this goes.

3pm: Drum roll please…I bought…Pyjamas, which I actually did need. One pair of pants and one nightie. One pair of black tights. And one nail polish (gotta splurge someway). The really ironic thing is that originally I had the intention of going out to buy new underwear and…low and behold…as I was walking I felt like there was something trailing behind me, I look down, and a pair of MY underwear was caught in my pants. Sweet. Classy! Does everyone have some sort of nightmare about nudity, underwear, etc? I don’t really feel inhibitions towards those sort of things, so this was just very funny to me. But for a second there, I was really embarrassed to be walking through the Grand Place – the main strip in Lille – with a pair of my underwear dragging behind me. Yessss…nice way to start of the New Year – exhibitionism!

On a more serious note (for the ladies, and dudes if you have education in this department you can pitch in some advice too) what is up with French lingerie stores? Why can’t I find my size? Does anyone have recommendations for buying bras in France? I thought you guys were supposed to be experts here.

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Cough, Cough…Sniff, Sniff…Oink, Oink

Just kidding – no swine flu here – but I am sick, have semi-lost my voice, and, of course, just in time for exams! Amazing…What timing! What precision! What skill!

Three exams and two papers. This can be done. I just hope my eyes/nose stop watering.

How are you all? I hope the flu-cold season hasn’t reached you.

In other news (and yes, actually in the news) I watched the opening ceremony of the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit and am absolutely thrilled for a city so dear to my heart to be hosting such an amazing conference.

I know there’s a lot of talk about the carbon footprint of the conference (Bill even joked about the fact that the airplane travel alone is causing climate change) but if something can be done to reduce carbon output worldwide, I’m all for it – yes, I am a tree huger, and so what? (I also think it’s majorly impressive that 2/3 of the food at the conference is organic…this must mean that the entire organic production in Denmark is going straight to the conference!)

What do you think about the conference?

PS – A small update on the metro story. I’ve been carefully analyzing the metro system (yes, this is what I do in my free time….no, you silly!) and have noticed that it’s not the people’s fault, but rather the construction of the metro car and metro station is, well, just bad. The cars are very small and don’t leave enough room for people to stand. The metro station platforms are not wide enough and therefore a major jam occurs when passengers are trying to get on/off the metro. While Lille’s metro system is the first fully electronic, ie: no driver, metro system, they perhaps didn’t think the planning through all the way. It was also opened in 1983 – maybe they never expected so many people to use the metro?

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Fire? Fire! Oh well.

This morning we had a fire drill at Sciences Po. Of course, there was no previous warning that there was going to be a drill, and so I thought it was a real fire. Especially when people actually came looking for us in the classroom (because my professor just continued to teach…!).

After living in Los Angeles, where earthquake drills are a regular activity, and in Charlottesville, Virginia, where fire drills are normal because delinquent kids pull the fire alarm all the time, I know the drill – do what you’re told, do it efficiently, and do it fast. So, you can understand my surprise (and the surprise of all the internationals students) when we saw the French students shuffling slowly out of the building, cramming onto the stairs, and blocking the sidewalk just in front of the school, creating a HUGE human traffic jam. People were just hanging out, smoking, even singing. Is this how the French react in times of emergencies? If there had been a real fire, we would have been absolutely screwed – and, perhaps, dead. SWEET!

Assume what you will…I’m not saying that the French cannot get their shit together (and Olivier assures me it’s because they just don’t care). But, really?

In other news, got my hair cut (and it was extremely weird because the hairdresser used an electric hair trimmer the whole time. No scissors! Is this a new technique?) and my LG Shine phone has a problem with its Bluetooth, so I couldn’t show you photos or a video of the fire drill. If you are considering buying an LG Shine, don’t.


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