Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Drove to Rotterdam last weekend with some friends for a Christmas festival.  It was pretty fun, and Rotterdam is actually a really cool city with some great architecture.  We got in super late on Friday so we hit the tail end of the welcome party then went to bed, then on Saturday we had lunch of fried fish and some crazy spicy shrimp that reminded me of Korea at a traditional Dutch market, after which we walked around the city center for a while and bought our cheap secret santa presents for the party later.  Then we went to a beer tasting at this great cozy little pub, then we tried to go to the dinner that was being held but there were no spaces left.  Instead, we went with some other people who also couldn't get in and we ended up going for pizza because it was the only place both open and able to accommodate a largish group.  It was good pizza though, at least!  And cheap, too.  Rotterdam is way less expensive than Paris.  Afterwards we hit the party and did the secret santa exchange;  I ended up with some candles shaped like pebbles, which I'll probably use after I remember to buy a lighter because I like candles.  The party was super fun, everyone was really friendly and the drinks were cheap!  On Sunday we managed to drag ourselves out of bed around 10am despite the coooold so that we could make it to the brunch.  There was bread, cheese, soup, crepes, salad, and scrambled eggs, all for only 7 euros.  After brunch, we took a boat tour of the harbor.  It started off strong, with a great view of all the super cool architecture in the city, but then it deteriorated into a bunch of shipping crates and warehouses and facts about them, at which point I took a little nap.  I met a guy on the boat tour originally from America who is working as a teaching assistant in a public school in Lille, and he gave me the information about the program;  I think I'm going to apply for next year, because it sounds like a great way to be able to stay in France and the salary is way better than au pairing, for only 12 hours of work per week and five weeks paid vacation.  The only problem is I think it might work kind of like the JET program in Japan, where you don't get a choice as to where to live and there's a strong possibility of working in a rural area.  No rural areas for me please!  It's bad enough living just twenty minutes outside Paris!
Anyway, after the boat tour we hopped back in the car to go back to Paris.  We got in around 9pm, and we all went for some Thai food at a restaurant near where the car was parked.  It was deliiiiicious, and it wasn't really expensive either.  I'll definitely be going back there at some point, yum.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

General roundup

It was party time in Paris last weekend!  I went to a cute little bistro on Thursday evening with some friends and had a great time and good food too  (I had a deconstructed mediterranean salad), and two bottles of wine that ended up being only six euros per person, lol.  Gotta love how cheap the wine is here!  Although I guess it also depends on where you go:  I went to Laduree (the one on Champs Elysees) on Sunday evening (after a dinner of fondue, which was delicious) for some macarons, and oh man it is ridiculously inflated.  The macarons were good (although I might prefer Pierre Herme...) but the prices were ridiculous.  12 euros for a glass of kir, which at any regular cafe or bistro will go for anywhere from 3 to 6 euros, depending on how fancy it is / how near a tourist attraction.  6 euros just for a coke.  I guess you're paying for the little stick that says Laduree that they put in it.  Fortunately I wasn't paying!  It's a really nice little cafe and the macarons are priced about average, maybe slightly higher than your local boulangerie but the quality is also slightly higher so there you go, so I guess it would be fine for just some pastries... just don't order anything else, lol. 
Anyway, back to party times!  I went Friday evening to a party on a boat on the Seine, where our group got two bottles of free champagne because we happened to have two people with birthdays that weekend with us.  It was pretty fun, although the next morning I felt all that champagne, haha.  Then Saturday was the actual birthday party for one of my friends here;  it was in her friend's apartment in the 16th because he has a massive place.  (Well, massive by Parisian standards.)  I'm used to tiny sixth-floor walk-ups, so it was a nice change to hang out in a place with some space, and actual rooms, and an elevator!  Although Paris elevators are kind of scary. 
Sunday I went out for the aforementioned fondue and macarons, then yesterday it was off to a poetry reading in Belleville after having dinner at the house with the kids. 
The weather is getting steadily colder, and I'm not pleased.  We finally got some sun today, after over a week of nothing but rain and clouds, but it's still cold.  I'm going to see if I can have a vacation over Christmas and go somewhere like Sicily or Morocco.
This Saturday I'll be going to see Mozart:  L'opera Rock (Mozart:  the rock opera), v. excited even though I will probably only understand around twenty five percent of what is said.  It's okay, I like the music.  Also I wikipedia'd the storyline, lol.  ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USZ7-Hcnuko if you want to check it out.)
Then the weekend after, it's off to the Netherlands for a three day festival!
Look out for more Rome pictures soon, too!  I charged my camera but I haven't put the pictures on my computer yet, I'll post again when I've uploaded them to photobucket.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Some new pictures from Rome are up on my photobucket account!  It's only the ones from my phone for now, my camera battery is dead and needs to be charged.  I'll post about my trip later, right now I'm going to bed!