Parlez-vous anglais?

23 02 2009


I know that I promised to post pictures of my apartment, but I lied. I just absolutely had to get this off my chest.

I’ve been in Paris for exactly a month, and as much as I love living here, there’s one thing that’s been bothering me for the past month. I find myself speaking English way too often. If anything my experience in Paris so far, has been the exact opposite of Lyon –language wise.

Most people that know me know that I’ve lived in France before as a language assistant. When I was initially applied as a language assistant, on the application you were given the choice of three regions. I remember choosing the Academy of Lyon only because I knew that Lyon was the second largest city in France — no matter how much I travel, I can’t seem to adapt to small towns. I figured that as a smaller city it would probably be less international than Paris. After my language experience in Tokyo, where I lived for 2 and a half years without picking up much of the language — other than the basics — I figured that I would have the chance to speak French more often in Lyon than if I were living in Paris.

In the end I got placed in St. Etienne, a podunk town without any redeeming qualities, located an hour train ride outside of Lyon. And although I resented being placed there during those initial first 9 months in France, in retrospect I am extremely thankful that I had the full immersion in French culture that I would have never had in Paris and am still not getting.

And as much as I know that people mean well, it drives mean absolutely crazy when I meet a French person and as soon as they find out that English is my first language, well then we absolutely should speaking it. It doesn’t matter than we’re in France. Obviously I want to spend every moment of my time in France speaking English! Gahh! See I feel better now.

With that in mind, my language skills have plateau-ed. Although I speak French fluently and without any difficulty on a day to day basis, I still don’t feel like I’m quite where I want to be. Particularly after the feedback that I received from an interview that I recently had (which is another story altogether — best saved for another post). So with the recommendation of a new friend that I’ve made here in Paris, I’m going to take language classes at the Sorbonne — schedule and finances permitting, with the hopes of passing the DALF C1 exam.

I’ve reached as far as I possibly can on my own — and because I never took a single language class the entire time I was previously living in France. I seriously need my ass kicked by the grammar police. Especially when it comes to writing.

p.s. I do hope that you like the cosmetic changes that I made to the blog. The other look was just too boring for words. And that picture of the streetcar — lame!


Blame it on the rain

9 02 2009

I’m sure you all have been waiting with bated breath for a new post on how things have been going in Paris, so here’s a new post ;). Keeping this blog really takes writing discipline. Sometimes I find I’ll write something new and then for whatever reason never post it.

I had another job interview today. I’m so sick of job interviews and trying to sell myself to be what the company wants. I feel like Ethan Hawk’s character in the movie Before Sunset, when he’s telling Celine about his book tour and says, “I feel like such a huckster.” Well I feel like a huckster and I’m tired of selling myself. In the past 3 weeks since I’ve been here, I’ve been on  5 interviews. Yikes! Plus at the interview today they made me do a translation from English to French…so hard because my writing in French is not as good as it could be. And this interview was long! I was there for an hour…I don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad thing. That’s the worst part. I never know. Some places I’ve had the best feeling from the interview and never hear from them again, so I have no idea.

After the interview I spent the afternoon walking around even though it was pouring rain…such a bad idea. I wanted to walk to the American Church from where I interviewed (near Place d’Opéra) because the church has job postings. But I’m still somewhat unfamiliar with everything here and even with my map, I kept walking in circles! In heels! Finally I got to the church hours later, which I didn’t think would take that long, only to find there was nothing good listed and I was cold, wet and tired :(. When I planned it in my head the night before it seemed like a good idea because I knew I’d be walking through some of the prettiest landmarks in Paris and I wanted to take pictures. The only thing was the weather was so bad I didn’t take a single picture! Sadly that means no pictures for this post. oh well. For those of you still needing a photo fix, please feel free to orient yourself to my previous post where I posted pictures of a recent nighttime stroll on rue Georges V.

And lest you think my life has been filled with job hunting boredom, my social life is starting to come together nicely and I went to a house party this weekend. I loved the house, it was so typically French, complete with an empty bottle of Ricards liqueur used as a vase and a room filled with books from floor to ceiling. I had so much fun and there were lots of very attractive French boys there, but sadly I didn’t meet anyone. Most of the people were architects, since the person throwing the party works as an architect, so a very interesting crowd. However I drank way too much and spent all of the next day in bed with the worst hangover I’ve had in a really long time. But it was worth it! 😉

And for those of you that are interested or just curious, for my next post I will give you a more in-depth view of my life here including…drumroll…pictures of my apartment!

p.s. shoutouts to Milli Vanilli!