Fresh Eyes

Whoa, I can't believe I've been here for almost 5 months!!? What!! cray. It's been awhile since I've sat down and written a post. It's all too easy to just post photos to tell my story ;) I have a friend from the states who is visiting tomorrow. I'm SO excited because I haven't seen her since the fall and it will be her first time in France, Europe even! I'm looking forward to getting to experience Paris again but through her fresh eyes.

Many people have been asking me the main differences I'm experiencing in Parisian life vs life in the states. I wasn't able to answer these questions until after really spending some time analyzing. There are indeed many many differences in our cultures. They're not all that shocking, just different. But slowly, I can feel myself adjusting so well to the point where Parisian life is becoming the norm.

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LANGUAGE

It's become normal for me to hear French all day everyday. Yet, I find I still get pretty exhausted after speaking, listening & engaging in french conversations after about 2 hours. Not only am I learning a new language, but also how to tell time with military time, check the temperature, measure/ weigh things and counting money with my new numbers!! I feel like I'm a kid all over again learning how to survive in the world!

I do however find myself losing my random english words. I keep forgetting how to say "washer/ washing machine" in english and keep referring to it as "the thing that washes clothes". Which by the way I'm happy to announce that mostly all apts here come with washer hook-ups in the units <--- This is something my all SF people will understand!! No more walking two blocks up hill to do laundry. It's the little things in life :)

Most used french word: "Pardon"; like any big city, people are everywhere and forever bumping into each other. This is really the only french word you need to know. As well as bonjour, vin, pain au chocolat, merci & au revoir!

Most difficulty with: accidentally using the informal "tu" with people I don't know when I should be saying "vous", I offend people on a daily basis.

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FOOD

My body has adjusted to the French meal schedule. A sweet breakfast, lunch, le goûter and dinner. When I first moved here, I found myself missing, craving and longing for savory American breakfasts. Now-a-days the craving just isn't there. Le goûter can be looked at as an afternoon indulgment.  It usually consists of a coffee and a sweet snack like a pain au chocolat [chocolate croissant]. yum. For lunch and dinner courses, it's pretty standard to have your main course followed by cheese with baguette. There's a "cheese box" in my fridge filled with no less than 4 different types of cheeses at all times. At this moment we have Camembert, Chevre, Gouda, Saint Nectaire and laughing cow. It has my fridge smelling all kinds of crazy.  Then of course there's dessert. In the states I NEVER ate dessert and now it's like I need it to tell my body it's time to stop eating.

I'm very impressed with the quality of food here. It's very fresh and doesn't contain all the extra crap you sometimes find in the states. I've also noticed, along with many other people who have lived in france, that I'm able to eat a lot of "naughty" foods daily (tons of carbs, sugars and fats) and lose weight without much effort. The food is simply amazing here.

Not only do people KNOW about food here, they are curious about it and always trying to make their dishes better. Mostly ALL conversations I hold with French people turns to food somehow. So much to the point where I just expect every conversation to end up there. Also, kids here know how to make things from scratch, I love it!

GREETING

The :::kiss kiss::: action that happens when you say hello is becoming pretty standard for me. But there have been times where I've offended people & embarrassed my fiancé because I forgot to kiss kiss someone upon arrival to a party etc ::le sigh::

TV

I have noticed that French tv is significantly LESS violent than american tv. Every time I do hear shooting on the tv I look over and it's an American show every time!

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OTHER LIL' DIFFERENCES

- The personal space 'bubble' is much smaller here.

- French social circles are small. Quality over quantity, which I completely agree with!!

- KFC seems to be quite the hot spot for friday night dinners

- I got sick recently and mostly everyone (including the doctor) told me to just go outside and take a walk, open the windows, have some warm milk with honey... I'm all like can a girlfriend get some medicine!?

- McDonalds are nice here and have cafes inside of them with macarons and other pastries

All-in-all I'm learning a lot about life and about myself here. Not gonna lie, I wasn't the happiest of campers when I first arrived. I was homesick and missing my friends and life back home. Though, I realized I couldn't fully enjoy Paris until I let go of San Francisco. Gotta let go of the past to make room for new memories yadda-yadda. That first step has proven itself to work wonders. I've made new friends and am thankful for all the gifts I have here. Especially, my special someone ;)

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bisous!!

Jessi

 

Brittany the Beautiful

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image from: Condé Nast Traveller

Last weekend I traveled to the Brittany region of France to join my fiancé's family. Sadly, we weren't there for the happiest of occasions. However it was nice to spend time with everyone and take it the beauty of the region.

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Pierre and I took some herbs from his grandmother's beautiful garden. We now have Thyme, Rosemary and Parsley growing on our balcony.

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These were growing in massive amounts and smelled so good!

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Pierre's uncles made Beef Bourguignon - deeeelishh!

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 The lovely Tertre/ Raulet/ Muraz/ Michelet Family

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI took a hike with Pierre's dad up the cliffside along the Emerald coast.  On a sunny day this water is emerald green.

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThe sky at sunrise was absolutely stunning on our drive back to Paris. I've been noticing the blue that you find in the sky in France isn't the same blue you see in the states. Once the cloud give away, the sky looks almost as if it were painted. I'll try to capture this is a photo soon!

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We received our Bretagne right of passage, we got these lovely Brittany breakfast bowls as a gift from Pierre's parents & grandma.

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Little Red Door

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Last night some friends and I checked out Little Red Door, a cocktail bar located in the 3rd arrondissement. This is a bar for the curious as it's entrance is hidden. Sure seeing a shiny red door has you thinking it's the obvious way in, but as things go with Speakeasies that is not the case.

 - spoiler alert, don't read next paragraph if you want to figure out how to get in yourself - 

The photo above is the cute parisian entry way. You first walk in the large glass door which places you in the small entryway. It feels as if you're in an Alice in Wonderland scenario as you realize the red door is in fact little. I'm short and I would have to duck through that thing. My friend pushed the door, but it didn't budge. Pushed harder, but still it didn't open. We stood back and wondered if the bar was closed, but we could hear music and glasses clinking so things were definitely happening inside. Our puzzlement quickly ended as curiosity took over and we started pushing on the walls. And low and behold we found the door into the bar!

We settled into a cozy corner in big comfy leather chairs. The cocktails were very tasty and experimental. I was starting to wonder if there was something in the drinks, there were various couples all cozied up on couches smooching the night away.

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The music level isn't too loud, we able to have conversations just fine. The bartenders were very nice and they speak English. Food is served here, we didn't order any but it smelled delish. Cocktail prices run from 13€ - 15€, they also have a massive punch bowl cocktail that serves 6-7 people for 70€.

60 Rue Charlot, 75003 Paris, France +33 1 42 71 19 32

Until next time...

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bises, Jessi

Waiting room music at its finest

Waiting room music at its finest

Paris is truly dedicated to the arts! I was pleasantly surprised to see that Gare de L'Est has a lovely piano in the waiting/ seating area of the train station, ready to be played by anyone. These pianos can be found throughout various train stations. This guy was pretty good. He was playing Hey Soul Sister by Train, how fitting haha!

Wine Me!

I recently checked out Wine by One with a fellow American. Now THIS is what I call a wine bar!

photo from trip advisor.com

I absolutely love the concept, as it allowed us to try many different wines for a reasonable price. How it works: You go in and receive a little wine debit card. You can put any amount you want to on it. After your card is loaded up there's a half circle room filled with wine dispensers waiting for ya.

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You have everything from white wines starting on the left, rosé, reds then on to your dessert wines & fancy expensive wines on the far right. The wines are dispensed in 3 different pour sizes with corresponding prices for each amount. After choosing a wine, you place your wine debit card in the dispenser machine and it shows the total amount you have on your card. Next, select the size pour you want you want and place your glass under the spout. Easy! I love how we were able to just go and grab a refill whenever, no need to wait for a bar keeper!

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cheese plate

They actually had a pretty legit cheese plate for a pretty good price as well. With blue cheese, Comte (freaking delish), brie and goat cheese.

If you plan on checking it out, which of course I'm highly recommending, make sure you get there at the start of happy hour. It got pretty crowded about an hour in.

Wine by One is located in the 1st arrondissement, not too far from the Opéra metro stop.

Wine by One | 9 rue des Capucines 75001 Paris | Tel. +33 (0)1 42 60 85 76 | www.winebyone.com

bises!!

Jessi