Saturday, January 6, 2007


Jan 6, 2007

I didn't have school this Saturday :) I woke up at 9:30. Had 1/2 a baguette for breakfast. Left the house and took 3 metros (i'll explain those later...but they are easy compared to chi) to get to BHV (a great department store) FINALLY got my adapter amongst other stuff! Walked around and ran into a few H&Ms, McDonalds, and Marais...which is the town for gay people. There were rainbow flags in the window. I felt comfortable :) heehee. Anyway...walked around for a while. Then came home, went to the grocery store...but i don't need to buy much because my roomate said because you get to take home everything you make at school u never have to buy anything! so i bought like butter and jelly for the bread i eat...but not much! i did have a craving for ice cream. So for lunch i had ice cream and a banana! i love eating ;) anyway...then i showered and blow dried my hair FINALLY! felt great! oh and i finally got on the computer and i've been blogging for hours! but i'm up to date! Now, I'm about to go eat what my roomate made at school today and some of my soup and then relax. More blogging after next week at school. Like I said...feel free to contact me ;) Au revoir.


I am going to explain school briefly. I am taking Le Gran Diplome. That includes Cuisine (C) and Patisserie (P). Now there are 3 parts to this Diplome. Basic, Intermediate and Superior. (B, I, S) I am currently in Basic Cuisine AND Basic Patisserie. I graduate March 16th from them both. Then I continue on. I graduate from the ENTIRE program Aug 29th. Anyway, classes work like this. I have a Demonstration (D) class whether it be in Cuisine or Patisserie what I do is sit and watch the Chef make something. Then later that day or the next day I have a Practical (P) and actually make what I watched the Chef make. I have a timetable of my schedule. It changes EVERYDAY! It is never the same. They are in sections of 3 hours. 8:30-11:30, 12:30-3:30, 3:30-6:30, and 6:30-9:30. I usually go from 8:30-6:30 Monday thru Saturday. If I'm lucky, I have one or two days where I only have 8:30-11:30 or 3:30. And once in a while I get a Saturday off. I have 4 times where I have to be there til 9:30. When I blog it will look like this CD (Cuisine Demo) PP (Pastry Practical) you get the point. Anyway...that's school. Questions...comment ;)

Jan 5, 2007

First real day of school! I woke up at 6:30 cause I had to get something photo copied. Well nothing is open early here like it is at home. So i got myself a croissant and got to school by 7:45. I got into uniform and was at my first demonstration by 8:30 am! We recieved our recipe book and watched how to make rustic veggie soup. (which had lardons in it. yuck) Then at 11:30 we had an hr break, but I had my carte de sejour (long term visa) mtg. Then at 12:30 we had pastry demo. We learned almost 10 mini recipes for small things such as marzipan and fondant. Then we got out early at 2, (usually 3:30) which will never happen again! Sat and talked to classmates. Then at 3:30 went to practical to make the soup we learned! My soup was said to have not enough salt and the potatoes were 5 min over cooked.
But hey, i have NEVER cooked before so YAH ME! Then we go out early again like 6, (usually 6:30) I met my roomie and we walked home. I bought a baguette to eat with my soup. Came home ate soup, talked on the phone, my roomie had a friend over then went to bed!

Jan 4, 2007

First day of school! I walked to school and got a little lost, but not horrible. Got there at 9 am (started at 9:30). I had a chocolate croissant and coffee, black! Filled out paper work, listened to people speak, ate a plain croissant, got my uniform, toured school, and then ate some bread and cheese. Hey free food...i'm taking advantage! Then around 1 pm I was done for the day. Then hell began again! I went to 4 banks before the 5th one gave me a bank account. Then the mobile place wouldnt give me a phone because I haven't recieved my bank card in the mail yet! I argued with the guy for an hr (in english!) about it. Then i went to get shoes for school. Then yet again i went to look for a converter. (p.s. i didn't bore u with stories about all the stores I went to looking for a converter and couldn't find one...but i went to atleast 7!) Well I came home and was famished again (i've already lost weight...but i'm eating so much crap and not counting a single calorie which is AMAZING!!!! i love it) Bee (that' what Belinda, my flatmate, goes by) and I went to eat chinese food then I came home and CRASHED! long day and it was not even a real school day!

Jan 3, 2007

I woke up at 7 at her command, brushed my teeth...yada yada and made it to breakfast at 7:25 or so. Well, I at a piece of toast and the way they drink their cereal bowls! I could barely finish my bowl. I felt sick and still nervous. Then when breakfast was over Mme opened the window to decrumb the table cloth and left the window open cause she was hot...but it was freezing in the house!!! I went back to bed til about 10 after calling Jacqui and saying I had to get out of there. When I woke up I was so miserable I had to do something. I called Atome saying I needed to leave this house. They weren't there as usual. The language barrier was just to much for me. I called this woman who I had emailed a while back about independant housing. ok....i am turning this LONG story into a very short one. She showed me 2 places. One studio and one swanky flat with an English roomate (who i didn't meet) who also attends LCB. I had my parents western union me money. I called Atome's cell phone and finally got ahold of them. I told them not only was the language a problem for me, but i needed more independance after 25 years of living with my folks (nothing against u mom and dad!) and I didn't want to come home to struggles after working so hard at school. They didn't like it but they had to accept. I went to Mme's house and she said to me in French things would work out. I tried to tell her my problem, but I got so frustrated I started to cry again!!!! Anyway, I packed my bags and at 5:30 pm I left to move to my new apt! (oh i forgot to mention I stepped in dogshit earlier that day! horrible!) another horrible story. I arrived at #16 and I think I was suppossed to be at #5. Well the landlord inside, very nice lady, who saw me struggling with 4 pieces of luggage tried to talk to me...but i couldnt explain. She let me use her phone. I called to make sure it was # 5 and it was. Well this landlord put on her coat and walked me over to my new place! So nice. Then my new landlord helped me up the elevator. Barbara, the person who helped me rent the place, came over. I signed the papers, gave her money and voila! I have a new place :) Belinda came home and was so confused (she didnt know she was getting a flat mate!) Well she is fabulous! She is from England and she rocks! She is also do Le Gran Diplome, but she started last semester so she is in the intermediate course right now so she is ahead of me which is great. So we sat up and talked for a whole about school and then i went to bed!

Jan 2, 2007

Move in day!!!! I woke up at 9ish and went to have breakfast in my mini hotel the size of my bedroom! I ate half a croissant and a cup of coffee. I was so nervous i couldn't eat. Well I couldn't get intouch with Atome (the housing people) and I didn't have Mme Pariset's number so I didn't know how I was getting to her house. I looked up her phone number and called. It was wrong! I called my mom again at 3 am for the number and I called that number...WRONG AGAIN! I kept calling Atome but no go! Well after a few hrs I figured I did know the right address so I would find where that was hopefully go over there. I couldn't shower in the hotel because stupid me brought everything i needed to France EXCEPT an adapter for the wall for my blowdryer!!!! who knew that the plugs were different...oh...everyone but me!!!! Anyway...Mme Pariset's house was 5 min walk from the hotel. So the woman at the desk printed directions and I was on my way. Well, it started raining again!!! and I started crying again because i was LOST! Well I finally found the place because the cutest french grandma grabbed my arm and practically dragged me there! I get there and the name Pariset is NOT on the door! I'm freaking! I see a sign Guardien. I assume that means guard and I see he is leaving his office. I ask him if he speaks english and as most, he says no. I tell him I'm looking for Mme Pariset. He points me to her building but I say her name isn't there. He opens the door for me and shows me which is her door. I knock and i'm sopping wet! She opens the door and I start crying again and I give her a hug and the traditional double kiss. She's speaking french. Now at first i though she was doing this to make me speak my french. Later on I realize she spoke no english. I mean my French was better than her english...and those who know me, know my french is weak! Well, her and her son were eating lunch. I couldn't eat. I felt sick. Anyway, we sat around for a while til we finally went to the hotel to get my luggage (in her mercedes!) I bring it back to her place. I ask her about the internet. She says she doesn't have it and she calls Atome. Atome apologizes for not helping me this morning. Whatever. So Mme takes me to this place called Cite Universitare. (it's also raining outside again and I don't have my umbrella!) It's a place for international students to do everything including speak to english speaking people! Well I needed a cell phone and a bank account. We went there and they practically laughed at me b/c I was so helpless. Anyway, we went to a bank to go get a bank account but I didn't want to open it because I knew from the second Mme ONLY spoke french I couldn't be there. My room was also an armpit! For those of u who saw my Freemont room, it was the same size if not smaller! Anyway, we didn't open an account cause I said I wanted to wait for school to open. Then we came home. We sat and watched some movie in French. I think I called Jacqui to complain also. I called mom finally. I sat there freezing. Mme doesn't turn the heat on so it was so cold in her house. Anyway, I hadn't eaten all day so I was looking forward to dinner! Well...dinner time...oysters cold, bread, butter, PORK, peas and carrots (my two most hated veggies) fromage (cheese!), and dessert was an apricot applesauce! ew. I'm supposed to be a vegetarian but even if i'm not...i still do not eat pork...never have...but i had to force it down with a smile. You can better believe i called my mom to complain about that! Well at around 9 pm we went to the washroom so she could give me a towel. I pointed to my hair, meaning could I have a hair towel. She looked at her watch and said to me in French that I could take a shower because it was too late! I mean what?!?! NO ONE tells me what time i can or can't shower! Oh...and she insists on doing my laundry everyday and she won't let me do it! what? Then she said tomorrow she would walk me to Le Cordon Bleu. I asked her what time breakfast was...7 am. YUCK! I didn't have to be up for anything...except breakfast. Well I went to bed after i hit my head on the ledge and now i have a big bump and bruise on my head!

Jan 1, 2007

I got my luggage very easily! Then I go to meet my VIP service french guy--or so i thought! It was the first time I came out of an airport and someone was waiting for me with a sign with my last name on it. It was rather exciting! He made small talk with me--meanwhile, I'm exhausted! I mean 9 am here is 2 am in Chicago and I barely slept! Anyway...this is our conversation. (he starts)

"Where r u from?"

"Chicago, IL"

"Oh, I'm from Pakistan"

"Oh, Ok"

"Oh, you know it?"

"Yes, I've heard of it" (me lying a little! I mean...what? who hasn't?!?!?!)

Then he proceeds to say...

"You are very beautiful, I like your mark" (meaning my beauty mark)

I was like...get me out of this taxi!!! So he dropped me off at my hotel. I walked in and thank god the woman at the desk spoke a little english! She showed me my room on the second floor which was the size of a closet. The elevators are soooo small here that one of my luggages fit in but I couldn't go with it! Since it was the New Year NOTHING and I mean nothing was open. I went next door to the only place that was open to buy a phone card to call my mom at 3 am! She wasn't too angry. Then I went back to my room to take a mini nap at 11 am which turned into a LONG one til 5 pm! Then I put on my clothes and proceeded to go to le notre dame. I walked around, changed 200 american dollars which converted to 123 euros after taxes and fees! bogus! Oh and I met some dude from Orland Park when I heard him speaking english and asked him for directions. Crazy huh?! Then I sat waiting for Jacqui and her sis. Well, some guy says to me Bonne Annee (happy new year) and I didn't respond. He walks a few feet and stares back at me. I see him giving me this look like "why are you acting like this?" Well it started raining. I left my umbrella in the hotel so I start walking. All of a sudden he is next to me. He smiles. I cross the street and he is across the street walking the same pace as me! Well I walked into a store and I lost him! Sheesh!'s down pour so I wait under a awning for a while and then I begin to pace Notre Dame for a while. They are nowhere. At 7:45 (supposed to meet at 7:30) I'm about to give up...but i walk around one more time! I seen them and I run into their arms and start to cry. Just bawl. We go into a bar and i have a decaf to warm me up (no milk...just trying to drink it black!) After a while, the bar owner starts to hush people. The lights dim and yes, on my first day in France, I watch a proposal...can i leave now?!?! No joke! it was sweet. Anyway we sit and talk more, and then Jacqui gives me the name and address of her hotel and tells me to call when I can. I go to the hotel and crash...i hadn't eaten all day and im exhausted. (oh and i took the metro by myself and didn't get lost!)

Dec 31, 2006

My last day in the states I went to Max and Benny's for lunch. I had probably my last lox and bagel sandwich for a long time. Then we headed to the airport. We arrived at 2 pm. Airfrance said not to arrive earlier than 3 hrs, but nonetheless there was a line. The people who were heading home had one piece of luggage that was larger than all of mine combined! They were huge! Anyway, as I checked in we asked to upgrade. They said it would be somewhere between 1-2 thousand dollars unless I had air france miles. So that was a no go! Then they weighed my luggage and ofcourse one piece was too heavy so we had to pay 25 bucks. We sat and talked for a while. When I decided to leave, I made my parents wait til I safely made it through security because I always go off. I didn't. I cried when they left. But I got over that pretty quickly. I got online for maybe 20 min, then went to the bathroom, bought H20 and some chex mix the boarded the plane (i promise we are getting to the good stuff!) Ok. So I sat in 28 K, a window seat. I like to rest my head against the wall. Anyway, this ancient woman who spoke only this indian language and no english sat next to me. Except she did tell me she needed to make potty! Well this other woman comes up to me and one of the attendents saying that the ancient woman's family asked her if she would watch the woman til they landed. Well the nice attendant looks at me and asks if I am ok. I said yes. He said I looked unhappy. I said I was scared and then I started to cry. Well, he took that lady and moved her closer to the woman who was supposed to watch her! So now I had two seats by myself. However, lying down...bad option, killed my back! But like seat did NOT go back! ARGH! So I was uncomfortable the entire plane ride. I listened to Sara and Jon's CD and watched where we were in the air. Dinner was salmon cous cous, some fish with potatoes and veggies, cheese, yogurt, oatmeal raisin bar, chocolate sqaure, H20 and WINE! Well that knocked me out for a few hrs. I woke up for OUR new years, but we were over London so it wasn't exciting. Anyway, I'll end this post on the plan then start the new day. I slept through breakfast. We landed at 8:23 am instead of 8:50. As we were landing the nice attendent, Andrew, gave me his number in Paris and told me to call him and he would show me around. Nice but no thanx. Time for customs :)


Well...France got the best...or shall I say worst of me...I shall start blogging now. The first few blogs are going to be LONG and tedious. So if you continue to read on, PLEASE read it all or you will miss the entire craziness and miserableness that I have come to learn finally like. You won't want to miss the next few blogs. I will probably blog them by date, atleast the first few so you are no confused. The first few days were the worst by far, so I would advise you to read! Enjoy, and if you have ANY questions at all, please comment and I will answer them as soon as I can. email me if you would like my france contact info. Merci.