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All posts for the month November, 2011

Workshop

Published Friday, 25 November 2011 by Sydney Sunny

I had a three day workshop with the Art Fac. i really enjoyed it because I was able to see the same people for three days in a row. We were not under stress and were able to move around freely with each other. I was able to make some French friends. I curiously listen to them talk and joined when I was able.
I also learned some of the slang.
I don’t know = Je ne sais pas = “Je sais pas” = “Chai pas”

Here is the result of the workshop. We went to three different places and picked the best from each location.

Zoo d'Amiens

 

Musee de Picardie (Amiens)

 

Cimetiere de la Madeleine

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The French Winter Palette vs. Sydney’s Winter Palette

Published Saturday, 19 November 2011 by Sydney Sunny

The French:

Black: It is their main color. Everything can be black – coat, sweater, t-shirt, pants, shoes, hat, bag.
Sand: This the the secondary color. It can be use as the black.
Navy: This is a color mostly -almost only- found in the use of jeans.
Maroon: This dark red is reserved for the brave only. It is used under the coats and is never the main color.
Grey: It is used, but hard to tell how.
White: I know it is there.
Red: Only the really brave will wear red shoes or red tights. But, most of the time the red is closer to maroon.

 

Sydney:

Plum: This is the color of my coat and a dress. Thus, my main color.
Gray: It is the color of my hat, scarf, and some tights and socks. I wear it often.
Black: It is worn often, too. I have tights, sweater, and skirts in black. It is easy to use. And of course, black shoes or boots are worn everyday.
Light Blue: I have 2 sweater and skirt in blue. I love blue in the winter.
Pink: I have pink bows, pink sweaters, pink skirts, and pink cheeks!
White: Everyone has white.
Yellow and Red (not seen): I own a pair of wonderful yellow tea party shoes  and a warm red sweater.

 

Results:

I am a rainbow to these French people- a pure rainbow. It it quite common for me to get stares if I am wearing a pink skirt or even a black skirt just because of my purple coat. I feel quite dull in northern France. The weather is often gray, foggy, and damp. Fog can last for days and not lift! I feel the need to bust out in colors. This need came natural to me, and I listened. However, I noticed the stares after a little time. Some friends pointed of to be the palette of the French. So, I look for other colorful people in the crowds, just so I can smile at them and say, “thank you for being brave like me and being a rainbow for all to see“.

How to be a Vegetarian when Studying Abroad in France.

Published Friday, 18 November 2011 by Sydney Sunny

Do not decide to be a vegetarian when you arrive. Being comfortable as a vegetarian in your hometown is the key to success. You will be stressed beyond your imagination. So if vegetarian is not your natural lifestyle, slipping is easy.

In France if you say you are a vegetarian, the French will assume you eat fish. It is a common mistake made. A professuer recommended that I always say, ” Je ne mange pas de viande (I do not eat meat).” It will be more simple in a restaurant or if you are invited to a French dinner.

Because of the confusion between a pescatarian and a vegetarian in France, avoid fried food. In the “cantine” at my university there are signs saying they are vegetarian friendly and fry with fish oil.

Buy a crock-pot and/or an electric boiler. It will save you money and time. The electric boiler can be bought for about 10Euros at Carrefour (Supermarket), and the crock-pot can be found at a used store or eBay.fr for about 20Euros

And buy veggies to cook. I suggest open markets on the weekends, Lidl, and Aldi for the cheapest produce. You will become accustomed to the stores and learn how to shop smart in about a month or two. It is fun to go shopping for food!

Don’t be afraid to try new things. If you do not know your vocabulary for food, you will learn quickly! Try all sorts of things, expecally if it is on sale! I don’t eat dairy, but I am in cheese heaven. I am excited about learning about France food, and it is part of the experiance. Don’t feel bad about not being able to try the French meat dishes, there are plenty of other things to try!
**If you are vegan, the French have alternative milk, soy yogurt/pudding, nuts, and dried beans for protein.**

Be proud of being a vegetarian! The French are open people, but they might not understand – just like in the USA. So do not be afraid to stand up for yourself! Just explain in simple English or (better) in simple French why you decided to become a vegetarian.

Simple, right?

Hanging Out with Louis, Rodin, and Cluny

Published Tuesday, 15 November 2011 by Sydney Sunny

This guys are great to hang out with on the weekends. We like to go to the bars on Saturday night…

Ok. You caught me. I have failed in this area of my life, you could say. I still prefer Louis, Rodin, and Cluny over most guys – at the moment. Mister Perfect will come in due time, but till then, I will hang out with Louis, Rodin, and Cluny. By Louis, Rodin, and Cluny, I mean, the Louvre, Rodin Museum, and Cluny Museam.

The Louvre:

My Visit: The Biggest Louvre seems quite intimidating to go hang out on a Sunday, but really it is nothing. I walked around the museum from one end to the other. And like always, I did not see half of it. I started in the Dutch paintings, made my way to the Italian and French paintings, passed through the Greek sculptures, and ended in the Royal Apartments. I took my time because I dedicated a whole Sunday to this museum. I sat down and gazed upon worldwide famous master pieces. I humbly studied and sketched a few that caught my eye. I called this day my Romantic Day in the Louvre.

My Advice: Go to the Louvre. It will be worth every Euro you spend!
Anyways, the Louvre is a whole day event. I highly recommend staying all day. It is a great way to spend a rainy or cold day on your vacation. So, arrive before or around 9 am. Look around at the outside in the morning sun and plan to stay inside all day. If it is Wednesday or Friday, the Louvre will stay open past its normal 6pm closing time to 9:45pm!
If you have never been, start off with the famous Mona Lisa. I don’t mean, race there to look at Mona’s secret smile. I just recomend starting off in this wing of the palace. Seriously, I know you’ve heard the rumors that Mona is not as great as she thinks she is, but no one believes the rumor. As the day advances, avoid this area because hoards of people swarm. Personally, this is my favorite wing, too. You will be welcomed by the fabulous Winged Victory, and greeted with David’s Consecration of Emperor Napoleon I. These and many other pieces will move you more the Mona Lisa – trust me.
Make your way though the Louvre as you please. I recommend Venus de Milo and the Lacemaker. And end your long stay at Napoleon III Appartments – my personal favorite too!
If you skip the Louvre, you are a fool.

The Rodin Museum:

My Visit: I went to this museum half heartily.  I’ve seen Rodin pieces many times and thus, I am bias. The museum contains a house and a garden. I went to Rodin’s House and looked at his masterpieces. Again, I have seen many of his popular works, but not his studies or painting collections. I lingered, not at the large main pieces, but at his studies out of clay and his paintings. There were a few well known Impressionism painter’s worker including a Vincent Van Gogh! Also, I was interested in see Rodin’s work in progress and the case that explained how the large statues were made.
Afterwards, I walked in the garden. The garden was really nice. I miss the countryside and woods were I live in the USA, so I walked slowly under the turning leaves. There were a few late summer roses refusing to give in to autumn’s chill. Among the paths, Rodin’s statues watched the visitors taking pictures of them and me eating lunch.

My Advice: Skip this museum for the Musee d’Orsay. Unless you are keen on Rodin or gardens, I don’t think you would enjoy it. Plus, the museum is not kid friendly due to the sexual nature of Rodin’s work. But, I think, the garden would be nice to relax in after a morning visit at the Eiffel Tower and/or Napolean’s Tomb.

The Cluny Museum or The National Museum of Middle Ages:

My Visit: I arrived at opening time 9:30am. I came on the first Sunday of the month- so I didn’t have to explain that I was a EU student under the age of 26 in broken French. The museum is fulled with, well, Gothic art – mostly art from cathedral. It is a mixture of  staues, paintings, tapestries, and, what I call, church jewelry.  I was impressed but the real statues from the doorway of Notre Dame.  But, nothing can compare to the tapestries of  The Lady and the Unicorn. I’m a huge unicorn fan, so I was pleased with the museum’s unicorn theme! I laughed at the “real” unicorn horn from the Middle Ages! The building of the museum use to be the Hotel de Cluny and is worth admiration too! I was only disappointed to leave!

My Advice:  The Cluny Museum is a short walk down the road from Notre Dame. I recommend going to Notre Dame early in the morning and then coming to the Middle Ages’ Museum! The visit is worth a visit just for The Lady and the Unicorn.  I highly, highly suggest reading the information leaflets in the room. It is worth it.  Also, the building, itself, is very impressive! Also, I saw many local French families bringing their children to the Cluny. All the children, really seemed to be delighted by -of course- The Lady and the Unicorn.

Toussaint

Published Tuesday, 1 November 2011 by Sydney Sunny

Toussaint or All Saints day is an official holiday in France. Personally, it is about a week off of school for me during Halloween. In America Halloween is celebrated in an amazing way. Halloween means about nothing for the people of Europe. People might dress up in quite wimpy costumes and drink. However, there is no free candy. Don’t even ask.

Toussaint is a day to take care of one’s family’s graves- Wash off the mold, fix the broken stones, and place flowers on the grave. It is the day for all saints. Everyone is celebrated!

I visited Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris late Thursday to celebrate the little spooky feeling of Halloween and Toussaint.