03.08.2010 - 04.08.2010
Hello friends! I've just a few anecdotes to share with you today, but honestly I've been a little boring these last couple of days. I'm trying my hardest to get a paper done before the week is up and I truly hope I succeed. It's hard to stay focused when Paris is, well...right outside my door. First off, as promised, my temporary Parisien home...
As I've previously said, we're in the 11th arrondissement (neighborhood) in Paris, very close to the Bastille and the Gare de Lyon. From this point in the city, it's exrtemely convenient to get anywhere we want, as we're right on 2 Metro lines (lines 1 and 8). I'm sharing this studio with my colleague Diana, so things are tight, but I'm happy to be where I am in the city. So now, for the tour:
We'll start out in the kitchen.
You'll notice that it has come fully furnished with all the essentials: Plates, Utensils, towels, etc. My favorite part has got to be the hidden dishwasher, which was a nice surprise. My least favorite is the combination Microwave-Convection Oven-Grill, which I cannot get to work efficiently for the life of me. I've never understood the "combo" appliance. Yes, It's a small kitchen; yes, you're trying to be innovative; but, what's the point if none of it works?!? It took me 5 minutes in microwave mode yesterday to heat up one little roll.
Moving clockwise through the apartment, we arrive at the living room/bedroom. This couch pulls out into a rather large bed, which was shocking. It's also pretty comfortable; the only thing that isn't, is that we have to share this bed. A little awkward, because I have space issues and Diana likes to spread out as she sleeps, but I guess it's a lesson in compromise. Kim H-F. and Mom, who I know are both reading this, when we come here, we could easily share a place like this and it is MUCH cheaper than a hotel. You can rent by the week or by the month.
There is a little table where I drink my coffee and watch people every morning, work during the day, and eat dinner at night. As you can see, everything seems to have been furnished by Ikea. I feel like I'm living in one of those open showrooms!
Finally, the bathroom, and yes, that is the world's smallest washing maching under the sink. What? You want to wash more than one pair of pants and 2 shirts? Well, you can't. It kind of makes me laugh.
I'm very pleased that I was able to find this place. It's in a safe neighborhood with a lot to do, it's clean, and it has everything I need. The realtor that helped me with all the legalities manages properties all over Paris for individuals who wish to rent out their homes while they're on vacation or for those who buy/rent as another form of income. He made everything very simple and has checked on us several time already this week.
As you are all well aware, I love Paris. But there is one thing that I will never understand and that is the French obsession with "Tex-Mex" restaurants. I hope this in quotes, because it's not really tex-mex. There's no spice, no flavor, no...taste. And it all has odd flavor of French food just stuffed in a tortilla. Sure, it might be in the shape of a taco, but it's not. Sure, it might say taco salad on the menu, but really it's Chicken Caesar. I had to throw this in there because I was talked into going to one of these places Tuesday night with Morgane. The restaurant was called the Indiana (I know, right?), the decor was country western, the food was "mexican", nothing was good. Just a word of warning to all future visitors to France: If you happen to make some French friends, and they want to go to this super Mexican restaurant, run in the other direction because anywhere else will be better. I'm definitely going to talk to the El Azteca/La Charreada people when I get back to Ohio and let them know there's a need for good Mexican in France...my mexican rice had green beans in it, for goodness sake.
Ok, everyone. I promise I'll get out and about today so I'll have more interesting stories for you next time. Wish me luck on the paper. I figure, Northwestern's paying me to be here, so I should probably do some work.