Category Archives: Paris

Paris is ALWAYS a good idea

Play Nice

So here’s the thing- I’ve always kind of considered myself a performer. You know, just waiting for my big break. Back in the day, I was always in dance recitals, school plays, a few piano concerts, the occasional Shakespeare recitation, and, okay, I’m just gonna throw it out there, I have a few pieces prepared that I can perform on the spot, just in case I meet a casting director in an airport or something. I can see it now… “Now boarding all passengers in rows–” “Don’t mind her! Act 1, scene 3, The Merchant of Venice. Signior Antonio, many a time and oft in the Rialto…”

casual courtesan 2008

casual courtesan 2008

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Bouledogues et Bébés

Should small children be allowed in formal settings or not…it’s one of those controversial social topics, much like gay marriage or the sanctity of life. Normally I consider myself pretty liberal in these areas (healthcare for all! let them get married!), but this is where I draw the line: do not bring a screaming infant into a fancy restaurant!

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I fell for (and on) my prof…

Speaking of faux pas, last week I may or may not have straddled my professor…
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Breakfast in America

So I’ve been a little homesick the past week or so. I know, I know, how could someone possibly miss Tennessee when they’re à Paris? Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s the lack of iced coffee, maybe I’m getting tired of being told my accent is mignon, maybe I just miss my bichon frise, but every once in a while, I really do wish that I was on old Rocky Top! And what better way to honor les états-unis than to eat at a diner called Breakfast in America?

the Obama Milkshake in honor of the upcoming election

BIA is cool, everyone speaks English, but it’s one of those places you only want to eat at like once ever and then go to Club Med for the rest of the day week.

Le Refuge des Fondues

When someone invites me to Le Refuge des Fondues, I’m like…

It’s this place where they serve wine in baby bottles. I know it sounds really weird, but…okay, yeah, it’s pretty freaking weird.

After drinking wine out of a baby bottle all night, you feel pretty attached to it, you know, and want to take it with you, but, like everything à Paris, c’est très cher. What I should have done is stuck that bad boy in ma purse, but, being a woman of morals, I decided to coerce the waiter into giving me mine for free instead. Why do you think you can get free shit all the time? one might ask. Only because I always do! From drinks to cab rides to…more cab rides, I do an okay job of not paying for stuff. So obviously I make it out with a baby bottle in hand, and what’s my next move? Smash it. Yup, I preceded to drop my baby bottle, which was made of glass b-t-dubs (who knew?) in le métro, and it shattered EVERYWHERE. So much for not makin’ a scene

Sewanee Girls!

Fakin’ French

Though I am assured that it is endearing when Americans speak French, sometimes you’re just over saying “Repetez s’il vous plaît” after every sentence. In times like this, I find it best to smile, nod enthusiastically, and, if you’re especially into whomever you’re talking to, let out a little laugh. Yes, sometimes you have to fake French.

For example, in class the other day, we seemed to stray from le diable et l’idée du mal to cover a more domestic area of study. What I understood was that in the second oeuf (egg), the linge (laundry) and the liberty fight le lit (bed) and it creates an obscure guafre (waffle). I decided to roll with it…you can’t really ask for an English translation à la Sorbonne. I was like, “I never knew Victor Hugo had such an affinity for kitchen appliances!”

As it turns out, the oeuf is oeuvre (work), linge is l’ange (angel), still not sure what the bed really is, and guafre is gouffre (chasm), but I didn’t learn any of this until after the fact. If I had dwelled on the details of Mr. Hugo’s egg work, I would have been frustrated the rest of the period. Faking French gets me through the day! If a French man yells something unintelligible at me from a bar across the street, he must be very politely saying that I look like a sophisticated young lady, right? “Merci!” If a woman mutters something about the loud American tourists in the back of the metro, I roll my eyes in agreement. “Ugh, les Americains.” If I can’t hear the waiter over the commotion at the restaurant, he’s probably asking if I want more wine. “Bien sûr!” Anyway, my français is coming along slowly but surely, but when in doubt, the answer is always oui.

This song is kind of horrible, but it resonates with me basically I just like their costumes…

A Cultural Outing

Despite common belief, drinking abroad programs don’t have a studying problem…wait…

Yesterday, par exemple, I profited from two of Paris’s museums, le Musée d’Orsay and la Légion d’Honneur. All I have to do is flash my student ID from La Sorbonne, and I get in for free! This must be what Mary Kate Olsen feels like…

Then we went on a nice stroll to Champs-Élysées…aka we saw some sort of Parisian bomb squad heading that direction, so instead of running the opposite way in fear, naturally our thought process was more along the lines of, “BOYZ IN UNIFORMS?! LET’S FOLLOW THEM!” Typical.

Musée d’Orsay

The impressionism and fashion exhibit was AMAZING!

They had cool things like paintings of a woman wearing a dress, and then the actual dress she was wearing.

La Légion d’Honneur is right by d’Orsay, and there was no line! It’s mainly military medals and badges.

La Légion d’honneur…don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got.

Assimilating: Trench Like the French

Tie it in the front; tie it in the back; wear it open; get one in black, blue, and even leather; wear it in the rain; wear it in the Spring; wear it in the Winter; hell, wear it as your bathrobe–sporting a trench coat is an easy way to keep warm while looking très française.

Damn you, Burberry! As if owning one green leather jacket isn’t enough, I am currently obsessing over this lil’ number. Hello, lover!

The trench coat is a Parisian girl’s staple piece.

La Sorbonne

When you google “the Sorbonne” this is the photo that comes up. I don’t know WTF this is a photo of, but it don’t look nothin’ like where I’ve been going errday. The Sorbonne I know more resembles a 1960s mental hospital…but really, I’m expecting to see Winona Ryder playing Downtown on the guitar any day now…

I know the Sorbonne is, like, the Harvard of France, but I want to know what the Sewanee of France is. This place is overcrowded (there are never enough places for all the students), scary (as previously mentioned), and EVERYONE IS FRENCH (I guess that’s to be expected).

In class the other day, le prof asked me to open the blinds, but what I heard was something more along the lines of “aljdkfetuadnnvdluadknbdkuanku la lumière asldkjfdhsdkutenv quand même.” Huh? “Um…repetez s’il vous plaît?” “askugneudkngksejklndmsdingnelsifnskdlkfnejsling.” Oh, now I see…NOT. When in doubt, smile and nod. “Oui, merci,” I said. Then the boy behind me opened them. I was wondering if everyone had noticed I was foreign yet. Well, at least I can now answer that without a doubt.

French Guys

What better way to improve your français than to practice speaking French, and who better to practice speaking French with than les mecs français?

That’s right, the post you’ve all been waiting for…

French Guys

Just kidding…


The thing with French guys is that half of you thinks, “Aren’t all French guys, like, mimes or something?” Then half of you says, “Oh, I’ve seen Unfaithful,” while the other half of you says, “But I’ve also seen Taken!” But another half of you is like, “YOLO!” (I don’t care if that’s too many halves, I dropped calculus for a reason.)

The whole courting process is way different here. First of all, French guys are much more forward. Aux Etats-Unis, strangers rarely compliment me, whereas en France, it’s all the time! “Do you have a cigarette? No? Well you’re really pretty anyway.” “Do you know what time it is? Thanks, also you’re beautiful.” Living in France is the biggest confidence boost since going to Dollywood on a Saturday.

To demonstrate the differences, I would like to tell you a story about a friend of mine, let’s call him Jacques, for the sake of confidentiality. So Jacques and I meet these guys that we think seem fun, and we go to a bar with them. One of these guys, let’s call him Henri, is totally cute but has been talking about how he has a girlfriend blah blah blah. So I’m mid-Frenchy-flirt with one of Henri’s friends, when, tout de suite, I look up to see Henri and Jacques KISSING across the table in front of me. And I don’t mean a little peck, I mean a vraiment French kiss. So obviously we’re all, “Henri, WTF was that?” and he’s like, “It seemed right in the moment.” OKAY. Profitez bien, y’all.

There are plenty of ways to meet French guys. Kat, for example, likes to win les coeurs of Frenchmen by impressing them with how she can steal objects nearly twice her size, like a television set.

A less drastic way might be at a café or bar.

Anyway, French guys get a bad rap (but don’t all guys get a bad rap?), but the ones I’ve met have been really nice and totally cute.

Also, they insist that our super American accents are très adorable (though I have my doubts).

Oh, and, when it comes to les hommes français, one last thing to remember…

Age is just a number baby 😉