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Forks, Portland, Lyon - France, Paris - France, Portland and ending up in Bellingham.... the adventures of my life!

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Friday, February 4, 2011

What-What: La Renaissance

No, this is not a break down on the historical aspects of the renaissance era.  It's not an explication of anything historical really, just a discovery I made in the last few days.

I haven't written in a few days because I have been completely swamped doing Baby Speaking development for Lyon.  I was lucky enough to meet Caroline, a completely charming gal that's about my age and French.  She's been handling their development in Paris and wanted to come to Lyon to meet with me and to work together to try and do some community outreach.  It was refreshing and the first experience I'd had working with a true French person side-by-side.  I find that my business background from the States contrasts and compliments her structured business Master from France.  Tomorrow I'll be discussing some more differences between the University Systems in America and France- but for now suffice to say we have our strengths in both structures.

As we traversé the city we discovered a mutli-cultural underlining to Lyon I never thought existed.  Schools with trilingal bases, international high schools, American clubs and a multitude of exchange programs.  I felt so natural explaining the company and giving presentations to potential students, I realized how I truly made the good decision to move to France and go into International Business.  From friends to school to work, the ethnocentrism I brought with my in July is slowly melting off to accept and love the French Culture.

La Renaissance.  To warm up from the -2°C weather, we stepped into a café called La Renaissance down the street from Lyon Lumière II.  From the minute I walked into the café I felt a sort of closeness, the kind you see in television series.. the happy guy behind the bar, smiling and joking.  Every person that walked in he seemed to know by name, and them equally felt natural smiling and asking comment çava?? I was attached when I went to order some tea:

Me: Bonjour, je voudrais bien du thé s'il vous plaît.
BarGuy:  D'accord; du théééé  (pronounced long and with a smile)
Me:  Vous avez quels types du thés?  (i didn't know how to say flavors)
BarGuy:  (laughing)  Aahhh, vous voulez dire 'des parfums' du thé.  Bien sûr, ici c'est la boîte du thé pleins des PARFUMS.  (big smile; not condescending)

I ordered an orange cinnamon tea and within minutes it arrived.  I felt comfortable in this little café near my University and realized, even if I miss many friends and places at my other home, this little café felt warm.  Owned by a couple and ran by their friends, it's a warm space with warm people.  I could speak my over exaggerated French and try to have a normal conversation with a French girl and it didn't feel weird.  I guess the French do smile and in this case made me smile.

In case you want to go to my little treasure:

La Renaissance (Café)
29 Rue Chevreul, 69007 Lyon


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