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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, April 15, 2011

Long Time No Write?

What can I say- I have gotten extremely busy... and I obviously have so much to 'recount'..  I'll start with the beginning of the month:

In the beginning of the month I was working for Baby-Speaking and trying to balance out my social life, my love life and all the multitude of tests I was taking.  What tests- you might ask?  First off the mid-terms for my CIEF classes, which typically counts for a whopping 50% of my grade.  Secondly, the IAE-SIM test, or the entrance exam so I can 'postuler' for a Masters at Lyon 3.

The IAE-SIM score test is a requirement for any person that wants to continue into Lyon 3 (Master's 1 or Master's 2 level).  I had signed up back in March, and knew it would be absolutely dreadful... and was it.  French testing is so much more in depth and complicated than American testing- the test itself was held in an Amphitheatre for 300; everyone evenly spaced in uncomfortable folding seats.  Bring nothing.  Put your bag in the corner.  Pencil is handed out.

The questions were even worse- there are four sections:  Culture Générale, Compréhension Français, Logique/Mathmatique, Compréhension Anglais.  Awful... the general culture tests asked questions such as:
-What is the height of a tennis net in meters?
-What region in France became recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 2008?
-Who sang Purple Rain?

And yeah, the questions were multiple choice- but when the choices are almost exactly identical.. it sort of casse la tête to find the answer.

The French comprehension- surprisingly- was a strength.  I managed to get higher on that section than my French counterparts- explain that logic.

The math was my weakest point... I'm almost ashamed to even say my score (15/100).  Yes folks, I am mathematically and logically retarded... but whatever it's never been my strength.

The English, of course, was easy- but somehow I still missed 2 questions.  I say it's based on the fact that it was British English and the language in the States differs in quite a few ways.  (Although I adore saying 'lovely' now).

So you can see why I wasn't available for the first half of the month- but what about the second half?

The second half of the month I was busy working and preparing for my SECOND exam I needed to get into Lyon 3.. the DELF B2.

The DELF B2 was suprisingly easy, even though I stressed about it.. unfortunately I won't receive the results until mid-May which means I have to wet myself in anticipation!!

Last week, however, I went on a business trip!!  Baby-Speaking sent me to Paris to meet with the team, get to know how it's done Paris-style and basically have discussions about good business practices.  I left on a Wednesday, returned on a Friday, which left almost no time for fun and games... plus I had to work a complete day on Thursday.

Paris is an incredible place- way to big for my taste... but still am amazing city to visit when wanting to experience a city that always is on the go.

I arrived Wednesday afternoon, and I quickly scoured through two different magazines (Management/Entreprise) to gouge for some business information.  I was able to lift a bunch of vocabulary in order to have some 'knowhow' during my visit.  Once I arrived I had to hustle around the city, figure out the Metro system and get to the office.

As soon as I got to the office I was on the go, chatting it up with some entrepreneurs, charming my co-workers, having small talk with whomever waltzed through the door.  I missed Bri, of course, but I had my 'small talk business face' on and I was perfectly fine.

The night continued on after our little wine/cheese soirée, and I got dragged out to a club about 1 km away.  I need to mention that I was wearing boots, that were not flat, and carrying to huge bags of my crap for the stay.  My feet were killing me, but we arrived unharmed.  The bar was a little hidden and to my surprise was a specialty club for R+B.  Needless to say I felt pretty white that night but I totally got into the groove and swayed around Jamaican style.

The funniest moment of the night was one of the entrepreneurs that shares the office.. he came with us to the club.  The guy was kind of the geeky type, business suit, leather briefcase and glasses, kind of looked like the guy in Kick-Ass.  As soon as we got into the club he was waving around, bobbing his head and shouting, "I MET THIS ARTIST THAT'S PLAYING WHEN I WAS IN THE CARIBBEAN".  I stared at him and responded, "ARE YOU A BLACK MAN IN A WHITE MAN DISGUISE?"  He just smiled and responded, "TOUS MES AMIS ME DISENT QUE JSUIS NOIR COINCÉ DANS LE CORPS D'UN BLANC".  I laughed.  After about a good 30-45 minutes of swaying around I decided it was time for me to head home on the M8 to see my good friend Thévi.

30 minutes in Metro later....

Thévi had a lovely spot ready for me, we had a bit of water, talked and I totally crashed. 

The next day, I had to be at work by 10h30, so I popped up, took a shower, put on my cute dress (that I had originally worn to go SIGHT SEEING) and got to work.  Luckily, Aurélie, the Development intern in Paris, was like my identical twin in regards to work ethic; we slammed through our plans and determined a new method of development for myself in Lyon.

A nice business lunch, the rest of the day spent in the office- I was finally free to wander around.  I decided to avoid the monuments (I really didn't feel like roughing it through tourists) and made my way to Les Halles for a nice beer.

That night, I had my first sushi since I left Portland, and I almost died with happiness- it was so amazingly good.  I remembered how much I missed my foreign foods and how much I live in the French diet now.. and the rest of the night was fabulous.

It ended as soon as it started and I was happy to be back to my simple small city of Lyon; I felt a euphoria coming off the train as I looked around and felt at ease.  Lyon has officially become a second home for me and I was elated as I waltzed around the Metro to get home and smiled at everyone I ran in to.

Since the trip I've been busy going to classes, working, tutoring, breathing and having some time to enjoy my life with Bri.  The weather has been incessantly fabulous and although the temperature has dropped a bit over the week- we see that it will only get better and warmer as the month goes on.  So lovely.

Right.  I'm off to clean and prepare for our little 'soirée' for tonight- tomorrow I'll be posting about Paul Bocuse, and I promise- I won't fall off the face of the Earth again.. this was, as we say in French, exceptionel.


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