Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Said ottoman is currently storing motorcycle helmets and gym bags in our entry but once in our Californian shoebox w/entry closet, I'm sure it will occupy its rightful place at the foot of our bed. Once there, we will use it to store said future children.
After a year of using chairs as our bedside tables a-la-Carrie Bradshaw, we finally found unique and affordable cabinets to replace them. If we find a bedroom set that comes with matching nightstands, these could easily be used in any other room of any house. Sorry the pics are blurry. Still haven't quite figured out the best nighttime setting on the camera.
We also purchased a bistro table in the Euro cafe style to one day set on our shoebox patio. The past couple of weeks have been too windy to set it on our villa patio so for now the table is serving as a display for our one and only plant.
I can't imagine being a really fat person in Paris for this is exactly how much space one has at restaurants, even those intended for fine dining. Dang!
Okay, I'm really tired..... must go to bed. Am also a bit sunburned. Not on purpose.
Monday, April 23, 2007
"Hi, are you looking for a job?"
"Um, I guess so, why?"
"Well, I've noticed you at the gym and I know of some jobs where I think they would like to hire someone fit."
"O-k-a-y.....but I don't have a green card."
"What's a green card....oh, like American citizenship?"
"Yeah, kinda.....I have a tax ID only, but not even that in writing. I can pay taxes, that's it."
"Hmm, well, I don't know if that will work, but I'll look into it and let you know cause it's so hard to find fit Americans around here."
"Yeah, I've noticed."
1 hour later he returns and apparently the jobs he knows of (being a tour guide on cultural tours and/or outdoorsy trips ie. camping on the volcano) are open to NATO country spouses as well. Thank you Canada.
The situation struck me as a bit odd, especially since I've never noticed him at the gym, but maybe I'll look into submitting the paperwork. At the moment, however, I'm drowning in a sea of immigration paperwork and planning travel in the next few months so maybe getting a full time job is not something I need to add to my plate.
Hope you all had a great weekend. J and I, like Uri! did a yuppy shopping circuit and bought some really cool items. (No couches I'm afraid; we decided to wait until we get stateside for fear of having to live in a Californian shoebox.) When I have a moment I'll snap some pictures.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
If this is the case, we need to rethink everything from furniture purchases to making babies and my green card paperwork needs to be started, like, yesterday.
I'm trying to make the best of it and think of the positives. (I know, John... for you there are nothing but positives.) Positives like being closer to my friends and family (family that is either too sick or too scared to travel) in Edmonton and Vancouver. Positives like getting some sort of status in the US earlier, positives like living with only one currency, positives like being able to shop at Ikea. See, I'm trying.
Anyway, I will return as soon as possible.
My heart goes out to all of the friends and family of the victims of the VT shootings. It's horrible, absolutely horrible. I have no way of comprehending what it must feel like..... all I can say is that I'm very sorry for this tragedy.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
When you go to the emergency room (all that is open here on the weekends) complaining of abodominal pain, you get the full meal deal of tests. The-full-meal-deal. And today was training day for some poor young marine. Though this poor young marine has probably seen much worse in places like, oh, I don't know, the desert, so I can't say it bothered me too much that he was a spectator. Chest pain is another biggy, not that I had it. So if you don't want to get poked and prodded in places you didn't realize were so accessible, I suggest that you just grin and bear it until it brings you to the verge of death.
Through the course of the 2.5 hours (I was treated immediately..... unlike in Canadian emergency rooms.... the 2.5 hours was what it took to do all of the blood work, etc....) they ruled out the life-threatening disorders such as appendicitis and/or ectopic pregnancy. Phew. They're not sure what is causing it so I will have to make an ultra-sound appointment in the next couple of weeks. They did, however, give me some relief by administering a shot of painkiller in.... well, I'm sure you can guess where. Ouch. That almost hurt (and still hurts, by the way) more than my reason for being there.
With the exception of the nervousness and discomfort stemming from being at a hospital, the experience was better than I expected. All of the staff made it as pleasant as it could be.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
My first steps on French soil were on the way to a roadside bathroom called "aire de..." After being in the beautiful German WCs I guess I was spoiled and expected the same. Not the same. Just a hole....a hole in the ground.... a hole that many people seem to have missed. I ran back to the car screaming "I don't like France anymore!"
Once on the "peripherique" boulevard I smelled something for the very first time. Bumper to bumper traffic, a slight incline, and a fiat punto equals burning clutch. Mmmm, smells like burning.
Our exit, "Porte de Vanves," was closed so we had to improvise our route to the hotel. We found it finally but there was no parking so we scoured the left bank for parking and were fortunate enough to find a residential spot that was free on weekends. Yippee!
I spent the whole weekend speaking French and for the most part was received very politely. Much better than I am received in Quebec. The Parisians seemed glad to be given the opportunity to remain in their lingual comfort zone. A lot of them seemed to struggle in English. And for me it was great! I love French!
Paris is great. You can walk everywhere and the train is super easy to figure out. We wouldn't have taken it at all except it was cold and rainy. Ah well.
I bought some super chic shoes at the local market for super cheap. And they haven't fallen apart despite an entire day of walking on cobblestones.
One thing that stood out..... French police are everywhere. And they seem to like to randomly select people to harass. We saw some lounging against a train station wall laughing at some hippies that their comrade had stopped. I'm tempted to make a comment about the years 1939-44 but I'll bite my tongue for now.
We saw all the sights, we stayed in a great area, we did some shopping, we ate great food including a "crepe Suzette." I love Paris.
Next time on "deBri," a surprise stop on the way home.....
Monday, April 02, 2007
After breakfast we bought our subway tokens (conveniently sold in the hotel) and caught the free shuttle to the nearest station. Yes, free shuttle. The subway, unlike our German experience, was very user/non-Czech speaker friendly.
Arrival at Muzeum station. The first thing we noticed is that they sell beer and liquor in carts on the street. You mean, we can drink on the street? Well, it's happy hour somewhere, we decided, and purchased a couple o' libations. Besides, it was freezing cold that day and we knew we would need something to warm us up.
So blah blah, we walked around for a bit (after having stopped for a coffee to review our map) and ended up in the main square where we found a dixieland group playing. Yes, I said dixieland. It was something else.
We quickly realized that the biting cold was going to limit our sight-seeing so it being St. Patrick's Day and all, we decided to honor our Irish brothers and do a "drinking" tour of Prague.
Our first, and best, stop was at a quaint little cafe, seen above. We sat there for a while, chatting, and completely ignoring the music playing on the overhead speaker until at one point we looked at each other, astounded, and said "hey..... I know that song......it's....it's......Killing Me Softly......in Czech!" More excited then we should have been, we asked the waitress the name of the artist and vowed to track down her CD before we left. (We did eventually buy it and it's pure crap.... but a good party trick for the future.")
We had a few "cafe" stops throughout our day before our fabulous Czech dinner. None were as good as the first. The only other event of interest was when we were browsing in a souvenir shop. One of the employees, a guy with a euro-mullet, approached J saying, "habla espagnol?" J shook his head. "Well, you look Mexican.... just like she (pointing to me) looks Russian." Okay, that's the third person that has said that this year so now I have to go to Russia and see what the deal is. Turns out euro-mullet is from Palermo. We went all the way to the Czech Republic just to meet another Sicilian. Super.
Our Italian connections didn't end there. Fast-forward to our shuttle ride back from the train station (a shuttle ride that nearly prompted a headline "Tourists Innvolved in Czech Shuttle Accident: Reckless Driving Determined to Be Cause"). After a whole day of hearing Americans and not once feeling motivated to strike up a conversation with them, J hears one word of Italian from the people sitting in front of us and asks me how to conjugate the verb, "to be" for the 2nd person plural. For some reason, he was all of a sudden excited by the prospect that we were in the presence of people that may live in the same country as us.
The next day we were able to get out of the city with little trouble and headed back to Germany but not before stopping at a McDonald's so we could see if Czech McD's is anything like it "should" be. It's pretty much the same as anywhere else just in case you wanted to know.