Friday, October 30, 2009

Tagged: 9 Bizarre Facts About Me

Lovely Janis (who has a most fabulous up-and-coming blog) was kind enough to point the "tag" torch in my direction; I am very flattered.

So readers, here are 9 things about me that I hope you will find surprising:

Me and my guide flying over Interlaken, Switzerland (I really want to learn how to Para-glyde by myself!)
  1. I flew (para-glyded) over a beautiful town named Interlaken yesterday afternoon - it was amazing and I didn't get scared one bit.
  2. I lived in Singapore for the first five years of my life (but was born in Australia).
  3. I cannot have an evening without a pot of tea; incidentally I can't start the morning with anything else.
  4. I fall in love with pretty much each place I go to in the world. The exciting strangeness of all things new excites me.
  5. I just had a dinner of; chocolate, german biscuits, sesame biscuits and two apples - yes I have a mega sweet-tooth.
  6. I have many ambitions in life, sometimes I get so overwhelmed by them that I just think perhaps I'd be just as happy in life opening up a cute tea and cake cafe somewhere in the world...
  7. I really respect Marilyn Monroe, mostly because I love how she flaunted her curvaceous body. I really hate today's annorexic and overly adrodgynous female figure projected by the fashion world.
  8. I love TV! And I'm not ashamed to say so - I think people who don't own a TV and proudly declare this fact think they're too good for the real world.
  9. Around this time last year I was afraid to be in a "real" relationship - for fear of losing my independence. Now? I love being with "P." - and have not lost a shred of "me" but uncovered so much about my amazing Mr.
Now that's enough egoism for me - I'd love you all to tell me something about you, even if it's just one bizarre fact.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Part 2: What an Adventure!

Now I'm going to tell you the; What an adventure! side of the story.

Well I woke this morning at 5:40 am to catch my 6:43 am train to Lyon (then Lyon to Geneva).

Running down my street at 6:20 am I had a sinking feeling that the metro I was about to catch wouldn't get me to the train station on time.

My gut was right. So after missing my train and then rescheduling for 8 am (to Paris then Geneva) I was tired and cranky.

When I got to Gare de Lyon in Paris I took myself off for a lovely cup of tea and a few macaroons.... and the beautiful elixer and sugary-bliss restored my happiness.

Beautiful tea café I found near le Gare de Lyon; "Le Palais des Thés".

Then boom! Another glitch.

A few minutes before getting on my train for Geneva I looked down at my ticket. In the section where my seat number should've been printed it read "Place selon disponibilite". What the what!?

With a few minutes to clarify I went to the info box and asked the man if it really said what I thought it said...

Yes. It said seat available if any free - so basically I was standing with the bags until a seat came up.

I was annoyed, but for some reason just so grateful to be on the train to Switzerland that I really just thought it was funny.

A beautiful, sunny Autumn morning at le Gare de Lyon, Paris.

So the trip was eventful - I sat with others who'd last-minute booked their tickets too, on a pull down seat near the bags for the first half and in a real seat for the last part (which was the best part - such beautiful views pulling into this country!)

Now I'm in my room, using the hotel's free wifi (bless!), having a cup of vanilla tea and some madeleines. Faith once again restored. Will be great when I meet my friend tonight.

I felt instantly better when I walked down the street and saw this breath-taking view of the Jet D'Eau.

That was the first major train I've ever missed; and I'll don't think it will ever happen again.

What's the biggest mess-up you've had on a trip? With a little perspective were you able to laugh?

I already am! What an up and down day!

Part 1: What? An Adventure?

Creative pic from gva_pix.

Yes I must explain this sentence to you in both of the ways it can be said.

Firstly let me explain; What? An Adventure?

Yes well the adventure being that I voyaged from France to Switzerland today! Yes - it's dangerous; the land of melted cheese and oodles of great chocolate.

And the what being that I forgot to tell you all I was planning this!

We (my university in Lille) have Toussaints (All Saints) holidays for the next week, So I'm going to spend two nights here in beautiful, green and clean Geneva and then another two nights in seemingly stunning alp village Interlaken, with a lovely Quebecoise who goes to uni with me in Lille.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

France: 5 Lessons in Culture

So I've been on exchange here in Lille, France for almost three months now & while I've learnt a lot about myself, learnt more vocabulary, learnt how to throw my scarf around my neck in that effortlessly French way (...okay I'm still working on this) - I've also learnt some relatively "unknown" cultural things...

...I want to share a few with you. So next time you're in France, whether you speak French or not, you can have a little "behind-the-scenes" knowledge on that je ne sais quoi.

  1. The French do not say bonjour to someone they have already said hello to that day. I know; seemingly a little bizarre but it makes sense. Let me set up a scenario for you... If you walk past "Pierre" on the street and it's the first time you've seen him that day you may say,"Bonjour!" or the like. However if you see him later on during the day it's a form of politesse to remember that you've already said hello to him that day. So you do not say any form of hello again, but perhaps a simple smile - or just launch into conversation. Note: Because you're a tourist, people will be accepting that you don't know this cultural rule (but now you do). But for the French, if one of them said, "Bonjour" to someone they'd already seen it's almost a little bitchy. As if they're not acknowledging they'd already seen them.
  2. The French never wear short shorts (above the knee) in public. Although they're generally one of the countries as a whole who would look great in short shorts - it's just not au fait, not very fashionable, no matter how hot it is. They prefer those cute pants that stop mid-calf etc...
  3. The French generally don't eat while walking around. Again, another thing that's just not as done as it is in Australia, U.S. and England. It's probably good for your figure, and definitely more dignified not shovelling a kebab into your mouth on the street.
  4. On the food subject; The French eat lunch between 12:30pm - 2pm. After this time it's really hard to find a good lunch anywhere. I hadn't really noticed this on trips to Paris - namely because it's full of we tourists who eat at all hours of the day, but in small Lille it's very evident.
  5. Wine is fine in the middle of the day - it's encouraged. Yes the French love a drink; beer, wine - it's all good. And even on a work day a lovely glass of red with lunch is not frowned upon, it's celebrated. So perhaps you can implement this rule in your home town?
So there are a few cultural rules, definitely more to be discovered.

Let me know if you know any little culture tips like this for any country... Will post them up on here and make the world a more understandable place!

He's a Wilde One

Wise words from Wilde found on a French postcard:

"Je n'ai rien à déclarer à part que je suis genial."

"I have nothing to declare except my genius."

~ Oscar Wilde (1856 - 1900) ~

What something great about yourself, that you've never declared/acknowledged?

Copyright Disclaimer:

This blog is a tracking of my ramblings - however sporadic and "un-meaning" my works may be they are still mine (unless otherwise expressed), not yours! No works may be copied from this blog. All works on this blog; writings, photos and recipes must be referenced back to me.