Why did we move to France? To see and experience things that we wouldn’t otherwise.
A short list of new experiences:
- Grapes taste better in France, whether grown in Sicily or Italy. I love ’em. Usually €2,95/kilo. I don’t think I’ve had a French grape yet…
- My body still expects Wisconsin-type-temperatures – 65 degrees in Paris is like 80 degrees elsewhere. I’m always hot.
- The origin of every food you buy here is labelled with the country of origin. Argentinian Clementines – delish.
- All sorts of different numbering: €2,95 with a comma, today is 24/09/2012 (day/month/year) or 24 septembre 2012 (no caps)
- When a cargo boat goes under a bridge on the Seine, it’s cabin will lower, like it’s on a little elevator, so it will fit. Once out, up it goes.
- For five minutes at the top of each hour after sunset, strobes on the Eiffel Tower sparkle. This is when I try to walk Chili.
- Walking Chili on Sunday morning, I saw about 50 5-man row boats go down the river. Pretty cool.
- On Saturday night, we saw three dinner cruises all with wedding parties on board. They made sure they were at the Eiffel Tower at 10. Sparkly!
- The Pont de Bir Hakeim has now surpassed the Pont Alexander III as my favorite bridge. Mont Martre looks lovely in the morning from this bridge (hard to photograph, though).
Sometimes experiences find you: At Julian’s football game the other day, a lady approached me and said “[insert gobbledegook]”. I replied “Je parle un peu le francais.” She runs off all excited “Joel parlez Anglais” and introduces me to Joel whose son was goalie on Julian’s team. Joel is from South Daktoa, but has been living here since 1997. Then, he introduces Kelley and I to Sissnie from Finland who’s son was on the opposing team (it was an intra-club friendly “amicale”). After the game, I thanked “the introducer” (never did get her name) and understood her “de rien”.
Running up the Champs-Elysses last week, a pair of Asian girls pulled me aside and pointed to a picture of the Arc de Triumph within it. I said “I’m an American” IN FRENCH. Then said “It’s there, see it?” IN FRENCH. Then it dawned on me that they’re Japanese, I’m American, and they don’t speak French (or English, I soon found out). Back to my run…
Sometimes you just gotta take the plunge: A week ago Friday, I was in London visiting a prospective new client, interested in getting a French subsidiary live on Workday. Tomorrow, I’m visiting the subsidiary, kicking off the project. They want to be live by December. I couldn’t have done it without my new colleague, Phillipe Minvielle. We had a hoot reviewing my translation of the presentation: how about “Implementation” instead of “Execution” (as in killing). “Balance” as in work-life balance doesn’t translate (in the end we used “Equilibre”); the French do not have to work to achieve this, it’s a given.