26 July 2010

In Kansas Again

So maybe it's been a while since I've updated this, but I promise I'll explain just how hectic things have been since my return. In any case, I merely wanted to share this little piece of ridiculousness that has managed to get me through many hard times :

I find that I go through different phases each time I watch this, but I always end up with a amused and confused expression on my face.


"But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end."
-William Shakespeare

18 June 2010

Closing Time

So. Here we are, months later. I leave to go back to the United States tomorrow and as sad as I am to leave France, I am just as excited [if not more] to be back. To speak English freely, with anyone I want. To get hugs and give them. That's one thing about France that is just not cool. I mean, in the US, everyone hugs everyone, it's nice, intimate, friendly...simply wonderful. What I don't get is that in France they talk to each other three inches from each other's face, they kiss everyone on the cheek and they make-out regardless of their audience or stage. But they can't hug. French people are so weird.

Last night I got to hang out with my friend Marius one last time before my flight. Luckily, we both took advantage of being together one last time and made the most of my last night out in France.

Ingredients :

Couple bottles of 1664
1 bottle of white wine [fruity]
1 set of hockey gear [pads, socks, jersey, helmet, stick]
1 swimsuit from the 1910 era
1 Indian headdress
2 free spirits/awkward people
A great location
2 attitudes [style : "on s'en fout"]

I sported the hockey uniform, Marius in the swimsuit [over his clothes] and the headdress and we walked around his little ghetto suburb of Paris, St. Ouen, for a good while. We got silly looks, giggles and people who refused to look at us until they had passed, only to turn around and ogle at our outfits. Maybe it doesn't sound like much, but it was a lot of fun and I'm glad to have spent my last night out in France having a grand old time.

Tomorrow I leave early in the morning, travel for about 20 hours and arrive in the KC airport at night. There, I'll be picked up by one of the greatest people ever, we'll migrate to Lawrence and a little regrouping with some other great people will lead to a great first night back. I'm so excited, even though part of me isn't ready, and never will be ready, to leave France.

Good thing I'll be back. Pff, I still gotta teach these Frenchies a thing or two !

On another note, I got a pretty awesome call via Skype from three of my favorite people on Earth - Nick, Steve and LoBo. Not only was it wonderful to see their faces, but we talked about AIESEC for the majority of the time. I think I've decided I'm going to run for LCP, due to our current situation as AIESEC Kansas. Hum. As stressful as the position could be and probably will be if I'm selected, I think it'd be worth it. I love AIESEC so much.

Later for now, I'll catch you all across the lake.

"Tu dors?

Oui et je suis en plein dans un rêve, je te rappelle pendant la pub!"

-Gad Elmaleh [from the sketch "Papa est en Haut"]

08 June 2010

Final Chapter

Here I am, in Paris again, eleven more days stand between me and my return to the United States, to all of my old friends and customs. I can’t even begin to explain the rupture that stands to be my current emotional state. On one hand, I am anxious to go back; have a lot of new firsts, share stories and adventures from this past semester and actually connect with some awesome people back home. On the other side, however, I realize that this will be the last time for at least a year that I’ll be in France. It’s the last time I’ll hear French all around me, the last time I’ll have real bread on every street corner. I’ll no longer be an hour and a half away from my brother and best friend, Merry. I will no longer be immersed in the culture, language and country that I’ve grown so accustomed to. In that sense, I am terrified to leave.

As the days creep closer, each side’s emotions mount, creating an emotional rift that prevents any sort of mental stability. Yes, I miss everything back home, but how many times do you get to live in a foreign country ? The worst part for me is thinking of all of the wonderful friends I’ve made in Angers and thinking that some, I may never see again. My stomach drops every time I imagine the possibility – thank God for the modern world and technology, eh ?

On that note, I specifically want to mention a couple of kids that cross my mind – Franzi. From Germany, this girl is AMAZING. She’s funny and lovable and downright wonderful. I love her to death and seeing her run after the train, tears forming in the ducts killed me. Ich liebe dich ma belle preferée.

Next are Lauren and Kai, who I know I’ll see again. I want to mention them however, because they were also at the train station to see me off, running with Franzi along the train as it departed from the platform. These two kids are amazing and helped make my semester as great as it was. From cooking and staying over at Kai’s, to girl talks with Lauren, they made me feel at home and comfortable in a town I didn’t like at all because it wasn’t comparable to Paris.

Naturally, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss my host family, especially the parents – Valerie and Philippe. Philippe was the best host father imaginable. Though strange to adapt to a real relationship with a figure like that at first, we quickly meshed well and connected through soccer games, go-karting and the midnight cup of coffee, as well as our slightly twisted sense of humor. I’ll for sure never forget him and how he finally proved that French people could achieve humour.

Valerie was no less than wonderful. Always sure to keep an extra dish on hand to be sure I’d have something to eat, never complaining that me being a vegetarian was a slight hassle. Making sweets together, sharing recipes and talking about anything at any time of the day. The morning came around and she was due to leave before I got up, but as I was unable to sleep, I was awake, sitting in the garage when she came in. Her words were short and simple, as they needed to be to avoid the inevitable tear flow that was soon to come for both of us. After many bisous and hugs and her telling me to come back whenever I wanted, she left. I also got a goodbye hug from Chelsea, the coolest kid from Houston I know – thanks for making my last two weeks a killer fun time.

Not to mention the Sunday trip to St. Malo with Clemence, Valerie, Chelsea, Jessi, Celine and Alain. Talk about awesome.

To all other friends I’ve made, I will miss you too, more than you know. I’m only singling out a few in this post to avoid stirring up emotions that I’ve finally managed to calm.

Arrival in Paris, Merry at the train station. An orange, a new tradition, waiting with a smile to help me lug my two suitcases [which were descended by two very helpful gentlemen] toward the metro and eventually toward the train and then Merry’s house. Dinner with the family as usual, fun conversations filled the evening with happy atmosphere and delicious food didn’t hamper the experience.

Now I’m back to chilling with my brother, showing off my grades for the semester and the silly story we wrote in langue class. He was no less than entertained, especially with the name choices ^^

By the way, Saturday I got hit on by three high school boys. It was funny.

Speaking of boys. Cowboys. They’re awesome. I guess flat-billed caps are too.

Now that I’ve left Angers, I feel like a chapter of my life is over. I know that may sound incredibly cheesy, but this past semester, now that it’s basically over, seems so surreal. I look back on everyone I met and everything I did and accomplished and it plays back like a movie that I’ve recently watched, another story I’ve read, put back on the bookshelf until my return, where I’m sure I’ll have to recount it over and over.

A week and a half in Paris, oh joyful beginning to summer. That’s my cue to quit the scene [speaking of scene…Superheroes anyone ?]

Time for my after-dinner coffee all, catch you on the flip side.

"I can't be like...foot naked."


“I adore the world out of you.”


[quotes from two of my favorite people]

28 May 2010

T'inquiète + Bittersweet

If only I weren't so gullible to the "charm" of the Frenchmen.


Today marked the end of my classes in France. After two hours of literature in a steamy hot room, the dusty curtains masking the sun that would have otherwise poured through the windows, I was more than ecstatic for a fifteen minute break before my last class of the year. Sitting in the grass with some friends, however, I realized that me being done with classes meant me being done with France.

Sure, I know it's, well, obvious for lack of a better word, but I'm leaving France. Reality hit me on Thursday, leaving my last Langue class ever. I suddenly realized that Florence would stay in France, everyone in my class would leave to their respective countries or stay in France [besides a few Americans, but even them to their own schools]. Stoked to be done with class, reluctant to leave the friends I've made and the culture, language and country that I've fallen in love with for the second time.

To say the least, even though I left my last class with a skip in my step, escaping the high-pitched and constant voice of my professor, I stopped outside the classroom for one last glance.

And by one last glance, I mean I'll be back next week for exams. BOO. Seven exams. How is that even real ?

After leaving the Catho, I went to meet Felix at Haras park to hang out with him and Flo. Felix and I ended up listening to music and laughing while we waited for Flo, who showed up late. Imagine that. A French person being late. I expected 10 or 15 minutes, but this kid was geekin' so badly, he was an HOUR late. No worries, I was happy to see him so I forgave him.

Until he turned into a brat.

In the park they recently planted flowers. As it's been a few days maximum since this happened, the flowers are still attached only to the compacted dirt they came in, and will pull right out attached to a heaping chunk of muddy goodness. First brat move by Flo ? He threw one right at my hip. BOOM. Dirt flew everywhere, got in my cardi's pocket. It only stung for a second. Sweet revenge in the form of a titty twister, and all was golden again.

Until he turned into a RUDE brat.

Another plant-pod. Teasing me at first, I decided to believe him when he said "t'inquiète" ["don't worry"] and assume he wouldn't hit me over the head with the enormous glob of who knows what.

MISTAKE. Paf, on the head. Dirt in my hair, down my shirt, pants, shoes, in my mouth. I was not a happy camper. But it was funny because I was with friends and we were just hanging out. I was the only girl, so naturally I had to take their shit.

Which continued, once more. Flo and I made a pact to not play the dirt on head game anymore, and he helped me brush my clothes clean [sort of]. What do I get for sassing him ? Oh you know, just like, thrown in the bushes. I guess it was about to be thrown, until I pulled some wrestling moves on him, which didn't really work and with the intervention of Felix, we both ended up with leaves all over and scratched up butts and backs.

An interesting ending to the last week of class. Good thing French people crack me up and it was too nice outside to pop a cap.

Friday night, only a week left in Angers ! Holy crap it's approaching quickly. I am pumped.

Tchuss for now.

"To live is like to love - all reason is against it, and all healthy instinct for it."
Samuel Butler

24 May 2010

Sunshine and Papillons

As cheesy as the title may come off, it's so true.

Finally, France has decided to stop being emo for a minute/week and be sunny. I like that. The wonderful weather has lead to picnics, walks in the park and lots of sunburn. Which, as I'm super white anyway, is okay because it means I have some color at least.

The one day of the week that was crappy outside, however, proved to be one of the rudest - I'm about a third of the way to my University and my bike chain falls off. I wasn't too concerned because stuff happens, so I hurriedly attempted to fix it before being caught by the rain that was looming above me in dark grey clouds. Fixed, black gunk all over my hands, hop on my bike. I swear, two seconds later it starts pouring. Greaaaat. So I rode my bike to school in the pouring rain. Good thing some awesome friends have made that day worth my while...

Next point, lunch in the park. Felix and Florian, two friends from Angers have been meeting me in the park lately for some relaxed few hours for lunch. Let's just say we geek out and it's wonderful. Hurray for geekin' glasses and gangster hats.

I suppose we're sort of moving backwards. No matter - this weekend was the last break before the end of the semester and we had Monday off. It was a pretty marvelously relaxed weekend and on Monday I went with my new host sister Chelsea, plus two other girls from Houston [Candace and Jessi] to Lac de Maine, a cute little beach in Angers where you can swim. Naturally, we all went and stayed for the majority of the sunlit day.

After we swam out to the docks, some obnoxious boys came and started bothering us, attempting to speak English and splashing all over the way boys do. Eventually they grew on us and Vincent, Demetri, Malik, old creeper and ye who introduced himself as Wesley Snipes hung out on the beach and chatted all afternoon.

::short interjection::
Wesley Snipes stole my shoes, for a minute. Keep in mind I usually wear black flats, so I need you to imagine a tall skinny guy from Amsterdam, dripping wet in his swim trunks walking around the beach, cigarette in hand, hip popped with black flats. Funny.

Also, I hate [again, still] how forward and blunt Frenchmen can be. For instance : Wesley Snipes told me I was beautiful, which I really just ignored until he said "well, except the scar isn't so good." Okay, that's cool, it's not like I'm self-conscious of them anyway, you can leave now. I mean. You don't make fun of scars that come from surgeries. Geez.

Then, I got into a little spat with Vincent, who said I was French. "Je t'ai GRILLÉE !" Quite the contraire, my friend. Just because I speak French decently doesn't mean I'm lying about being American. Demetri soon joined and Malik came to my rescue, saying he heard a little accent. I was relieved, until they all decided I must be Moroccan, if not French. Dudes. Look at my skin. I don't look remotely Moroccan. Frenchmen are Jims [Jim = familiar family term used to classify an idiot].

Now, I'm in my last week of class. One more day, one more long day of classes and I'm done [minus finals, what a killjoy]. I'm torn, to say the least, about my feelings regarding the whole leaving France business. I am excited to go back, by all means - excited to see people, cowboys, besties. Anxious to feel legally allowed to speak English in public. I'm also going to miss everything though. Hearing French and the rest of the list I created on last post. I'm going to miss Merry. Maybe I'm nervous about leaving because I know it'll be at least a year until I can come back. How is that fair ? Boo.

Last langue class today, watched a movie, talked about plans and ate food from everyone's country, followed by an enormous picture taking session. I'm going to miss everyone so much. Especially my professor. When she was saying have a good weekend today, I realized I'd never have her as a teacher again - it was the saddest I've been when realizing I'm leaving. I suppose it finally hit me that everything will go back to normal in a few weeks.

And by normal, I mean what I used to be used to. I wonder how it's going to be, re-adapting into a culture I was once so familiar with that now almost disgusts me. Only sometimes ^^

Exams ! It's high time I start to study or procrastinate, alors je vous souhaite une bonne fin de journée et bah à toute, mes amis.

"Never fall in love with an idea. They’re whores: if the one you’re with isn’t doing the job, there’s always, always, always another."
-Cheese Monkeys, Chip Kidd

08 May 2010

Home Stretch

Hokay kids

This is Corrie not having a story. Technically that isn't true, but technically I can't tell you what's going on ! It's exciting, I'll leave it at that.

In other news, I've decided to name what is left of my stay in Angers as the home stretch - less than a month until my two weeks in Paris, and then I'm back to the States.

On that note, here is what I'm looking forward to :
1. Completing the list
2. Family
4. Sherlock Holmes
5. Next semester
b. Being an RA
d. Learning German
e. Switching my major...again.
6. A summer full of water gun fights, pictures and long walks with the coolest people
7. Cuddle-off

I'm going to miss :
1. Hearing French on a regular basis
2. Being only an hour and a half away from Merry, Guillo and all my other Asnieres-ian friends
3. Real bread
4. Being legally allowed to buy wine for lunch
5. Speaking French every single day, to people who can actually help me improve
6. My host family and the little city of Angers
7. This entire experience and my friends from the Catho

Keeping them short because I've got a nasty case of ADD currently. No worries.

Maybe these lists seem early to come, but with the quickly approaching finals and pre-finals, I have no idea when I'll be able to do this next.

Why did I have to test into a level at the Catho where my classes aren't a joke ? I appreciate the challenge and the progress these classes are forcing me to accomplish as far as my French goes, but really ? That's not fair. I don't want real work in all 21 hours of my schedule.

And, oh yeah. France, you're still RUDE.

Not only does the bus system and train company go on strike every, what is it, two hours, but the post office does too now ? Thank goodness for precautionary people sending packages/tickets/lighters days early to ensure the items' safe and timely arrival.

I'm going to wear sunglasses a lot this summer.
And get freckley and blonde.

I like a U2 song. I think I'm breathing in too much pollution or something when I ride my bike to school everyday. Something is seriously wrong with me.

Speaking of my bike. Also rude. I re-rented it, regardless of the fact that I'm almost more turned off by it. You know why ? My ride to school every morning is about 10 km. For those of you who believe in American, that's about 6.2 miles. To school. Same back. As if I wasn't already reluctant to go out at night from time to time. Oh geez.

I swear, if my legs aren't ripped by the end, I will be super pissed and whine about it for a while.

Paris next week !

I've been in France for such a long time !

I miss my mom. [I miss video games.]

I was pretty emo in high school. I stumbled across some of my Facebook notes. Thank goodness I fell out of that phase.

And thanks Mom, for showing me the pictures of me after my surgery the other day. As if it wasn't traumatic going through it and realizing how horrendous I looked, you took pictures and showed me when I got out of the hospital. And then again. Gross. Glad that's over too !

I'm missing a rib.

Okay, I'm leaving. Laterzzzzzz.

-Will Rogers

30 April 2010

Too Much Vacation ?

Okay kids, let me start out by apologizing - I've recently received complaints that I'm not staying as up-to-date as some prefer, as my last post was nearly three weeks ago. That being said :

SUCK IT UP. Be a man. Rub some dirt in it. [if anyone can call that, props for having seen one of the best movies of all time] Here's the deal - oh yeah, I'm in France. I would love to update as often as I have stories to tell, but the fact of the matter is that I'm out making more stories ! And face to face is better anyway, right ? Right.

Enough of that for now, I've got three weeks to talk about, including Spring Break and the first week back to school. I know you're all ecstatic.

Regardless of the chaos that ensued due to the SNCF and the bipolar Eyjafjallajökull [that being said, I would be pretty moody if I had that name too, it isn't even real-looking] starting its rag, I somehow made it to Paris in one piece, and in a timely fashion. As my first train ride had been canceled, I got my first choice of voyages, so I chose direct to Montparnasse, as to avoid what would have undoubtedly provided to be another obstacle in switching trains. An hour and a half of quiet anxiety, praying there would be no controllers to examine my printed confirmation of a different trip passed with little occurrence, besides the staring contest I had with the little girl across from me.

::short interjection::
Speaking of the little girl - she is the kind of French person I admire. All direct, no flirting around. I either made her nervous or she was super curious, so she stared. I LOVE that ! Not only is it reminiscent of my five-year-old niece [and whole life] Olivia Grace, but she made me feel better about the fact that I stare at strangers too. Hurray.

The kind of directness I don't appreciate ? Frenchmen, blatantly coming onto you despite the amount of disinterest you show and words you snap. It's called subtly, guys. It's high time you took a page out of America's book.

Arrive at Montparnasse : 19h26 [or something to that effect]

Happy to be back in Paris, I excitedly searched for Guillo and Merry, only to find a surprise ; Pierre, another friend, had joined them in my retrieval. It was no less than a great welcome already, but it only got better.

After exchange of hugs and bisous, we left the station and walked toward the street. Already I was a bit confused, seeing as we have to take the metro to get to Merry's house...yeah. I was completely lost. Until I saw Elsa and Johan. As it turns out, we wanted to go to Breton bars around the Montparnasse area. Happy to be in great company and home again, a little drink to ease the nerves left from the train ride was fine by me.

What started as one week in paradise turned quickly into two ; Friday rolls around and we're all in low spirits. I have no desire to leave, especially knowing that everyone [besides Guillaume] is on vacation the next week. It's then that Merry says to me "well, you're staying, you know that right ?" I chuckled at his [wonderful] French direct manner of speaking and brushed it aside, not imagining the possibility.

And then we changed the ticket. After another slight hassle, I was set to go back - the Sunday after the approaching one. Life was good again, even though we all felt sorry for the still studious Guillo, stuck in physics all day while we were having lunch in various Parisian parks.

Naturally we had parties when I was there [because it's basically a rule] but one of the best by far had to have been what is now known as the Nutella Party. It was small, but perfect in nearly every way. The night started with dinner at sir Guillo's house, as his family was out of town. A hearty meal down in the belly, the remnants of ice cream sitting in my, Merry and Guillo's bowls. I guess I was feeling feisty, or maybe Merry was just being his natural smart-ass self, but it got to the point where I smeared some chocolate ice cream on his hand. No big, right ? Wrong. I did it to Guillo too. It some how elevated to ice cubes, which turned into me pouring ice water on his head...hum. This story makes me sound guilty, shoot.

I'll cut it short, for your eyes' sakes, but what started as ice cream on the wrist turned into me hiding in Aurore's room from Guillo's hand full of what I believed to be shaving cream [which was actually whipped cream] turned to me smearing a mix of shaving cream and toothpaste on Merry to me hiding and then getting locked in the pantry, to me screaming for a while and making a mess, to me leaving the pantry and getting smothered, I mean COMPLETELY attacked with Nutella [face, dress, cleavage] to tomato sauce, shampoo, lotion, everything flying everywhere. It ended when I locked Guillo and Merry on the patio, shirtless, and wrote on the windows a cute little message that you can find if you ask for it.

It was hella fun to create, not so great to clean, but worth it in every way.

We also had a small NP II at Merry's, but it didn't really compare. We each just took an egg to the head and the boys got soaked with water. Oh and Merry got a gash on his forehead. How did he do that, you ask ? He was sitting down, I had a pitcher of water. Knowing me, he attempts to escape by fleeing, only to turn into the other chair next to him. Boom, instant scratch. And then I poured water on him. Mean ? No way.

We made our way to several parks over the two weeks, made a fire in the square by Merry's house, got scorned for doing so [congrats Guillo, that was so funny], made awesome smoothies [way to go, me and brobro], celebrated Etienne's birthday, went to a concert that made Merry and I crack up [difference of opinion "ear" is pronounced "eer" not "air" - I mean I could be wrong, except, well, I speak English] and spent the majority of our free time in the sun and/or with friends. And I got freckles. Sure I look twelve, but it's a sign of summer so I forgive those plentiful bastards.

Sunday I was sad to leave for many reasons, but Saturday was awesome. First time at Pierre's apartment, silly things transpired [like Merry with Manuel/Flo...] and we all got happy. Let's just say I am no less than pumped to go back one last time before school is out.

::shorter interjection::
Who goes to China ? Moreover, who signs up to China with the intent of going, gets accepted and doesn't tell me ? Uh, rude. But also sad.

First week back, after 15 days off was no less than exhausting and stressful. Now that I think of it, I suppose I should stop using this deal as a form of procrastination and call it quits so I can debate on whether to work or change before the night falls. I'm so conflicted. School work, club with awesome people ? Work, dance, work, drink, work, explore, work, live ? Yeah, not even a real question.

I'll catch you all on the flip side !

"Du sublime au ridicule il n'y a qu'un pas."