Saturday, November 1, 2008


So I had a slight accident last night...

I slipped in the shower and twisted my ankle. At first I thought it was no big deal - just bruised. But by the end of the night I couldn't put any weight on it without a lot of pain.

I looked it up online and it said ice, compression, elevation, rest. And some sites said to alternate ice with heat.

Well, I have no ice (or ice trays - must add them to the shopping list, along with a non-slip showermat!). But there was a lot of frost build up in the freezer so I scraped off as much as I could, put it in a ziplock bag and voila. I also brought these little air activated heat packs with me - just in case - and put one of them on the injury in my sock overnight.

Sadly, the ankle is really no better today. I didn't bring bandages, but I did some makeshift compression by wrapping a stocking tightly around my foot this morning - that seemed to help a little. And I filled a ziplock with water last night and put it in the freezer compartment so this morning I have a proper ice pack which is on my foot now.

Luckily the studio is as small as it is. I can almost reach everything from my bed - ha! My biggest concern is that I only have a little diet coke left and as for food, a half a baguette, some microwave popcorn and some cookies (which I thankfully brought with me). I may have to hobble across the street to the market tonight to get some supplies.

I've never twisted my ankle before, so of course it would happen in a foreign country, right? It's really just more an inconvenience than anything (I hope anyhow). I'd rather be out and about today instead of watching tv in bed - afterall, I am in Paris! But then again, this trip is about experiencing "living" here not being a tourist per se, and I guess if I lived here, there would be days when I stayed home and chilled. So I figure it's all part of the experience.

I think it will be fine if I just stay off of it for a couple of days. Of course I don't have much of a choice as it hurts too much to walk on right now! So send good thoughts my way as I'd rather not report on this blog about the experience of going to un docteur à Paris. L'expérience française...

Friday, October 31, 2008

L'appartement à Paris

I haven't taken any photos of the place yet, but I realized that the pics of the apartment that the agency has on their Web site are pretty representative, so until I get things personalized a bit and take my own shots, here's a sneak peak at my tiny, tiny little studio!

A couple things you don't see in the photos... in the kitchen there is another wall that has a toaster oven, microwave and the tiniest washing machine (for clothes) I've ever seen! And in the bathroom, there is a shower (no tub). I just opened up the couch into the bed and it fills the room! But really, it's just fine for me. Let's call it cozy ;-) The building is really nice and very secure. And the apartment is very clean and has everything (blow dryer, vacuum, iron, dishes).

And most importantly, I have all the gadgets I need - high speed internet, hundreds of cable tv channels (albeit only a few in English), a nice flat panel tv, dvd player and stereo system. I brought my computer of course. And I also brought a printer, so I used the table to set up a little workstation/desk.

I'm still not totally unpacked... little storage space so it's taking some time to figure out where to put things. Tomorrow I'll finish up and go to the store to get some groceries (all I have in my fridge right now is diet coke, water and a baguette)! I also want to pick up a few things to make the place seem a little more homey as I get settled in for my stay here in Paris.

I'm about a 5 minute walk to the nearest Metro station. Today I bought my Navigo Decouverte card. It's a photo ID 'smart card' for tourists that I bought prepaid for the month of November, so all I have to do is wave it in front of the turnstiles in the Metro instead of buying hundreds of little paper tickets (billets) while I'm here. It will be much more convenient, but I'm kind of going to miss those little paper tickets. Ah, the march of progress...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Je suis arrivé

It should come as no surprise that I did not actually pack until the morning of my departure. And in that craziness, for the first time in many years, I was actually a bit nervous and unsettled as I locked up the house and rushed to the airport to catch my flight.

But as they say, "All's well that ends well."

It's now 10:20pm and I am sitting in my room at the Hotel Cyrnos on Rue Montmartre in Paris. Everything went smoothly - no delays, no lost baggage (thank God). I got to the hotel exhausted around 2pm this afternoon but before taking a nap, I ventured out to survey the neighborhood and determine just how close my apartment really is to the hotel (since I'm going to have to drag 3 rather large rolling suitcases over there tomorrow). Luckily, the apartment building is in fact just around the corner. This should make things pretty easy in the morning.

After a yummy baguette I went back to the hotel and crashed for a few hours. When I got up it was dark and I decided to venture out again to find a Tabac where I could purchase a SIM card for the unlocked cell phone I bought on eBay for $20. After weeks of research, the best (and easiest) way to go seemed to be a company called Mobiho. And indeed it was! The Mobiho Web site had a list of locations where you could buy SIMs and I went to one just down the street from the hotel. I popped it in and... voila! I have a French mobile :-) The only tricky part is the Mohibo Web site is completely in French... but somehow, I figured it out. All incoming calls are free and calls I make to the US only run 18 cents a minute. The SIM card was 15 euro but comes with an 8 euro credit and is easily refillable. If anyone wants my cell number, email me and I'll send it to you (I can send and receive text messages as well). Not sure you'll want to pay international calling rates to chat, but since incoming calls are free for me, call away ;-)

I also found a little market closeby that I suspect I'll be doing a lot of shopping at. I'm looking forward to getting into the apartment tomorrow so I can buy food and cook rather that have to buy every meal out. Of course that didn't stop me from getting a chicken (I mean poulet) pannini on the way back to the hotel tonight!

And that's it for day one: getting over jet lag, scoping out the neighborhood and getting my cell phone working.

Tomorrow will be a busy day. I have to move into the apartment, buy my month-long metro pass and go over to the Alliance Francais to finalize registration and pay the balance due for the course I'll be taking. Tomorrow night I'll be posting photos of my tiny (but very own, at least for a month) studio apartment - yeah!

p.s. It's cold ( says it's 41 and feels like 34), but I love it! I put my diet coke and water bottles out on the window ledge to chill for the evening :-)

Monday, October 27, 2008


As I set up this blog, it doesn't seem real that in just a few days I'll be posting from my own flat in Paris! For a whole month, will be based on the Rue du Croissant (seriously) in the 2nd Arrondissement - about a 10 minute walk from the Louvre museum, close to the Paris Opera House. Finding a furnished apartment was an adventure itself. But I think (make that hope) that I found a good place to call home for the month I'll be living in my favorite city in the world!

So I leave for Paris on Wednesday, October 29 and I return to Florida the night before Thanksgiving, on Wednesday, November 26.

While I'm there, I'll be taking intensive French classes at the Alliance Francais. One of the reasons I really wanted to do this was for the language training. They say being immersed in the culture of a place is the best way to learn... we shall see! When I'm not in class I'll be spending every waking moment soaking up as much of the city as I can. And taking weekend trips - London anyone?! ;-)

Sadly I won't be here for the election. However, I will be voting early tomorrow (every vote counts!) and I made sure that my studio has, a) high speed internet; and b) cable tv w/international channels (i.e. CNN International) so I can watch as the results come in and IM with people throughout the evening!

Speaking of keeping in touch.... anyone have Skype? I got a new netbook (the Asus Eee 900HA - a darling baby laptop) that has a built in web cam, microphone and Skype but I don't know anybody else who has it to do a test run with!

Of course I have not packed yet... afterall, I still have two days before I leave for a month - ha! But seriously, I better get off the computer (some things never change) and get started.

For those of you who know me and how much I love all things Paris, I'm sure you can appreciate just how excited I am about this amazing opportunity. As cliche as it sounds, this really is a dream come true for me. And I'm so looking forward to sharing the experience with everyone on this blog. I plan on posting daily and I hope I'll hear from many of you while I'm on my Parisian adventure.

My next post will be later in the week (Thursday, October 30) once I've arrived in Paris. I'll be spending that first day/night at a hotel around the corner from my apartment as it won't be ready for me to occupy until Friday. But I of course made sure the hotel has high speed internet as well, so I can blog. What did we ever do before the Internet?!?!?

Off to pack now....

Au Revoir