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Thursday, October 09, 2008

home, sweet home (almost)

Paul and I are flying out of Hong Kong tomorrow afternoon. After almost two and half weeks in Asia, I must say, I'm very ready to be heading back to good ol' California.

Don't get me wrong, this has been a memorable and amazing trip in so many ways, even if it wasn't always fun (though it mostly was) - I just really miss the comforts of home at this point. Us Californians are some truly lucky folks.

I can't wait to be back in a place where I'm not desperate for a shower after ten minutes of walking around outdoors (even though we've barely seen one sunny day here, it's still so ridiculously hot and humid! Hello Mother Nature? It's October for goodness sake!). I'm also really excited about being able to once again walk down the sidewalk without fear of being plowed over by a scooter (although to be fair, that hasn't been a concern here in Hong Kong, only in Taipei) and cars actually slowing down for pedestrians who are crossing the street.

I'm just kind of homesick in general, longing for my own bed and not having to live out of my suitcase anymore. Even though I'm happy to be heading home this really has been a great trip and I'll write more about it when I get my pictures uploaded!

Just a few more hours and one long flight left to go!

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Thursday, May 03, 2007


Greetings from Barcelona. After a long day of traveling I've concluded that Europeans couldn't stand in a proper line if their lives depended on it. My feet hurt, my butt hurts from where I landed on it as I attempted to walk down some slippery steps in the wine/tapas bar but it's all good. I promised myself that I would not let myself see every day of this trip as merely one day closer to going home and I intend to stick by that.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Thinking online (this post has no real point)

Before I came I wrote about how I'm one of those people who likes my space. Well, yeah, after four months this is really, really getting to me. And even though I am soo glad that my little sister is here, it's really not helping things in terms of the crowding. In fact, it means I now have to share my laptop on top of everything else.

Which, you know, is fine. I love my sister, I wanted her to come and I still want her here. I'm just really not used to being in such close quarters with so many people for such a long period of time. After all, I lived alone for two full years and for some reason I never felt crowded living with Paul. Just really, really happy. Which, I suppose, is why I'm marrying the man. We "mesh" so well it always felt like we were just one person, not two people sharing a space.

I guess part of it is that I'm a person who, when I'm feeling very overwhelmed emotionally, tends to shut off around people. Or I'd like to be able to shut off, close the door and just hide.

Last night I was feeling very "ugh" over some job-search-effort-related-stuff and there were just people everywhere. I hate it when the people around me know I'm depressed and I don't like to show my negative emotions. In fact, even when my grandmother died while I was here I barely cried because I just didn't feel comfortable doing that in front of my roommates. With Paul, I can let these things out because I don't mind telling him everything. If I'm grumpy I just tell him, I'm feeling grumpy and somehow he has this way of making me not grumpy. When I'm being my normal neurotic hyper-obsessive self, he has a way of calming me and reassuring me that things will be okay.

So I guess part of the reason I'm feeling so...antsy...crabby...generally annoyed and wanting to snap...is because I'm away from my security blanket (Paul).

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

When you wish upon a star

I was all set to write a completely self-deprecating post about how I feel like such a sh*tty person for the way I'm feeling about my roommate.


That thing I was waiting for? The thing I've been waiting for, for what feels like YEARS now (reality: three weeks)?

HE GOT IT! Paul got his dream job and that means...I GET TO MOVE HOME!! It's happening! It's really really happening! And I can barely believe it. And I am so, so happy for my Hubs because he deserves this and he's earned it and oh my GOD, how God has blessed us! Blessed me, really.

I still can't believe it. I'M GOING HOME =o

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wingless was still breathing at 3:26 PM - 1 comments

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Home is where my heart is

Next week is my last week of classes in France. And now that things are winding down, it's all becoming very real. In less than a month I will be back in California, in a country where I will be able to order dinner with my words rather than my finger and an exciting game of charades.

Paul asked me today if I would miss Paris. Surprisingly, I'm pretty sure I will. Despite the fact that I'm something of a deaf-mute here, it's begun to feel like home. Not real home, which will always be the city I grew up in, but home the way LA started to feel like home after awhile. Home in the sense that I'm comfortable here, I know my way around, I have my favorite spots. And of course, I will miss my French friends and living with Joe and Poon. Last night the three of us went out for dinner and drinks and talked about how the whole experience would have been very different (and less fun) if we hadn't been able to hang out and explore the city with each other.

So, yes, I will miss Paris. I'll miss the bakeries with the delicious croissants and fresh sandwiches. I'll miss the different flavors of Orangina which come in BIG bottles and is the only thing that is available in larger quantities in France than it is in America. I'll miss the metro and RER which make getting around so convenient. I'll miss walking through St. Michel looking for dinner and (more) drinks. I'll miss so much, but still, I'm excited to be going home.

I miss my family, I miss Paul and I miss my cat. I miss Mexican food and my favorite Chinese dish from the restaurant down the street from my parents house. I miss America. I miss California. And even though I will miss France, it's definitely time to go home because it's going to start getting muggy here soon and the tourists are coming out in full force making it a pain to get around.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

I'm pretty sure God is testing me...or maybe punishing me

There really is something about Paris in the springtime. Unfortunately, I'm so homesick at this point I would rather be back in Los Angeles stuck in traffic in a rainstorm (ha! rain in LA! hee!).

Things wouldn't be so bad except for one little thing. One not-so-little person who is driving everyone else in the apartment absolutely batty. I've had, um, not great roommates in the past (and some fabulous roommates) but she unquestionably takes the cake. After three peaceful, noise free, stink free days while she was on vacation in the west of France within thirty minutes of her return she had me and the Poon hiding in our rooms with the doors shut and our earphones on.

Why? you ask. Well, let me tell you.

First there was the juice slurping. Not one accidental slurp in her overzealousness to quench her thirst, but a constant, repeated and LOUD "slurp, slurp, slurp" with every damn sip that she took. Shockingly the woman is 34 years old and not 3.4 years old.

After she had finally finished slurping down two cups of juice she preceded to fill the entire apartment with the wretched stench of her fish and fried something or the other cooking. Nevermind that it was nearly midnight and the doors to the bedrooms were open. That's what led to cowering in the room with the doors shut.

But you know what couldn't be blocked out by the paper thin doors? The singing. The off-key singing. The off-key singing of someone who clearly thinks their singing is not so bad and so they don't sing quietly to themselves but very much so out loud in such a way that they obviously think other people might want to hear them sing. That was not even what drove me and the Poon to earphones though, oh no, it gets better.

The coup de grace? She paused in the middle of a song to talk to herself about how she was going to cook and then, and then, she SPELLED THE WORD COOKING. C-O-O-K-I-N-G. Thank you! You know, I almost forgot how it was spelled. But now I know. Now it will forever be committed to my memory.

When I relayed this sad story to The Hubs he laughed and asked if she spells DUMP while on the toilet.

Thankfully I'm not privy to that sort of information. (Although she has gotten in the habit of leaving the bathroom door open when she pees in the early mornings, ugh.)

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Not just useful in China

In case you were wondering, I still have the "cacas" (my roommate Joe's twist on the way little French kids say doody). Pepto just isn't cutting it so we ventured over to the 13th arrondisement/Chinatown in search of some "zhen lu wan" (a Chinese remedy for the cacas).

Unfortunately, even the Chinese in France are somewhat prone to frequent and extended break-taking and there was no one at the medicine counter for a good 15 minutes. When the woman finally returned I was told rather unapologetically that no, we don't sell that here.

But I did come home with some rice crackers, soy bean drink, asian pears, peaches, dried squid and a precious bottle of aloe drink. Oh and I got to go into stores and communicate with the store clerks just like back in the states! No hand gestures necessary! Except I was speaking in Chinese and not English.

It's funny, I think by the time I get home my Chinese will have improved a lot more than my French. Because whenever we go into Asian restaurants here I can't speak French, they can't speak English, so we meet at Chinese.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Those "truth-ers" would have their panties in a bunch

So I'm in a complain-y mood tonight, perhaps due to the fact that I apparently have some kind of stomach bug that sends me to the bathroom every hour on the hour. Even though this has been going on since about Monday or so, for some odd reason I still keep agreeing to go out to happy hours and Mexican/Brazilian food.

Onto the complaining, one of the most upsetting things about living in France, as someone who comes from California, is the smoking. Every-freaking-where. I feel like I'm inhaling so much smoke that I might as well light up myself, except I already feel so dizzy and nauseated by everyone else's cigarettes that I'd probably just keel over or vomit into my plate if I did.

Seriously, it feels like these people are just not capable of going more than 5 minutes without a cigarette. You will see people getting onto the train taking the last puff of their cigarette as though they are going to have to hold their breath for fifteen minutes and actually exhaling all their smoke INTO the train after the doors have closed. You will then see that same person (five minutes later) standing right next to the door with a cigarette in one hand and a lighter in the other eagerly anticipating the moment the train doors open so that they can light up even before they've actually completely exited the train.

Then there are the people who seem to have no qualms lighting up around anyone. Babies? No problem. Pregnant women? No problem. The only thing I haven't seen yet is someone light up around someone breathing off an air tank. But since I haven't seen anyone strolling around Paris with an air tank yet that's really not saying much. I wonder what the incidence of lung cancer is in this country?

Besides the fact that I am probably considerably shortening my life everytime I step into a bar, club, restaurant or cafe, the other irritating thing is how all of my clothes smell like cigarettes. And my hair constantly reeks of cigarettes. Here's a hint for any girls who might be planning on visiting/living in France, never, EVER wash your hair before going to a bar/club/cafe/restaurant unless you enjoy shampooing twice in one day. If you like to take your showers in the morning, bring a shower cap.

This city may be full of delicious foods but there are so many disgusting smells to go with...week-old urine, pungent body odor and smoke, smoke and more smoke. Yech.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

There's no place like home

I think because of the exhaustion due to last night's debauchary (did I mention I only had one alcoholic drink at the club? I was the nerd with the water bottle for the rest of the night) I'm right on the cusp of letting myself fall into some kind of depression. That, and the fact that it's always dark here. It's dark when we leave for the train station at 8 a.m., it's still semi-dark when we get to school at 9 a.m. and on Thursdays when we don't get back into Paris until after 5pm, well it's dark then too.

I'm trying to remind myself that God has really blessed me in a lot of ways already on this trip to keep myself in pleasant spirits. For one, the weather while gloomy has supposedly been the warmest winter weather in Paris for 50 years. That's really something when I remember to think about it. Sure it's not a California winter, but well, what is?

Although I am for the most part enjoying Paris so far (minus the copious piles of dog poo in the streets) this experience has pretty much convinced me that I probably wouldn't be happy living anywhere except the good ol' USA - and California in particular. Sure there are a lot of hippies and libs and spoiled Hollywood celebs, but it's home and it's a great home and I can't imagine living somewhere else without constantly comparing it to California.

I also think that I'm still a bit jetlagged because I can't say I've had a good solid 8 hours of sleep without the help of a sleeping pill (which I've used on four occasions here so far) since I've arrived. I've been completely unmotivated to do anything remotely scholastic, which means that the notes I slopped down onto a sheet of paper remain barely legible with arrows pointing every which way.

However, it is now 6:30 p.m. and I am completely exhausted so hopefully by 10pm tonight I'll be ready to settle into my first non-drug-induced restful 8+ hour night of sleep. I can hope anyway.

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