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March 24, 2008

The French according to the New York Times

This is all very true. And with the exception of their horrible rules for interviews, I generally like the French and their attitudes. I like the idea of a country where fitting in means you need a knowledge of history, lingerie, manners and always choosing the right outfit. And the double bisou is a lot more practical than I once thought. I mean, a hug is actually more intimate, in my opinion, and kissing the air next to someone's cheek doesn't require you to put down your shopping bags.

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March 20, 2008


I'm not sure what it was. A couple of sunny days in a row always helps my mood. Maybe it was the five different people who asked me for directions in both English and French in fifteen minutes - and the fact that I had answers for all of them. Or how happy I was to see my American friends when they got back from spring break, and how much I had missed them - each one specifically and individually for different reasons. When my mom and then friends of my friends visited Paris, I could point out interesting things for them to see. I have a favorite bench on L'Esplanade des Invalides, and I have internet access there. I understand enough French to eavesdrop on conversations. And - this might just be my imagination - but sometimes I can pass people on the street.

For whatever reason, as I rode the escalator out of the Invalides metro station on Sunday afternoon, with a view of the Eiffel tower, the golden dome under which Napoleon is, and my own building, I felt like I was home. I live in Paris.

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March 14, 2008

Ask me almost anything

Meme from Martine:

Everyone has things they blog about. Everyone has things they don't blog about. Challenge me out of my comfort zone by telling me something I don't blog about, but you'd like to hear about, and I'll write a post about it. Ask for anything: latest movie watched, last book read, political leanings, thoughts on yaoi, favorite type of underwear, graphic techniques, etc.

A word of warning: there are limits to what I'm willing to put out on the net. But you can try.

And by the way: I am blogging from L'Esplanade des Invalides

Updated March 17th 2008: Seriously, guys, nothing? What if I were to tell you that we're approaching another round number when it comes to comments? And that means prizes...?

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March 12, 2008

Norge setter ikke standarden for utdanning

Dette er en av disse artiklene som jeg kunne kommentert så mye at jeg ikke en gang tør å begynne. Men jeg kjenner at flere lange poster om utdanning i Norge contra andre steder i verden er på vei. Ettersom jeg har andre skriveforpliktelser først, får dere lese hva Anders Fjelland Bentsen, i ANSA, skriver i mellomtiden.

Takk til Ingar for link til artikkelen. Og legg forresten merke til at en lengre utgave av artikkelen kommer i Argument snart. Hurra for Argument, hvor jeg nå er medlem av samfunnsredaksjonen.

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March 11, 2008

Being a tourist in one's own city

After my week "back home in Oslo", I went "back home to Paris", and my mother visited me for a few days. My parents usually don't enjoy touristy things, and they have brought me up to dislike them too. With my family, visiting a foreign country involves getting back in touch with whatever friends we have who are currently living there, and following them around while they go to school and go grocery shopping. Naturally, the original plan was for my mom to follow me around and observe my daily life in Paris, but since there are no classes, most of my friends are travelling Europe, and watching me blog from the library gets old, we gave in to tourism instead. 

I realized that I was never a tourist in this city. From the moment I got off the bus that took me from Charles de Guelle to Avenue Bosquet, I have been either busy or tired from having been busy. Not counting the pictures for the coffee shop reviews, I've taken maybe seven photographs, most of them really bad ones. So, nearly two months after first arriving in Paris, I opened a guide book. I read what travel writers have to say about my new home. I posed for photos in the classrooms, at the Louvre, inside Le Bon Marché, in front of Hôtel de Ville, and with the Eiffel Tower in the background at various times of day and night. I chose cafés based on which authors used to sit there. I got up early and walked in the rain to an outdoor market, just because it's more interesting than getting groceries at an actual store.

And I realized that there is no reason not to continue living like this. 

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March 10, 2008

These past couple weeks (an update halfway through spring break)

For spring break, my friends in Paris all wanted to travel the world, but I could only think of one place I wanted to go: home. And home is definitely Oslo. I wasn't sure it was - until I left it. Don't get me wrong: I love Paris, I'm very glad I decided to stay here, and I'm happy. But I think I really needed a week in my own city. And it was a great week. Halfway through, I was annoyed at myself for not staying for longer than a week, but on the other hand, the fact that my time was limited made me very efficient. There are a few people I unfortunately didn't get to see, but for the most part, I think my time was spent in the best way possible. I was never alone, and never bored. I visited most of my favorite places, including Café Sara, Bare Jazz, Åpent Bakeri, Underwater Pub, the university, and many of my friends' apartments. I hosted a party, made a mess in my kitchen, studied in the social studies building, stayed up all night when I shouldn't have (over and over again) - all the things I usually do. The week was like a condensed version of what my life in Oslo is like. And leaving was easier this time - not just because I knew what to expect when I landed in Paris, but because I knew that Oslo and my life there was doing ok without me, and that it will all be there when I get back.

For the next week, I will be more or less alone in Paris, with a lot of deadlines. So there will probably be some blogging. In the meantime, some recommendations:

These past two weeks... 

I listened to

I read

I watched

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