More Snow?

French Word of the Day: annulé (ah nul eh)- cancelled

I woke up this morning at 7am, all prepared to get to the airport and take my flight home to Chicago.

Imagine my shock and horror when I found out that my flight had been cancelled.  I was completely confused when I looked outside and saw no snow.  Did a snowflake fall at the airport?  Did everyone go on vacation?

Actually this time it’s London’s fault.  They can’t handle snow either, so France cancelled 25% of its flights to accommodate them.  Mine was one of the lucky ones.

I called American Airlines, and the voice said, “The current wait time is 21 minutes.”

That was 2 hours ago.

I tried calling the French desk, but they open late on the weekends, because it’s France.


Five minutes later:

After 2 hours of holding, AA decided to drop my call.  Recalled them and was told my wait time would be over an hour.  The French desk also has me on hold.

Does anyone have a private jet they would like to lend me?  Much appreciated.


The French desk answered my call after 10 minutes.  This is probably the only time in the history that France has been faster than America.

I leave Tuesday.  Still accepting private jet offers.

Pain au chocolate count: 39  (going to have at least two today)


Pas Mal

French Word of the Day: pas mal (pah mall)- not bad

In France when a teacher wants to tell you you did well, they say, “Pas mal.”  This is the equivalent of “WOW!  THAT WAS AWESOME!”  Although directly translated it means, “Not bad.”

The French and American school systems are completely different.  They emphasize memorization and sometimes give you homework they’ve never taught you to see if you can figure it out on your own.  If you can’t, then they will teach you.

This explains why I had to teach myself the subjunctive tense last night before my test.

In the States, I try really hard to get good grades.  It’s kind of an obsession.  Anything less than an A is failing.

French student’s don’t share my mentality.  France’s point system starts at 20.  The only people who get 20s are people with doctorate.  Imagine my horror when I got a 13.5/20.  In America, that’s a 67.5%.  In America, that’s a D.  In America, that’s bad.

In France, that’s a good grade.  In France, students are happy to get a 10, because a 10 means they passed.  In France, the most important thing is to pass.

The French don’t believe in coddling their students.  They don’t get gold star stickers.  I’m sad for them.  I feel my childhood wouldn’t be complete without gold star stickers.

Look how happy that gold star is!  I don’t know about you, but I feel better about myself just looking at it.

Basically the students in the French system are constantly hit with the knowledge that they know nothing.  I would say this makes for emotionally stable people, but their depressing movies might suggest otherwise.

Maybe I’m just too happy?

I go to the States on Sunday, providing it doesn’t snow here.  I’m not worried about it snowing in Chicago; I’m sure Chicagoans can handle it.  Parisians?  Not so much.  If a snow flake falls, the entire airport probably shuts down.  Let’s hope I don’t have to find out…

Pain au chocolat: 36


French Word of the Day: entretien (on-trah-tea-awn)- interview

Widely known fact: I have an internship next semester.

Lesser known fact: I don’t actually know what it’s going to be because my program finds one for me.

I had high hopes that this would mean that they would just show my translated CV around and someone would say, “Well, she sounds like she might not be incompetent.  We’ll take her!”

Apparently in France you also have to have interviews.

A normal interview is terrifying enough, but my years of being an English major have made me an excellent BS-er.  I can make up a satisfying answer to almost any question.  If I didn’t have a soul and a conscience, I would make an excellent politician.

But of course, that’s English.  This interview is going to be conducted in French.  In the length of time it would take me to formulate an awesome answer if the interview was in English, I will still be trying to translate what the interviewer actually asked me.

Yesterday, I got an interview offer from a magazine that promotes Australia to French students as a place to study abroad.  Judging from the enthusiasm Europe as a whole has for Australia, I assume the magazine just needs one page that says, “We allow French people in Australia to study!” with a contact number and nothing else.

Regardless, I need to get my journalistic and educational French lingo down.  I talked to the program and they agreed to schedule my interview for January, when I return.

I should probably start studying; I have a test on the subjunctive.  I’m not sure we ever actually learned that, so this should be one interesting test.

Pain au chocolat count: 36

Snow! Snow?! Snow?

French Word(s) of the Day: Il neige (ill neh-zh)- It’s snowing

Paris got snow on Wednesday, and it actually stuck.  Snow never sticks in Paris, so this led to widespread panic and buses being canceled.  Some people slept in their cars because they couldn’t make it home/ were too afraid to try.  (No, I’m not kidding.)

Based on that report, you would think that Paris had had a severe snowstorm, right?  I mean, that has to be several feet of snow right there.

4 inches.  It was gone by the next morning.  Although the remnants of several snowmen were scattered throughout the Luxembourg Gardens.

Which, by the way, still has flowers blooming in it.

The title of today’s post reflects the Parisian’s feelings towards snow.  First, they were excited to see it.  Then, they were upset and distressed when they realized it was staying.  Lastly, they ignored that it had ever existed and went about life as usual.

I assume they feel the same way about Johnny Depp.

Pain au chocolat count: 35


French Word of the Day: spectacles (speck-tack)- show

I’m currently writing this post in the dark, as all my lights have decided to go out AT THE SAME TIME.  Why are they not being fixed?  Apparently the guy who fixes them (only one person knows how, of course) decided to take today off.  He might be in tomorrow.  Maybe not.  We’ll see.  Or rather, I won’t see.  Because I don’t have lights.

This has not been my only problem with my lights.  This Friday at 6:45 pm, the fuses in my room all blew out at the same time.  Notice that I don’t say that I blew out the fuses, because I didn’t.   I was washing my hands in the sink- which is not connected to a fuse.

Of course, the direction for the foyer leaves at 7pm and doesn’t return until Monday.  This is when they told me that they would be able to fix the problem.  Luckily, I’m a resourceful girl who managed to fix the lights.  Unluckily, the fuse for the fridge (and the outlets and therefore the internet) did not work, so all my food rotted and my room smelled like I was housing a corpse… In other words, it smelled like a French fridge.

Naturally, I’m unhappy with them.  If no one comes to fix my lights tomorrow, I will give them a true American shout fest.  Thanks to my French business class, I know how to be a difficult customer.  AND DIFFICULT I SHALL BE.

You don’t make Meghan angry.  You wouldn’t like her when she’s angry.

Moving on…

Last Monday, Théo sent me a text that read, “Would you like to go to Disneyland on Saturday?”  I assumed this was a rhetorical question.  I knew what he really meant to ask was “Will you be doing anything that will render you unconscious and/or unable to move on Saturday?”

It was everyone’s birthday last week, so they all decided to go celebrate at Disneyland.  And now I know that French people all secretly like Disney.

It was negative something degrees Celsius, and yet half of Paris was at Disneyland.  The last time I went, it was about 50 degrees Fahrenheit and no one was there.  The French defy logic.  Either that or everyone thought, “No one will be as foolish as we are!  Who goes to Disneyland when it’s snowing?  Ha ha!  We have bested you all!”

French people are too fashionable to be warm in the winter.  They have stylish hats, coats, boots and scarves and stand there shivering.  This does not work well when you’re standing outside in line for 45-80 minutes.

Théo decided to be un-French, and wouldn’t let me leave for the train station until I was wearing at least 12 layers of clothing.  I couldn’t move, but at least I was warm.

Unlike the time I went with Molly, we did not have a plan of attack.  I was okay with that because of all the happiness and joy that surrounded me.  Mickey!  Goofy!  Christmas songs in English!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s also best if you go to Disney after a long night’s rest.  As most of the group had been celebrating birthdays in a pub until 2:30am, this was not the case.

I went to bed earlier than that, I would like to make it known.

Anyway, because everyone was dead/ hungover/ cold, we didn’t go on an incredible amount of rides.  But still, we got the all the big ones except for Splash Mountain, because no one goes on water rides in the cold.  Even me.  We saw many shows (or spectacles) because those were inside.  In the heat.

I saw many job opportunities.  Red-nosed Snow White, Mistletoe Minnie, not-really-Asian Mulan…  Naturally, I’m writing off this expedition as a business trip.  I might have to make several more business trips in the next few months, just to make sure it’s a good fit.  You can never be too sure.

Pain au chocolat count: 34