January 7, 2012

Day 3 : Out and about... Being Parisian.

While wandering around Paris today, the sight of this window display stopped me dead in my tracks...! "Why are there dead rats hanging in the window?!?!"

I must have blatantly looked like a tourist or foreigner, because soon after a nice Parisian man came up to me. He quickly explained to me that this window display was actually about the history of France. "Really?" I replied,"What's the story behind the rats?" If you want to hear the rest, remind me the next time I see you, and I'll happily explain. For now, I shall let you enjoy the lovely pictures below... :-)

Apparently this store is a landmark... | Destruction des Animaux Nuisibles (1er arrondissement)

Supposedly the hanging dead rats display has stayed the same since the store opened in in 1875! | Destruction des Animaux Nuisibles

As I took this picture, the nice Parisian man shook his head and said "I fear this will be the only picture you take of Paris and show to your friends back home...What will the Americans think of Paris now?!" | Window display of Destruction des Animaux Nuisibles

Stuffed dancing rats... maybe cute? surely not. | Window display of Destruction des Animaux Nuisibles

Unlike the rats, I actually didn't mind the insect art. Reminds me of Christopher Marley | Destruction des Animaux Nuisibles

January 6, 2012

Day 2 : French Etiquette 101

Il fait du soleil! Bright and early start at ESSEC | Cergy, France

Despite being severely jet-lagged, I somehow managed to survive a full day of orientation at ESSEC! Overall, it was fun meeting all of the other exchange students (50 students in total from N.America, S.America, Asia, and Australia) and getting a tour of the campus. To be honest, though, much of the day was a blur for me as my body desperately wanted to go back to sleep...

However, you'll be happy to hear I managed to stay awake during our French Etiquette 101 session, which I found quite amusing :-) Thought you'd enjoy some of the key takeaways I learned today:

Rule No. 1 : Be polite and greet each person you meet with "Bonjour" or "Bonsoir."

Rule No. 2 : When in France, master the art of "air kissing." The number of kisses depends on which region you are in, but in general, one should greet a friend with a kiss on each cheek.

Rule: No. 3 : Whatever you do, do NOT kiss your professors!

Too funny. gotta love Rule No. 3 ;-)

January 5, 2012

Day 1 : supermarket run!

After a smooth long-haul flight to London and a minor delay at Heathrow, happy to say I finally made it safe and sound here in Paris this evening! Of course, even before I could unpack my bags, my stomach insisted I make a quick dash to Franprix before it closed (at 10pm!) ... look at all the goodies I found on my first field trip to the supermarché!

Left to Right: Benenuts Bacon-flavored(!) 3D Bugles, Evian water, Innocent Kiwi-Apple-Banana Juice (feels like I'm back in the UK!), and fresh eggs.
(P.S. My new landlord was so thoughtful--stocked up my new kitchen with a Nespresso variety pack to test out the new machine. Ah, if only I drank coffee...)

January 4, 2012

France, here I come!

Bonjour mes amis!

I can't believe the day has finally come--excited to say all of my bags are packed, and I'm just about ready to head off to JFK airport in a few minutes. Next stop: Paris!

As many of you know, I've been probably dreaming of this day since I started at Chicago Booth and very much looking forward to what the next three months at ESSEC in France will bring. As I hope to keep in touch with many of you while I am away (but prefer not to broadcast every detail of my life on Facebook), I invite you all to keep in touch and follow me on my European adventures :-)

Also, please don't be a stranger--do let me know if you find yourself in Paris! Until next time...

À bientôt,
Cecile xx