Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunrise in Paris

Today I saw my first sunrise here in Paris. Or I was able to catch a small glimpse of it while all the beautiful colours were reflected on the houses that surround me. Because the sun actually rises on the other side of the buildning I live in. I usually get to see the sunsets in stead.

The reason I saw the sunrise? Well, apparently, all the sleeping during the weekend got back at me now. First, even though I went to bed pretty early yesterday, I didn't manage to fall asleep before something like 2 am. And at 5.45 in the morning I woke up again when my neighbour started to have some noice while she was (I guess) preparing breakfast. Then, after an unsuccessful hour of trying to fall back to sleep again, I decided I might as well just get up. So there I sat by my table, drinking tea while looking out of my window and listening to the amazingly quiet sounds of when the city slowly woke up to a new morning and a new week.

...and wondered why the hell I didn't stay in bed when I had the chanc
e! Because actually, I don't like mondays over here. I don't have any lessons (not that I have those any other day either right now...) but yet, there's nothing much I can do! Most of the museums and other cultural places are closed on mondays. And today I even wanted to visit a museum... *sigh*

But the sunrise was nice, still. Haven't seen many of those in my life. Especially not after actually sleeping during the night! :)

This is by the way not a sunrise, it's actually a sunset, admired from Pont Neuf...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lovely Finland!

How is it possible for a person to be so tired?! Yesterday I slept practically the whole day! Ok, during the actual night, I slept only something like 6 hours because there was a party here in the residence and therefor there was a lot of noice. Then I woke up at 9 in the morning, ate breakfast and... felt so sleepy that I decided to take a little nap there around 11. But the nap wasn't actually so small after all, because I woke up again at 15.30... And was like SHIT! The whole day is gone! And I was sure I wouldn't be able to sleep at all the next night, but amazingly enough, I had no problem at all falling asleep in the evening :)

Mmm... I really love sleeping :P

But a few words about the party... I had actually already decided not to go there because I still felt very sick and tired that day, but when the clock was getting close to 10 in the evening, I decided it wouldn't be any harm if I'd just check it out for a little while. But on the way downstairs I met my neighbour and she said there wasn't so many people there yet so in stead she invited me to her room and we sat there for an hour, drinking orange-juice and talked about France and our countries. She's from Algeria and speak really good french. And fast. So actually it was mainly she who spoke, I just nodded my head :D

Finally down at the party I talked with a lot of different people and was actually in the end very glad that I went there, even though I stayed only for one and a half hours (and oh yeah, all the alcohol was by the way finished already at midnight... and THAT would never happen on a party in Finland!). I met one form the Dominican Republic, two from Syria, one from Holland, some Germans and of course some French too. And it was really interesting to learn about all the different countries and especially hearing what those people knew about Finland! I was actually surprised that even the guy from the Dominican Republic knew exactly where Finland is located! Some of them knew what our capital is called, but even those who didn't remember it directly, recognized the name when I said it. Some also knew that Finland is usually listed very high on the list of welfare countries. But the thing Finland is obviously most famous for is our nature and our climate. People asked me about the nature, what it is like, if it's beautiful and if there's really as many forests as they had heard. They knew Finland is a large country and thought it was a bit funny that the most of the people still live in the south, near Helsinki. Then I also had to answer a lot of questions about the winter and the sun and the kaamos and all. They just didn't understand how people in Finland survive during the winter when it's so dark and cold. And how we are able to sleep during the astonishing summer when the sun is up so many hours. You should have seen the face of one of the Syrian guys when I told him that if you wear a scarf over your mouth when it's cold outside, it actually turns white! And that was right after he told me he usually doesn't go swimming in the sea before the water is close to 30° warm! :D

The funny thing is that one of the Germans I met, actually knew some swedish! He had been traveling around in Sweden after he finished school (and therefor he was also the first person I've met who knew Finland doens't actually belong to the scandinavian countries) and now he had started studying some swedish. But he refused to try to speak swedish with me :)

One hard thing about the party was that the girl from Holland and the guy from Germany didn't in fact speak any french because they were just visiting Paris and had come to the party with some friends from here. So I ended up switching from french to english and back to french all the time, and in the end I didn't know what language I actually spoke! :D I kept using french words even though I tried to speak english... Very annoying. It was like that too when I a few days ago wanted to explain a really complicated thing to Liss and decided to do that in english in stead of french. But it actually took several minutes for my brain to understand that I had changed the language.

But all this talk about Finland during the party made me think about home again. I later also ended up looking at a lot of old photos here on my computer and right now it feels like I begin to have had enough of France and french culture. Finland is so wonderfully...normal and understandable! :D We talked about this with Liss yesterday (it was raining outside and we were both a bit sick so I went to her place to watch the movie Chocolat while drinking loads of hot chcolate and eating chocolate of two different flavours... goody good!) and we've both understood that if nothing else, this exchange has at least thaught us to appreciate our home countries much, much more! Before we came, it was like "I want to go abroad! This country is boring! I want to see something else, someting exciting and different" but now, after two months here it's like "I wanna go home! Everything's so weird and annoying overe here! Why doens't anything work as it should? Why are everone so strange?" :D

...only 2,5 more months till I'll be back in lovely Finland again ;)

...although I have to admit that I aboslutely do not envy your "spring" this year ;P France actually do have some good sides too ;)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Le rhume de Paris...

Now it at last happened to me too. The thing I've been waiting for ever since I got to Paris. Now I've caught a cold. Like everyone else here in Paris. Seriously, there's not a single person that I know over here that hasn't been/is at the moment sick. And people in the metro keep coughing and sneezing too. So it would have been a miracle if I hadn't become ill too. But at least now I have a good reason to stay in bed till noon, drink loads of tea and eat chocolate :P Yep, I've bought my first french chocolate. It's not bad... but still nothing compared to Fazer ;)

Yesterday we thought our lessons would finally start again. But no. Sorbonne is still closed *sigh* I have to say that I actually have had enough of this strike right now. I never thought I would actually miss studying!

Oops... the chocolate is already finito... And I bought it yesterday... Hmph. I don't like these packages with only 100g of chocolate...

Yesterday I also went looking for a new evening dress because my old one... well, that's just old. And I've worne it so many times already! So since there's a lot of shops over here that sell evening dresses somehing like four times cheaper than in Finland, I decided it was time to buy a new one. And amazingly enough, I found one almost directly! Yay :)

Some time ago me and Sophie also went to discover Notre Dame. I mean, we walk pass it several times a week, but this time we actually went to have a look inside and even attended a guided tour. And that was really interesting! The guide was very inspireing and told us a lot of stories about the church and details about its history. And I really mean a lot on information! Because the tour lasted for one and a half hours! But strangely enough, I didn't even noticed how the time passed by. She was just a very good guide. We were even allowed to enter the altar-area with her even though it's usually closed for public. So it was really worth it! :)

What else? Oh, I finally figured out what the dome I see from my window is. It's actually the clocktower of Gare de Lyon! *lol* I guess it was just too close and too easy. Didn't even search there because it seemed to be much further away... But well, now I've solved the mystery.

Monday, March 23, 2009

My room

Today I've mostly stayed in my room. It seems like the strike finally is about to end, so I decided to do some reading for the courses I have here in Paris! Then I also played some piano and talked a bit about a guy living a few rooms away from me. He stoped me in the corridor and asked if I'm the new person living in room 649 and then asked if I'd mind to talk just a few minutes to get to know one another better. And even though I thought it was strange and suspicious that someone wanted to talk with a total stranger, I stayed for a little while. I guess I'm getting used to this strange kindness and interest here in France.

But actually, I'm not so interested in getting to know the poeple who lives here. Since I do so much every day here and have to use french all the time, I'm usually only happy when I'm able to just come back to my room and be all alone. But now, if I get to know some people in the residence, someone can come and knock on my door anytime they want! I'd rather like to choose for myself when I want to be social and when I don't...

Anyway, since I've spent so much time in this room today, I thought it's finally time to show you some pictures from where I live at the moment. And since a picture says more than a thousand words, here we go!

Well, here's both my "bathroom" and my very small kitchen with that one single hot plate to cook food with... But at least I found something that makes cooking a bit more fun:

Mrs Salt and Mr Pepper, who's flirting with each other every day. Who knows where this will end?

And here's the view when I enter my room. My table underneath the window with the horrible curtains! The colour is almost ok when the sun is shining like in the picture, but in the evenings they're just ugly... And yeah, my computer is of course the centre of the room :D There I do everyting. Study, listen to music, look at my photos, chat with my friends.

My bed is in a strange kind of corner where the roof is much lover than in the rest of the room. Haven't figured out yet what that's good for. One the wall you can also see my two posters. Yeah, I've bought another one now. It was not the one I've been looking for but still ok :)

And here's the final view with my door, my bookshelf (with a very few actual books...) and my wardrobe. On the small wall on the left, opposite to my bed, I have established "a wall of fame":

All the mails I've gotten so far :)

And to get something to think about every time I walk trough my door, I found these postcards in the lobby:

From left to right it says:
- "Pour vous, l'aventure, c'est maintenant... ou jamais?" (in english: For you, the adventure is right now... or never?)
- "Et vous, ça vous arrive de penser aux autres?" (And you, do you ever think about others?)
- "Et vous que faites-vous de votre talent?" (And you, what do you do with your talent?)

...or something like that... Even though I know exactly what they mean in french, I just didn't seem to find a good translation for the... :)

Yeah... so this is my home at the moment. Quite big actually if I compare it to for example the one-room flats of Sophie or Liss! And I've really tried to make it cosy, but on the other hand, it's only for five months (or less than tree months left now) so it feels on the same time a bit unnecessary to put down too much effort on it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Travel journal, part 4: Orléans

Yesterday I once again went to discover a new place! Me and Liss (Sophie is enjoying the sunshine in the south of France...) took the train to Orléans, about 130km to the south of Paris. This was really a very beautiful city with the river Loire floathing trough it. I actually thought it was almost like being somewhere i the south! Especially when a lot of the houses by the river where white.

We walked a lot by the river because it was just so beautiful and calm, not at all like in Paris where there's always the traffic wherever you go. The athmosohere in Orléans was also very different to the athmosphere in Paris. People seemed... I don't know... perhaps happier? Every time we entered a shop, someone said "Bonjour" in a very lively way. And everyone was so nice and friendly! I don't think I met anyone who was as grumpy as some people in Paris! There was even some strangers in the street that came and talked to us when they noticed we were foreigners.

I've heard several times that all the rest of France thinks the parisians are snobby and unpolite and perhaps that's true. I just haven't noticed it before since the parisians still are much more talkative than finns :) But I guess Orléans is more like the "real France".

What do you think of this? Isn't it lovely! :) An old man singin in the street with that thing I don't know the name of and a young father dancing with his daughter. Idyllic, isn't it? Even the locals gathered around him to listen! I shot this video in the old town, just after we had eaten a Quiche Lorraine (a very traditional pie with ham and cheese) in a nice little café.

In Orléans I also went to have an extempore haircut. It was a bit cheaper than in Paris so I thought why not? My hair doesn't look much different, though... Still long but at least now it doesn't look like I haven't cut it for a very long time.

Orléans is also famous for Jeanne d'Arc who saved the city from being taken over by the englishmen in 1429. Therefor there were statues of her everywhere!

Here's kind of the city center of Orléans with Jeanne d'Arc sitting on a horse in the middle of the square. Not far from here there was also the house of Jeanne d'Arc, i.e. a house where she lived when she visited this city. But the house was actually nothing special. It was reconstructed in 1965 and the museum inside was quite boring. But apart from that museum, I liked Orléans very much! I'm glad I went there :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Searching for Kupolen!

I can see a dome from my window here in Paris and I'd very much like to know what it is! But as soon as I get outside and start walking towards it, it seems to disappear! I don't understand how it's possible! I've tried to look for it several days now but I just can't find it. Very annoying!

Here's some other places I've found in stead, not only during my search of the dome but during other walking tours in the city too :)

This is Place des Vosges which was build by king Henry IV for some purpose I don't remember at the moment... :)

And here you can see the famous Pont Neuf! :) I actually took this picture to show you how big the leaves are on some trees over here already! All of the trees doesn't look like that yet but this city is getting greener and greener for every day that passes by... Unfortunately it seems like the allergy has also started disturbing me... *sigh*

Yesterday me and Liss went to Bois de Vincennes. That's the biggest park in Paris, actually three times bigger than Central Park in New York. We had read on the internet that you can rent bikes over there and discover the whole area. But when we got there, they told us that the winter season doesn't end before the middle of april and therefor there was no bikes nor was almost anything open. So we decided to do something else in stead and return there in april.

Before we left, we did have a look at Château de Vincennes, though:

This should be the most famous tower of that castle. The whole fortress was build in the 14th century and also played an important role for the king while he was using the Bois de Vincennes for his hunting-hobby.

Afterwards, we went to Jardin de Luxembourg and ate some lunch while enjoying the sunshine. I think it's been really hot the two last days and I really don't understand some french people who still wear thick winter jackets! I mean, for me it feels like a chilly summer day in Finland!

Snufkin and my lizard says hello to all of you! They very much enjoed chilling in the park too! :) Thank you once again, Marie, for sending me a new Snufkin pin! As you can see, I haven't lost this one yet! Hopefully it'll keep going strong on my bag. I've also been surprised of how much attention the green lizard made out of a circuit board (the one Eerika gave me last birthday) gets over here! Almost every day I've worne this jacket there's been someone who's commented on it and said it was nice/beautiful/sweet/interesting. Even total strangers in the metro! Didn't think something I've brought with me from Finland would have drawn so much attention in Paris - the city where you can find almost everyting! Amazing...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wonderful, wonderful spring!

I've been spending a lot of time outdoors lately because the weather is just so lovely! The sun is shining and it's around +15° warm! Yesterday I even walked without my coat on for a while! Perhaps I'll soon even get tanned! :P

Makes me wonder why people ever moved to Finland? And why do so many still stay there when they just end up feeling cold and depressed during the never ending winter?

...but don't worry, I'm not going to stay here in France forever! At least not this time ;)

Today I met some people from Finland, yay! Monna and Larissa came to Paris (I know them from ÖFN and Monna actually studies in Montpellier at the moment) so I showed them around a bit. Or at least I tried. This city is so big that I haven't really got to know it yet. I just know the major monuments and the quartiers around Sorbonne and where I live. The rest is still a bit blurry. Or a lot blurry... :) I still find new streets every day, even though I would just go out for a short walk in the neighbourhood.

While I waited for their train to arrive, I walked a bit around Gare de Lyon, the trainstation nearest me. Here's by the way what it looks like:

As you can see, the clock tower is inspired by Big Ben in London. The whole station was actually build for the World Exposition of 1900 and therefor, a real masterpeace. Very beautiful with a lot of decorative details.

On one side of the station I found a perfect "hidingplace":

So I sat down there for a while, face towards the sun and read a chapter in my new french pocket book. It's already my fourth french pocket book since I arrived! Almost feeling proud of myself :D But still have to look up a lot of words in the dictionnary and it's a actually a bit frustrating when I seem to forget the word I just looked up the moment I get back to reading. But I hope at least some of the words will stay in my head and be added to my vocabulary! Because I really want to improve my french. Otherwise this spring will be a really useless way of spending all the money I have on my poor bank account...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A very good weekend in Paris!

Yesterday Parismus organized a treasure hunt in Montmartre, i.e. a kind of orienteering in the city. And that was fun! Because even though I've been walking around in Montmartre already many times, there's still a lot of places I haven't seen! And now, along with this hunt, I walked on even some very small streets and also got a lot of new information about the quartiers and the history of Paris. Because during the hunt, we also had to find the right answers for a lot of different questions.

Although I was in a group with four french girls and they did everything so fast that I didn't even have time to finish reading the question :D And all of us foreigners noticed the french were very ambitious! We Erasmus-students mostly went there because we wanted to meet new people and see more of Montmartre, the treasure hunt was only a funny way of doing that. But the french really took it very seriously and almost ran from place to place. However, since it wasn't so warm yesterday it was in fact pretty good to be in a hurry :)

In the evening I went to a "soirée polonais" at Marcins place and there we tasted some polish vodka. And oh, I really needed an evening like that! It just felt so good and I felt so at home there! You know, just hanging around with friends, drinking vodka, eating chips and... well, simply having a good time! We even ended up singing some drinking-songs! (poor neighbours...) :D And the shots we drank were very interesting! It was vodka with some red juice and then a few drops of tabasco. You should try it! A bit different but not bad at all! Quite the contrary actually!

Sometime during the evening we for some reason changed to english for a while but even though I thought that would have felt easier, it was actually horrible! I didn't find any words and my accent was so awful! I listened to myself talking and was like "What?! Is that really me talking?! Horrible!". So in the end, I was, strangely enough, rather reliefed when we changed back to french again! Funny... :)

Even though I reached home pretty late (and survived the nightbuses in Paris, with changes and all!) I still woke up before nine this morning. Maybe because the sun was shining? Don't know... But anyway, I went out for a walk again, enjoying the sunshine and the warm spring weather. It almost felt hot when the sun warmed up my semi-dark clothes!

Today I walked to the botanical gardens of Paris because apparently, that park is really close to where I live! And on the way there, I crossed the river Seine and was really surprised when I saw Notre Dame not too far away either! Perhaps this city isn't so big as I thought after all! :)

This is the main part of the park. They had already started to bed out some flowers and I was just so happy when I saw that! First flowers this spring! :) And there was a shrub that had also already started blooming.

It must be a very early species, but still :) It's amazing how so small things like the first flowers of the year can make you so happy...

And I liked this small house very much, it looks a bit like a small Moomin-house, doesn't it?

Then I also saw two scouts walking through the park and that gave me a spelndid idea! Why not try to make some contact with some local scouts now that I'm here? That would be a nice way of practising my franch and also to meet some french people! So I looked up the french scouting organization and found the e-mail address to some scouts near me. Yay! Now I'm just hoping they'll answer me soon so that I can get started :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Clearing my head

It's funny how little people actully change after a certain age. I remembered publishing some of my English essays here on the blog after finishing school (in february 2006) and when I read them again it was so... recognizable. I could very well write something like that today too. Especially the first essay about ruling the world. Because even though I've already seen and experienced much more of the world, I'm still awfully naive. And childish. I really do wear pink glasses. And I'm still not ready to take them off. Perhaps I'll never be ready?

I've really been thinking a lot lately (that's what I do when I've got too much spare time, apologies to all my friends who have been forced to listen to my complainings!) so to clear my head, I've noticed it's good to go for a walk while listening to some good music. Apparently there's some kind of artist's quartiers near me with a lot of shops that sell antiquities. Probably very expensive too... But it's free to look :) The buildings were very nice:

I like red brick houses. They're beautiful and makes this city a bit more colourful. Because I've noticed that most of the houses here in Paris actually have this pretty dull greyish colour. So if you look at the panorama of the city, it's grey no matter what kind of weather it is!

And therefor I was pretty happy and also surprised when I suddenly realized a few days ago that the house I live in is actually a red brick house too! I guess I had never really looked at it before...

I by the way live on the sixth floor. Or well, according to our way of counting floors in Finland, I live on the seventh floor. Because in France the ground floor is floor nr. 0. I can't actually decide which way of counting I like more. They're both good :)

Well, now I gotta go again :) C ya!

Friday, March 13, 2009

And the strike continues!

What a surprise! (Not!) I've been here one and a half months already and have had something like 5 lessons... Very useful indeed... But at least now one of the teachers has promised no student will suffer from the strike, we'll get our credits anyway. So that was good news!

But on the other hand I'm a bit annoyed when I think about that I could actually have finished my bachelor's degree in history last Christmas if I hadn't decided to go abroad. And now that I'm here, doing practically nothing at all, it feels a bit cui bono. Because now I also have to wait one year before I can apply for the class teacher education next time since the test is in may and the interview in the beginning fo june, i.e. when I'm still in Paris. *sigh* Well, at least I hope I don't have to start all over again and study five more years. least I think it's class teacher I wanna be... I've actually also been thinking about kindergartner... But I think class teacher suits both my visions and my interests better. I hope. Oh, it's always so hard to make decisions about the future... But I actually have a pretty good plan, even a subject for my pro gradu, so perhaps I just have to stick to this plan now and stop thinking and worrying too much :)

Anyway, now that we don't have any lessons, I've got a lot of time to do other stuff (apart from reflecting over my future life...). Like crocheting a cap! :)

Still have to figure out how to decorate the cap... perhaps with a yellow flower? Or some colourful buttons? My new mission is to bring more colours back to Finland! :D I've also bought some colourful trinkets I can shock the dull and grey finns with :P Hihii...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Almost bored...

*sigh* Once again half a day has gone by without me doing anything in particular... I'm almost getting bored and hoping our lessons will start again soon! ...but only almost... ;)

Why is all the happenings always consentrated to the evenings and weekends? Why not start the day by doing something fun in the morning? Well ok, then there's always the fact that you have to get up in time... But say, for example at eleven or twelve? In stead you now start your morning by slowly eating breakfast and then sitting down, waiting for the inspiration to do something (read: homework) to come. And that never comes! So after a few hours of doing nothing, you have to force yourself to start working. And forcing oneself to do something is never nice.

It doesn't by the way look very good with the lessons at the moment. Yesterday students were buildning barricades of chairs and tables to block the Sorbonne. And there's different demostrations almost every day now. Rumours say that the strike will continue till the end of march. Ok, don't have anything against a long holiday, but then, on the other hand, if we can't study, how will we get the credits we need? And if there will be a long strike, they might also extend the spring semester till the end of june to compensate it. Well, well... we'll see...

Guess where we had dinner yesterday? At Hard Rock Café Paris :P So now I've seen that too.

It was a very nice evening indeed, with good company and good music. And the dessert was pure joy! *slurps* But I'm glad I shared it with Sophie because after the food I was already full. The portions are enormous!
It's true Hard Rock Café is so far from being french as can be, but I liked what Sophie said about that: "I think I've had enough of France and their habbits and want to for at least one evening do something not french!" :D And it's true... with the strike and all, we've really experienced the french culture as it is ;) And, I've even started to get annoyed when the musicians come and play in the metro, beging for money. They destroy the good music I listen to with my iPod! Don't they understand that they can't just come and disturb me when I listen to ABBA or Coldplay?! That's just rude! *lol*

And hey! I'm a genious! I realised that my blanket is big enough to fold it doubled! So last night, I for the first night here in Paris slept without socks! Yay!

...still wearing a scarf, though... because it's still cold outside the blanket...

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Different kind of art

Yesterday I went to see the Catacombs of Paris, a huge underground "graveyard" where about 6 million former parisians rest. It's very impressive in a macabre kind of way. Here's a few pictures:

Imagine that it has actually been somebody's job to organize these bones! And in different shapes... I saw for example a heart made of sculls. And there were this one place where you were able to see inside the catacombs and not just these organized frontage and the sight was unbelievable! So many bones!! It actually felt a bit surreal. It was hard to imagine that those bones actually have been real human beeings...

And since we were below the groundwater level, it was very humide down there. There was even water dropping from the roof and once we got out, our cloths were very damp. So I felt a bit cold... Quite suitable after a visit with the dead ;)

In the eveing I actually felt a bit sick (like everyone else in this town...) so I went to bed really early, already at nine. And I must really have been tired because I slept till almost nine in the morning. I remember waking up sometime during the evening/night and heard that my neighbour was home and listened to music, loud as usual. But eventhough that usually disturbes me, I went right back to the sleep again. Amazing! And apparently a 12 hours sleep can do miracles because today I felt good again. So, to celebrate that and the international women's day I went to the baker and bought a croissant for breakfast. It was still warm. And sooo good :P Then I also went to Louvre again to go through another part of this enormous museum. Today I saw the rooms of Napoleon III. They were really beautiful with a lot of golden details and red velvet all around. And huge chandeliers hanging from the roofs! The youthcard to the Louvre (that has a very interesting picture...) has really payed off! I think one ticket to Louvre costs perhaps something like 7-9€, but by buying this card for 15€, you can go there as often as you like. And thereby you don't have to exhaust yourself by running through everything in just one day. Because there's really a lot worth seeing.

Yeah, well, the picture... Among all the hundreds of paintings in the Louvre, they chose this one for the youthcard:

It just doesn't stop confusing me... But perhaps they thought it'll attract young people. Don't know...

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Gazing at the Eiffel tower...

Well, now I think I've seen all the major monuments here in Paris. Yesterday we had actually planned to visit Louvre again, but since the weather was so nice, me and Liss decided to do something outside in stead. So we took the metro to the Arc de Triomphe, took some compulsory photos and then walked over to the Eiffel tower. Didn't climb up, though, since there were too many tourists. But at least I've seen it now :)

And isn't this just so parisian?

There happened to be a photoshooting near the Eiffel tower when we walked by, and I just couldn't resist taking a few photos too :P Just so... I don't know... like straight from a picture from a fashion magazine! :) After this, we walked some more, ate some icecream and then went windowshopping. Suddenly we noticed that it was already 8 o'clock and all the shops were closing. So we went home to Liss in stead and watched the movie Finding Neverland. And that was just soooo good! I loved it! ...and almost cried in the end... but only almost! *proud* :) Those of you who haven't seen it yet, go and watch it! It's worth it!

Usually I don't feel insecure when I walk through the city late in the evening, but I have to say that I'm very glad I don't live in those quarters where Liss lives. I have a feeling that's not the best part of this town. A lot noice all the time and lots of people just hanging around in the corners, watching everyone who walkes by. Gotta admit that I felt pretty relieved once I reached the metro.

Oh yeah, haven't told you about the opera yet either. Well, first of all, this was our view:

It was better than I thought it would be, actually. And in fact, I didn't mind so much. This opera was the first major opera by Mozart, so the plot was very, very simple and the whole spectacle was very slow too. Nothing much actually happened. The whole opera was a big cry of suffering and agony! But I was still very glad we went because it was worth it! And I think I would actually have been much more angry about the view if it had been a really good opera because then I would have missed a lot. Now I could just be very content and enjoy the athmosphere. Because it was very fancy. The big, golden room was actually closed because after the opera a lot of people went there to have supper so there were already lots of fine tables set for dinner. That would have een nice to experience too but I think that way over my budget here! :D

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Music, music and some more music

Yay! The strike continues! You know whar that means? I don't have to get up at 6.30 tomorrow morning!! Isn't that just wonderful? :P I really thought I was going to die both yesterday and on tuesday when my alarmclock rang that early. I was soooo tired! But today was better, I slept till 9.30 :)

There was by the way an occupation of the university yesterday so the whole building was surrounded by policemen. Nobody was allowed to get inside after 5 pm and we who had had lessons had some trouble getting out of there. Pretty cool :P

Today I went to Forum des Halles, a huge shopping center, and there I found a musical library with loads of sheetmusic! It was my pianoteacher who told me to go there to find another version of the Walz by Chopin, because apparently (she thought) the version I have is not correct at all! (Yes Nina, it's the version you've given me! *lol*). But there were lots of other, fun music sheets too! Like for example Disney-songs! Hihii! And since it isn't that expensive to make copies there, I'll probably take with me home loads of new music sheets to play on the piano :P

...Although, I think the library at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki is a bit bigger... But they don't have as much contemporary music than over here.

Well, gotta go now. Opera tonight ;) C ya!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Spring and distraction

I think that the spring has actually arrived in Paris. It's getting warm outside and the sun is shining almost every second day now! Yay! I've even changed to my spring coat! I have to admit it feels a bit weird when everyone in Finland talkes about the snow or how they're going to go skiing etc. Because at the moment, I can hardly remember what snow is like. Or imagine what -10 degrees feels like.

But along with the spring, comes distraction. I just don't seem to be able to focus on anything right now. When I try to read, I end up stearing out of my window, thinking about everyone back home or planning something more interesting to do than doing homework. Like playing the piano. I finally had my first pianolesson here in Paris. The teacher, Nina, seems very nice but also pretty rigorous so I guess I actually have to really practise my homework :P The only problem is that I can't compleately relax here by the piano at the recidense. Because the walls are so thin that I know everyone in the corridor can hear when I play. And probably those too who live above. And still added to this, the whole wall towards the corridor only consist of big windows. So that means, that the poeple in the corridor can not only hear me play but also see me playing! And that's very distracting... and unconfortable. But well, I guess I just have to get used to it.

I by the way finally bough a poster for my room:

But since it's only the size of A4, it looks rather small on the wall so I guess I have to find another one too. I actually know which one I'd like to have (another poster by Alphonse Mucha) but I just can't find it anywhere. Luckily I have a plan B too :)

On sunday, when it was the first sunday of the month, most of the museums here in Paris had a free entrance. So we took advantage of that and went to Centre Georges Pompidou and its museum of modern art. I'm actually not such a big fan of modern art but somehow I still always manage to find something interesting. I especailly like colourful, abstract paintings. Not because I find some kind of message in them, but rather because the colours please me :)

However, this one I found very amusing too:

It's a painting by Picasso, called The Violon. It's a shame there wasn't such a painting of a piano too. That would have been nice to see.