>Get inspired by George W. Bush

>Bush is often critizised for being a stupid guy. This week, he didn’t try to prove anyone wrong, he just went with the flow. Do as Bush, embrace what is you. Do as Bush, love your shortcomings. Do as Bush, laugh at yourself.

Um, yeah, and follow this link so you know what I am talking about… http://www.boreme.com/boreme/funny-2006/bush-bridges-p1.php


These little hang-ups that form a life. When you go to live somewhere new it is like blowing your routines up with a big bang. But the funny part is that when the dust settles, new, fresh, little greenish, habits are beautifully framing your life, once again.

After a few months in Paris the dust has settled and I wake up every morning to my sister’s voice. She is saying “Tjolahopp” (not possible to translate) in a recording on my cell phone. Then I turn it off about three times before I get up. I shower in the most despicable shower with small flies on the walls – I endure them by singing ANC-songs from the Apartheid times. That makes the flies seem like a tiny problem. Then I get dressed – nowadays fancy office wear – and drink a yoghurt on my way to the Metro. This is a good way of “eating” breakfast even though you have slept away the time to do so. In the Metro, I grab the free paper 20 minutes. It is a competitor to the Swedish success Metro and has won me over because of the simple fact that it is half the size and thereby possible to read in the crowded Metro. I always make sure to look up to when the Metro pass the Eiffel tower, that’s a view I can never get tired of…When the weather is good I get off a station before mine and walk past fruit shops, mailmen, school kids, dog owners and everybody else on the lively 16th arrondissement street. Turning round the corner, I stop at the quartier boulangerie and buy a croissant (I promise, I do) which I eat in front of the computer when checking my emails.

I work. That is also a routine now.

On the way home my routine is not to have a routine. I always try to find a new way home. Today it will be taking Metro 6 to station Franklin D. Roosevelt, changing to M2 which will take me to Place de la Bastille. Ok, this isn’t really a straight track home, but rather to a rendez-vous with other OECD interns and with a glass of white wine.

My lovely routines which I will soon blow up.

>April in Paris?

Chestnuts in blossom?
Since Thursday, I have been sleeping, drinking juice, blowing my nose, sleeping etc. trying to get well from a mean cold. This is not what spring in Paris was supposed to be. A not so small comfort is that on Monday I finally bought “Da Vinci Code” – I must be the last one to read it. Anyway, I decided to get it en francais – and now I have had plenty of time to learn about the holy graal/sang royal as well as use the dictionary to learn word such as voûte-arch, lanière – thin strap, agenouillé – knelt. As soon as i am well, I’m off to Saint Sulpice to check out some suspicious stones.

>Orthodox Easter

>Party for two straight days, whew! *hides in room*
The Greeks celebrate the orthodox easter according to the Julian calender (read: one week too late) by going to church and retrieving the fire from Jerusalem. The fire is then carried home – we even brought it on the metro! This fire is used to burn a cross over the door for happiness the rest of the year. After that is is time to break the fast!

>Chirac is blue

Wow, Chirac and Villepin just announced they are replacing the much disliked (to say the least after two months of “manifs”) law with other measures – that is there is no more CPE. Intresting turn to this whole story. I’ll get back to you later with the reactions here in Paris.

>Enjoy statistics!

>Are statistics boring? Change your mind at Gapminder, a Swedish non-profit organization working to make statistics available to as well as interesting for the public. As an intern at the OECD I know there is too much data being unprocessed and stocked away far from a possible audience of media, academia, and ordinary curious people.

Make statistics free!

>Young protest

Political activism is on the streets of France again. The French are known for publically expressing their opinions and this time it is the CPE law which allows for employers to hire young people (under 26) without employment security to set in which is the reason for upset.

Since Thursday most of the universities in Paris have been captured and demonstrating students and others, sometimes wild ones, have been protesting against the CPE-law. Police have been numerous and working hard to put an end to demonstrations with teargas and other tough and violent methods. On Thursday 120 000 students protested peacefully in Paris , however in the end of the day the protests became violent with rockthrowing and firebombs.

Still, while universities are closing down, a bookstore was burning, thousends of people were coming together to defend labor rights it was fairly easy to miss that there is a small revolution going on in Paris, since I don’t have a TV or radio. I only realised how big this was today when I spoke to a friend who live near Sorbonne and she told me about the demonstrations. She also said was accused of “tourisme revolutionaire” when she took a photo of the demonstrations there. So tomorrow when new demostrations are scheduled all over town maybe I will leave my camera at home when I experience the demonstrations… The chant for the 13.00 demonstrations at Pere Lachaise will be “Ne laissons pas faire!” – We won’t let them do it! according to IndymediaParis. LeMonde has made a good audio/visual presentation of Thursday’s demonstrations here.

It is an important question, labor rights for all, and BBC comments that ironically it is the generation of the ’68 barricades that now cannot promise their children the same rights they themselves fought for and enjoyed.

>Internet Celebs

When I first found out I had been chosen for an internship in Paris, I wanted to learn more about Paris. So I googled, I visited sites and I read blogs. I have already told you about one of my favourite webcamsites where one can see the Eiffeltower and some other Paris sites, updated by the second (including a university computer room!?)

Anyway, I soon found a blog that left me wanting more and soon it was like I was following a quality soap. I had to log in to see what was new in “Petite Anglaise’s” life. Waiting for “the new episode” becomes quite thrilling when you know that the wait is real time. Every other day there will be a new entry, and judging from the number and content of comments I am not the only one that somehow feel I know Petite ( she calls herself more familiarily just “Petite” nowadays).

She produces quirky, funny and sometimes sad obeservations on everydaylife in Paris. To give you all an idea of the content and the style of her writing (and to keep my soap analogy going) the other characters “on the set” are “Tadpole” – young daughter, “Mr Frog” – Petite’s ex, and “Lover”.

Since mid-January, I have been following Petite’s whereabouts and I feel like I know her like I know a celebrity – some of her lovelife and thoughts, artistry and family. However, still much of her life is hidden in privacy/secrecy. Last week, I decided to make my first comment on her blog, which was caused by seeing this ad (above) in every street corner in Paris. Are the ad-makers loving her blog too?

She replied instantly. Her email read simply:

“do you fancy coming to the blog meet up thing too? Now you are here?”

But my heart jumped. When was the last time a celebrity wrote you? To ask you to come to a party? I am very excited, this weekend I am meeting an Internet Celebrity! As a plus, I get to meet up with other ex-pat bloggers in Paris – and globalization spins another turn…

>Alternative Sight-Seeing in Paris


This weekend, my siblings came for a visit. We had some great moments in the chilly Paris springtime. My sister and two brothers turned out to be real experts on what I’d like to call “alternative sight-seeing” which they performed energetically, especially after noon. This means that conventional sights, like the Louvre or the Sacre Coeur Cathedral, was of little or no interest, but that other – and maybe even more typical Parisian things – caught their attention. Here is a little list, to inspire future Paris-visitors.

  • Take photos of the climb up the Montmartre Butte (trees, stairs, feet – no views or towers)
  • Ordering fabulous “planches” (plates of bread, cheese and meats) to be consumed with wine
  • Looking at Roadworks (common here, always surrounded by green metal fences)
  • Playing cards in a café with a Café Crème in one hand
  • Playing cards in a bar with a happy hour drink in one hand
  • Walking around with a baguette under one arm
  • Listening to live jazz
  • Singing in phonebooths
  • Trying on sunglasses (for some reason Parisians love their shades and put them on as soon as the sun comes out – is it because they are divas?)
  • Sleeping inbetween two sheets – where is the påslakan?
  • Spending hours writing postcards that has nothing to do with Paris

I haven’t had so much fun in a long time.