American Woman in Paris

American Woman in Paris

This is about my unique view of a unique city and from a unique life perspective. To see more of my photos go to

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I left Paris for Los Angeles on Feb. 7th. I will be living in Los Angeles for the foreseeable future. I loved Paris but found it to be economically not viable for me. My work history is a sinuous route at best and that does not work well for the French working world. Maybe I will be able to come back again in the future under different circumstances. Bisous until then.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas on my street. The lights are up all over Paris. Most of the commercial streets participate in putting up decorative Christmas light banners.

Ha ha! One of my students shared this fortified wine with us on the last day of class. We had been reading an article that mentioned it and my student offered to bring some for us to taste. How cool is that! They are adult students by the way.

I laughed every time we saw reference to the wine because of the "Mac". I couldn't help thinking about it being a MacDonald's wine! It was quite a strong wine that would be typically used for the "apéro" apperitif.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I saw this sign a few days ago on my street. I asked myself how a proper company could make such a mistake. This is not a mom and pop store but a brand name make-up and skin care store. Don't they consult translators when they make a sign using another language to make sure that they have done it correctly?

Today I went inside to let them know that the company had made an error. That was my mistake. The woman seemed rather put out by the fact that I had tried to point out to her an error that the marketing had made. She kept repeating that she didn't know what it said and that she had nothing to do with the sign. That would be true but wouldn't one want to know that a sign had been badly made and pass the message along?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I have an expo of my photos going on just outside of Paris and there are just under 2 weeks left. If you are in town, it would be lovely if you can drop by. Click on the photo to see the address.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

It has now been 2 months since the surgery and I am feeling quite a bit better but not nearly 100%.

For the hospital visit, one is required to bring all personal toilet articles including wash cloth and towel. So my first night there I spent in my own pyjamas and not in the nearly nekked johnnies of home. The night before the operation I had to take a shower and double wash myself with an antiseptic soap that burned my skin. Then the next morning just before the operation, I had to do the same thing again, wash from the top of my head down to my toes two times with this soap. I felt as dry and crispy as a piece of paper. Then it was time for the embarrassing outfit. And I hadn't shaved my legs in I don't know how long due to it being winter and my skin being ultra sensitive so I was thoroughly red in the face when they transferred me to the gurney.

It was the classic movie view of the lights going past my face and then into the surgery room itself where they started the anesthesia. Something in the drip made my whole body start tingling and twitching and I began to thrash around. I can just remember the staff holding me down as I was passing out.

I woke up in the recovery room and it took about an hour to really become conscious I think. I had to go pee so badly but I wasn't able to get up therefore they brought the ....bedpan. Ugh. What an awful experience that was. It feels like you are peeing for 15 minutes and then you have to try to push it out because there is no gravity and when you have done all you can, you still don't feel empty. And of course it is messy. Blech. Not that long after I had to do it again naturally.

Finally, enough time had gone by to be able to go back to my room and again the moment of my hairy legs being uncovered as I was transferred back to my own bed. They also put a bedpan near my bed for me. I still had to pee but I refused to call for the bedpan and slowly got myself up and walked with the IV tree to the bathroom. That was much better. Finally relief.

I must say that the nurses were superb. It was the nurse who told me finally that all my hypothyroid symptoms were because of the nodule and should go away after the surgery and the healing. The food was okay but the proportions for a normal eater were huge. Either I eat way less than normal or what they think of as normal is extra. Yes, they asked me what size meal I would eat. That was a surprise.

The next morning, I was discharged as all was okay. I had read in the pamphlet that you could get a ticket for a taxi but I didn't know that it was something that you had to arrange ahead of time. In my still groggy head, I thought I would just take the metro.

Before I left, I had to set up my 6 week check up and the nurse at the desk asked me if someone was taking me home. I told her that I was going to take the metro as there was no one available and started crying. After surgery shock. She looked at me with shock and said that it was impossible that I take the metro so she took me over to the lady who arranged the taxis. I told her that I only had 10 euros with me and that was not going to get me home. She borrowed another 10 from the other nurse. When I tried to see her badge in order to repay her when I came back, she covered it up and said not to worry about it.

Then the taxi driver came and was super nice too. I told him right up front that I only had 20 euros and that he could let me out at a metro when it got to that amount. He said not to worry about it and sure enough, he drove me all the way home even though by the end the meter was showing 27 euros. I gave him the 20 and all the change that I had. He graciously accepted it and again repeated that I shouldn't worry about it. And some people say the French are cold.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

So we are going to see first hand what the French medical system is like now.

I have been going through a series of tests with the end result being that I need to have half of my thyroid removed due to a very large nodule that has grown on the left side. I had a consultation with the surgeon and that went well. It was also very cheap.

I do have the social security coverage now but it only covers a percentage of things and that percentage changes depending on some unknown system. It was only 7 euros to see the surgeon. A regular doctor visit is usually around 22 euros and that too has a changing percentage on how much is covered. One time they only paid half.

Most people buy a Mutual to cover the extra costs but they average around 50 euros a month for an average coverage. I can't afford that right now so I have applied for something called CMU which is a state coverage for those who fall under a certain income. It will allow me to be 100 percent covered. But you have to wait a minimum of 2 months to get your response. Slow. I may or may not know before the surgery. They told me that if I am accepted then I will be covered retroactively to the first of January so yeah!

I don't know how much longer my hard drive is going to work today so I will sign off and add more later. I can't believe that after only 3 three years my mac mini hard drive is giving up the ghost. I already had to replace the DVD drive as it went bad. Grrr. I used to have a high opinion of Apple but it is falling. I suppose I could have just found the lemon but I am not holding my breathe that Apple will give a damn.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

After having lived here in Paris for almost 2 years, I finally went on a bateau mouche ride on the Seine. My friend P* works for the company taking photographs and offered a visit to me.

I had intended to take the cruise during the sunset period but miscalculated the time of arrival. The metro stop I had intended to use was closed. It was okay though because I was able to watch P* at work and see what a portion of her job was like. Busy! She can move fast. Not only is her job taking photos of the clients on the boat but she also takes her turn on the stand selling them. She told me that in the summer when the boats are coming in every 20 minutes it is insane. I can only imagine.

The ride was quite cold due to it still being winter but I have to say that I found it also to be rather calming. There is always something about being on or near the water that just seems to calm the soul. Is it a subtle reminder of the womb or the birth of man from the ocean?

It was a new perspective on buildings to which I have become quite accustomed. In the evening lights the familiar edifices glow. From the water they seem even more imposing from the low angle. I was much more aware of the intricacies of the architecture of Notre Dame. It really is a stunning masterpiece of architecture.