I got emails and tweets asking about my experiences in Paris, especially Le Cordon Bleu.
So today I am starting with just the beginning.
I learned French language at université Lille 3 and Paris 4 but I never studied French before arriving in France. In the TGV to Lille, there was a friendly French man sitting next to me. He tried to talk to me but back then I knew only a few expressions such as bonjour, merci, and ‘Je suis desolee‘. And he couldn’t speak English. How sorry I felt about him and myself!
My first year (2004) in France was great enjoying food and music (and snow! a lot of snows in Lille).
As a student, I loved grocery shopping at supermarkets such as Carrefour and Auchant. And also I and my friends really loved afternoon gouter and Sunday lazy brunches at Le Pain au Quotidien. Oh, how happy I was when I discovered their bitter almond tiramisu! I loved this place because of their sunny terrace, everything bio, wooden interior, decent clientele, etc.
This time I started collecting cookbooks and little kitchen gadgets and making chocolate cakes with a rice cooker. There were many Korean students at university dorms, so we used to throw small parties with abundant food during weekends. My friends were art, architecture, and music majors with alternative point of view: they are not NY-centered, you know what I mean.
I also met a Japanese friend who was a voice major. We visited Theatre/Opera Le Colisée regularly. I loved attending Italian operas with French subtitles when I couldn’t understand both languages. We had always the best seats with student discount and I admired the opera singers up-close-and-personal. Tenors and countertenors surtout!, but later I was surprised when my friend told me many countertenors were gays. She explained to me the background of opera singers as well as operas. Theatre Le Colisée was small, so the orchestra members dressed in all balck had to drink coffee with us at the bar during intermissions. I felt privileged. How much I admire classical musicians!!! The venue was small but the performances were superb because they were touring opera productions created by major European opera companies.
– to be continued