Once again I have been awhile for what - in twitter and tumblr time - must be something like a millennium. Sorry everyone - this fast life is hard to keep up with. I don’t know how the party rockers do it. ;}
At any rate (assuming I don’t lose my internet connection again) I will soon be posting a few new things about being back in Korea, going to Sogang University, infatuation, friends, FOOD, creepers, and Samuel Park author of the Amazon Best Book of 2011, a People magazine “Great Reads in Fiction,” Today Show’s “Favorite Things,” a Kirkus Reviews’ Editor’s Pick, and an Indie Next List Notable Book - This Burns My Heart.
So stay tuned!
Last Day in Lugano! Notices and More Tips for incoming Frankliners
It’s surreal, and I almost can’t believe it.
This time last year, I was going through my routines and thinking “None of this is real. In the morning I’ll wake up and they’ll tell me ‘Welcome to High School’. The last 4 years have all been a dream.” But, of course, they weren’t and then I went off for my first year of college, and now I’m going around in a daze again.I can’t believe it’s already been a year!
But all my sentimentality aside, here’s what you should know - especially if you are an incoming student for the fall semester at Franklin College Switzerland!
1) So I’m going back to the States tomorrow and will be in the air or at the airport until 23.00/ 11pm Arizona Mountain time. Then I’m going to sleep for an entire day. I will get back to answer questions and messages the following day. If you need me message me here or at @sujanie on twitter, or facebook (I’m on the class of 2016 page), or you can even reach me through youtube (SujanieinDreamland). If you want my skype or my e-mail just ask through a private message. ^.^
2) Very soon, the rest of the AM team and I will be uploading an introductory video to the Franklin College 2016 facebook page! We basically just want you to be able to match names to faces (and forgive us if we look like hot messes; we literally came out of our finals testing rooms and just filmed for you guys).
3) I’m so serious about not over-packing! 1 to 2 bags is enough! I promise you, you’re going to accumulate so much at Franklin, you will hate yourself at the end of the year when you have to pack and you have too much crap. DON’T DO IT!
4) Get your paperwork in early. There’s a lot of administration leaving and new people coming to fill the empty positions, so everything at Franklin is going to be hectic for the next few months. Save yourselves the trouble by taking care of your to-do’s today!
5) And finally from June 22 - June 25 I’m going to be a little slow in responding to anything as I will be traveling back to Korea to see family, friends, and take some summer courses. But June 26 everything should be up to speed again. Thanks for reading!
Free Tibet - Paris, France
This has been on my mind since I saw it in person, our first day in Paris. I should have posted about this long ago, but I felt I didn’t have the opportunity to sit down and properly write a post about it until now. Please forgive me for not doing this in a more timely manner.
On our first day in Paris we took a guided tour. One of our stops took us to a spot where you could - on a sunny day - take a nice, scenic picture of the Eiffel standing behind you (see my post of Paris, France). When we got off the bus, our guide said, “Huh. Well if you look over there - there’s a Free Tibet protest.”
Naturally, I looked over there and there was, indeed, a Free Tibet Protest. This was in the last week of October after several Tibetan monks had self-immolated themselves in the hopes to further along their cause. What is their cause?
The freedom of their people and the reinstatement of their basic rights.
Since 1950, Tibet has been under Chinese occupation, and many monks have fled in order to escape persecution. Since then, Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns have ceaselessly used protests and other campaign strategies in an attempt to change the Chinese governments policies regarding them, their people, and their nation. Recently, however, a rising number of monks and nuns have resorted to self-immolation (lighting oneself on fire), and the situation has become increasingly more urgent and dire.
The Tibetan people are asking for help - they need a real and concrete change.
I believe we can make that happen.
For information check out websites like:
Eating Out In…Paris, France!
La Belle Ferronniere (again!) - :-) :-) :-) :-) ;-) (5 smiles)
Do you remember the first post featuring La Belle Ferronniere?
Well, Emily and I loved it so much we had to go back. I think that, in itself, says a lot for this cafe/restaurant/bar. We went a earlier than we had the last time and stayed for about an hour and a half again (maybe a little longer or a little less), and we had just as wonderful a time as we did the first time we went.
We had a different waiter this time. Another wonderfully nice and helpful guy who looked smashing in his uniform. I actually put forth some effort and tried a little French (which was horrible), and he smiled and encouraged me even though we both knew I should never have even attempted. The guys at La Belle Ferronniere are too sweet! They are also very attentive (in case I forgot to mention this the first time I reviewed Ferronniere) - even though they all wait on about a bagillion people (hugely exaggerated I know), they still make sure to check on your table or catch your eye to see and make sure that you have everything you want. And while the place stays rather busy, you never get the crowded feeling that many places tend to have once the busy hours come along. And on a side note, the waiter seated us at the same table we had from our first visit! I was so happy!
We wanted to order actual meals or “real food” since all we got the last time were drinks and cake. So I ordered a BLT on a baguette and fries, while Emily got this sandwich that looked awesome and came with an egg on top. It was cool looking and smelled wonderful (and also seemed to be a favorite amongst other clients as well). Unfortunately, it smelled so wonderful that Emily ate it before I got get a picture of it. I was also extremely preoccupied with my BLT and fries. So much great, delicious food.
We really wanted to stay longer and get desert, but we were on a serious time crunch and needed the snack money for later. I’m still thinking about it though, and I’m already back in Lugano, Switzerland.
Prices were still good. For my BLT and fries it was about 9 Euro, and Emily’s sandwich with fries came to about the same. It was a good deal and definitely worth it for what we got. I finished everything even though I was full halfway through eating it all. It was that good.
I think you know by know how I feel about this place. If you ever get the chance to eat or drink here, please do. It’s really awesome, and I think you’ll like it to. Maybe not as much as me, but I can hope. ; )
Eating Out In…Paris, France!
I’m beginning to feel like the majority of my time spent in Paris was in restaurants…
Oh well. C’est la vie!
La Nation - :-) (1 smile)
So this is our last night in Paris, and we went out to meet with some friends who were also in the city on Academic travel. Our friends suggested we go to this spot because we were all craving either Mexican or Chinese and this place had nachos. Little did we know it would turn out to be a pompous French restaurant masquerading as a Mexican joint! The waiter who seated us and waited on us was just rude. He did one of those little scoff/smirks when he found out we were American, and he refused to let either Emily or our friend Medina use their French. He also forgot our dishes which prolonged the dining fiasco that was our dinner. I know that there were others working that night, but our waiter effectively sat us in a corner away from everyone else so I couldn’t even tell you if the other waiters seemed nice or not. But I can tell you that if you talked to any of the other ladies there (especially Medina) they would have more to say on how unfriendly and unwelcoming the service was for us.
I order barbequed chicken and guacamole chips. The chicken tasted “funny” to me, and the guac was pretty weak. I’m not sure if they made it themselves or if it was a mix, but it was really liquidy and didn’t have much flavor at all.
Quesadillas were ordered as well as fish sticks and nachos. The only people who were satisfied at all with their food were Emily (with the fish sticks) and Michelle (who had only nachos). I tried the nachos - not bad, but nothing special. Medina ordered the quesadillas and was thoroughly disappointed. I tried them - I was thoroughly disappointed.
I kept think how is everything cold and flavorless? And why is stuff so runny?!
Wildly over-priced. ‘Nough said.
1 smile only because they were French people trying to make Mexican food. Cultural barriers must have played a role in this somehow. But I will tell you that I can’t stand bad service - especially when I’m hungry and I haven’t even gotten my food yet. I do understand that sometimes people have hard days, but the waiter just was just a jerk because we were Americans. I hope that this was just our experience and that usually it’s much better. Make you’ll go and have a great meal and a good time?
Just so everyone knows - the picture in the middle is me eating snail. They’re actually quite tasty; I’d say if you like scallops, you’ll like snails. If not then…don’t order them?
Eating Out In…Paris, France!
Brasserie de la Tour Eiffel :-) :-) :-) :- (3.5 smiles)
WARNING! You must pay 50 Euro cents to use the bathroom! On the bright side you are literally just a short walk away from the Eiffel Tower (which is probably why it is in the name of the restaurant, no?)
So we came here because we were so hungry and we were killing time until the Eiffel sparkled (when all the lights flash in a way that gives the structure the appearance of sparkling). We also had to eat here because I was determined to eat escargot so I could tell everyone back home that I actually did it.
Now, when we sat down there wasn’t really too many people and even fewer staff members. No problem. Or so we thought? Emily was speaking her beautiful French and I was attempting something like Engtalian (a weird hybrid of English and Italian which is as awkward as the name I have given it), and the waiter (who I have a strange feeling was also the owner) seemed to be warmer to me than Emily. I thought of him as a warm, grandpa kind of guy - Emily, on the other hand, did not appreciate him at all. I would say something weird that at first didn’t seem to make sense so Emily would translate in her wonderful French and he’d be put-off by it and say “I got it.” It also seemed to take him a while longer than was necessary to bring our food and then the check, seeing as we were 2 out of maybe 8 people in the whole restaurant. But I don’t think we can rightfully say anything about how long the dishes and the service should have taken. We have no idea how many people were in the kitchen and what all they had to make, etc., etc.
In essence - I thought the service was cool, but that’s only because he was nice to me. He mentioned when he gave me the check that it was nice I was trying to learn Italian. Italian waiter bias?
Emily and I both ordered French onion soup which was good and hot and wonderful because we were freezing! The taste was also delicate but flavorful - French onion soup for the soul. And - as you know - I ate escargot! I thought it was awesome, Emily hated it. But we both liked the soup. We didn’t order anything else though, so I think if you’re in Paris you should find this restaurant, eat lots of food, and then let me (or all of Tumblr) know how the rest of the menu tastes! ; )
Escargot cost 12Euro for six snails (decent price, if you hunt you can find it cheaper - but not closer to the Eiffel).
French Onion Soup - something like 7.50 Euro.
It was a quick, relatively inexpensive dinner that fulfilled it’s purpose a) to fill my belly so I’d stop being a grump and b) waste time in a warm place so we wouldn’t freeze waiting for the Eiffel to sparkle. I believe under better or different circumstances I would be able to write a more descriptive review. I do think it was nice though, and if you ever find this restaurant or happen to stumble upon it I would say go in, sit down, and EAT!
Paris, France (Part II of 2011 Academic Travel)
Lots of stuff happened to me in Paris - some of it fun and exciting and some of it…well some of it just wasn’t.
First allow me to say that this was all my own individual experience and no way reflects the general experience of travelers to Paris. That being said, I was not a big fan of Paris.
For me, the atmosphere was like wet clothes that you just can’t convince to dry. I didn’t feel any warmth from the general public and the city didn’t really seem “alive” to me. It’s like everyone was just going through the motions. However(!) I did meet some cool people in Paris including a tour guide, some waiters (tour guides, waiters and small shop keepers were pretty much the coolest people I met on travel), and one college student from Spain.
I don’t speak French, but I smile a lot and I like laughing so the people were really happy to try to teach me French and then ask if I wanted to practice. They were also really patient and allowed me to try out my Italian with them and they responded in French (how this worked is still a magical mystery to me). And when I really needed it, most people would be nice about it and oblige me with English. I had only two experiences were I was berated for a) being American and b) needing to use English.
One of these experiences occured at the Louvre. The Louvre is really a must see. While it’s famous for housing the Mona Lisa, there are so many other amazing/beautiful/gorgeous/awe-inspiring/soul-resonating/imagination-capturing pieces in the museum. And it’s so huge! Really if you love and/or are interested in art this will be an amazing experience for you. And please, if and when you find yourself in Paris - do go see the Arc D’ Triumph and the Eiffel Tower. They are truly breath-taking structures and just so incredible when you are there in person. I cannot begin to describe for you in words what it was like literally being there. There is also many more historical sites and features of Paris that are definitely worth checking out.
By the way, it also didn’t hurt that I was with my friend, Emily, who does speak French and I strongly encouraged her to exercise her French language abilities while we were in Paris. So if you have friends studying the language or who just happen to speak it, it probably won’t hurt you either to have him or her around. ; )
Eating Out in… Geneva, Switzerland!
Fast Boky Food Chinese Restaurant - :-) :-) :-) :-) (4 smiles)
First of all, allow me to warn you that they do not take any cards at the restaurant - you must pay in cash. Also they do not take coins - only bills. But you will get change back and if that means coins, then you’ll get coins back. How this works is a mystery to me.
The waitresses here speak English and French (and presumably Chinese, but I didn’t hear anyone at the restaurant speaking any form of Chinese so I cannot say for sure). Also the service is nice and the waitresses were friendly.
A quick side note - in European resturaunts, cafes, etc. you are expected to take your time and sit for a long time just enjoying the meal and the company of your freinds, family, or whoever. The check/bill isn’t brought to you until you request it and nothing is taken away until everyone finishes. Eating is a very relaxed affair.
I was at the Fast Boky Food Chinese Restaurant with my friend Emily E. and we ordered two soups, shrimp, and wantons (all pictured above). I ordered the orange-ish soup and it was described as a spicy Chinese soup with various ingredients. It was delicious. As were my shrimp with sweet and sour sauce. The sauces came with everything; we didn’t have to ask for it - but in Europe you have to ask for water and you have to specify that you want tap unless you want to pay for bottled.
Both soups cost about 7 CHF. For the shrimp it was also around 7 CHF. I can also tell you that the wantons were close to 7 CHF as well. So Emily and I both paid somewhere between 14.50 - 14.80 for the meal. We had free tap water so I don’t know prices for drinks. But the soups and extras were so filling that this price was definitely a steal.
We found out when we tried to pay that they didn’t accept cards. Nowhere was it mentioned or posted that they didn’t so it came as a bit of a surprise when we had to suddenly dig for cash in our purses. Then when we came up with CHF we found we were short so we asked if they took Euros, which thank God, they did. But then they informed us on this attempt that they didn’t take the coins! So we had to dig for more bills. In the end it was fine and they gave us our change back in CHF coins. Really. And everything until this point was lovely and I was set to give the Fast Boky Food five smiles, but when we tried to pay the bill the waitresses became less and less friendly and more and more pushy and it was rather frustrating and humiliating and so we’re going to have to drop this 4 smiles. As long as you have correct change in CHF (cash!) this restaurant it a great idea when you want to eat out in Geneva and are in the mood for something Asian.
Introducing: Eating Out In…
If you’re some one who wants to save their money for sight-seeing and souveniers then eating inexpensive meals becomes a priority. But, of course, you’ll still want to dine in a nice resturaunt on your travels, no?
But where to go?
To answer this question, I am introducing these new “Eating Out In…” posts where I’ll let you know what I and my companions have eaten, where, at what cost, how the service was, and whatever else I can tell you. Also feel free to ask me questions about any information you might still want/need.
Look for the first Eating Out In…!
It’s coming soon