After forgetting my passport photos at home, missing an appointment by fifteen minutes, and somehow managing to get through the red tape despite having to pay the $63 fee in cash and forgetting photocopies of some documents, I finally have my visa. It took four trips, involving numerous waits outside in the cold (they only open the doors to the consulate every half hour) and the development of a real mutual hatred between me and the security guard, but it is done.
The real highlight of the whole experience was the postcard taped to the window of the guy I gave my documents to. An advertisement for an art show, it featured a photograph of a bathtub with a hand draped limply over the side. These people really know how to encourage American tourism, eh? Or maybe they are just trying to remind us that bureaucracy is a real improvement from revolutionary intrigue.

Published in: on December 30, 2008 at 5:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

A note of explanation

Expression: P├ędaler dans la choucroute
Meaning: To be at a complete loss, getting nowhere fast, spinning one’s wheels
Literal translation: To pedal in the sauerkraut

There are many reasons I love French, but a big one is the language’s plethora of food idioms. Some of my favorites include son cul est bordé de nouilles — figuratively “he’s lucky,” literally “his ass is surrounded by noodles” — il peut manger sa soupe sur ma tete — figuratively “he is a head taller than me,” literally “he could eat his soup off my head” — and la fin des haricots — figuratively “a catastrophically big deal,” literally “the end of the string beans.” (For more of these wonderful idioms, check out this L.A. times article, as well as this excellent food blog.)

Anyway, as a frequently inept Francophile foodie, I thought this particular idiom was a good title for my new travel blog. I hope to update regularly from Paris with plenty of whining, bad food photography and amusing anecdotes. My flight doesn’t leave for three weeks, so don’t count on too many updates in the near future, but add me to your bookmarks or RSS feed and eventually there will be some posts.

A final note to old friends reading this: Yes, I know this is now my 5th blog. Deal with it.


Published in: on December 16, 2008 at 8:03 pm  Leave a Comment