Wednesday, September 4, 2013

burnt hair, Italian coffee, French couture



halfway into 'official' week 2 in Paris.
orientation week- done.
first day of design school AND moving into an apartment,
across town in Paris on the same day- done.
unpacking a bit, getting situated, learning the neighborhood, and have already attended 16.5 hours of class this week- done.
i have class for 28 hours a week, plus a 12 hour internship,
plus homework, and I'm trying to get a job where i don't have to speak french.
cray.
if last year prepared me for anything, it was 80 hour weeks.
i got this.

i find that i'm learning the most here through the mistakes i'm making (which are a LOT) and probably even more than i even realize, because most of it is lost in translation, 
and i just smile a lot.
(sarah pugh taught me this: you don't understand, smile bigger)

electricity.
adapters are wonderful.
they do not convert the voltage.
usually not a big deal. 
your battery gets hot, things charge way too fast,
you have to keep an eye and unplug them.
curling iron,
diasterous.
i have a blow dryer here, that's french.
after moving into my own flat (eeeeeekkk!- the most exciting),
i took a VERY long shower and decided to get all ready for the first time since arriving to Paris.
blow dried my hair, perfect.
plugged in my curling iron,
first strand (just like i'd done a million times before)- straight BURNED off in SECONDS! seconds!!
i was in a state of panic. burning hair smell filled my apartment.
what seemed like half of my entire head of hair was attached to the curling iron, and NOT my head.
i frantically pulled it off (as it continued to smoke and burn) and for a moment tried to re-attach it.

--this is EVERY girl's worst nightmare--

great. first day of fashion school in Paris, and you're bald.
ok, i'm being dramatic, but it was awful.
i decided to make a cup of coffee and calm down.

a million dishes in my kitchenette- 3 water kettles- no coffee machine.
what.
so after class i stopped at the 'french version' of a bestbuy.
looking at french presses- 40-50 euros- jeesh.
tiny, cheap drip machine (which will make bad coffee because it's all pre-gound to espresso)- at least 20 euros.
then- i see my tea kettle, in the coffee section... 60euros! what the hell. 
apparently it's some sort of Italian coffee maker that I had never really seen before.
fantastic! how exciting! 
hurried home feeling empowered, and proceeded to make it wrong, 3 times in 3 days.
i'm a pretty smart girl.
EVERYone has these here.
it should not be this hard.
first time, poured the boiling water into the top. wrong.
second time, poured the boiling water into the bottom and attempted to turn completely upside down to get the water to pour through the metal grounds filter and into the top. wrong.
finally- cold water in the bottom, grounds cage, attach top, boil on stove and it evaporates up into the top chamber producing: coffee!!
i was so excited that i didn't notice the burner was up too high and all of the coffee boiled over onto the stove and all over my kitchen. 
i salvaged about one sip, sans the mess.

cheap.
if you want to piss off someone in french fashion,
use this word.
also, you should never use this word- ever.
slang is so hard.
i've learned some french slang which is crazy to me.
the literal translation and the meaning are completely different.
super foreign.
for example, there's a phrase that is: "it's the feet!" 
which means our equivalent of: "it's the most awesome!" "it's the bee's knees" "there's nothing better!"
likewise, our slang, does not transfer.
i was in my (presumably) favorite class:
couture craftsmanship, and stayed after to look at a book my teacher loved.
we were talking about materials and she was asking the word in english often.
about this time, a friend of hers (and some mr fancypants designer somebody) came in the room.
she asked me the name of this string/material in english.
i started to tell her that it is very cheap (meaning inexpensive) in the states, and is usually used by little girls to make necklaces at summer camp.
oh boy.
mister man lost his shit.
he was grumbling, and talking faster and faster at his friend, looking disgustingly at me and occasionally repeating 'cheap' through his scowls. 
she tried to explain (i think) that i meant it literally, related to the cost, and was not insulting the designer we were looking at together.
it did not matter. 
i'm pretty sure i'm blacklisted from anything that guy is related too.
welp, you live and you learn.
don't say 'cheap'. ever.


i got home that night and my apartment still smelled like burnt hair and exploded coffee.
awesome.
that's what you get for being 'cheap'. 


chanel, can you just hire me already?




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