A dream and a trip

February 12, 2006  ::  03:36 PM  ::  permalink

A few nights ago I had one of the best dreams ever. I was engaging in a rap battle with French middle school students, but I was from the future…or just the U.S. Either way I decided to use Kayne West’s song “Jesus Walks” as my own and win the battle, these kids wouldn’t know it was a real song. So I was performing when out in the audience I noticed two rabbis and then I realized I was in a synagogue in Squirrel Hill, my very Jewish Pittsburgh neighborhood, performing “Jesus Walks.” The rabbis just sort of shook there head as if to say, “Jesus doesn’t walk here, sister.” Then I left the stage abruptly and went home.

Tomorrow I am flying from Brussels to Casablanca where I will be picked up by Andrea and trained to her apartment in Rabat. For the next two weeks I will explore the wonders of Morocco from Marrakech to the Sahara desert to the coast from where you can see Spain in the distance. I am wildly excited to travel to a country outside of Europe for the first time. Not that I haven’t enjoyed my European adventures, I have so very much, I am just also looking forward to experiencing a country and culture that is much more different than my own. I will take many photos as I have promised many people. I might ride a camel or at the least see or touch one, maybe poke their hump? Anything goes.

wow. sounds like some mad crazy adventures are heading your way. have fun!

p.s. I had a dream a few months ago that I was engaging in a rap battle with a few of my students. Jay-Z was the judge and I woke up before I found out it I won.

Posted by emily
February 21, 2006 04:37 PM

You have the best dreams ever. It beats out my dream last week that I was performing on American Idol.

Where will you be from March 28 - April 5? Do you know? I will be in Barcelona-ish and then on my way to Paris by car for the weekend. I'm wondering if I might come within a few hundred miles of you at least?

Posted by andrea
March 22, 2006 08:43 PM

The Planting

February 05, 2006  ::  10:03 PM  ::  permalink

I lay on the sand
and asked her to bury me.
Cover my limbs,
fill the space between
my breasts with small granules
of the earth in southern France.
I wanted to feel safely tucked away,
like a seedling doused in sun.
I was hoping to grow long and wide,
into a Sycamore shape,
clean and sprawling.

"Even mollusks have weddings"

January 16, 2006  ::  02:18 PM  ::  permalink

While in Paris on New Year’s Eve in our lovely hotel room a few blocks away from the Champs-Elyseés full of people, Simon and I decided to get married. Not that night in Paris as my mom thought when I told her, but sometime in the 2007 year. The news probably isn’t that surprising considering that Simon and I have been together for five years, sharing many apartments and one cat for four, not to mention that we have been incredibly happy since way back in 2001 when he ended our first date with a high five.

I honestly can’t imagine spending my life with anyone else. Simon has been an amazing partner and will continue to be for hundreds of years.

YEAH!!! If I was there I would give you a high five.... I know you already know how very happy I am for both of you! Simon is going to be a great husband and brother!!!!!!

Posted by gig
January 16, 2006 07:50 PM

I, for one, am completely against this idea. You kids are naive, reckless, and (needless to say) unfit for each other.

What if I was serious? The above statement would be 1,000 times more humorous if I was completely serious.

I am being serious now: I am so happy for you both! When Simon called Dan to tell him the news Dan and I were in the car. I started cheering as if I was at a European football match. I got rather carried away with excitement for that which will be the Mr. and Mrs. Simon and Meredith Adams-Smart-King home.

Posted by ELY HAN
January 19, 2006 12:01 AM

Hey - remember one of my previous posts where I stated that if you married Simon your initials would spell MASK? Well it turns out I am a prophet! Hows about that??

Posted by Scott
January 19, 2006 06:36 PM

Congratulations!!! I knew there was something suspiciously sweet about this photo! Hooray hooray!

Posted by andrea
January 23, 2006 06:40 PM

TOO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

congrats, and much love.


Posted by e
January 26, 2006 01:51 AM

The Simon Era

January 16, 2006  ::  02:05 PM  ::  permalink

Simon arrived in Lille the morning after Andrea and I got back from Zurich. For three wonderful days those two beauties were sharing my apartment with me. We watched movies, tried to keep warm, and went shopping in Lille. The day after Andrea left Simon and I went to Paris, it was New Year’s Eve. We spent the day wandering the shopping area around the Centre Pompidou, drifting in and out of shoe stores. We ate dinner at a vegetarian restaurant near Notre Dame. While eating we met a very strange Norwegian couple who wanted to follow us to the Eiffel Tower. We had just enough time to get there before midnight. On the Metro we were packed into the train car so tightly that I could barely lift my arm to hold on to the pole. The Norwegian couple starting making out next to us in quarters that were clearly to close to be doing such kissing, and behind us we listened to two Scotsmen talk about the abuses they endured in seminary and the reasons they left the priesthood. And then, the Metro shut down, lights out, engine off. It restarted moved one station, more people entered, and stopped again. As one Scotsman was talking (with his Groundskeeper Willy accent) about his desire to kill a priest that had beat him up, the clock struck midnight.

We decided to get off of the godforsaken train as soon as humanly possible. We ended up getting off at the Champs-Elyseés where the first thing we saw was a plume of smoke and Paris police in riot gear rushing into a crowd. Nearly everyone in Paris was on the street, drinking champagne, smashing bottles, shouting “Bonne Année!” We watched the Eiffel Tower sparkle, walked some more, and went back to our hotel for champagne and heart-shaped brie. Photos of said events can be viewed on my Flickr account as well as Simon’s.

What wonderful news! Congrats to both of you. I initially thought that a free trial of Netflix would be a good wedding gift for you guys, but I only say that because I see a free trial card next to me. Cheers!

Posted by brennen campbell
January 20, 2006 02:29 AM

A Christmas recap

January 16, 2006  ::  01:39 PM  ::  permalink

I know I promised to update more often and for a few weeks there it seemed like I was just lying. I was. But now I mean it, I really will try to be better about adding new entries.

December was the month of visitors. Megan’s sister Kendra, Andrea, and then Simon. Andrea was here for two weeks, the first of which we mostly stayed around here, walking in the park, going to the museum, and making crepes. The second week we went to Strasbourg to revisit my first French home at Christmas. It was as wonderful as everyone kept telling me, the lights, the hot wine, the market, the chandeliers hanging in the street. I was surprised and relieved to find that I still knew my way around like a champ. I led us around vieux Lille with all of its winding streets without getting lost or turned around once. I miss Strasbourg terribly, for all of its Stepford/German cleanliness and French hostility, I love it still.

We left Strasbourg and went to Basel where Megan and her uncle picked us up and drove us to Zurich where we spent Christmas with the Erskine-Cashin’s. It was an Erskine-Cashin, Erskine, Erskine, Swalec, Adams-Smart Christmas. Megan’s aunt and uncle cooked like nobody’s business and we ate nonstop goodness for three days, the highlight being goose on Christmas day. This Christmas season I ate roast chestnuts from a street vendor, drank hot wine (also on the street), and ate goose…oh and I’ve been wearing a top hat and spats and saying “Ye” a lot.

Steppin' it up for 2006

January 01, 2006  ::  11:41 PM  ::  permalink

I heartily apologize to everyone that I have not been better at updating my weblog. There has been no reason for the neglect. I have all the free time I’ve ever had, a wireless connection in my house, and a serious lack of other activities going on. Again, I am truly sorry that I have not been better at telling stories and rambling about all of the things that I love/hate here. It is my New Year’s resolution to update more often.

Happy New Year everyone!

The pictures you and Simon have been posting have been COMPLETELY ADORABLE! I love you both and I'm glad your visit together has been amazing so far.

hugs from kalamazoo,

Posted by emily
January 4, 2006 08:55 PM

Open House Party

November 07, 2005  ::  05:32 AM  ::  permalink

Do you want to visit France? Do I know you very well? Do we only kind of know each other? Now is the perfect chance for us to become better friends. Why don’t you all come visit me in the sunny north? I live an hour train ride from Paris, 40 minutes from Brussels, four hours from Amsterdam, three hours from London, and of course a mere 20 minutes from Lille. This may be your only opportunity to stay for free in France with someone you know very well, or only slightly, who can speak some French and show you around. I only work two days a week which leaves many days for tour guiding. I have a spare bed, blankets, towels, and we can cook here so you can save money on food. Your only expense would be the plane ticket and a few train tickets, which if you want to go to Paris are only 40 EUR. Never in your life will you be able to vacation in France for under $1,000, it’s worth the possible credit card debt.

I’ve tried making friends here and they are disasters. So I’ve decided to import interesting people into the city of Valenciennes.
Email me (said email address can be found at the very bottom of this page, scroll, scroll, until you see my full name), tell when you would like to visit, I’ll ready the bed and warm cookies.

Poor poor lamb! Never should you resort to begging for friends.
You may reqret this call out. I have a feeling your humble abode will be packed!

Posted by gig
November 7, 2005 12:19 PM

Hey -- are you setting cars on fire and throwing ocktails into police officers' faces?

A little radio station I like to call NPR has been talking about some crazy riot shit going on around Paris for the last few weeks. I am curious as to your involvement...

Posted by emily
November 8, 2005 02:40 PM

ok. not "ocktails". I meant cocktails.

I wish I could see you in France tomorrow.

Posted by emily
November 8, 2005 02:41 PM

Oh gosh. Don't get me thinking about it.... too late... now I'll be thinking about it.

Posted by andrea
November 8, 2005 10:48 PM

It's dangerous that you're giving such an opportunity. What with me graduating in December and without any concrete plans, it looks mighty tempting.

Posted by brennen
November 17, 2005 07:29 AM

maybe I will come for my spring break....hmmm...

Posted by emily
November 23, 2005 07:39 PM

Much better than the Dutch Village in Holland, Michigan

November 06, 2005  ::  09:25 AM  ::  permalink

For four days of my vacation Megan and I went to Holland to stay with her cousins Martijn and Natascha and their new baby Elise. They live in a small city ten minutes outside of Amsterdam. While in Amsterdam we went to the Anne Frank house, the Van Gogh Museum, and interesting shops looking for boots and clothes. We ate amazing meat-free food, the best Gouda you could imagine, Douwe Egberts coffee (which I finally learned how to pronounce correctly),Amstel that is better than the stuff they export, and finally some soy products for Mama. For the record I love the Dutch much more than I like the French, minus their crazy views on prostitution which is another entry/thesis paper entirely. Amsterdam is an interesting and beautiful city, minus the pot-leaf t-shirts and Bob Marley blacklight posters.

I posted just a few photos on Flickr because I fogot my larger SD memory card. Megan took photos though and you can see them on her Flickr page. There you can see those amazing Dutch fries, more buildings, more canals, her cousins, and us making beautiful self portraits after too much cheese and beer.

I guess you will stoop to anything to have company, even lying, you don't have an oven! warm cookies? nice try.

Posted by sally
November 13, 2005 08:04 PM

wow...a fine offer...i may be indulged to commit

Posted by chris
December 30, 2005 11:48 PM

Just a little poochie

October 27, 2005  ::  05:55 PM  ::  permalink

The French have a reputation for being a little too close with their dogs, letting them sit at the dinner table, sharing ice cream with them, dressing them up in little outfits. I have known this about the French. Yet I was still amazed and tickled to see this dog dressed in denim, being pushed in a stroller, and yes, wrapped in bubble wrap. We have seen this dog and the old lady that pushes him three times now around the city. For me it comes down to the bubble wrap, that is just too, too brilliant.

Mama is helping Poochie pose

The old lady was desperate to have the dog look into the camera. You may notice his denim vest, the stroller he delicately rests in, and of course the fact that he is sort of wrapped in bubble wrap.

Poochie is confused

At first the little poochie was just confused and stared at her at she frantically yelled to him in French “Look at the camera, look over there!”

Poochie's relaxed pose

He has this ease about him, the head tilt, the relaxed lounging pose. It’s as if he doen’t have a care in the world, as if he were a dog in bubble wrap being pushed in a stroller.

Additional, midly humorous commentary on the same three photos is on my Flickr page.

Not sure if this is the proper place to comment about poochie..but what is up with the chain around its neck? That chain is large enough to restrain a tiger! And why do you need a chain? What dog would flee a stroller lined with bubble wrap and risk being cornered in a denim suit?
p.s. the lady wears fancy shoes and appears to be married. I feel for her husband.
p.s.s. That is a rather crappy stroller to be wheeling around a loved one. That dog deserves a bugaboo(??).
Thats all i got for now.

Posted by scott
November 4, 2005 01:25 PM

Welcome Back Dithy!

October 21, 2005  ::  01:36 PM  ::  permalink

I now have consistant internet access in mine own home. I will be updating this little lady like never before. Check out all of the new photos I posted too. You will know more about my everyday life than you ever thought possible. This week has consisted of one day of birthday fun, one day of lounging, one day of waiting for Mr. France Telecom to fix our phone line, and another long day at school. Today I had yet another 14-year-old ask for my phone number. I also had a boy ask if I knew who Lil’ John was and I wanted to tell him all about gettin’ crunk and drinking the associated juice. He couldn’t even understand the sentence, “His teeth are gold.”

We are beginning our first chunk of paid vacation. For the next two weeks I will be freed from the yoke of a 12 hour work week. We are going to hang out with some of our younger teachers, make a trip to Ikea, and buy a broom…oh and master the French language. It should be great.

"freed from the yoke of a twelve hour work week"

wow. I love you and your French life.

happy belated birthday!

Posted by emily
October 22, 2005 12:25 PM

Meredith Adams-Smart
Visit Eun-Ha Paek's Website