Saturday, November 13, 2010

I Heart Parisians

I think that it is time for a post dedicated to all my favorite, but unknown people in Paris. You know, those people you see all the time? Or even those you see once, but just can't forget for their awesomeness? And finally, the acts of people that make your life just so much more enjoyable? Well, be prepared for some seriousness and some sly sarcasm, cuz here it comes...
1. The woman that, in the middle of the fast lane of the swimming pool, with people doing freestyle all around her, decided that she would backstroke. No, scratch that. She would float on her back, occasionally waving her arms a bit, forcing everybody else to swim around her/underneath her/behind her, getting a good luck at ... trust me, everything you do not want to see of a middle-aged woman in a pink bikini. R-e-s-p-e-c-t for being so oblivious.
2. The guy who comes to different markets with a little crate in which he has a piglet and a baby goat. I finally saw him after seeing pictures of him from different friends. What does he do with them? Sell them for people to slaughter? Is it a pet-a-piglet-for-a-euro thing? Who knows?
3. The guy in the metro playing flamenco music every single morning just brightens up your day. When you are late, hot, being scuffed around by other people and did not have your morning coffee, seeing him play and seeing how much he loves it is an instant pick-me-up. Last week he even got a friend to sing along. Awesome.
4. The people who manage to run and jump into the metro a millisecond before the doors close. They are insane, but amazing.
5. The people who manage to run and jump into the metro, just to wait another minute before the doors close because they didn't realize the train wasn't actually leaving yet. I am one of you.
6. The dolled-up old ladies in their fake furs, ruby lipstick and tottering high heels that walk back and forth on Boulevard St. Germain, wishing for the old days when they were young and beautiful and courted by rich men. They warm my heart.
7. The distinguished white-haired waiters in the Cafe de Flore that just seem to impersonate class, grace and pride in their establishment.
It's fun to realize how you remember certain people without actually knowing them!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dangerous Paris

Dangerous... because of muggings? People "on strike" burning your cars? Or to your wallet? Yes, all three. But what I really meant with today's post is dangerous to your fitness levels.

How to gain weight get chubbier get rounder round the cheeks in Paris…

1. Paris = city of great eats, right? So swear to yourself to try every single kind of French pastries/baguettes/cheeses/ chocolates (I know, there aren’t really French chocolates, but somehow it belonged in the list) that the city has to offer. You’re only in Paris once, after all!

2. Decide that now you’ve tasted all of them, you might as well see where they make them best. Continue the degustation in all boulangeries and cheese-shops in the vicinity.

3. Reward your busy schedule and social life by eating lunch out. All the time. To keep it cheap, prefer crêpes, pastries (yet again!!) and those 1 Euro cookies from the distributor that make you really full.

4. Spend long, long, long hours pouring over French readings/writing outlines/reading food blogs/p-r-o-c-r-a-s-t-i-n-a-t-i-n-g at night, so that there is no possible way for you to get up early and do sports before your 10 am class. Snacking is a must during those hard study sessions.

5. And anyway, Sciences Po hasn’t gotten a gym, so you couldn’t even work out if you wanted to. As if you wanted to. Plus, nobody else does! Right?

6. Finally, nurse an old sports injury and be so frightened to make it hurt again that you decide to rather do Tai Chi until the end of your life than ever engage in physically challenging activity again.

…And how to get back on the right track

1. Become appalled at your couch potato self in the last weeks and remember great achievements in your past.

2. Find swimming pools and gyms ALL OVER PARIS. Seriously. And for 19 Euro you can go swimming all you want over three months. Raaad..?

3. Switch the food blogs for healthy living blogs.

4. Try not to read them too late at night so you can be at the pool at 7 three times a week. 7am, of course.

5. Cut out most processed sweets from your diet. Drink more. Take the 5 fruit and veggies a day seriously. Start feeling so much better after the first week already.

6. Promise yourself to have homemade sweets and cookies only. Then forget to make them cuz you went on a run.

7. Test, slowly, slowly, the limits of your injury, don’t do too much, but do something.

8. Set yourself goals (Paris Half-Marathon OR Marathon depending on how well my foot works for me.) and think about prices for yourself if you keep to the workouts every week.

9. Tell EVERYBODY about it. And join in the fun!