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Paris, France
My friends think I'm a jet-setting international playboy...

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Week one

If you didn't know already I moved to Paris last week. An opportunity for a 6 month assignment came up at work and I took it. Of course it was hard to leave California and all of my friends I've made over the last 3+ years. Don't worry, you will always have a place in my heart, and who knows I could be back before you even realize I'm gone!

The last couple of weeks have been busy. Last Monday I flew from San Francisco to Cork, Ireland for a sales training. Wednesday I finally arrived in Paris and got to my apartment around midnight. I barely put a few things away before going to bed. Thursday I went to the office, but only to say hello and then caught an afternoon flight to Bordeaux for another sales training. So my big move to Paris consisted of about 16 hours of actually being in Paris!

Bordeaux was amazing. In the commotion of moving and haste of making plans I didn't realize the sales meeting was at this little place:

Not your ordinary hotel room
The meeting was on Friday so I decided to stay an extra day and tour some of the sites. One of the more famous buildings in Bordeaux, Place de la Bourse, makes anyone a great photographer.

I also went on a wine tour (when in Bordeaux...). The aromas in the fermenting room were for me the best part. For everyone else it was the tasting at the end of course. The group was quite confused when I told them I don't drink and instead just watched them.
The grapes are mixed twice per day
I was again in Paris for just one day on Sunday and then off to Amsterdam for a day trip and than Madrid for another day trip. The rest of this week was in Paris, finally getting unpacked and situated.

Church is actually pretty close, just a lovely 15 minute walk past this nice place. Funny that Paris is the first place I've lived where I've actually walked to church.
Notre Dame de Paris
When I travel around the world I'm generally with locally based colleagues so it's not too difficult getting around. However, I've experienced my first frustrations with international life when trying to shop for a few things. When everything is in French, nobody speaks English and there are no American brands available sometimes I just had to guess. It took me about 30 minutes just to pick out a laundry detergent. Using my washing machine with buttons in French and an electronic screen in Italian was interesting. I think I figured out how to wash them, but it's no wonder they came out wetter than when they started when I tried to dry them. I'm still scratching my head a bit from that one. Of course Google is a life saver. I have no idea how people did this whole expat thing 20 years ago before smart phones and the internet.

Saving the best for last, food has been a highlight. Here's a sampling of French cheeses from our Bordeaux Chateau, steak and frites from L'Entrec├┤te, a very popular and very delicious restaurant in Bordeaux with only one menu option: steak and frites with an amazing secret sauce, and lobster paella from Madrid.