About Me

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

Saturday, November 22, 2014

4 continents in 4 weeks

I moved to Paris 7 weeks ago and have been gone all but a total of 7 days. The last 4 weeks have been especially hectic being on 4 different continents: China, Italy, US, Amsterdam. My body is starting to rebel from the constant drastic time zone changes. I'm back in Paris as of Thursday and committed to enjoying my time here. Last post I commented on my trip to China so I'll start with Italy.

The highlight of all of my trips is usually the food, but unlike China I actually liked the food in Italy (no offense to my Chinese friends). As usual my Italian colleagues took me on a whirlwind tour of Italy over 4 days that included Milano, Parma, Cesena, Padua, Udine, Catania and Napoli. I love Italy for it's food, people and language - all of which are beautiful.
Fresh ricotta in olive oil and pureed chickpeas - so delicious
Tempura zucchini flowers with Serena, the sales specialist for Northern Italy
Awesome pasta my first night in Milano. Also notice the cola looking drink in the background. It's called Chinotto and is a cola-like drink made from oranges. Very distinct flavor, with a little bit of a bitter aftertaste, but I loved it. 
No Italian dinner is complete of course without gelato. My recent favorite has been salted caramel.
Pasta the next night, not quite as good as the first night.
Pasta the third night with Monica (Italian Marketing Manager) was the best. Thick buttery noodles topped with shaved truffles.
I would have had pasta the fourth night, but I was in Naples where pizza was born, and it lived up to it's name
Pretty view from my balcony in Naples
Next I had to head back to the States to finish all of my work visa paperwork to legally work in France. While there I caught up with some not-so-old friends. I think they are tired of me saying goodbye.
This week I've been in Amsterdam for some sales meetings. It's my 3rd trip to Amsterdam and I've yet to see anything but a hotel, airport and hospital. It's a good thing I love my job so much.
And finally my new favorite luncheon place I just discovered today near my apartment. When I walked in the shop keeper told me I looked like I needed something with ham and cheese and gave me some of this jambon fromage pastry dish fresh out of the oven. She was right and I will return often. If you come visit me in Paris you can expect to meet this little Maison Gourmande.  

Monday, November 3, 2014

It just keeps getting better

Wow, this whole international assignment thing just keeps getting better and better. Here are some of the highlights from the last couple of weeks.

Last weekend my buddy Mike Burr came to visit. He and I were in the same MBA program and he has been doing research in Munich for the last couple of months.

It was Mike's first time to Paris so much of what we did was the usual, but we mixed it up a bit as well.
Fondue with Mike
I rented bikes for the first time. Biking around Paris at 1 am is one of my new favorite activities.
Perfect timing for my first time at Versailles Palace. Late enough in the season that it wasn't too crowded, but just before the leaves started falling.
Inside one of the main halls. It was so big it seemed to go on forever.
I'm not sure you can over-exaggerate Versailles. The art, architecture and gardens were as decadent as I've ever seen.
My first European football match: PSG 3-0 Bordeaux
My first time eating just baguettes and cheese. We found this great little fromagerie with a shop keeper who voluntarily spoke great English (not common in Paris) and who educated us on all of the different cheeses and helped us pick out 3 awesome cheeses. That kind of customer service is unheard of in Paris, especially toward Americans. 
Love this woman
...and this one
But this might be my new favorite piece in Le Louvre. Reminds me a lot of myself to be honest.
Last week I went to assist the local Stryker team with a conference and had some more firsts, mostly dealing with food.
First time eating pig ear. My Chinese colleague said it best, "There isn't enough food in China so we eat everything."
First time eating frog. Luckily it was in this soup with those little peppers that make your mouth go numb. I also had fish eyeball and and jelly fish for the first time. 
Team dinner with colleagues from all over the globe and the biggest lazy Susan you've ever seen.
The Stryker China team is very proud. They went through a few rough years but are now coming back with a vegence. This was outside a big dinner event we held for 60 Chinese physicians and says, "We are your king," a reference that has profound meaning to the Chinese.
I was asked to participate in making sand art during the dinner event, something that is apparently big in China that I had never heard of before this event. Google Chinese sand art and check out some videos. Pretty cool.
Shanghai at night from our private dinner room. The team pulled out all of the stops to give us the royal treatment.
From the tallest bar in Shanghai on the 58th floor of the Ritz Carlton looking out over the Oriental Pearl Tower
Next week: Italy