Thursday, December 16, 2010


Yes I'm headed to Paris en route to Rome. So happy. Will update once I'm back in France (probably end of December) x

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Here's why no one will marry me!

Matchmaker, Matchmaker,
Don't make me a match,
Don't find me a find,
Don't catch me a catch
Matchmaker, Matchmaker
Stop looking through your book,
And don't make me a perfect match.

Matchmaker, Matchmaker,
I won't bring the veil,
because you won't bring me a groom,
I'm definitely not slender and pale.
No one will bring me a ring 
for I'm not longing to be,
The envy of all I see.

That's right folks, I'm not longing to marry like the girls from Fiddler on the Roof. Don't get me wrong, it's not as if I'm against the idea of marriage, I just don't feel there is a man out there who could handle me and my quirks. The girls from Fiddler on the Roof were so graceful and well-groomed. I on the other hand, am quite a perfectionist at my work but everything else around me is in shambles. On rare many occasions, I have OCD and I get all obsessed about cleanliness and I'll even clean someone else's mess up. But on most certain days I procrastinate, I work on Bohemian time, I am not organized, I have no routine nor any particular dietary pattern. No man would want to marry someone who has only omelettes, pasta, sandwiches and chocolate muffins in their culinary repertoire. 
So today is December the 9th, 2010. It's nearly the end of the year, everyone is eager to break for the holidays. Everyone is in a festive mood and preparing earnestly to welcome the spirit of Christmas. I on the other hand have been ignoring the "spirit". I have not decorated the tree as yet, I have not put up the star and I have not made an effort to reorganize my life in view of the coming New Year. Here is my present day scenario aka Reasons why I won't ever be married. 
P.S: Proceed at your own risk. 
P.P.S: Risk being disgusted by certain images, eg. unwashed frying pan.
On waking up today, I realized my desk is not the most organized place in my house.

 Neither is the floor! I still haven't cleaned up the mess I made while preparing the wreath for my students. Yes those are leaves nestling among my folders and lesson plans.

 My dirty laundry has been dirty for three weeks now and it's lying on top of my black snow boots.

 After moving to France, I've become a caffeine addict. But I also haven't been scrubbing the coffee stains off the mug now, have I?!!

 Sigh. I was supposed to change my toothbrush two weeks ago. 

 Before you enter the sitting room, you won't be greeted by a warm rug. Rather you will run into my well used and much loved ballerines. 

 In my kitchen, there is a week's pile of dirty dishes to be done.

 And near the sink, there are two garbage bags and two (one month old) pizza boxes to be thrashed.

 You don't want to marry someone who currently has a jam jar, a jar of olives, two tomatoes, four slices of ham, one cheese box and packet of Goa sausages in their refrigerator.

 And 3 sauces. And on further scrutiny, you can see how the Dijon Mayonnaise is missing it's bottom but has somehow continued to be an integral part of the fridge door. 

 I made an omelette last night and today morning the pan was foul. The oil had frozen in the cold and the spatula had stuck itself to the frozen oil.

 I am so clumsy with the simplest technology, I have managed to break the Venetian blinds in my sitting room.

 And somehow I have no problem going through life with never closing one side of the backyard screen doors.

 I own only three necklaces and they double up as wall decorations.

The third necklace with black beads is also hanging on the wall. I also spend an annoying large amount of money on scented candles.

This is my dressing table and I have no makeup other than eyeliner and waterproof mascara.

 I would love to entertain guests but I can only find one dart for my dartboard. 

 This is where you will mostly always find my bag. 

 This is also where you will always find my iphone. After the price I paid for it, the floor is the last place one would expect it to be. But do I have the time to care today?

Finally, my habit that pisses off most people. Pathological photography. I love photographing everything. Even the mess I currently am surrounded by today (shameless, I know). I'm certain if I were ever married, the pre nuptial agreement would have a clause stating no photography in the presence of humans.  

And voilà mes amis. I may have presented a very tainted side of my character today. I wonder if other people have days like these too, when they just let everything go to the dogs. I would have loved to be different but I guess this is a part of me I have to come to terms with. I try really hard to keep my desk in order and to do the dishes everyday but that just doesn't happen! The only time I am really neat and tidy is when I'm in love! Yes. Love brings out the best in me. I immediately leave behind this immature rebellious character and turn into an orderly woman. I become so obsessed with my surroundings and I even buy fresh makeup and indulge is grooming escapades just to please the other person. I learn new recipes and I make the dinner table at least five times before we eat. Then again love for me is all about the other person and not myself. The person who lives in the mess above is me. And as quirky and disgusting that person can sometimes be, that person will not lose her identity. I know this sounds strange but I actually work well at a cluttered desk and with everything at hand. I know very well that certain things are just not acceptable. Like the repulsive frying pan, the dirty dishes and the dirty laundry. Those things are just plain unhygienic. That is a part of my life I am genuinely worried about and will starting sorting out asap. So that's that for now. I'm off to load a huge pile of (overdue) laundry into the washing machine. I'm will keep you informed about how Operation De-clutter is coming along! :)

Today in Normandy

The sunset was glorious today. The skies turned bright yellow at first and then a fiery orange-red! There was only one sea-gull soaring up high and boy was he noisy! 

What do we need mon cher?

Love is all we need mon cher,
we don`t need brushes to paint the sky gold,
we don't need words to write our novella,
we don't need a God to keep us safe.
Love is all we need.

Love is all we need mon cher,
we don't need shooting stars to make our love last,
we don't need eyes to see each other,
we don't need our bodies to feel,
Love is all we need.

Love is all we need mon cher,
we don't need caffeine to stay up all night,
we don't need the sun to keep us warm,
we don't need life to stay together,
Love is all we need.

Love is all we need mon cher,
we don't need cameras to guard our smiles,
we don't need our brains to make sense,
we don't need our hearts to beat,
Love is all we need.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Norman Winter

Wreath of Good Deeds

It's Christmas time and I've decided to do a little exercise with my students. I prepared the Wreath of Good Deeds. My students have been extraordinary this year. I've had more problems with the teachers than with the students themselves. Of course, there are those times when they just don't give a damn but mostly they love attending my classes. I love audience participation and I realized that having students enact, speak up, laugh is always the best way to learn a language. Most of the teachers I work with don't care too much about my method of teaching and as an Assistant, I'm supposed to help them out and basically follow their methods. Two of the teachers I work with have the most outdated approach to teaching a language and one of them takes it really too far. They expect me to get the students to repeat the lesson (for 30 mins) and make sure they've learnt it by heart! I do every activity in the book but repetition :) Oh, except I had to make them repeat my name 10 times since it's really long and they keep forgetting it or they call me Madam which again, I refuse to accept since I like to be part of the "in-crowd". 
The Wreath of Good Deeds is a competition that gets them to show off their writing skills. I prepared the wreath myself (Yes, I know. Thank You). Each time they do a good deed, they come with a witness and collect a leaf. On the leaf, they should write in perfect grammar about the deed. They should also mention their name and their class so that I can keep a tab of how many deeds each of them has done. For every good deed they get a sweet! On December 15, we total up the deeds and the person with the most number of good deeds takes home the Wreath. On the wreath, there are 5 postcards from 5 corners of the world and a few words from an inhabitant of that place! So they have new penpals :) So far it's working well and they seem to enjoy it. I even got some of the teachers to participate since it would motivate the kids a little more when they have to compete against the higher authority :D
End of Day 1

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Thankgiving in Rouen

My first ever Thanksgiving was such fun. It's an American tradition as we all know and I was happy to be a part of the experience. I'm happy to have such kind American colleagues this year and I felt it was such a kind gesture to include an Indian girl in their festivities. Last year, I knew Americans in Rouen as well but they preferred to keep Thanksgiving as exclusive as they possibly could! I really like what the festival symbolizes. The spirit of sharing and giving thanks. Americans celebrate Thanksgiving (a national holiday), on the fourth thursday in November. In the 17th century, when the first European settlers arrived in America on the Mayflower, winter was really bitter. They wouldn't have survived if the native American tribes has not sheltered them and helped them hunt. The following year the European settlers decided to thank their protectors by sharing the harvest and making merry. So the tradition has continued and last weekend, there were plenty Thanksgiving dinners all across France too. At our dinner, each one contributed some food and I can't cook anything. So I volunteered to wet everyone's appetite with the drinks. The only peculiar thing about our dinner was that we didn't have any Turkey. In fact, we didn't have any kind of meat. Many of my friends are vegetarian and vegan, so the dinner was devoid of animals. I enjoy the meal and I even tasted some new things like cranberry sauce in cereal and pastas with various cheeses. (I know I'm pathetic at describing food and will always be. I've made my peace with that!) I enjoyed the desserts. We had so many macarons, and delicious apple pies and more cheese!
The next morning, I took a walk around Rouen and I realized not living here has actually made me appreciate the city even more. Last year, while I lived right in the heart of it, I took it all for granted. As a visitor, I saw how beautiful and charming it really is! I entered the Cathedral after many months and it was as stunning as ever. Only this time I actually stopped to appreciate it and I saw it through the eyes of Monet (who painted it a 100 times before he felt he actually captured it on paper). 
The massive organ which is attached to the ceiling!
Christmas preparations have already begun in France. Streets already have their lights up and the houses even have Santas climbing up the chimney! It puts you in a festive mood too. I'm not going home for xmas this year and it's put me in the dumps. I hate being in a foreign country without any family. I've been having so many problems with my school too and right now I feel as if the whole world hates me! What I would do for a decent home cooked meal :'(