Personal Thoughts, Selected Photos, and Culture Revelations shared by Odile

Posts tagged “europe

Follow me on Instagram!


Hello WordPress!

I haven’t been keeping up with this blog for awhile now…I will begin again over the Summer.

For now, if you’d like to follow me on Instagram on a more regular basis, I suggest visiting my page

http://www.instagram.com/odilefrenchconnection

or simply just searching for my username: odilefrenchconnection

And of course! I’d love to be in contact with my fellow WordPress writers and readers (:

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Thank you!

Odile


French Word of the Night : La Gueule de Bois

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Salut WordPress!!

Don’t we all want to know a useful French word besides… Bonjour? :)

Well, that was a sarcastic comment, but I think knowing the French translation of ‘Hangover’ would perk your interest, and it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle to learn and memorize :)

What is pretty interesting about this translation is that, Gueule means long face, and Bois means Wood…

So .. Hangover= Wooden Face= LA GUEULE DE BOIS

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Party safely!

Odile

 


Several Useful Sites for Editing Photos

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Hello WordPress Readers!

Today’s post will be about recommending a few reliable, and efficient photo-editing sites for all of you. I personally love editing pictures because a photo becomes spectacular after being embellished, right?

I am not a fan of downloading apps that take huge amounts of space on the computer’s disk hardware, and no one is sure if the app carries a virus… Which is why, I’m pro for websites.

*Feel free to check out my other edited pictures on the Background Photos*

1. http://www.pixlr.com/express

I do adore pixlr! It has got to be my favorite editing site for all my photos. It offers a bunch of tools to edit the photos.The EXPRESS part of it is absolutely easy to use and it produces amazing, great, and professional photos.

I have not explored more than the Express part because the other two, I feel are too advanced for my neophyte computer skills.

My work of NADAL through pixlr -( and yes, Pixlr offers the option of creating a collage)charlarpic2

2. IPHOTO EDITING

This only applies to those who own APPLE products like a mac. Once I import all my camera photos into IPHOTO, I then edit them using this Iphoto Editing button. It is useful, and helps give the original photo a cleaner, and sharper overall presentation.

After editing through IPHOTO, I usually then continue onto pixlr.

 Simple editing through IPHOTO- (The basics)

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3. http://www.picmonkey.com

Just discovered this today! I’m very glad I did!

It is not as complete as pixlr, but it is still the second-best, so I have got to add this to this list.

Very easy to use, but it’s obvious that the site is trying to earn money by putting a bunch of restrictions on tools that pixlr has for free, and the ads at the bottom page.

Still, don’t hesitate to try this site too, you might prefer this than Pixlr.

Just about the level of Pixlr. Love it too!

amelie7

 


Rafael Nadal and Tennis


Ever since I was a child, my parents influenced me by having tennis channel on for many hours a day. Watching tennis being played on the terre battu (clay court) would probably have to be my favorite. Therefore, my preferred

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grand slam would also be Roland Garros held in Paris, France, every May. umm..As yo

u may infer, that opinion is super biased. I enjoy watching tennis and playing the sport. I played it for about 4 years and previous to that, I played badminton and won several awards for the primary school team. Thanks to my parents, they have pushed me to always remember to follow an active lifestyle.

I have ‘followed’ Rafael Nadal since the start of his early professional tennis career. I have seen him grow from an amateur to the King of Clay, and to the #1 player in the world, which means I saw him through the ups and downs.

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What has always impressed me about Nadal is his surrounding of a lovely and supportive family. I know that his Dad and Mom divorced, but no matter what happened between the couple, both parents know that Nadal is ‘their’ son, which is why both try to attend their son’s tennis matches. Also, his Uncle Tony has been coaching him from the ripe age of 6, and Nadal has never changed coaches. *loyal student*

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Nadal says his family and support team cocoons him from distracting mud that comes with money and fame. According to Nadal’s mother, Nadal is a very sensitive boy who has full of fears. As an example, he dislikes the dark, and he prefers to sleep with the light turned on. He also isn’t safe around lightnings; when he was a child, he’d hide under the cushions.

As for food preferences, he hates cheese tomato, and ham- which is the national dish of Spain…

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Nadal’s girlfriend is very down-to-earth and hides in the limelight. She believes that traveling everywhere with her boyfriend would not be healthy for either party. She has a degree in business administration and a full time job with an insurance company in Mallorca. If she were to follow him, she imagines that there would be a risk that they might stop

Maria Francesca Perello, aka Xisca, girlfriend of tennis champ Rafael Nadal, takes pics during the 2010 US Open

getting along. She isn’t looking to be on headlines and seen around with her beau. She chooses to remain the ‘earthly’ girl that she has always been.

She says, “Even if my family asks me about Rafael, I prefer not to say much. The fact is that I don’t feel comfortable talking about these things in private. It’s what works for me, and what works for Rafael and me as a couple.”

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Merry Christmas WordPress!

Odile


La France: Truth or Myth?


Hey WordPress Readers!

I’m hoping that this post will hopefully enlighten those who are inspired to visit or..to re-visit France for a longer period.

1. French toilets are erroneous

…TRUTH! Public restrooms are usually unsanitary, however, there are quite a few which are decent.

If you are in Paris and are in need of a toilet badly, try to find the nearest shopping mall or hotel that will accept you to use their service. Nowadays Paris has become pretty money-minded due to all the tourism; it charges for public toilets. I swear, there is such a thing as ‘French tourism toilet income’, and it’s no guarantee that the priced ones are ‘clean’.

Good luck! SIT AT YOUR OWN RISK :D

2. The French are absolutely rude

MYTH! This has got to be the biggest/most common stereotype about the French (at least from my conversations with Americans). They are not rude. Sure, they may come off slightly reserved at first, but it’s just a matter of you making the first ‘leap of faith’.

It will most certainly take courage but it will be worth the 10 seconds you’ll spend introducing yourself and starting the journey of a new friendship.

In my opinion, the French are not like a majority of Californians who will suddenly jump at you trying to get to know you, and then that will be the first and last time you’ll ever see them.

The French are strong in the area of Friendship Bonding. It takes time and patience, but definitely rewarding.

3. Be fluent in French before visiting the country

MYTH! You don’t need to have spent 5 years of your life learning French..to only let yourself travel there. Wouldn’t that be too strict with yourself? I suggest people who go there to buy a petit livre of conversational French on your trip.

In order to avoid making a bad impression to the French, begin the conversation with a few French words. Don’t worry about your mistakes. Show that you are putting an effort in speaking the foreign language instead of ‘Hello. I come from *name of country*’

See my point?

4. They hate Americans

MYTH! haha, you may breathe now!

French don’t hate Americans, however, they do have a ‘low view’ on them ..in general..and I agree with the French.

I’ll be talking about my personal point of view on this one, so don’t get angry if you think differently. As an example, my classmate has asked me : “Which countries is Chinese or whatever Chinese language is, is spoken?” I just stared at him.

Also, there were quite a few of my friends who had no idea, whatsoever, of whom Andrea Bocelli is.

I don’t listen to Opera music…but at least I know who he is; It’s like someone who does not have a clue of whom Mozart is because he doesn’t play the piano.

For many Californians (I think), their nation is a superpower and that is all that counts. IGNORANCE.

5. La Gastronomie Francaise!

TRUTH! French food is definitely varied.

it is superrr delicious that I can’t even explain using words. French cuisine is extremely authentic and exotic- it varies from chicken to intestines. (Not only do the Latin Americans and Chinese eat those stuff…)

One of my favorite dishes is called ‘Steak Tartare’. In short words for this exquisite dish- it is just raw meat. Unfortunately, I’ve never  prepared it in the States due to the use of unknown amounts of hormones in the meat…

6. The culture is sophisticated and perfect!

TRUTH! but..with an exception.

I know this is sooo general but they are really chic from the areas of fashion to culinary arts. If you’ve heard of so many praises of France throughout your life, it’s not false, and neither is it an exaggeration! It is true!

People who visit France for the first time are completely blown away by the French aspects of the rich culture.

There is an exception to this statement though… In my opinion, there are not many talented French singers; French music is pretty weak. In vocals, they are in need of improvement.

AND THAT’S MARION COTILLARD! <3

7. They Stink

MYTH! What is with this stereotype??

The French are not stinky and therefore don’t smell bad. I’ve met and kissed lots of them but I’ve never had an instance where I thought to myself : “When was the last time he took a shower?”

Also, French perfumes are extraordinary! Most people use those expensive, good-smelling products. THEY SMELL FRESH.

8. Women don’t shave

TRU-MYTH! I’m not too sure about this one…

I can’t say that all women don’t shave..but I did meet this French madame who showed her underarms…and it was bushy (period)

9. Nude French Beaches!

TRUTH! Yesss! There are nude beaches!

Don’t be mislead though- Not all French beaches allow nudity; Only a few beaches do…so tourists, don’t be disappointed if you happen to make a spontaneous drop by a French beach during your vacation and not find a topless woman…:)

10. SMOKING!

TRUTH!

So many smoke….a lot! It’s a habit of the French people. They know it’s bad, but they’ve become addicted.

Many begin smoking at 16…It’s part of the culture…

When visiting Paris, you’ll be exposed to all the Tobacco smoke, so be ready :)

I believe that when the French smoke, it’s more a fashion statement than a liking for it.

He’s Jean Baptiste Maunier :) 

Merci!

Odile


Neuf Reasons to love Stockholm


Hello WordPress readers!

This post will explain why Stockholm has planted a deep seed in my heart.(I’ve done a ton of research…)

1. Swedes speak English fluently

I wouldn’t have a problem communicating with the natives! Even though I may sound very lazy , I will still be able to stay in my ‘language comfort zone’. I am currently putting effort to learn Swedish through all the available resources I can find.

2. People are genuine and less pretentious then Americans (This statement, I believe that it applies to much of Europe as well)

I’ve had mixed reviews when it comes to calling Swedes “friendly”. Some say that they are very enclosed at first, but when they open up, it’s meant to last for a lifetime. Comparing Americans to Swedes, Americans are quick to open and overly friendly, but are they  sincere? (That would probably be a different story)

3. Stockholm is just like any other Cosmopolitan European city

It has a beautiful relationship with water which is charming to me. Sweden is made of many islands actually. Also, the layout of the city is like any other Swedish design- easy to navigate (transportation!), aesthetic, functional and trendy.

4. Five weeks of vacation!!

My Dad has to work his butt of to ONLY get 2 weeks of break from work. When I see that, I’ve realized that this is what American Capitalism/ American economy is all about.

I’ll speak for the entire continent of Europe on this one; In the States, it’s pure torture!! Once you start working in Europe, you are immediately guaranteed 4 weeks- Why wouldn’t anyone say NO to that offer?

5. #1 Place in the world for women, kids, and homosexuals

Scandinavia can be called the Heaven on the earth. No one hears about the region on the news (exception: Breivik) because no news is good news! Women have respect and are not frowned upon- it’s definitely more egalitarian.

Sweden is one of the safest cities on Earth! There is such a meager amount of crime.

Also, according to a recent survey, Stockholm is rated as the best place for homosexuals to live in. (umm, Not San Francisco)

It’s a Utopia.

6. Men do housework, and take care of kids

This points back to my topic of egalitarianism. Just because they have a wife does not mean that the male has the right to impose ‘women’ jobs on his spouse. Swedish men clean the house, educate the kids as much as a mother would, and cook. Women have much more respect and liberty. I’m not planning to be a lazy Mother..but I’m just in awe of the values of the Swedish culture/society.

7. A Green country!

Sweden is super Green! It’s a country of people that truly love the outdoors and as a return, they respect and love nature to the fullest. About 1/3 of Stockholm consists of parks. Actually, the capital of Sweden is the first city in the world to have established a national park within its city boundary- At the heart of the capital of 1.5 million people.

I would love to study environmental/energy engineering-researching ways to find new resources to fund our world.

8. Summertime in Stockholm

Summer is a huge time for the Swedes! They spend it to the fullest! Sun rises at 4am and ends at 10pm.

9. IKEA-  New Enterprises- good place for new businesses

Lately, many companies have been founded in Stockholm. According to a recent article, Stockholm along with many other Scandinavian capitols were rated best places to provide future jobs. Have you heard of Volvo, Ikea, and H&M? They are all global Swedish successful brands. Just recently, Sweden founded the rising music software- Spotify, and SoundCloud!


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