Posts tagged Culture
Days in Paris and a book review

Following our stay in Paris in August, I just couldn't stop thinking, or talking, about it. It made my french man a little annoyed, and eventually I had to admit that he was right when reminding me that to live in a place is never the same as visiting for the holidays. Sadly, I do know it is true. Living in London working fulltime is a very different story from being a tourist in London. The city is large and at times too much time passes by with only work, commute, eat and sleep and none of the fun things one can do with the time at hand.

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I love Paris nontheless. Relaxing greenery in the middle of the city.
 

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The Opéra national. Especially the interior, the ceiling is painted by Chagall, and it is stunning. We drove past late at night, andI knew we had to return the next day. Nights by the Seine.

French style tapas food...

This week I came across a book about Paris. Or rather, the typical Parisian woman.

How to be Parisian wherever you are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits.

It is written by four ladies - Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline De Maigret and Sophie Mas and it describes the Parisian woman in ways such as "she smokes like a chimney on the way to the countryside to get some fresh air" or "one who randomly exclaims: this is the most wonderful day of my life".

I love the unexpected touch. I love that some things are so true. I love how many things are taken to an edge of total exaggeration. Know any woman in her 20s that is a bit of dreamer? This is the perfect gift.

How To Be Parisian
Pray for rain

Last weekend I went to my first Californa festival. I was pretty excited about it. Some of my favourite bands were playing. Need I say that I was not disappointed? I arrived quite late after a full day of yoga history, not to complain, I loved it, but I felt pretty exhausted. The low evening sun beamed a magical light over the festival area. The young crowd was welcoming with their smiley faces. In the ticket line I felt the excitement spreading throughout my body and as soon as the bag search was over I started started to jog towards the stages. Only to be stopped by a final security guard that apparently wanted to scan my ticket first. Oops, I almost started my festival experience by being run after by security. Nice!

The first performance was Tv on the Radio, which I have seen before. But that was some time ago. In a completely different setting, or let's say forest, in nothern Sweden. It was, as you can imagine, a very different experience. The performance had a Tv on the Radio-like intensity to it, and they played a nice mix of old and new songs. As they were playing the sun went lower and lower, and there was a golden glow over the heads of the swaying and at times dancing audience. As the the last palm tree lost its touch of golden we headed to the second stage for Poliça.

I was standing on someone's picknick blanket and I got lost. The transfers between each song were mezmerising. Instead of falling in and out of the songs, the rythmic transformative flow in each song emphasised their relationship to one another. Like seeing someone combine ten different outfits with some reoccuring pieces, getting to love these pieces more and more, seeing how they come out so different each time.

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As for all concerts, there is an end. Which made me kind of sad, so we decided to take a little break for touring the festival area. I'm glad we did, because we found an awesome silent disco, the DJ was really great. He almost convinced me that silent disco is better than a conventional disco. I thought about it as we headed to the food trucks for some food. They sold healthy SF green juices, young coconuts with a straw and American style pizza. I had to take my latest obsession, a warming naan bread burrito filled with garbanzo stew.

As Alt-J finished his performance on the main stage, we headed to the smaller stage to wait for Washed out; the guy from Georgia who wanted to become a librarian but didn't secure a job and instead moved back to his parents and began to create music. He told us Washed Out has been touring for one and a half years and this was there last performance of the tour. It was brilliant. As it happens on festivals, we had to leave before the last song to make our way to Massive Attack. We found a very good spot just in middle and quite at the front. Damien had seen them once before in Lyon in the early 2000s. And they had the same pictures streaming in the background. Come on? But apart from that, I really enjoyed it. Especially when our hopes were fulfilled and Tunde Adebimpe from TVOTR entered the stage to sing Pray for Rain. Pure magic, and a perfect fit for the California drought. They must have thought about that.

And best of all, it worked, because when I opened my curtains the day after, it was raining.  Thank you Treasure Island, I'll be back!

Au revoir Paris! Hello Dublin!
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Some decisions and some actions affect your life for a long period of time. First time I signed a flat lease it was for 6 months only, however it felt like a lifelong commitment. I had just moved to London with my friend and we sat on a bench in a crowded park in Whitechapel. I remember I felt a pressure. A pressure that if I didn't sign I would fail myself, and even worse - my friend.

Today is different, this time I am not calling my dad to find the strength to put my signature on the contract. Five years later, me and my man are signing the contract for a cute little apartment here in Dublin. It will be ours in just a couple of days. Our arrival day was full of contrasts. Especially in terms of the architecture, the weather and the women. While the first two are pretty self-explanatory the last one deserves some closer attention. In France I am often the taller one and I often feel less girly than the women around me. I am aware there are many tall french ladies but maybe they are all full time models without any free evenings to spend out. Or more likely, it is just a random fact that the people we happen to know are not as tall. The first Irish lady that we met however, yes the taxidriver-with-an-uncomprehensible-accent was a man, was the woman renting the airbnb flat where we are staying. She was at least 180 cm, and with her big coat and darker voice, I felt more feminine and petite than ever before. I suspect this first impression of the ladies will prove itself wrong pretty soon and I need to get over the initial wow-the-way-I-speak-is-so-different kind of feeling.

Another impression I've had of Ireland so far is that while the Sunday mornings are spent in church, it seems like the next destination for the Dubliners is the pub. It was extremely busy on the Sunday afternoon. This is different from France, where the afternoon is traditionally spent at home to socialise with the family. Since Damien and I are neither frequent church visitors or beer drinkers I have suggested that we start an afternoon tea tradition. I do like the scones, and we do like tea - preferably in huge quantities.