Saturday, July 7, 2012

Saturday, June 30- Thursday, July 5, 2012


Saturday, June 30, 2012

We left at about 11am to make it to the airport for our 4:30 flight. Traffic wasn't bad until we hit New York. That tied us up for about two hours. Traveling was exhausting. I was up for a little over 24 hours straight. I slept maybe 20 minutes here and there on the first 7hr flight, but it was not good sleep at all. When we got to France, we had to take multiple trains to get to our hotel. We arrived at the hotel at about 3:30pm the next day. France is 6 hours ahead from PA, so that'd be about 9:30 there. We slept for a few hours and then went out to dinner. We got back pretty early for work the next day.




Monday, July 2, 2012

First day of work! I was exhausted and so jetlagged. It took about 10 minutes to get to work by the train. The station is right outside our building, it's so convenient. It's also very cheap. I received my project and basically just got to know the place. I will be doing research on waste management, which will later be used to help develop Sodexo's "Better Tomorrow Plan." You can read more about the plan here: Better Tomorrow Plan. I left early to go back to my room and rest. Before I went back, I stopped at the store. Let me tell you, IT'S SO DIFFERENT! Even brands we have in America have different packaging. The cereals are mostly chocolate-based, and even Tony the Tiger looks different. I didn't know what a lot of things read, so I just guessed at what I was buying. Thankfully it all worked out pretty well. One thing I found crazy was that you could individually buy things that usually come in packages. For example: You can take ONE water bottle out of a package of 6 if you only wanted to purchase one. You could also buy half a baguette and rip it in half if you wanted. Makes me wonder how the French economy manages to somewhat function and not go belly-up if people are allowed to do what they want and possibly produce waste.

Euros. They remind me of Monopoly money. They're all different sizes.

Sodexo Global Headquarters, France
View from the 7th floor. That's the Eiffel Tower to the left.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Work was a lot better today than Monday in regard to how tired I was. I had straight espresso for the first time. It's so bitter and strong. I really dislike it, but it's what everyone drinks in the office. The French take so many coffee breaks. We have an automatic machine with 6 different coffee options: espresso, double espresso, coffee, mocha coffee, mocha and something else I haven't tried yet. We also have a 1 hour lunch break. There's also no set time you need to go into work or leave. You just go in and leave when you get your work for the day done basically. The work ethic is not as strong as Americans, and someone I work with told me that they love when Americans come to work because we actually get things done. The Sodexo Global headquarters is a very inspirational place. When Michel Landel took over, he decided that he wanted the office to be more diverse and not just French. Because of that, they started a language program that teaches employees that don't know the language how to speak French. There are SOOO many people that are working here that didn't know a word of French before they were hired. It's giving me ideas for the future and where I want to work and what I want to do. France is a beautiful place, and I would definitely live here temporarily for a few years of my life and work.

However, I'm still getting used to the new culture. It's not very hot, but it's somewhat humid. There is a lot of pollution in the air as well. I have a black coffee maker in my room and it gets dusty by the end of the day. Also, I have been needing to use RUBBING ALCOHOL on my face so that it does not break out because of all the dirt. The sun doesn't set until about 1030-11 either, so people eat late and are up late as well. The opposite of the American lifestyle. Shawon and I ended up walking around and got pizza at about 1030. He posted a video on his blog (Living Life ) of how the guy made it. It was very interesting! They also use swiss cheese instead of mozzarella! Living here is like living in a big city like New York. You don't need a car because public transportation gets you everywhere, and living spaces are very expensive and small. A woman I work with told me that every square meter is 20,000euros. That's about $25,000 today!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fourth of July! Not really a big deal here. How did I celebrate? Well, at lunch Shawon and I sat with 4 other Americans and talked about the states. By night we went over the house of woman who we work with and had a very French-style dinner with her and her husband (slightly ironic that we ate French food when it was the 4th of July). The dinner consisted of a platter of cheeses, lunch meat, foie gras (google it), baguettes, and wine. It was a lot of fun and we really enjoyed being there. The day was fun and relaxing, but we again didn't get back until late with work early the next day.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thursday was a great day. I had a very productive day at work and then after work Shawon and I had dinner then head out to see the Louvre and the Tuileries Garden and Palace. It was absolutely gorgeous and unlike anything I have ever seen before. There was also a carnival that was going on near the Louvre so we went. We rode the ferris wheel and it stopped at the top. The view was AMAZING! we saw the Eiffel Tower and so many other beautiful things. After that, we walked around a bit. There was a slushie stand with more slushies that I ever thought existed. There was also a candy stand that you picked your own candy and put it in a bag and weighed it at the end for your price. I ended up spending 20euros, but it was well worth it! I'm a bit of a candy gummy junky. I could describe everything that I did, but I think pictures will show it better!

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