So sorry for my slow work on my blog recently.  I do appreciate those who stop in a ton!

It has been very very very busy recently.

Last week, I had to talk to a Parliamentarian's secretary from Uruguay. It was a lot more challenging than I remember than the last 'formal' conversation I've had in Spanish.  I first had to spend two minutes explaining to her that she needed to stop talking in French to me (even though she was calling Paris) and that she needed to talk in Spanish to me in order to understand.  Then I realized my speaking skills are a little lagging at the moment and wanted to make sure that she understood that I was understanding everything she was telling me, even if my responses weren't comparable!

I get slight enjoyment out of learning phrases that people who speak "British English" or just have English as a second language, use and how they use them.  Yesterday, I was asked in the office if I was ok if they turned on the 'fridge'.  I was so confused!  After a while, I learned they were talking about the air conditioner.  A second one is "finger in the nose".  They told me that apparently French people use it like we use "easy as cake".  They asked me if we used their phrase.  I said, "No, I think we just use 'easy as cake'."  Uhhh....  Oh these little things make me laugh.

Nathaniel is funny as always. He's started preschool and now usually comes home quite tired and sometimes a little crabby.  Thanks to him though, I now know how to say car in French - voiture (pronounced v-wee-true) - because he says it about 500 times a day.  He also loves shoes.

I am very very excited because tomorrow I am going to LEIDEN for the weekend.  It's a bit of a 'splurge' for me, but I'm very excited to visit friends and eat a stroopwafel from the market (who am I kidding?).  I know it will probably be a long time before I will get to visit again.

It is now September and this means that the vacation month of August for ALL Parisians is now over.  This also means that they are back to work and infesting the metro.  I usually go to work at the 'peak' time (I don't really think that I can say rush hour because it's not car traffic - at least for me).  This, I have learned, is a very bad idea in my opinion.  When I go to work, I take one train and then transfer to get on another line.  Well, I was on the second 'leg' and I was already feeling like a sardine, with my face nearly plastered against the window just waiting for the doors to open to fall out.  I had to hop out and get into another car that was 'less' crowded.  In doing so, I was in the train and the buzzer sounded (meaning the doors are about to shut) when myself and an older woman were physically pushed out of the train.  OH MY GOSH!  I couldn't believe what had just happened, and neither had the woman.  Of course it is only approximately a 4 minute wait for the next train, but I couldn't believe it.  Today I decided I had to leave earlier to beat this madness.  Unfortunately I cannot get into the building so I just had a long walk around the area until 9. 

Paris has this 'velib' program where there are locations every 300 meters where you can grab a bike and return it at another stop.  It is about half the price of the monthly metro pass, and I am highly considering this.  My only concern is that bikers are not appreciated in Paris the same way as in the Netherlands.  I think it may be worth it.  In the meantime, I've held off renewing my monthly navigo pass for the metro train.