First Work Trip Abroad: Completed

Bonjour!

I returned from my work trip on a Thursday, had to go into work on Friday, slept all of Saturday and Sunday, then was back at it again on a Tuesday.

My first work trip abroad was a success! I’m feeling more comfortable and relaxed in my position–not completely comfortable and relaxed–but more, and it’s quite a relief.

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The Moet & Chandon property

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I always choose scallops.
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The Moet & Chandon vineyard
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A fancy door and parquet flooring I’d like to have in my house, tyvm.
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There was SO much champagne.
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Moet & Chandon
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My French hotel
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You’ve seen one castle, you’ve seen ’em all, but…still pretty impressive n’est-ce pas?!
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A vineyard
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My hotel room in Germany

I didn’t really get to do anything but work in Germany. I wish I had gotten more pics but–maybe next time! But as you can see, France was a dream. We stayed in the Champagne region where all the world’s champagne is made (otherwise it’s called sparkling wine), and there were vineyards as far as the eye could see. We got to stay at a fancy hotel because my company was doing a collaboration with the hotel, and I may have never been able to stay in such a luxurious place if it weren’t for work.

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Next time I’ll tell you about some artwork I bought (online) for the house and have become obsessed with. But I bought some new running shoes and now I have to go get my money’s worth out of them. I’m training for a marathon next year–haha, just kidding. I couldn’t even finish that nonsensical sentence, BUT I do have a goal of being able to run a mile in eight minutes or less. I don’t know why. Never having a reason for doing stuff is kinda my thing.

À la prochaîne !

I’m French Now

I’ve been high all day. Not on drugs, you heathens! On an experience.

This morning I went to Starbucks and while I was standing in line, two ladies a few feet in front of me were having a conversation with each other in another language. Was it French? I listened a little harder but I couldn’t really hear them that well–but it sounded like it could be French.

Oh, nope–not French.

Wait, yes it is. I think. 

Then they started to order and one of the ladies was talking to the barista but he couldn’t really understand her, so the other lady would translate. And then I heard the first lady say the French equivalent of “ummm,” and I knew immediately!

Yes, they are French! French people, Kristin!

They started to speak a little louder and I understood bits of their conversation.

Kristin, they are French! This is your chance! Talk to them!

Then the other Kristin that lives in my brain (the one who doesn’t want me to be great!) started trying to talk me out of it.

They’re strangers! You hate talking to strangers! You’ll freeze and forget every word. Don’t do it!

By this time, they had finished ordering and it was my turn.

Do it, hurry up! They’re going to leave!

Don’t do it!

Do it! Do it!

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Guys, I was legit having a heated argument with myself in my head. It was too much. I finally just told Downer Kristin to shut it, walked over to them and said, “Bonjour! Vous êtes françaises? That’s “hi, are you French?”

And they were kind of shocked but in a good way, and they said, “Oui!” And I told them I was still learning French, I asked them where they were from (Toulouse and Paris), they asked me where I’m from, I told them that I had gone to Paris last December, we talked briefly about Atlanta, they told me that my French was very good and I didn’t have a strong accent (!!!), I told them about a couple of French restaurants in the area… This entire conversation was in French. The whole thing! I didn’t speak in English with them once!

I don’t know if it was Downer Kristin or Smart Kristin but one of me was like, Okay say goodbye, Kristin! Leave on a high note! Don’t fuck this up! 

I listened to whichever Kristin was telling me to wrap it up. Let’s face it–I had nearly exhausted my limited vocabulary by that point. I told them it was nice to meet them and goodbye (all in French!), and they said “Bonne Journée !”

I mean, could things have gone any smoother?! Even that bitch, Downer Kristin, was like…

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I walked to my car like…

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It was a good day. I’m still floating.

À la prochaîne !

Work

The second day of my new job I had to lead a meeting with my team. Let’s slow down.

Lead. A. Meeting.

With. My. Team.

Still recovering.

Let’s start with having to say the words “my team” without sounding and feeling like a giant douche. I know it just means that I’m responsible for a group of people, but my god! Those words make me cringe. It’s silly and I’ll get over it. It’s just gonna take some time.

Now let’s talk about something I’ll probably never get used to and that’s talking in front of a bunch of people (my team!) and giving them assignments and deadlines and communicating expectations and

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Help.

Guys, I’m soooo far out of my comfort zone that it’ll cause me to grow and get better, but man…the journey is going to kick my ass.

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Also, I just wrote “journey” and now I’m feeling like a pretentious douche again.

Ok, now let’s talk about an aspect of my job that doesn‘t require steeling myself in the mornings with Jay-Z and Drake to get through.

Next month I’m going to Berlin and France on a work trip! France, kids! FRANCE. Also…Berlin. Let’s set aside the fact that I might have overstated my level of French on my resume. You see–that’s a drama of my own making and I won’t complain to you about that. I will tell you, though, that I’ve been listening and studying my ass off to get ready! French YouTubers, French music, French movies, french fries. You name it!

Ok, I’ve gotta get back to work!

Bisous !

WTF, Paris. Still Love You, Tho.

Bonjour!

Today is our last full day in Paris. The time has gone by too fast.

But, guys… Saturday? Madness. The majority of the Paris rioters usually convene around the Champs-Élysées, which is in the eighth arrondissement. Our hotel is also in the eighth arrondissement. I had no idea the extent of these riots. I mean, look at this:

I was marginally worried that they would decide to come into the hotel and start rioting, but the staff told us not to worry about that, that they wouldn’t. And the staff didn’t seem to be too worried about it, so I tried to put it out of my mind and just enjoy the hotel.

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I also had a facial, which was lovely and my skin looked great afterward, but–I was also bankrupt afterward. Ah, well. It kept my mind off being possibly dragged from the hotel by rioters and beaten to death in the streets!

On Sunday everything was calm again. The streets were clean and people were out strolling to bakeries and such. Kinda like nothing had ever happened, which was a complete mindfuck. But midday, I decided to go out and re-join the city, too.

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Ladurée

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Yesterday, we went to the Christmas market in Tuileries Garden and the catacombs. I also found a New Year’s Eve dress, and I can’t wait to tell everyone on New Year’s Eve that my dress is from Paris. I mean… It’s from Zara, but Zara in Paris. Gonna be pretty insufferable, I must warn you.

Today I went out in search of a home decor item that I could bring back and look at every day (and also tell all my visitors that it’s Parisian), and I found it. I’ll show it to you later after I’ve had a chance to take some really good pictures of it!

Alright–I’ve only got about 18 hours left to enjoy the best city in the world.

À bientôt !