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Posts Tagged ‘Paris’

First off, a tip to the gentlemen readers: Never tell a woman that she looks tired. No matter how sympathetically you think you sound, just don’t do it. Admittedly the 48-hour sleep deficit I’ve been running over the last week isn’t doing wonders for my skin or my abilities to stay focused on the most basic of conversations, but I don’t like for that to be pointed out to me, thankyouverymuch.

The lack of sleep can be attributed to the combination of regular end of term happenings and my bright decision to have taken a week to screw off on the beach. There might have been a largely useless conference as well that served as an excuse to travel. The beach trip got a bit derailed by bad weather and my guilt over ditching my NBV group. So I found the one filthy cafe in the whole town with wifi and spent most of the weekend doing work.

This term has been a blast, and letting myself get swallowed up in it has been quite rewarding.

This week alone I managed to make it to Paris 5 times. On Tuesday and Wednesday, a dear friend from home was in town. It was so nice to catch up with someone who’s known me since college. I also spent a lovely Wednesday morning at the US Embassy getting extra pages sewn into my passport. While it’s kind of cool to have finally run out of pages in a passport, it’s not nearly as excited to be crammed in a standing-room-only waiting area full of immigrant hopefuls and wait for three hours. Note to self: if I ever start thinking I’m anything special, I should make a trip to the US Embassy (actually, any embassy) to bring me back down to size. We then spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the city and had an incredible dinner at Bistro Paul Bert.

On Friday I was back in Paris to submit a visa application for a Tier 1 visa for the UK. I started the process back when I had a partner in the UK and definite plans to be there post-graduation. I’m now foot-loose and fancy free, and kinda sour on the whole UK idea and just a tad (read: hugely) resentful about the exorbitant financial investment. But I decided to follow through with the rest of the process in order to have a three year work permit. Now it’s out of my hands; please cross your fingers and toes that the frazzled/overworked/underpaid gods of border control will look kindly upon my application. (I’m not terribly psyched to be working this summer. While the subject matter sounds interesting and I have a well-defined project that will help me transition to a role in my area of interest, I really just want to go home and see my parents and friends, sleep until noon, read books, and eat Mexican food. On the plus side, a ton of people from INSEAD will be in London over the summer!)

On Saturday I stayed out at a trashy Paris club with some high-rollers until 5:30 in the AM, and again until 2:30 AM on Sunday for the Fete de la Musique – a huge street party with music acts on every street corner – with two of my favorite people. Paris in the summertime is completely unrecognizable from the freezing, disgusting Paris I encountered on my first trip there in over NYE. I think I might be loving it, finally.

Now I’m sitting in a cubicle in the west wing, staring at a markerboard with my lengthy to do list.
– edit a business plan for my New Business Ventures class
– practice an investor pitch for a presentation tomorrow
– submit an online poll for mergers and acquisitions. wait, no. j/k. I haven’t submitted one all term. Why would I start now?
– finish a paper on why MASDAR freaks me out
– start a 1000 word mini-paper – topic TBD
– start studying for final exams in Macro and IPA.
– find housing in London

Strangely, writing this post will not make this list any shorter.

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Some years ago my friend Leonard and I were browsing through some racks at American Apparel.  Leonard is a fashion whore.  Every 2 months or so he’s talking about needing  a new suit.  Because to say that you want a new suit is less legitimate than to say you need one.  Leonard has needs, not wants.      

“I think I need a new fleece,” I thought out loud.

“Oh, right.  You wear fleece,” said Leonard.  

After this, hoping to blend in among the fashionably competent, I’ve limited wearing my fleece around town.  But seriously, dressing better than the crowd was not hard to do in a college town where sweatpants from Victoria’s Secret with UGG boots are acceptable Sunday brunch wear.  Paris, I fear, will be another story.  Isn’t it adorable how I keep deluding myself that I’ll actually be living in Paris (not 45 minutes away by train and sans time or money to actually go to Paris)?

For the past few weeks I’ve been searching for a skirt suit to wear to the tens of rounds of interviews that are a favorite pastime of any INSEAD student, and I’m going slightly nuts.  I’ve now exhausted the options of everything below $500.  From Theory (slutty) to Banana Republic (hideousness) to Sisley (awful quality).  And it’s not even that I have a weird body type or hang-ups about my body image!  I’m perfectly proportional for my height.  Unfortunately for my wallet, everything at Anthropologie was made with me in mind.   

I stopped by Barney’s outlet store to find the men’s side chock full of suits, and the women’s side full of frivolous, frilly suits for walking poodles on the Upper East Side but nothing for interviews or board meetings.  Next door, Kaspar offered hideously colorful suits for middle-aged secretaries and real estate agents in size 8 and up.  How is it that after 60 years since women entered the work force in numbers, major labels like Boss still don’t design suits for women?  Oh, right, women don’t get to play in the boardroom.  I think I wrote something about that for my scholarship applications.  Speaking of… the INSEAD scholarship selection committee is about a month late getting back with the response.  But that’s another rant.  

The other day I stopped by a store in town center where my father has bought some of his suits.  The only options for women were bespoke suits for around $1700.  The sales associate there tried shifting the attention away from his ignorance of differences between European and American styles by rebuking me for worrying about fashion and buying a suit with an expiration date of 1.5 years.  

When I tried on a model of one of the styles, he said, “that’s a great Hillary Clinton look.”  WHAT?  Now, I admire and respect Hillary Clinton, and resent the fact that the media found her pantsuits worthy of more attention than her healthcare proposals.  And I’ll be lucky to look that good in bright orange when I’m 65, but that’s like 35 years from now!  

I put on my fleece and left in a huff.

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