Monday, June 7, 2010

Late bloomer: Life in Paris Summer 2010

I started my summer in Paris yesterday, so I decided to blog about my work at IRCAM as a Composer in Residence in musical research. It will also help me to chronicle my progress to keep myself in check, I hope! Of course, I don't know how you can be in Paris without talking about food/culture, so this is my first meal in Paris yesterday, at a Crêperie in front of IRCAM. And of course with Cidre.

June 5th: I didn't even say goodbye to kids, who were whisked away to the grandparents directly from the CDG airport which I knew to be the right thing to do (avoiding ’Wagnerian’ prolonged tragic moments).  On this first day in Paris for the summer, I'm giving myself a generous 'A': my son peacefully slept throughout the flight on my lap: thus I couldn't sleep well. Despite the lack of sleep, I met and greeted many people at IRCAM, and even worked a little with fabulous Bruno Zimborlin, a PhD student at IRCAM who has been helping me with the Augmented Violin system 'transatlantic' for the past year. There is a new version of the IRCAM software, which I was not able to fix on my own. Within about 20 minutes, everything was up and running! This residency is SO worth it!!

We were quite tired from jetlag, but still my husband and I even saw his former colleague and his wife from INRIA Sophia Antipolis for dinner, who now is a professor at Univ of Athens. This is Salade Landaise with Magret de Canard and fois gras, one of the best ones I've had in a while. Or maybe I was just very, very hungry. It is a restaurant near Faidherbe Chaligny metro station at 11e arrondissement, where his wife works as a doctor.

Husband gets A+ as he got cell phones+internet working after only a few hours of our arrival, and he even showed true love by setting me up with BHV card! Or rather, he is a husband who realizes that he is married to a Japanese woman, who can't help herself in an environment like BHV which is dangerously close to where she lives, so he has taken the initiative to minimize the damage as quickly as possible. (this card got some discounts that comes with it) Aside from all this, I spent time looking up at beautiful architecture, and looking down more intensively at shoes Parisienne are wearing.

I am truly grateful for this late-blooming "live in Paris" experience which I probably should have done two decades ago. But I'm feeling happier about where the stage of both my personal and professional life is, and being at IRCAM in this particular capacity as a Composer in Residence. Also I am far from being completely fluent, but my French is a lot better; at least now I speak "I am married to a Frenchman" French. I don't even call anymore a convertible car: "Voiture Décapitable" ("guillotined" car, husband still laughs at me for it) which should be "décapotable" (hats-off).

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