Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Snow and Christmas Cookies

The first snow of the year. The Sunday before the Sunday before last. 
Last Wednesday, I spent about 5 hours baking cookies in order to bring some Christmas cheer into my apartment. And also, I have a lot of free time. Baking proved to be quite an adventure, because I have EXTREMELY limited tools.

My measuring cup and only bowl of decent size.
my teaspoon (i.e. a small spoon)

my tablespoon (i.e. a normal spoon)
my cookie sheet (i.e. a pizza pan)
This meant that I had to convert my recipes from US volume measurements to metric weight, and that any size smaller than a teaspoon was guess work.
I also made my own sprinkles because the grocery store only had one color and they were hideous and expensive:
A few drops of food coloring in sugar.
Mix and allow to dry over radiator 
All things considered, the cookies turned out quite good. Especially the first two batches -- the sugar cookies and the spritz. 
A mini-disaster struck however with the snickerdoodles. After they had been in the oven for maybe 4 minutes a burning smell began emerging from the oven. I opened the oven to discover that the cookie dough had dripped through the holes in the pan and burnt on the bottom of the oven. I had to take them out and put foil underneath. But by that time it was too late and there was smoke billowing out of the oven for the rest of my cooking. And then even the second batch turned out flat and crunchy. Not bad, but not right. 
Nonetheless, it was fun and the cookies turned out on the whole well. 
Note puny Christmas Tree in the background...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


We left Brasov around noon the next day, and took a train down to Bucharest. When we arrived at our hostel, it was already getting dark. It was a dreary rainy sort of day, and it took us forever to walk to our hostel which was pretty far from the metro stop they suggested we get off at.
It was also in a... interesting neighborhood. This was one of the houses on the street. Also note the sketchy apartment complex to the right. The hostel itself was brand new, and it looked like they had bought one of these abandoned houses and fixed it up. It had high ceilings and crown molding. The beds were in what were probably once dining and living rooms. It was an odd mix of elegant and...hostel. There were unframed cheaply printed pictures on the wall, and a room with at least 8 beds in it can only be so fancy. 
One of the people staying in our room was an american truck driver in his 40s who claimed he was in Romania to find a wife. Later he was replaced by this guy who spent his entire time there in bed on his computer. Hosteling is always full of characters.
The first night, we didn't do much. We went to McDo for dinner (it was gigantic! They had a special area for Birthday parties and a separate cafe  -- it is easily the biggest McDo I've ever been in in my life). Then we walked down the "Champs Elysee of Romania". This huge boulevard was specifically designed to be a "challenge" to the Champs Elysee of Paris and was designed to be some nominal amount of meters longer just to show them up. I didn't really get what the point of that was, but Tristan suggested that what the communists were trying to say was something like "Your Champs Elysee is only for the rich. It is based on commercialism. Ours is lined with housing for the people."  Anyway, I'm sure that today these apartments are some of the most expensive in the country.

We ended the night by playing a pirated version of Monopoly in the hostel's abandoned common room. 
The next day we saw all the sights of Bucharest which there weren't that many of, to be honest. 

The national library. It's clear that Romania has fully embraced capitalism.

The People's Palace - or today the House of Parliament. It's one of the biggest Parliament buildings in the world, or something. There are pictures of me with this building, but they must have been taken with Tristan's camera, and I still don't have those photos

This disturbing and befuddling monument is the Revolution Square where one of the key events of the revolution took place (I guess that might be obvious)
We had an early dinner at a popular Romanian restaurant. Normally you need reservations, but not when you eat at 5. It was really delicious. I had a sausage and bean soup dish, and Tristan had chicken schnitzel. Then we went back to the hostel to rest our extremely tired feet. We had intended to go back out but we never did. We did make one small trip out to the small store around the corner for water -- which was pretty nervous-making because the neighborhood's general abandonedness. We paid for our water through the window because they don't let you in after a certain time and we made it back without incident.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bran Castle and Rasnov Fortress

Random aside that has nothing to do with this post: Today, I am alone all day because my roommates went to Nancy for the weekend and also Tristan is taking the LSAT so I have literally no one to talk to for 7 hours today. I was originally planning to join my roommates for the day. But because of the train times, I would have had to pay 40 euro for 5 hours in a town that doesn't sound that spectacular. I'm going to try to productive today, unlike my last two off days. I'd like to run, but my weather app says it's -3*c (26.6*f) which sounds awfully cold (on principle, I'm a Fahrenheit person. I think it makes a lot more sense for measuring weather (and not just because I understand what it means better). But when it comes to cold temperatures, I am more accustomed to Celsius.)
Now back to our regular scheduled programming (which involves overly detailed descriptions of my vacation):
For our second day in Brasov (Halloween), we took a day trip as planned to see castles in the region. We originally planned to take a tour with the hostel, but A) one of the castles was closed and B) it was actually quite a bit more pricey than taking the bus.
So we ask the hostel for directions on how to get to the bus station and they tell us we need to take bus 6 or whatever and that we can catch it across from the theater. So we go there, buy a ticket, and then wait, and wait. We begin to get impatient and nervous. Is this really where this bus comes? Maybe it doesn't come here? Why isn't it coming? So finally, we decide we will walk down towards McDo to borrow their wifi and make sure we are at the right place. We *know* the bus will come as soon as we are too far away to have a chance to catch it, yet we walk away. Thirty seconds after we pass what we marked as the point of no return (ie. if we are past here, there is NO way we will make it back to the bus stop in time to catch the bus) we see the bus up ahead stopped at a light. We make eye contact, then we turn around and sprint towards the bus stop as quick as we can. Making it there just as the bus arrives.
We made it the bus station with little other event:

Note the things hanging from the ceiling of the bus. Those are air fresheners and there were like 5 bazillion of them  hanging from the ceiling. 

One of my favorite parts of Romania (and the trip in general) was the many bus and train rides. Rather than a means to an end, the views outside the window were an attraction unto themselves. The countryside was beautiful: mountains, trees, plains, valleys and fields. There were huge expanses of land that looked much as they did hundreds of years ago. We saw villagers in horse drawn carts, horse drawn plows, shepherds standing in fields with there flocks.

I guess these would be the Carpathians.

When we first got to Bran Castle, we weren't sure initially if we wanted to pay to go in the castle, because castles are generally pretty unspectacular inside (I mean generally it's just a bunch of ridiculously ornate furniture and furniture is boring.) So we meandered through the trinket sellers. 
We made a sweet doggy friend. We fed her these (pretty nasty) chicken flavored  Lays. She seemed to like them quite a bit. 

"Clever" trinkets 
We eventually decided to go in the castle, because I wanted to use the restroom and though there was a public restroom in the trinket area, it was underground and frankly terrifying. Also, it was difficult to see the castle well without paying to go on the grounds. I think it was about 4 dollars each or total to go in, or something not very high. We used our student IDs to get the reduced rate and had our IDs scrutinized like they were forgeries (which reminds me of that time I went to a bar Chico just before we left, and had them think my ID was fake). 

At this point, Tristan hasn't the slightest idea why I'm taking this picture.

This is why. She was also sweet, though considerably more skittish then the other dog. Tristan spent at least10 minutes trying to woo her. Before, after, and while I used the distinctly not terrifying restroom.
Inside, the castle was worse then expected. It was sparsely furnished with furniture we later learned was only from the early 20th century. Bran Castle is funny because it seems to have become well known as "Dracula's Castle" - that is that it was the castle of Vlad Dracula (commonly known as Vlad the Impaler) or something like that. But the truth is that he never visited it, and there is no records to suggest Bram Stocker (author of Dracula) even knew it existed. Of course, this doesn't stop trinket sellers from trying to milk it. 
Nor did it stop this. I wonder how Queen Marie would feel about her furniture being displayed next to this atrocity .
On the other hand, paying the admission fee was well worth the views from the castle which were spectacular. 

And this is the castle as viewed from the grounds

After that, we took a bus to Rasnov. The trouble was that by the time we got there we were famished because we hadn't eaten anything (aside for some nasty chips) since breakfast. Rasnov, it turned out, was rather lacking in places to eat, but we eventually stumbled upon a completely empty restaurant and decided to eat there. It took over an hour for us to get one single, rather small, pizza and get out of there. Which was made extra horrible by the fact that they were playing a music video channel on the TV and we had to here song after song of some of the worst dance music ever created by man. By this time, it was getting dark. We started climbing the hill to the fortress, but the path was this meandering street that didn't seem to be any hurry to get us up the mountain. We very quickly gave up on getting up to fortress and decided to just head back. So Rasnov ended up being a bit of a fail.
In fact, one of the best pictures I got of the fortress was on the bus ride to Bran. 
That night, after having KFC and relaxing a bit. We went out on the town a bit for Halloween. The first place we went was this "Rock and Roll" bar that played metal. As we were walking in, we were approached by a Romanian guy who heard Tristan speaking German. At first, we weren't sure if he worked at the bar, or what. But it turned out he was just a friend of the owner. He talked to us the entire time we were there. His name was Chris and he was quite a character. After that we walked around the city a bit more, and then went back to the hostel. It was quite a pleasant day.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Winter has arrived in Saint Louis

I am now going to interrupt my (probably too detailed) account of my trip to talk about the last 3 weeks.
After a rather cold and dreary early fall (according to the locals), Saint Louis has been downright balmy in the almost 3 weeks since I returned from my trip  Okay that might be an exaggeration, but it's been mostly 50's - low 70's. But today when I woke up, my room was furnace (despite the fact that I always sleep with the window slightly cracked because my radiator likes to make my room to warm and I have no way of adjusting it), so I knew immediately that the forecasts I had read were correct -- It's going to be a cold day with a possibility of snow. This is because for some stupid reason the radiator is regulated by the outside temperature, rather than the inside one. So if it's working overtime, it must be cold outside (unfortunately this is also annoying in the opposite way, sometimes it's perfectly nice outside but rather cold in here, and there is nothing I can do to warm up except put on more clothes). Anyway, it's quite cold. So cold, that I got a chill just walking from the school to here (this is like a 2 minute walk, seriously). Apparently, my strategy of wearing less clothes than I normally wear for the weather to go to school (because it is always quite toasty in there and I don't want to haul around five pounds of clothing) may not work this winter.

An unrelated but hilarious picture. This is an advent calender for your cat ( like the ones with chocolate, only, you know, cat food, for your cat)

The past three weeks have flown by, I can hardly believe it's been so long already. I've felt somewhat busy, though with what, I have no idea. I've started running again. I'm currently working back up to 5k, and after that I hope to work with the goal of doing a half marathon when I come back, because I need hobbies here. Though, I might need to join a gym to keep this up through the winter. I've also started doing the 100 push ups program which I am sure would be hilarious to watch because I can't even do a full modified push up. But now I can do at least 8 rather pathetic modified push ups rather than like 2, so progress has been made. Also, I've started thinking about graduate school applications, essays, and recommendations. Mostly though, I have been spending a lot of time sleeping. I literally slept for half of yesterday. Much to my shock, I woke up at 12:30 (note to self: set an alarm for a reasonable hour even on off days) despite the fact that I went to sleep before one. Then I went to sleep at around 12:30 or 1 am. So that's a good way to waste a day. Also, I watch a lot of youtube partially because I can't stream netflix or amazon movies even though I am american because Europe doesn't allow that :(((((. 

My Goals (to finish before I go on my next vacation in about 3 weeks):
* write rough drafts of application essays
* finish asking for recommendations
* continue running (run a 5k before trip?)
* try to transition to "real" push ups 
* finish writing about my other vacation on here

More (extremely detailed, long, and possibly boring) posts about the rest of the cities I visited will be forthcoming shortly (I hope).

Monday, November 26, 2012

Some pictures of Thanksgiving

Tristan and I celebrated Thanksgiving on Friday because that was when he could get here. Our feast was quite simple because the grocery stores lack essential ingredients for two of the things that I would have liked to have in our meal (Jello Salad and cornbread stuffing... specifically it lacked jello and cornbread) and also, as previously noted, my kitchen is tiny. Ultimately, we had green beans, mashed potatoes, scallops of turkey breast, and the only American wine they had at the supermarket (a Rose from California). 
The pictures I took were truly awful -- I don't know why but my camera refuses to take decent photos inside my apartment. Therefore, I have used silly effects to make them look betterish...

This effect is called 1960s. I choose it because the picture already looked like it was from the 1960s.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Since Dad asked and because I was curious myself, I looked up where exactly the Carpathians are in Romania. It turns out that both Brasov and Cluj are considered to be in this mountain range. And we most certainly took a train through them on the way to Buchrest.

The Romanian countryside as seen through the train window and captured by my cheap cellphone camera. 

When we arrived in Brasov, it was already dark. After we arrived at our hostel, our first move was to go to the supermarket to buy shower supplies and after we got cleaned up we went out to get kebabs at one of the  the places we had seen on the way to the store. We ended up going to Andos, a sort of fast food chain. The kebab ended up being kind of nasty -- with way too much sauce! We vowed never to go back to Andos. Then we returned to the hostel and watched a movie in the common room. After it was over, we wanted to go out for a snack. We had seen a few pastry places that were selling this pretzel-like circular thing stuffed with chocolate or other things called covrigi. But when we arrived, they were all out of chocolate ones. Then we remembered that there was a picture of a really delicious looking desert pictured at Andos. So we made the worst decision of our vacation and went back to Andos. We went up to the counter, pointed to the picture and asked for it. They told us we had to go upstairs to get it. So we went up, and were handed a menu in Romanian. After some discussion, we decided to risk it and order something just because it had chocolate in it. Because how bad could something with chocolate in it be? 

Pretty bad, it turns out. Spoiled lumpy milk wrapped in a crepe sprinkled with chocolate sprinkles...yum.
The moral of this story is that you should ever order something just because the only word you understood was chocolate. Awkward. 
Meanwhile, our waitress has completely disappeared. We don't want to wait for her to come back and stare at our depressing dessert. And we know how much it cost, so we decide to just leave the money and bail. The only trouble was that as soon as we got out, Tristan thought he didn't grab his glasses. So we go back up stairs. And as we do, our waitress sees us, and goes up the stairs after us. As we leave once again, she says thank you to us, leading us to believe that she thought we had dined and ditched and then had an attack of conscious and returned to pay.
The next day we saw all of Brasov: 
Infamous Ando's and pretty fog. Also, it was as cold (if not colder) than it looks

Yes, that IS a sign modeled after the Hollywood sign up there in the fog. 

After seeing the main sights of the city, we hiked up to the Brasov Citadel, which was honestly pretty lame, but it was worth it for the views. 
The citadel 

 We finished up the day by walking by the city walls, and seeing "the narrowest street in eastern europe" which was the most contrived sight I've ever seen. If you ask me, it didn't even count as a street and certainly didn't warrant any pictures, it was more of gap between two buildings.
We relaxed for the rest of the night, which was quite lovely.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cluj Napoca: city of nothing

We arrived in Cluj Napoca around lunch time, we were starving! So our first mission was to find an ATM so we could get into town...This turned out to be rather more difficult than one would expect. I mean you'd expect an airport to have several ATMs and places to exchange. Eventually we succeeded in finding an ATM, but then we missed our bus into town by seconds. So we were like, screw this, let's just take a taxi.
Taxis are by far the most dangerous part of Eastern Europe travels, and not for the reason you would think. It's dangerous because there is probably like a 10% chance that you will die in some sort of fiery car crash because they are the most aggressive drivers ever and don't seem to have any fear of breaking laws.
We made it the hostel in one piece though. So then we had to check into our hostel, and the woman who was working there was the least friendly person ever. She more or less asked us what we were doing there... which was quite odd. So we were given the WORST MAP EVER. It was this sad blurry black and white print out, not very enlightening to say the least. 
After getting settled in, we went to a very traditional Romanian restaurant for lunch. Just kidding, we went to KFC. It was tasty. Then we walked around and saw probably 50% of what this city has to offer in like an hour.
There was this cathedral and statue
And not much else... So we went back and napped because we were sleepy. We said we would go out later, but by the time we woke up it was dark. Thus, sight seeing ended for the day. Then we went down to the common room for WiFi and such. When we got down there, the people that were down there looked at us like we were intruding on some sort of private event. The whole first few hours at the hostel involved us being made to feel like intruders... so that was awkward. 
For dinner we shared a fantastically delicious pizza and then we went to a little bar near it because apparently Cluj is thought to be cool because of it's night life? Unfortunately (or fortunately?), neither of us are big partyers, and that night we didn't even feel like sort of partying it up. We had one drink (I had this mixed drink that was their specialty called Kool Aid, but it didn't really taste like Kool Aid (I guess maybe it tasted like what Kool Aid would taste like if you put Vodka in it?) which was disappointing, but I guess it's probably a good thing because alcoholic drinks that taste like Kool Aid are probably a recipe for alcohol poisoning. 
Then we went to sleep at like 10:30, because we know how to party hard. And we wanted to get up fairly early so we could take some pictures before leaving on a noon train. 
But the best laid plans of mice and men are all for naught. At midnight we were awoken by our roommates who had decided to go down the party hard route. They were completely drunk, and speaking very loudly in terribly accented English. Let me tell you, there is nothing worse than drunk strongly accented bad English. 
"It hurts, the tattoo, to make?" "Romania very poor. We make one joint for four people. We get very high. very high." 
Meanwhile, they are assembling joints.
Finally, they leave. Then they come back, then they leave again. We decide to try to get a different room. Tristan goes downstairs, but our lovely roommates are talking to the person on duty. But our troubles are not over, one of them comes back in. He lays on the floor by the window. Talking to himself (in English, strangely). We pray he doesn't throw up or something. He gets up to go back down, but he comes back quickly, this time managing to get in a bed. And then finally, the commotion stopped. 
The next morning, we learned one of these people got kicked out of the hostel, the guy who was laying on the floor's heart was racing and he thought he would die. Why would anyone do this to themselves? 
Needless to say, we were glad to leave that hostel.

Me outside the hostel. I guess it kind of had a cool location. Near to an old city wall. But can you really have a good location in a city where there is nothing to see?

Romanians try really hard to embrace their Roman heritage

We had delicious pastries on the way to the train station (I got a raspberry strudel, it was like toaster strudel, only better). And then we took a train to Brasov. 

Us, at the Cluj train station

Thursday, November 15, 2012

La Vacance de Toussaints: The beginning

I haven't written anything for quite a while, but I have a good excuse, I was travelling for two weeks so now I have lots to talk about, but it turns out that going straight into work after traveling (even if it's only 12 hours a week) is pretty exhausting, but I seem to have finally recovered.
Saturday (Oct 27), I left Saint Louis early in the morning and met Tristan in Paris. We spent a few hours there, we had pizza and went to an English language bookstore and then we took a train to Beauvais, a small town north of Paris that has the "Paris" airport out of which Wizzair flies. The city itself was very beautiful, but we bused through it to our hotel which was near the airport. 

As I've mentioned before, when you get out of the city, France starts looking a bit more like America: 
Very... French architecture? 
This side of the hotel was less expensive than the other one because it is "not romantic" 

Buffalo Grill is this chain of America-themed restaurants. They play country music,  the waiters/esses where plaid shirts and jeans, and they serve (mostly) american food. It's pretty delicious. I got the "Menu Sherif" - little salad with the best ranch dressing I've ever tasted, hamburger, fries, drink, and profiteroles all for the not very low price of 14.90 euro, but it was completely worth it. I will be going back, I'm sure. Also, I would totally start a business selling their ranch dressing. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mulhouse and the rudest person in Alsace

Last Saturday, I went to Mulhouse (the closest city in France) with my roommates to have lunch at a German teacher's apartment and to see the city and maybe do a little shopping.
We arrived at the teacher's house slightly late after having completely misread the map, but she didn't seem to mind. Also there was her boyfriend and some other guy whose relation to her I could not determine (a friend I guess?). She fed us this potato with cheese dish that was quite good and all in all it would have been an unremarkable if pleasant meal except one glaring problem -- her boyfriend was a complete jerk (to me).
It may not be wise to post a complaint about the significant other of a co-worker on my blog, and I don't want to only talk about the negative things that happen. But alas, it's a story that has to be told. I honestly think he was TRYING to offend me, though I don't know why he would.
Things started off on a bad foot. When I was introduced as the American english teaching assistant, he said immediately, "Generally, I hate americans." Then he laughed and said he was joking. Though his comments throughout the meal suggested he was NOT joking. And supposing he WAS joking, why would would anyone think the best way to break the ice with someone is to tell them that as a rule, they are prejudiced against their country? But fine, call it an inconsequential social mistake.
Five minutes later, he asks me, in a demanding tone, who I plan to vote for in the upcoming election. I was a little taken aback, not so much by his question, but by the way he asked it. So I made a joke about how I was just surprised because in the US it is generally considered impolite to ask acquaintances for whom they voted. He just looked at me and said "This isn't the US, so tell us, who are you going to vote for?" Again, though I dislike talking politics, I have been asked this question since being in France, there was just something about the way he said it that made me uncomfortable.
But if it had just been these things, this wouldn't have warranted a blog post. It was the way he took every opportunity to say negative things about America. This is a basic problem of politeness, if he wants to hate America from the comfort of his own brain, fine. Constantly attacking a guest who doesn't speak his language fluently, is not. Supposing I hated Algeria (his parent's country of origin), I would never say so.

Things that were ACTUALLY said:
German Teacher: "[such and such] comes from America, doesn't it? A lot of things come from America."
German Teacher's boyfriend: "like war"

German teacher's boyfriend (out of nowhere, I don't think we were even talking about America): "Americans are crazy! They still have the death penalty, [... long list of things I didn't quite understand. I think something about crazy church people?, healthcare, etc], they are allowed to have guns." (this speech went on FOREVER, and I didn't really catch most of it. I felt so uncomfortable that I can tell you that people actually do shift in their seats when in unpleasant situations.)
German teacher: Do you agree with what he said?
Me: umm uhh (in my head: obviously not, even though I didn't understand a great deal of it)

GTB: Oh, I'd like to visit America
GT: Oh really? Where would you go?
GTB: I'd like to go to New York.
GT: What would you like to see there.
GTB: I'd like to see the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State building, and the World Trade Center.
GT: You know it's not there anymore, right?
GTB: Yes *laughs like he told a hilarious joke*
Me: that could not have actually just happened

It was so odd, because he was friendly and tried to joke with us. That I noticed, he didn't say anything rude to either of my roommates. It's weird because it seems like either he expected to join the I hate america party or that I was being singled out because of my nationality.
I left the meal feeling kind of odd about the whole situation.

The rest of the day was quite pleasant though. We went downtown, and though Mulhouse is nowhere as beautiful as other cities in this region, it still had some nice parts. It also had lots of shops, and though it took us a while to find the inexpensive ones, we eventually succeeded. I left Mulhouse with a brand new pair of very warm boots which I hope will be water resistant. And I ended the day with a snack of profiteroles (pastry stuffed with ice cream, bathed in chocolate sauce). A perfect ending for an interesting day.
Me and my roommates on the train. (Sylvia (Germany) middle, and Crystal (Panama) right)

Metal Sheep 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Phone Finally! (or don't send me any packages, because I live in a black hole)

Finally, after almost a month in France, I have a cellphone!
This took forever for a number of reasons. I decided very early on, that I was going to go with either SFR or Free, both which have unlimited calls to north america and France, unlimited texts, and 1gb of data per month for 20 euros. But I decided I would go with SFR because they had a better selection of phones. This required two things: one that I have a french bank account, and two, that I have a french debit card. I still don't have a debit card that works. Therefore, last weekend, I decided I would go with Free, which does not require you to use a french debit card. With Free, you have to order your sim card, wait for it to arrive and then order your phone. I did this, and my phone was supposed to arrive this Friday.
Though Fedex wasn't able to easily deliver a package here, I thought it might be different with a french company/post office. Unfortunately, this was not the case.
So then I got to call chronopost and explain to them how to deliver this package to me (in french!). So I call, but OF COURSE it couldn't be that easy. The machine tells me all lines are busy and to call back later. Twelve or so phone calls later, I finally get put on hold. Whoopy!  I finally get through to someone, and try to explain the problem to him. He wasn't super helpful. Could I pick it up at the a "relais colis," no but I could pick up the package at the distribution center in Mulhouse, where I was going to be on Saturday, anyway. The package would get there at 13h on saturday... but they close at 12. I asked if there was anyway it would get there earlier. He said no, I would have to pick it up on Monday (which is NOT possible for me). So I give up, I tell him to try to deliver it on Monday. I tell him to have the delivery person enter through the schools gate and have them take it to the Accueil (the people at the Accueil are not a big fan of me, by the way, because my key for the classrooms disappeared: "C'est très grave!" (disappeared as in it was on my key ring and then it wasn't -- not as in I misplaced it. I honestly don't think this is something I should be made to feel bad about.)). He says he'll have the delivery person call me when he gets here on Monday (sometime between 8-13 -- guess who works 8-13 on Mondays? Me). So I sigh and so okay, fine because what else am I going to do?
Well, Tristan convinced me to call them back later in the afternoon. This person was a lot more helpful, and had my package dropped off at a relais colis (because apparently that guy lied) Saturday morning. So now I have a phone :)

My first smartphone speaks French