Cherry Yogurt ice-cream at 7AM creates instant happiness @DuckandWaffle

One of my favourite things to do in London is have breakfast at Duck & Waffle.

Duck And Waffle

It’s a treat filled with excellent caffeine, interesting menu offers, and a view of the whole city. As the sun hits the Gherkin’s glass exterior, the waiter brings my flatmate’s poached eggs on ox cheek. It’s moments like these that  make me instantaneously happy and grateful for the life I’ve built as an expatriate in the United Kingdom. Sandwiched between an Italian-Swiss film buff and British northerner, I think back to the day my parents left me at LAX with two suitcases. And now I have a full time job, apartment, and network of life-long friends around the world. Ultimately, you live the life you create and I choose to create little happiness every day (always start with breakfast, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise).

One of my favourite quotes:

“I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth, then I ask myself the same question.”

– Harun Yahya

I had the English Cherry Waffles (cherry & yoghurt ice cream, white chocolate crumble). Here’s the full breakfast menu. 

IMG_0184

Address: The Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

Open 24 Hours

Make a reservation on OpenTable or by calling 020 3640 7310. Weekend reservations fill up far in advance for their brunch menu. So if you can manage to get up early in the mornings, I would recommend going at 7AM! I love going before work as a little treat thats woven into my ordinary regime.

Happy Sunday.

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Study Abroad Experience on the King’s College London Website

Well ladies and gentlemen,

I am officially on the King’s College London Website for a second time. This time I was asked to write about my study abroad experience at the Sorbonne – Paris III and I even got to include some pictures!

Click here to read about my Study Abroad Experience on the King’s College London Website

5 ‘Petite’ Things About Paris

Exactly 5 months and 1 day ago I took the Eurostar from London to Paris, and naturally I voiced my enthusiasm on this blog. Well the time has come to journey back (quite literally… I am faced in the opposite direction of the train’s movement). So here are a couple things I’ve learned during my time in France:

1. As your proficiency skills in one language go up, your other languages will suffer. I would have never thought that becoming better at French would mean spelling and grammar mistakes in English, after all English is native language! But no, I was making silly typos almost every single day by the end of my stay. Bahhhhh, Alors, qu’est ce qu’on fait?

2. Quiche is one of the most delicious foods on the planet. Bahhhh….. Voilà.

3.  Being a nanny is a great way to socialize and learn about the country’s culture. You’d be surprised how much you can learn about the population by observing how children are raised. Bon… bahhh, on prend une goûte après l’école. Un petit Pomme-pot et une tartine avec Nutella pour toi aussi? 

4. They say bahhhhh….. a lot. The best way to learn a foreign language is to pick up the little sounds in between words. Believe me, it will do wonders for your accent. Je te promis.

5.  Living in Pars is HARD. And disheartening some times. You might get your phone stole. You will get whistled at and harassed. No matter how well you speak French, people will treat you like a foreigner. The metro will stop at random times. Your Internet will not work. You will live in small spaces. You will not have a gym near your apartment. Nothing will be open on Sunday and Monday and anything administration-related will never be open.  Don’t get me wrong; it’s a wonderful city. But to survive, you have to willing to struggle. To fight for what you want. Paris n’est pas la ville que tu as vue dans le film d’Amélie Poulin. Désolé.   

That being said, I would still recommend the experience to everyone. After all, the city does grow on you. You’ll crave a baguette as you walk down the cobblestone roads. Children will have the most adorable names. You will randomly decide to go the Musée d’Orsay on a Thursday night. And the French Countryside is absolutely lovely for a weekend escape.  

Bon… bahhh… voilà ! Une vite réflexion pendant que je prend le train à Londres. En gros, j’adore France et je suis impatiente d’améliorer mon français de plus. Peut-être c’est un peu difficile, mais avec les amies sympas ce serait une bonne expérience. 

Bring the story of your life to LIFE.

Bring the story of your life to LIFE.

I approached the Parisian coffee shop to find Violeta sitting at a small circular table, already waiting for me. She had a burgundy blazer (that matched her lipstick shade) and a bright red handbag. The cherry tomato colour of the bag exuded a confidence that was confirmed by the big smile that recognized me. She quickly put down her black leather book and gave me a firm handshake. After placing our orders in French, I inquired about Violeta’s life. She giggled for a second, only to respond, “It’s kind of a long story. I can’t even answer the question, ‘Where are you from?’” She proceeded to tell me about her childhood in Bulgaria, her high school in California, and her time in London. “I like to travel… a lot!” She continued, “But more than merely tourist visits. I like to assimilate into the culture. For example, finding a local coffee shop…a hidden gem just around the corner from a big boulevard.” With that, she made a slightly head gesture to Rue Mouffetard as our barista arrived with two black coffees. Immediately, she shook her head no to the offer of sugar and crème; she insisted, “I like my coffee bold.” Violeta paused, readjusted her thin black glasses and continued, “Where were we?” And with that question, a slight British inclination crept in to an otherwise strong American accent. We then went on to discuss random themes from her sister’s turtle to Tina Fey’s autobiography to society’s latest obsession with Pinterest. Jumping from knowledge in one subject to another, I couldn’t figure out Violeta’s degree. “Film Studies” she responded, “the academic study of cinema and the ability to talk to anybody! After all, who doesn’t have a favourite actor?” Before paying the bill, I asked about the black leather book on the table. She lifted her hand off the cover as if let me peek inside. Then, Violeta leaned in slightly, lowered her voice, and whispered, “It’s my sketchbook… filled with drawing, typography designs, business ideas, and storyboards for short films. I would show you, but I only just met you.”

EUROSTAR.

Right now, as I write, I am on the Eurostar from London to Paris. This appears to be mundane to some. Businessmen with little suitcases that have four wheels and side rolling capabilities. Mothers with colouring books for the regular weekend trip with the family. But for me – with my three giant suitcases – this trip is anything but mundane. Not only is this my first time taking the Eurostar, but it’s also a one-way ticket to living in Paris.

I have wanted this since I was 13 – when I took my first French class. At the time, everyone said I was making a mistake and that Spanish was the more practical language for Southern Californians. But I knew I was going places – quite physically, I wanted to leave the country. And well, to all those that told me it was silly to learn French, I say…

Bonjour, je m’appelle Violeta et je suis une étudiante à la Sorbonne maintenant après deux ans à Londres.  J’ai appendu le français parce que c’était mon rêve d’habiter en France. Et voilà, avec persistance, il est possible. Donc, si vous voulez quelque chois, c’est votre responsabilité de prendre l’initiative. Comme il y a déjà beaucoup de gens qui sont prêts de vous dire que votre idée est stupide, impossible, ou impraticable.