Welcome to jdenparis.com.  I'm jd, and I just graduated from college.  For one year before med school, I'll be working and living in Paris, and traveling the world with my job.  Below are my stories, photos, and videos.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008

j'ai quelques photos!

Enjoy :)

A bientot,

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

cuernavaca, mexico

In honor of Barack Obama being elected in a LANDSLIDE victory over John McCain, I've decided to finally make a real post, despite recovering from an early afternoon migraine...

So I was scheduled to be in Cuernavaca, Mexico, city of eternal spring, from 23 Sep - 4 Oct, and then head up to NYC for a week or so. I knew it was gonna be an interesting trip when I got there and couldn't communicate with the locals. While my French is not on par with JCVD's, I can manage to get around here, I haven't gone hungry yet.

I got to the hotel at around 8 or 9 pm, but after being in transit for 20+ hours and jumping back in time 7 hours, I was exhausstedddd. The restaurant was closing soon so I just had time to drop my bags and get there to eat. Luckily the receptionist gave me a free upgrade to the corner room, cause the initial room he showed me seemed...lacking. Anyway, I got down to the restau, and couldn't understand a word on the menu (naturally). I couldn't communicate with the guy to get seated either, but this lady there helped to translate. She was actually kind enough to invite me to join her and her friend for dinner. They were meeting for the first time in like 30 years after being friends in middle school. I should have eaten alone.

Anyway, I had some nice Mexican fare, and the guacamole was delicious. The ladies were nice - wrote down lots of info for me of things I could see in and around Cuernavaca. One even offered to give me a personal tour of a zoo where she used to work (she was a biologist).

The next day I got up bright and early, still exhausted from the grueling day of travel just hours before. I showered, got all dressed up in my CUSTOM tailored Bangkok suit, and went down for breakfast. As I walked down thru the lobby, I noticed a sign for our course which said 25 - 30 Sep. I stopped in my tracks.

"What's today's date?" I asked the reception guy. "Uh senor its 24th."

This was gonna be a great trip.

I changed, had breakfast, went to the gym, sat out by the pool, and finally in the afternoon met some of my colleagues from the Latin America Resource Center. The course started the next day.

When I got back to my hotel room that night, I noticed there was a GIGANTICCCCCCC black moth chilling on the door right next to my room. This thing was like a pterodactyl. It was gross and made me nauseous to look at, think about, or be in any sort of spitting distance of it. I quickly got the key in my door and slammed it behind me, careful not to let the Land Before Time recreate itself in my hotel room.

The course was ok - it was all in Spanish so I didn't follow much (read: anything.). I just waited for Jose to show up and give me instructions. Unfortunately, that day I received an email that Jose wasn't coming! I was like a fish out of water. Everyone spoke spanish almost exclusively, everyone asked me what I was doing there, and everyone was mad Jose wasn't coming. I did learn SOME spanish though (donde esta la comida? yo quiero carne y pollo con guacamole y riz y queso). The LARC staff was really nice to me, and always translated menus and stuff.

That night, and each night, as I returned to my hotel room, I still noticed my friend the gigantic nauseating moth chilling in the same spot on the door next to mine. Every time I went in and out of my room I was careful to be swift and stealth-like, like a veloca raptor.

The day off was cool. I slept in (til 8), got up, had me a nice hearty mexican breakfast (they serve like... beans and quesadillas), went to the gym, sat in the hot tub, went for a swim, and then got a nice massage.

Like a fish out of water though, I was pretty determined to get out of there. Luckily, Continental made that possible, and I was able to make it home for Rosh Hashanah!

The last night, as I was all excited to get back to my room and pack, I noticed the moth was not there. As not much was going right this week, I figured he had somehow snuck into my room with the housekeeper / plumbing expert (that's a WHOLE 'nother story) or something. I was partially right - nothing was going my way this week. The moth was not in my room. Rather, he was RIGHT on my door!!! I was effectively locked out cause I was not going anywhere near that hairy beast. I guess I'm like Ace Ventura - lover of animals, petrified of bats.

I tried to go find some rocks to throw at it. I came up with some dirt from a nearby potted plant, but the moth didn't budge under the dirty attacks. Then I found my water bottle. I gave it a little spritz, but nothing. Then I gave it the monsoon treatment, and in one fell swoop it beat its tremendous wings and flew RIGHT at me and away into the afternoon sky. I dove out of the way with my big nerdy backpack on and dressed in my work clothes. Just at that awkward moment, some of the LARC staff was downstairs and saw the thing fly away and me freak out like I had just been assaulted with napalm. They cried in laughter and encouraged me how horrible those things are.

Anyway, here are some pics from the night I went downtown with the LARC staff. Still to come: NYC and my meeting with Bloomberg!

A bientot,