The Colors of Burgundy

Posted by Analyse at 6:34 PM

Sunday, September 30, 2007

12th century church overlooking the vineyard.

Today is PMN Fam Pics Day and the chosen theme is GREEN. Outdoor lovers as we are, the first thing which came into mind to interprete this month's theme is nature! I have loads of pictures displaying green sceneries of different paysages and I thought, why not show you the colors of Burgundy - the region famous for wine, escargot (snails) and Dijon mustard - where I live.

Dijon is the capital of the Burgundy region. The good thing about living in this town is that, we get the advantage of a city while keeping close distance to nature. After a stressful week, it's so easy to unwind and breath fresh air in the nearby wine country which is Burgundy.

Like most of the hike/stroll areas in France, a walk in this breathtaking decor also starts with the direction sign. The yellow and red stripes signify a trail or circuit which could be completed in several days to discover a region. One sole yellow stripe signifies easy and short hike do-able within a day. Longer and more difficult hikes are designated by white and red stripes which not only trails France, but most of the European countries as well. They normally accompany itinerary hikers on their adventures. More on hiker's direction sign here.

The extraordinary part of doing a leisure hike in this wine country is that you could come across old villages and old churches dating back to the XII century (a wine press in one of the cellars dates back to the Charlemagne days!) and end the day with a wine tasting in one of the hundred wine cellars around the area. A festive ambiance is a guarantee during harvest season around August to September. Wine bottles on a barrel are typical displays outside a wine store or a wine cellar where wine tasters/buyers are of course, welcome.

This GREEN carpet is not forever tho. It only stays from Spring to Summer season. Just before the harvest, these green leaves will slowly turn into red, giving another magical atmosphere in the valley. This announces the coming of Autumn. Photographers - professionals and neophytes alike, gather in this area during this season, not only to witness the harvest, but also to catch this beautiful transformation. But like a superstar who gives in to several encores before leaving the grand scene, these leaves turn into golden yellow before they totally wither and fall - to give way to the Winter season.

Note: Dijon is the capital of Côte d'Or, a province of the Burgundy (Bourgogne) region. Côte d'Or which literally means Golden Coast gets its name from the golden yellow color of the wine valley during Autumn. Or so they say. Imagine a valley of these leaves kissed by the sun's rays - you get captivated while you capture its beauty.

It's NON Time

Posted by Analyse at 10:46 PM

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Louna, go to bed now. NON.

Let's go do the potty. NON.

Drink your milk. NON.

What happened to my sweet, ever obeying little Louna?

Find out here.


Posted by Analyse at 9:59 PM

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My 6 years existence in this country is starting to take its toll on me. Somebody told me that I could be considered integrated in this country when I start to think French and I start to dream French. My gowd, didn't I encounter Richard Gomez in my dreams last night? What was he saying? Mais, il parlait français? .. Oh my, he was speaking French and I was answering back.. in French!


I was whiling away my time at the café this afternoon with my colleagues, after lunch, and the conversation was directed to the gift check being received by parents from our Comité d'Entreprise (CE) for the school opening (that adds up to what they receive from the government). I timidly asked the amount and my colleague told me that I'll receive 15€ gift check next year, when I decide to enroll Louna to pre-school (the amount increases progressively depending on the child's age). My unguarded reaction was C'est tout? (that's all?).

People, when I first knew about this amount received from the CE and the government every school opening - and the Frenchies were still complaining, I had a totally different reaction. It was some kind of revolte for me that this population couldn't appreciate the beauty of their system anymore because they're so spoiled with all the financial aid they receive from their government. I even reiterated to them that in the Philippines, there's no such thing as gift checks so grade schoolers could buy a new bag, notebooks and pens. Let alone parents solve their own problems.

6 years after, a baby, loads of tax money paid and minimum incentives received, I finally start to realize that like all the French restaurants, the more you pay, the less you get on your plate. Can you blame me if I get carried away sometimes and be FrenchED?

Busy Working Mom

Posted by Analyse at 7:26 PM

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Life has been sooooo busy and complicated since my last stint in the Philippines. At times like these, either I cope up or I break down. I was actually coping up till my health said stop. I felt sick, contaminated Louna.. then Frenchguy (who just left this morning for Boston to contaminate in turn his colleagues hehe). Life’s great!

At times like these, as usual, blogging becomes my least priority. I haven’t been bloghopping lately so I didn’t notice that somebody named Francine wanted a peek of my desk. Well, there’s no surprise, I always put a picture of my daughter for my wallpaper. I just can’t get enough of her. Icons displayed are the strict minimum, I hate messy workstations.

A good surprise for this week (or is that last week?) is that Gracita, for I don’t know what reason, named me as one of her favourite reads - on two categories! Well, she just declared that she loves my blog and what I write are nice matters. Oh, she’s always been a suki I guess. I even proclaimed her as Louna’s fan club manager because she’s read every detail of Ma Crèche Privée. Ask her about Louna’s latest development and you’ll get the answer hehe. We probably love to read each others blog because we both talk about our very ordinary life, nothing else. Ain’t that boring?

Well, I think all of my fave reads already got this award so I won’t name all of you guys. My list is not exhaustive. I’ve always been meaning to update my blogroll but hmmm, no time. What I could say is that, aside from my list, I’m becoming addicted to the PMN site and the sexy moms behind it.

Oh by the way, you might want to read about my take on mixed couples and their adventure in nurturing their kid. Read here.

40.5°C / 105°F

Posted by Analyse at 10:26 PM

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

That was Louna's (rectal) temperature this afternoon when our Nanny called up Frenchguy. He in turn called me up and informed me to ready myself because we will be rushing our daughter to the hospital. On our way to the Nanny's place, I was already imagining the worst scenario - I never saw a child with a temperature that high, 40.5°C!

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Louna on our way to emergency. One very common error of first time parents is to wrap their kids with layers of clothes in case of high fever. We're not spared. Mea culpa!

Who would say she's sick? But if you listen carefully to the conversation, you would notice:

Maman : Tu es malade, Louna? (Are you sick, Louna?)
Louna : Oui. (Yes, with a smile.)

She's diagnosed with Otitis Media, thus her frequent touching of her ear. High fever is a common consequent of this illness. She's still sick and under medication but she's still in good mood and still have a good appetite. Hoping for a fast recovery.

Ang Pranses na Mukhang Pinay, Bow.

Posted by Analyse at 7:39 PM

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

So ok, KK wanted to know how my last stint in the Philippines went. For a little history, read this entry, on I'm Living on a Jetplane part.

My first encounter was with the guy at the hotel counter at the airport. His first question was of course, Filipina? To which I answered opo. Then he continued by saying Akala ko po kasi hindi Pinay, kadalasan po kasi hindi nagpapahatid sa hotel dahil me sundo. I just smiled and said Wala kasing gustong sumundo sa kin e.

Then the hotel car came. Apparently, the hotel counter guy told the driver P're, mukha lang mataray pero Pinay yan. How did I know what he said? Well, I think I have this bad habit of talking a lot with all the hotel drivers that I almost know all their driver stories - from abusive employers to generous guests.

On our way to the hotel, the driver started to radio one of his colleagues to check on traffic situation. At that time, I knew that they just started the construction of the Skyway
extension and traffic jam was of course, heavy. Not wanting to spend most of my evenings with the driver, baka kasi maubusan sya ng kwento, I asked him to drive me instead directly at my sister's place in Manila.

So the radio-ing with the hotel started. They exchanged too much blah blahs that in the end, they were able to cancel my hotel reservation and inform our sister company that I didn't arrive in the Philippines. Just a picture of how messages could be distorted and twisted that fast.

Another bad habit that I started to develop is checking my emails at home, at the airport, at internet centers... well, practically everywhere. A day after my arrival in Manila, I started checking my emails and there I learned that the secretary was helplessly searching for me (and it was Sunday!), asking if she had to re-book me to another flight and offered her number in case of emergency. Oh by the way, she already informed everybody, from the Plant Director to their Engineers that I missed my flight.

I rapidly dialled her number and tried to explain to her that I was already in Manila, that the hotel should be informed and the reservation was still on. Well, I think she did not digest properly why I was in Manila, where I was staying and this and that even when I said I was at my sister's place and everything was ok. She ended up by asking me if I was a Filipina. And I said yes. She then asked Marunong po kayong mag-tagalog? To which I answered Oo naman.

Right there and then, I guess everybody in that company knew I was a Filipina even before I set foot inside their premises. The news was just a text away.

Everybody was actually friendly and I saw some familiar faces - my classmates from Mapua. Somebody braved himself to ask why I was there, and when I said that it was their Plant Director's request to our Central Department, I think I saw some worried faces.

Working with them was a breeze, they were very cooperative and really willing to learn. I think I made a good impression (nope, di po ako nagyayabang, promise). Everybody thanked me and wished to see me again in the future. I was just surprised that 2 managers wanted to see me before I left - the HR and Training managers - telling me that they heard good reviews about me from their engineers so they wanted to thank me personally. Pwede rin po akong i-pirate hehehe.

Well, that experience, tho tiring was very enriching for me. My sole regret was that I didn't have the chance to shop (as if I love shopping!) and I missed my EB with the PMN moms. The only time I was available (because I needed to dine with them too - twice!), I was too tired that I stayed inside the hotel room and had my dinner room-serviced. The rest of my after-work time, I spent.. working! I was even too tired to even ask for a room-serviced massage. No wonder, I was sick when I arrived in France.

re: the title. That's how my former colleagues in our Philippine site fondly call me.

I'm on Sick Leave

Posted by Analyse at 3:21 PM

Friday, September 07, 2007

For the first time! I always boasted that inspite of my underweight, skinny physique, nobody could really charge me as unhealthy. I was never sick... till today.

In fact, I was already feeling heavy and exhausted since last week (I was still in the Philippines then). Blame it to too much work. I was obliged to shrink all the jobs I had to accomplish in the Philippines in 5 days instead of 6 - and that included auditing our sister company's machine and process, training their engineers and auditing formulation procedures in our company. Yes, I was in two companies at the same time - all in one week. Top it with jetlag and yes, I was dead tired.

A friend of mine warned me against burnout, but no, I'm not yet at this level and I won't allow myself to fall in this trap. I'm just tired and a little stressed out, me thinks. The fact that I was asked to work with our sister company wherein big bosses (from both companies) held high expectations from me was quite a challenge. Though I worked normally without really trying to gain their wows, I nevertheless 'extremely impressed' (got that straight from the director's email to my boss) the Plant Director who openly expressed that my results and proposals, though showed a big drift in their process, would definitely help them improve their productivity. I even heard that he would again ask my boss for my assistance once they start a new process. I just had to warn them na malaki na ang talent fee ko by that time hehe.

At my last day in the company, aside from the engineers and technical managers who wanted to wish me bon voyage, the HR and Training Managers wanted to meet me in person to express how happy they were to meet me and that they've heard good reviews about me. I was tired but I was smiling up to my ears.

Arriving here in France, I went directly to Dijon because I had an important meeting the next day. I just can't be absent in that meeting because I'm the project manager and I just can't say I still have a jetlag after missing 2 or 3 meetings already.

Louna and Frenchguy were still out when I arrived. Louna was on vacation at her grandparent's place while Frenchguy was on a business trip in Boston. They just arrived last night when I was already zombie-like because of fatigue.

I had a medical check-up this morning and of all the things I should forget, I forgot to ask for a medical certificate. Darn! It just shows how newbie I am when it comes to sick leave. Kainis.

Tidbits: I was carrying some measuring instruments (one with some chemicals which produces smoke at the contact with air) when I went to the Philippines and I was so nervous that customs might stop and question me. Arriving at the airport, waiting for my only luggage, I heard my name being paged, asking me to go directly at the right side of the arrival area. I was already imagining the worst scenario, convinced that it was because of the instruments in my luggage. But in fact, it was because it was my first time in the hotel where I was supposed to stay and they thought I didn't know where hotel counters were. Naman, ninerbyos kaya ako dun!

Summer Vacation Part II

Posted by Analyse at 8:37 PM

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Les Pyrénées

Hautes Pyrénées, our second vacation destination is situated at the southern end of France, at the Spanish border and almost 900 km away from Dijon. But you know what? That long drive is all worth it! Just check out the pictures below:

The beauty of the place is simply captivating. No wonder, nature is the biggest architect ever.

A lot of outdoor activities were proposed in that area and our one-week stay was actually sort of bitin. Mountain hiking was number one in our list but we needed to plan our activities to allow rest time for Louna. There was a day when Frenchguy did canyoning while Louna and I just visited the small village where we stayed.

A daycare tho was available in that little town for parents who wanted to do adventure sports without worrying for their kids. Of course, Frenchguy and I promptly jumped into the idea and did our new-found adventure - via ferrata. But this time, a bonus adventure awaited us - we had our dose of tyrolienne too. That was 100% fun.

Another sport activity which is quite famous there is cycling - anybody heard about Le Tour de France? Lance Armstrong? Col du Tourmalet? Well, Frenchguy did his Lance-Armstrong-experience at the Col de Tourmalet (18 km with 7-9% slope and 1450m elevation change) with his basketball top, football shorts and running shoes while I played Sheryl Crow (Armstrong's fiancée) - that is, follow him with the car and give him water from time to time. What a professional! I have to be proud of him. For somebody who is not a cyclist at all, bravo! Well, okay, he did it twice the time as the professionals but HE DID IT! That matters.

This vacation, though we didn't really have that great summer weather, was such a blast. We had fun. We were far from worries. We were stress-free. If only we could be on vacation everyday!

PMN Fam Pics

Do I have to be happy that the editors of PMN are up to their necks with work in improving the site that I had the time to dig on Louna's site for a great entry?? Yay, that really sounds selfish. Let's just call it, blessing in disguise.

Now, take a peek on my Anything Potted entry by clicking here and let me know what you think. The picture was taken when Louna was still 5 months old and already a nomad. It was her first time at her Grandparents' place.
And here are other mom's take on Anything Potted. Go visit them too.