vendredi 28 septembre 2007


I went to a dinner on Thursday night to say goodbye to IARC's summer students. JinHee, who is heading back to Seoul, took us to a great Korean restaurant. Who knew that there was fantastic Korean food in Lyon? We also said bon voyage to Vijay and Shen-Chih, who are heading back to Buffalo and UCLA, respectively.

Here are some pics that Amy took at the goodbye office party on Friday. From the left is Veronique, Mia (drinking), Janine, Manuella, and Shen-Chih, cutting the pie. More IARC people: visible is Mazda, JinHee, Shuh-Chin, Shen-Chih, Sean, and Eric.
In the front is Rim, our secretary; behind her on the left is some new German guy who just showed up this week that I haven't met yet; Malcolm, who is Australian; Ann, the Swedish salsa maven; YiRen; and Christine, the other secretary.


Sad news! Leah has just had to cancel her trip here in mid-October. But hopefully we can see one another soon. Meanwhile, I am looking forward to seeing Mark, who is spending a sabbatical semester at the American Academy in Berlin, and based on his blog (see link to the right) he appears to be having a great time. I'm heading to Berlin at the beginning of November.

mardi 25 septembre 2007

Moon Cake Festival

Today is the day of the moon cake or mid-autumn festival, which is celebrated in several Asian countries. I was invited to dinner at Amy's on Sunday night to mark it. It is similar to the US Thanksgiving, not so much in its context, but in the sense that it is a 4-day holiday where you go back home to be with your family. Amy, Shen-Chih, Shu-Chun, and JinHee were explaining the different Taiwanese, Chinese and Korean traditions around it. It occurs on the day of the full moon, and apparently it is typical to have a barbeque outside in the moonlight. Also, family members tell the different stories about it, which seemed to be about people or rabbits that somehow ended up living on the moon. However, their grasp of the stories was about as firm as my grasp on how North Carolinians came to be called Tar Heels-- there are a lot of different stories about it, and no one was totally sure what the basis of the holiday was. You are supposed to eat moon cakes, although Amy didnt actually serve them, because she was so disdaining of the quality of the mooncakes in Lyon she didn't think they were worth buying. But here is a pic of one.

samedi 22 septembre 2007


At the beginning of the month I realized I had even more vacation time to burn, so I took 2 days off and went to Zurich for the weekend. The city was compact and pretty and exceedingly clean and organized. It also has Europe's largest clock tower.
The Swiss are very clock-oriented, naturally, as well as being quite proficient at languages. When I walked into any store or restaurant, I would be greeted in 4 languages: "Grüezi! Bonjour! Hello! Bongiorno!" I think they just keep rolling out various greetings until you reply. Even when Swiss guys would hoot at me on the street, they would say the equivalent of "hey baby" in various languages until I turned my head.

A walkway along the river Limmat.
Lake Zurich, where everyone strolled around. There was a large park on the side that I was standing on that has a Le Corbusier building that I explored. I didn't take a picture of it but here is a link. It was like walking around a Mondrian painting.
I also went for a hike in the hills above Zurich, along a path called the Planetenweg, which featured a little replica of the solar system. The path went through the woods and alongside several farms. While I kept expecting to hear the hills alive with the sound of music, it was not forthcoming. Where was Heidi? Where were all the people in lederhosen? Maybe I have my Swiss cantons mixed up.
All cows in Switzerland appear to wear bells around their necks.
auf Wiedersehen!

jeudi 20 septembre 2007

Long time no blog

I just got back from a 10 day trip to the US, doing an east coast arc, so I haven't had much time for blogging. Not to mention that my home internet is still down! Hopefully I can get caught up soon.