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Juste Claudia

Juste Claudia

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Juste Claudia

Juste Claudia

Juste Claudia

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Singaporean living in France, exploring France, Europe and Everywhere.

Latest Episodes

Reading-In-Progress (RIP) Books

Next to my reading lamp on my bedside table lies a stack of books. The make-up of the stack of books may vary every few weeks, but the stack is a permanent fixture in my bedroom. 8-Inch Tall Stack Of Books The current stack stands 8-inch tall, put together by 7 books. It is propped up by the thickest book, a 2-inch thick, English translation of War and Peace paperback by Russian Leo Tolstoy.I lugged this book from Singapore to France during my last year’s visit back home. Since my book collection in Singapore had been left to gather dust for many years, my father decided to give some of the books away. In the last visit, he wanted me to go through the books to pick out the ones I wanted to keep. When my glance fell on War and Peace, still in minted condition, a wave of guilt crept into me. It is one of the classics that I have promised myself that I will read, and that particular promise made ten years ago in Singapore was still unfulfilled. With a renewed promise, I packed the hefty paperback in my luggage and flew it with me to France. My current bedside RIP books—8-inch tall, comprising of 7 books. War and Peace was purchased ten years ago when I was still living in Singapore. Ten years have passed, and I have barely made a dent in this weighty tome. My only defensible excuse is that I wasn’t living in Singapore for eight of those ten years, and the book was neglected during the moving process. The reading of this classic is not made easier when the tome contains close to 1,400 pages, and each nearly translucent page is crammed with 40 closely spaced lines of small print. Since its arrival in France, I have ventured only few chapters which have barely scratched the sixtieth page. Sitting steadily on top of War and Peace is the The Count of Monte Cristo (Volume 1) in its original language, by French Alexandre Dumas. Boosted by my self-confidence in my level of French after managing to finish the first volume of The three musketeers by the same author, I decided to try my hand on The Count of Monte Cristo last year, Dumas’ other famous novel. This book, compared to War and Peace, is more manageable with its slightly bigger fonts printed on the 1000-page paperback. I am one third into the book. With luck, I would be able to finish it by the end of this year. The remaining five books of this stack, a mixture of French and English, are less formidable in appearance and contents. Lain gingerly on top of The Count of Monte Cristo is Émile Zola’s The Ladies Paradise, followed by Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Grey… Hold on. I am not an intellectual snob who reads only classics. The other three books were written by contemporary authors—The House of Mr. Biwas by British VS Naipaul, Perfume: the story of a murderer by German Patrick Süskind and Trois jours et une vie by French Pierre Lemaitre. Two books are my recent purchases, having been in my acquisition for about a year. One of them is a book borrowed a few months ago from Silviu, my husband. RIP Books These seven books are not the only books that are reading-in-progress (RIP). These are just seven out of the numerous RIP books in the apartment. Most of our books are lined on the white 3-shelf bookcase in the hallway. Why does it take me such a long time to fi...

13 MIN3 d ago
Comments
Reading-In-Progress (RIP) Books

Quest For French Residence Permit

In one of the previous posts, I talked about how I became an English teacher in France. In this post, I will talk about the biggest obstacle I or any other foreign national has to face before being able to live and work in France — Residence Permit (Titre de Séjour). The application of a residence permit is seldom straightforward in most countries; yet, a country will find it hard to out rival France in its convoluted administrative step. Like other countries, France requires a foreign national who plans to live in France to apply for a residence permit. This process is exempted if the applicant is a European Union (EU) national, a national from one of the other 26 member states of the EU. Being an EU national, you can reside and work legally, without any additional paperwork other than your national identity card or your passport. The freedom of movement is one of the biggest advantages of being a citizen within the EU. The freedom of movement is one of the biggest advantages of ...

21 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Quest For French Residence Permit

Haircut After Lockdown

Last Tuesday, 15 days after déconfinement,I finally got my hair cut. Post haircut. Hair clippings can still be seen on my face. Messy-Hair Couple Silviu and I are different in many ways, but we are similar in that we do not take as much care as we should of our crowning glory. Silviu is worse than I am. He visits the salon every 4 to 5 months a year. The last time he stepped into the hair salon before the lockdown was in the fall of 2019. With the 2 months of lockdown, he accumulated 7 months of unruly and frizzy curly locks. As for me, I am slightly more disciplined than he is. The last time I got my hair done was four months ago, in mid-January, just before Chinese New Year. I usually schedule a visit to the hair salon every 2.5 months, which is already longer than the industry advice of 1.5 months to 2.0 months for people with short hair. Short hairstyle needs higher maintenance since the hairstyle loses the shape quicker—just a little growth in hair weighs the style down, losi...

19 MINJUN 2
Comments
Haircut After Lockdown

How I Became An English Teacher

In June this year, I will have taught English in France for four full years. These four years have been as much a learning experience as a teaching one. How did I end up being an English teacher in France? Numbers, Numbers, Numbers Generating sales figures, gathering data, analysing numbers, producing statistics, justifying valuation, verifying results. Never have I thought that I would become a teacher, and an English teacher to boot. My tertiary education was in Finance and Economics. It was expected of me to clinch one of the highly coveted finance jobs, be it in a financial institution, or a financial position in non-financial sectors. So, there I was, for 12 years, a clog in the wheel in the convoluted world of finance: Generating sales figures, gathering data, analysing numbers, producing statistics, justifying valuation, and verifying results. Reports, Reports, Reports Reports - Procedural Embellishments. These numbers were usually not to be presented in their raw form, espec...

13 MINMAY 25
Comments
How I Became An English Teacher

Confessions Of A Consumerist

I am super hyped. I am testing my new microphone in this episode.For the past eight episodes, I have been using Silviu’s oldSennheiser headset. It’s gaming headset with memory foam ear pads and a short boom arm for the microphone. I am using it as he has bought a fancier one. A Bose, noise-cancelling headset which he uses for everything: playing games, listening to music, and watching movies. Last, but not least, he uses it while he’s reading or working so as to cover the din ourupstairs neighbourcreates a din in the middle of the night. And so, the Sennheiser is relegated to me. To Buy Or Not To Buy I was conflicted about buying a microphone. For the past 8 episodes, the Sennheiser headset has has served me well. All I have to do is plug the headset to my Mac, pull down the boom arm microphone down to mouth, and speak. The sound effect seems reasonable, at least in the eyes of a newbie. Besides, it’s is highly likely that my budding, lockdown podcast project is going to be ephe...

15 MINMAY 18
Comments
Confessions Of A Consumerist

Musings Of Déconfinement

Today is the first day of the déconfinement. Déconfinement is the French word used to describe the period after Corvid-19 lockdown. Do you know the English word equivalent for Déconfinement? Please drop me a text if you do. I was stumbled by my students when they asked me for the English word. After poring through various news articles relating to Corvid-19, it seems to me that the anglophones don’t have a word to describe the “unlocking” of lockdown. Instead of a word to describe the event, déconfinement is often reported as “the easing of lockdown,” “the lifting of restrictions” or simply “after the lockdown.” For instance, the French would say something like “Le déconfinement commence au ll mai,” translated into “The déconfinement starts on the 11th of May.” In English, we would say, “The easing of lockdown” or “The lifting of restrictions” starts from the 11thof May. The English version is too verbose. For the purpose of simplicity, I will borrow the Frenc...

11 MINMAY 11
Comments
Musings Of Déconfinement

Our Neighbours Upstairs

What types of relationships do you have with your neighbours? In this episode, I am going to talk about my neighbours. Our upstairs neighbours, have been a source of noise nuisance since last October, and the situation has gotten worse during the lockdown. How would you deal with this kind of neighbours? Quels types de relations existent-t-ils entre vos voisins et vous? Dans cet épisode, je vais vous parler de mes voisins à l’étage. Ils sont une source de nuisance sonores depuis octobre dernier, et la situation s’est empirée pendant cette période de confinement. Comment traiteriez-vous ce genre des voisins?

18 MINMAY 7
Comments
Our Neighbours Upstairs

What I Think About When I Am Training On My Indoor Bike?

In thelast episode, I told you about a new routine that I have picked since the start of the lockdown in France. It’s indoor bike training. I am training 5 times a week on my bike, based on a 6-week training plan fromZwift, a virtual training application for runners and cyclists. In this episode, I am sharing with you the thoughts that cross my mind when I am spinning the pedals. What I think about when I am training on my indoor bike? Happy listening! Dans le dernier épisode, je vous ai parlé d’une nouvelle routine que j’ai mise en place depuis le début de cette période de confinement. C’est l’entrainement sur le vélo d’intérieur. Je m’entraîne cinq fois par semaine, pendant 6 semaines, basé sur le programme d’entrainement de Zwift. L’application Zwift est un logiciel d’entraînement pour des runners et cyclistes.Dans cet épisode, je partagerai avec vous des pensées qui me traversent l’esprit quand je roule à vélo. À quoi pense-je quand je m’entraîne sur v...

25 MINMAY 4
Comments
What I Think About When I Am Training On My Indoor Bike?

Virtual Cycling Adventure With Zwift

What’s keeping you sane during the lockdown period? For me, it’s the 30 hours and 610km of virtual indoor bike training with Zwift, and of course, the buckets of sweat over the last six weeks.In this episode and the following one, I am sharing with you my virtual cycling adventure that I have embarked on. Happy listening! Que vous permet de tenir le coup pendant cette période du confinement ? Pour moi, c’est les 30.0 heures et 610km d’entrainement à vélo avec Zwift, et des seaux de suer pendant les six dernières semaines. Dan cet épisode et aussi le suivant, je partagerai avec vous mon aventure dans le monde du cyclisme que j’ai débuté. Bonne écoute !

13 MINAPR 30
Comments
Virtual Cycling Adventure With Zwift

Food Ramblings Of A Singaporean

In this episode, I want to speak about food. I want to gripe about the tons of food photos my friends from Singapore have been posting on Facebook in the past three weeks, since the lockdown in Singapore. I want to ramble on about the different dishes from Singapore. I want to tell you that I miss the food from my hometown. Happy listening! Dans cet épisode, je voudrais vous parler de cuisine. Je voudrais me plaindre des tas de photos de nourriture que mes amis Singapouriens ont affichées sur Facebook depuis les trois dernières semaines, depuis le début du confinement à Singapour. Je voudrais radoter les plats différents de Singapour. Je voudrais vous dire que la cuisine de ma ville de mon enfance me manque.Bonne écoute !

7 MINAPR 27
Comments
Food Ramblings Of A Singaporean
the END

Latest Episodes

Reading-In-Progress (RIP) Books

Next to my reading lamp on my bedside table lies a stack of books. The make-up of the stack of books may vary every few weeks, but the stack is a permanent fixture in my bedroom. 8-Inch Tall Stack Of Books The current stack stands 8-inch tall, put together by 7 books. It is propped up by the thickest book, a 2-inch thick, English translation of War and Peace paperback by Russian Leo Tolstoy.I lugged this book from Singapore to France during my last year’s visit back home. Since my book collection in Singapore had been left to gather dust for many years, my father decided to give some of the books away. In the last visit, he wanted me to go through the books to pick out the ones I wanted to keep. When my glance fell on War and Peace, still in minted condition, a wave of guilt crept into me. It is one of the classics that I have promised myself that I will read, and that particular promise made ten years ago in Singapore was still unfulfilled. With a renewed promise, I packed the hefty paperback in my luggage and flew it with me to France. My current bedside RIP books—8-inch tall, comprising of 7 books. War and Peace was purchased ten years ago when I was still living in Singapore. Ten years have passed, and I have barely made a dent in this weighty tome. My only defensible excuse is that I wasn’t living in Singapore for eight of those ten years, and the book was neglected during the moving process. The reading of this classic is not made easier when the tome contains close to 1,400 pages, and each nearly translucent page is crammed with 40 closely spaced lines of small print. Since its arrival in France, I have ventured only few chapters which have barely scratched the sixtieth page. Sitting steadily on top of War and Peace is the The Count of Monte Cristo (Volume 1) in its original language, by French Alexandre Dumas. Boosted by my self-confidence in my level of French after managing to finish the first volume of The three musketeers by the same author, I decided to try my hand on The Count of Monte Cristo last year, Dumas’ other famous novel. This book, compared to War and Peace, is more manageable with its slightly bigger fonts printed on the 1000-page paperback. I am one third into the book. With luck, I would be able to finish it by the end of this year. The remaining five books of this stack, a mixture of French and English, are less formidable in appearance and contents. Lain gingerly on top of The Count of Monte Cristo is Émile Zola’s The Ladies Paradise, followed by Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Grey… Hold on. I am not an intellectual snob who reads only classics. The other three books were written by contemporary authors—The House of Mr. Biwas by British VS Naipaul, Perfume: the story of a murderer by German Patrick Süskind and Trois jours et une vie by French Pierre Lemaitre. Two books are my recent purchases, having been in my acquisition for about a year. One of them is a book borrowed a few months ago from Silviu, my husband. RIP Books These seven books are not the only books that are reading-in-progress (RIP). These are just seven out of the numerous RIP books in the apartment. Most of our books are lined on the white 3-shelf bookcase in the hallway. Why does it take me such a long time to fi...

13 MIN3 d ago
Comments
Reading-In-Progress (RIP) Books

Quest For French Residence Permit

In one of the previous posts, I talked about how I became an English teacher in France. In this post, I will talk about the biggest obstacle I or any other foreign national has to face before being able to live and work in France — Residence Permit (Titre de Séjour). The application of a residence permit is seldom straightforward in most countries; yet, a country will find it hard to out rival France in its convoluted administrative step. Like other countries, France requires a foreign national who plans to live in France to apply for a residence permit. This process is exempted if the applicant is a European Union (EU) national, a national from one of the other 26 member states of the EU. Being an EU national, you can reside and work legally, without any additional paperwork other than your national identity card or your passport. The freedom of movement is one of the biggest advantages of being a citizen within the EU. The freedom of movement is one of the biggest advantages of ...

21 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Quest For French Residence Permit

Haircut After Lockdown

Last Tuesday, 15 days after déconfinement,I finally got my hair cut. Post haircut. Hair clippings can still be seen on my face. Messy-Hair Couple Silviu and I are different in many ways, but we are similar in that we do not take as much care as we should of our crowning glory. Silviu is worse than I am. He visits the salon every 4 to 5 months a year. The last time he stepped into the hair salon before the lockdown was in the fall of 2019. With the 2 months of lockdown, he accumulated 7 months of unruly and frizzy curly locks. As for me, I am slightly more disciplined than he is. The last time I got my hair done was four months ago, in mid-January, just before Chinese New Year. I usually schedule a visit to the hair salon every 2.5 months, which is already longer than the industry advice of 1.5 months to 2.0 months for people with short hair. Short hairstyle needs higher maintenance since the hairstyle loses the shape quicker—just a little growth in hair weighs the style down, losi...

19 MINJUN 2
Comments
Haircut After Lockdown

How I Became An English Teacher

In June this year, I will have taught English in France for four full years. These four years have been as much a learning experience as a teaching one. How did I end up being an English teacher in France? Numbers, Numbers, Numbers Generating sales figures, gathering data, analysing numbers, producing statistics, justifying valuation, verifying results. Never have I thought that I would become a teacher, and an English teacher to boot. My tertiary education was in Finance and Economics. It was expected of me to clinch one of the highly coveted finance jobs, be it in a financial institution, or a financial position in non-financial sectors. So, there I was, for 12 years, a clog in the wheel in the convoluted world of finance: Generating sales figures, gathering data, analysing numbers, producing statistics, justifying valuation, and verifying results. Reports, Reports, Reports Reports - Procedural Embellishments. These numbers were usually not to be presented in their raw form, espec...

13 MINMAY 25
Comments
How I Became An English Teacher

Confessions Of A Consumerist

I am super hyped. I am testing my new microphone in this episode.For the past eight episodes, I have been using Silviu’s oldSennheiser headset. It’s gaming headset with memory foam ear pads and a short boom arm for the microphone. I am using it as he has bought a fancier one. A Bose, noise-cancelling headset which he uses for everything: playing games, listening to music, and watching movies. Last, but not least, he uses it while he’s reading or working so as to cover the din ourupstairs neighbourcreates a din in the middle of the night. And so, the Sennheiser is relegated to me. To Buy Or Not To Buy I was conflicted about buying a microphone. For the past 8 episodes, the Sennheiser headset has has served me well. All I have to do is plug the headset to my Mac, pull down the boom arm microphone down to mouth, and speak. The sound effect seems reasonable, at least in the eyes of a newbie. Besides, it’s is highly likely that my budding, lockdown podcast project is going to be ephe...

15 MINMAY 18
Comments
Confessions Of A Consumerist

Musings Of Déconfinement

Today is the first day of the déconfinement. Déconfinement is the French word used to describe the period after Corvid-19 lockdown. Do you know the English word equivalent for Déconfinement? Please drop me a text if you do. I was stumbled by my students when they asked me for the English word. After poring through various news articles relating to Corvid-19, it seems to me that the anglophones don’t have a word to describe the “unlocking” of lockdown. Instead of a word to describe the event, déconfinement is often reported as “the easing of lockdown,” “the lifting of restrictions” or simply “after the lockdown.” For instance, the French would say something like “Le déconfinement commence au ll mai,” translated into “The déconfinement starts on the 11th of May.” In English, we would say, “The easing of lockdown” or “The lifting of restrictions” starts from the 11thof May. The English version is too verbose. For the purpose of simplicity, I will borrow the Frenc...

11 MINMAY 11
Comments
Musings Of Déconfinement

Our Neighbours Upstairs

What types of relationships do you have with your neighbours? In this episode, I am going to talk about my neighbours. Our upstairs neighbours, have been a source of noise nuisance since last October, and the situation has gotten worse during the lockdown. How would you deal with this kind of neighbours? Quels types de relations existent-t-ils entre vos voisins et vous? Dans cet épisode, je vais vous parler de mes voisins à l’étage. Ils sont une source de nuisance sonores depuis octobre dernier, et la situation s’est empirée pendant cette période de confinement. Comment traiteriez-vous ce genre des voisins?

18 MINMAY 7
Comments
Our Neighbours Upstairs

What I Think About When I Am Training On My Indoor Bike?

In thelast episode, I told you about a new routine that I have picked since the start of the lockdown in France. It’s indoor bike training. I am training 5 times a week on my bike, based on a 6-week training plan fromZwift, a virtual training application for runners and cyclists. In this episode, I am sharing with you the thoughts that cross my mind when I am spinning the pedals. What I think about when I am training on my indoor bike? Happy listening! Dans le dernier épisode, je vous ai parlé d’une nouvelle routine que j’ai mise en place depuis le début de cette période de confinement. C’est l’entrainement sur le vélo d’intérieur. Je m’entraîne cinq fois par semaine, pendant 6 semaines, basé sur le programme d’entrainement de Zwift. L’application Zwift est un logiciel d’entraînement pour des runners et cyclistes.Dans cet épisode, je partagerai avec vous des pensées qui me traversent l’esprit quand je roule à vélo. À quoi pense-je quand je m’entraîne sur v...

25 MINMAY 4
Comments
What I Think About When I Am Training On My Indoor Bike?

Virtual Cycling Adventure With Zwift

What’s keeping you sane during the lockdown period? For me, it’s the 30 hours and 610km of virtual indoor bike training with Zwift, and of course, the buckets of sweat over the last six weeks.In this episode and the following one, I am sharing with you my virtual cycling adventure that I have embarked on. Happy listening! Que vous permet de tenir le coup pendant cette période du confinement ? Pour moi, c’est les 30.0 heures et 610km d’entrainement à vélo avec Zwift, et des seaux de suer pendant les six dernières semaines. Dan cet épisode et aussi le suivant, je partagerai avec vous mon aventure dans le monde du cyclisme que j’ai débuté. Bonne écoute !

13 MINAPR 30
Comments
Virtual Cycling Adventure With Zwift

Food Ramblings Of A Singaporean

In this episode, I want to speak about food. I want to gripe about the tons of food photos my friends from Singapore have been posting on Facebook in the past three weeks, since the lockdown in Singapore. I want to ramble on about the different dishes from Singapore. I want to tell you that I miss the food from my hometown. Happy listening! Dans cet épisode, je voudrais vous parler de cuisine. Je voudrais me plaindre des tas de photos de nourriture que mes amis Singapouriens ont affichées sur Facebook depuis les trois dernières semaines, depuis le début du confinement à Singapour. Je voudrais radoter les plats différents de Singapour. Je voudrais vous dire que la cuisine de ma ville de mon enfance me manque.Bonne écoute !

7 MINAPR 27
Comments
Food Ramblings Of A Singaporean
the END
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