mercredi 1 juin 2011

Effects of technology on babies

I'm not sure what this is... a rant, a discussion, a critique, an analysis, an essay, or just my own boring opinion...

I don't mean to criticize anyone and I'm sorry if I offend anyone but this is just my own person opinion and what I would do if I had a kid (after extensive reading and 'research').

I'm surprised (and yet horrified) that so many people I know give their mobile phones or ipads or laptop computers or whatever to their babies or toddlers to play with and think it's 'cute'.  I don't think it's a great thing to do and You can Google it yourself about why.. there are hundreds, thousands of articles that say that TV (and therefore other kinds of screen-based technology) are very harmful for kids under the age of 2. Here is one of them

My father already knew this when I was as kid and always tried to restrict my sister's and my television viewing time. Of course being kids and teenagers we couldn't and wouldn't understand but now that I'm older and hopefully wiser I actually agree with him.

Meanwhile, I am also surprised by the number of people who make/allow their kids to learn anything and everything under the sun (usually some kind of sport or music or art) but never even think about foreign languages. I suppose when it's not important to the parents, it's not important for their kids.


My heart is in France

Lyon continued II

Something I didn't write about in my previous post about Lyon... When I first arrived it already felt strange and foreign and not at all familiar. I guess there has been a change inside me where deep down I realise that France is no longer my home. Before, when I travelled in France... after a while, everything felt really familiar and nothing felt strange anymore.

But yesterday, it DID feel strange. And I admit I felt sad. Maybe it was just the dreary weather. Maybe it was my stress. But part of me wished I'd chosen to go to Lyon instead of Geneva. It's not that I don't like Geneva (afterall what's not to like when it's the third 'best' city in the world to live in) but maybe that (already) I feel like it's just too small for me! There's a lot of things a city doesn't have when it's not big enough and I think that I'll always be a big city girl. Living in the 'burbs or in a small country town would bore me to tears.

Also in Lyon I had the strangely familiar occurence that everyone around me speaks French! If I ask a stranger to help me take a photo or for directions I don't have to guess whether they actually speak French or not.

What else? I could have CRIED at the low price of food compared to Switzerland. Plus the boulangeries are more plentiful and have a wider variety of products. I got a strawberry croissant!

Despite the horrible horrible weather I was actually still charmed by and still in love with Lyon. Perhaps also because it's rather arty and that part of it 'speaks' to me as I'm a creative sort of person. I don't know. It has so much character, and history, and culture, and art, and food and and and... it's not as beautiful as Paris of course (few cities are) but to me it's far more liveable.

I still feel that my heart is in France. Switzerland is a wonderful country but somewhat just too perfect and too pristine for me I think. When I lived in Shanghai I loved witnessing all the funny shenanigans that one normally never sees in a Western country and I can still see stuff like that in France but in Geneva it's extremely rare... Actually, to be honest, I think Geneva reminds me too much of Sydney and Australia. Namely the high price of food and housing, the modern buildings and roads, the longer working hours (compared to France), the way they do things (for example it's tax time now in France and in France it's not automatically deducted from your salary like in Australia and Switzerland).. it's all very similar to Australia. Not that they are bad things (or maybe they are :P ) , but I came to Europe (France) because I wanted a life that was DIFFERENT to the one I formerly had.

mardi 31 mai 2011

Lyon Continued

Continued from my previous post

So I went to Lyon today. I had a 16 hour day and am just a little bit tired after getting less than 4 hours' sleep last night. All the muscles in my arms and back are killing me (pain continuing from overuse). I'd like to say I had a good time in Lyon but I had an awful time! Why? Because the weather was horrible. When I think about it, I think I've only ever seen Lyon ONCE when it was sunny and warm and that was the very first time I went when I first arrived in late Sept/early Oct.

I had no idea the usually warm and sunny weather of these past few days/weeks would turn SO COLD. Luckily I thought to bring my trenchcoat and umbrella or else I really would have frozen. The worst was that I was wearing sandals and it was raining so my toes were wet and frozen all day long.

The train ride back was horrible. 2 hours. It was so nice that it was strangely empty and quiet and I could sleep BUT then I could not because I was totally frozen. I tried to curl my legs underneath me and shove my hands in my pockets, etc. It felt like it was air-conditioned inside the train. I hated it. It was horrible. How I longed for those nice warm trains during winter...  I even went into the first class carriage just to check that it wasn't heated (it wasn't but it seemed a bit warmer only because the compartment is smaller on this TER train). When I finally arrived back (late) in Geneva I was actually shivering and my teeth were chattering. It's about 9 degrees now.

Well the good thing is I did achieve what I set out to achieve in Lyon today and the day (weather wise) actually started off OK. It was overcast but not that cold and not raining. And I did some shopping and bought some new clothes, a pair of shoes and stocked up on some random stuff from the pharmacy (the range and brands and prices are better than in Geneva). That's basically why my back was killing me carrying that around all day and trying to juggle my heavy handbag and umbrella as well.

I feel totally 'ripped off' that I was 'given' this horrible weather. Made me so sad. I didn't get a chance to go to Sève to get those macarons as walking around outside was awful with my umbrella being blown inside out, but I did walk around a bit in the city and over a bridge before I hightailed it to the Part Dieu indoor shopping mall!

I had so much time to spare which has never happened before as it's always a mad rush to get everything done before I need to catch my train back. It was good that I could take my time browsing everything slowly. The annoying thing about this shopping centre is that you have to pay to use the toilets! (0.50 euros) and there are so few for such a large shopping mall so it took me a while just to find it and use it and get back to the shops again.

I know, I'm sorry this is such a boring post...  I kind of wish I could just blog all day long but since I now work full time I have no energy or motivation to a big long post (with lots of photos and links) even though I know they are far more interesting to read :(

lundi 30 mai 2011

Only Lyon

Tomorrow I am going back to my beloved Lyon!!! How I love this city so. If I didn't end up in Geneva I would've really liked to move to and work and live in Lyon.

This will be my fifth time there (I think). Sounds like a lot but the last time was 4 months ago in the middle of winter. It'll be nice to see it in the (almost) summer for the first time. Every time I've been I've done something different, and seen a different part of the city. Tomorrow I'm off to do something a little boring but I'll have to keep it a secret until it gets 'resolved' and then I'll definitely report about it back here on my blog in a few weeks' time.

I'm not really sure what else I'm gonna do or check out tomorrow but I am DYING to go back to Sève chocolatier/pâtissier to get me some of those one-of-a-kind awesomely delicious macarons!

(image from here)

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