‘Traveling’ In Translation: In-Between Worlds | World Tour #9

Yes this title is an attempt to make a pun with the title of Sofia Coppola’s masterful movie ‘Lost in Translation‘, which you would all have watched, I am sure.

So we left Las Vegas with a somewhat sore feeling. After being forced to get a cab from the hotel to go to McCarran International Airport, when no other option was left to us, and waiting for several hours at the airport (where we felt more at ease than anywhere else in Vegas at that point), we eventually took off and escaped from the Nevada desert, happy as ever to leave the sounds of the slot machines behind us.

It was Monday the 23rd of July, and on that day I set foot in Los Angeles for the first time in my life.

Those Weird Hours In Between


We had almost 24 hours until our next plane, which would carry us in more than 10 hours, to Japan.

Things went smoothly, so we didn’t have to think about it. From the airport, we took the free shuttle to our hotel (what a change after Las Vegas!), checked in the huuuuge beautiful room we booked and we proceeded to chill out.


We didn’t even go out of the hotel to explore Los Angeles a bit, but honestly we weren’t in the mood to do so. Things are a little blurry but from what I can remember, we went to the hotel restaurant and ate very good food, and then I watched a movie my father had told me about on the flight that day, which I had wanted to see ever since it was released in 2004: ‘Flight Plan‘ with Jodie Foster, a thriller set on a plane which was interestingly written, but scared me about planes when I wasn’t even scared…

Preparing Yourself For A Whole Other World And An Inevitable Culture Shock

All I could think about was counting the hours separating me from leaving the US and FINALLY landing to Japan, and seeing it for myself, after so many years of wondering how it would be like.

For the record, I have been learning Japanese for almost 2 years now, and obviously learning about the culture as well, from many different sources (YouTube, books, TV shows, Netflix, documentaries, social media and so on). So I already knew a lot about Japan. In fact, in some ways even more than I knew about the US… That’s something I’ve already talked about, but what I knew from the US before our trip all came from 70s to 90s TV shows and movies. Nothing current.

I had the same level of excitement for Japan that I got for New York City, which is saying something because I had wanted to go to New York since before I could even have memories… I can’t even describe how happy I was.

That night I couldn’t sleep very well either, which was expected…

I knew well enough how much of a disorientation and culture shock we would feel when arriving in Japan, and what’s more, in Tokyo. I tried to explain it as much as I could to my father. I remember I told him about:

  • the fact that the weather there was extremely hot and humid (because it was summer), which neither of us had ever felt before;
  • the fact that nothing was his size there (my father’s really tall), especially in Tokyo and especially after staying in the US for 2 weeks, where everything is too big;
  • the fact that people smoke in restaurants, but aren’t allowed to smoke in streets except in very specific areas;
  • the fact that there is A LOT MORE PEOPLE everywhere, especially in Tokyo;
  • and of course the simple fact that we were going to leave one continent for another, and not any one of the continents: we were going to leave the America for Asia! Which would have been okay if either of us had ever been to Asia before, but we hadn’t. A huge culture shock was inevitable.

He listened alright. And as I talked about it, I tried my best to really think about it. But in the end, neither of us was truly prepared for what was coming.


Ever wondered where Sofia Coppola got her title from for her famous movie? Well I’ll just leave that quote here for you to think about…

“Poetry is what is lost in translation. It is also what is lost in interpretation.”

Robert Frost

Until next time,

With love,


Why Las Vegas Was A Downer & Discovering Sin City | World Tour #8

We left San Francisco feeling refreshed and reconciled with the United States… Little did we know we would spend the worst 3 days of our trip in Las Vegas, despite us being so excited to go!

Can an introduction get more gloomy than that?

The thing is, we didn’t enjoy Las Vegas as much as we would have liked to. It all started on the evening of July 21st, Saturday, which was the day we flew out to Las Vegas from San Francisco.

We just started off from the wrong foot I think.

Slot Machines Everywhere

Our first impression of the city, or rather the airport, was actually funny: the first thing we saw when entering the airport after land-off were slot machines, right at the exit of our gate! We were in Las Vegas for sure, no doubt about it!


And then, we went outside.

Oh. My. God.

That heat. 40 degrees Celsius, 104 degrees Farenheit. If you’ve never been in a desert, you can’t understand what I mean but my skin actually tingled under this heat!

The Hunt For Public Transportation


Getting out of the airport, we tried, and I do mean we tried, to take a public transport to join our hotel. But there was nothing available. It was basically impossible.

There was public transport, we could see buses going around, but it said on the bus stop you couldn’t go on board without a ticket but there wasn’t any ticket machines ANYWHERE, neither outside nor inside the airport. We asked, no one could answer, no one knew.

That was incredible. So, to recap, in every single country, in every single town, you had a choice of either take the public transit from an airport, or take a cab, to go in town.

But not in Las Vegas.

Because you see, if you’re coming to Vegas it means you’re prepared to waste your money, so why not start right now?!

I was boiling. My father was pissed off. We were FORCED to pay 20 dollars each to take a taxi.

The Land of Ocean’s Eleven

The Legendary Strip, Las Vegas

Anyway, after that experience, we arrived at our hotel, which was a bit ex centered from the Strip, but actually fine. Despite the fact that the staff was late for more than 2 hours to give us our room. But, let’s talk about nicer things.

One of my favourite movies of all times is Ocean’s Eleven, both:

  • the first film of 1960 with Frank Sinatra playing a perfect Danny Ocean, and also Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis Jr. and Joey Bishop,
  • and the remake of 2001, with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts and so on.

And one of my favourite quotes from the film was dancing in my head while we went outside again in the heat, to go and see our first casino: the one and only Caesar’s Palace.

“You guys are pros. The best. I’m sure you can make it out of the casino. Of course, lest we forget, once you’re out the front door, you’re still in the middle of the fucking desert!” Reuben, adressing to Rusty and Danny


The Caesar’s Palace was actually incredible both outside and inside: this was to become my favourite of all the casinos, thanks to the atmosphere, the architecture and the decorations inside. I loved it!


My father being a fan of Gordon Ramsay, we went to eat at one of the many restaurants he holds in Vegas, and it was absolutely delicious… The Pub & Grill was inside the Caesar’s Palace, and it wasn’t even that expensive!



This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After that we went for a walk inside the casino, which took us about an hour just to see one side of the casino, and the sights were incredible: the giant shopping mall (because beside playing, the only thing left to do is shopping) felt like it was outside, thanks to the huuuuuuge illusory sky, put under the high ceiling.


Okay, THAT illusory sky was incredible. I can’t say otherwise, and we were awed that first night.

We went to bed on a rare kind of hype: we knew that most people around us in that desert would not sleep that night, stuck in front of slot machines, blackjack and poker tables, where we left them.

New York City isn’t the only city that never sleeps after all.

The Hunt For The Best Casino

“The Strip” is how you call the boulevard containing the bulk of the most famous casinos in the world. It starts from the Las Vegas Sign “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” at the south, that you will most certainly see if you come to the city by road.

Here is the Strip:

The Strip

As you can guess on this map, the casinos are HUGE buildings, built one after the other on either side of the boulevard.

After that first night, my father and I proceeded to go and see all the casinos:

  • The Flamingo: it seemed a bit old next to the others, like coming straight up from the 70s. Lots of tables to play card games, as I can recall.
  • The LINQ: we definitely passed through it to go and see the Venetian but I can’t remember a single thing about it! In fact, the casinos all looked the same except the most famous ones.
  • The Venetian and The Palazzo: okay. The Venetian rivaled with my favourite casino so far, the Caesar’s Palace. That casino was incredible both outside and inside. They had recreated Venice’s gondolas and canals! And Saint Mark’s Square! The Palazzo was the five star hotel of the same complex.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  • Trump International Hotel: by the time we got out of the Venetian complex, it was midday, and when we looked at our next destination, we saw another building, far away in the distance, that looked ENTIRELY made of gold: of course it had to be the Trump Hotel. It was too far away, and looked a bit ‘too much’… but I bet the view of the Strip from there is incredible.
  • Treasure Island: we didn’t end up going either because it was too far away and the heat was unbearable…
  • The Mirage: I remember this hotel-casino perfectly because of its decorations inside: they had recreated a jungle under a glass roof with sounds of tropical fauna and flora being broadcasted!
  • Next was Caesar’s Palace that we’d already explored the night before, so we only passed through it. We also ate there, but the food wasn’t that great. Or maybe it was the heat that got the best of me.

By that time, after seeing all those things that looked incredible but absolutely insane considering we were in the middle of the desert, our enthusiasm began to decrease slowly. Such a display of who got the best decorations, inspiration, and theme… all of this with water in any form, it was nonsense!

We made a halt at our hotel on Flamingo Road, and took a little nap before going out again.

  • The Bellagio: ahhhh, the famous one, the one from Ocean’s Eleven, in front of which is shot the most beautiful scene of the whole movie – maybe one of the best scenes EVER (if you don’t know what I mean, go and watch it RIGHT NOW: here). It was beautiful inside, and we wandered around for quite a long time.
  • The New York Hotel: from the Bellagio we took the air train to the New York Hotel. Besides Venice, Paris, and Rome, there was a hotel (with a giant mall inside again) around the theme of New York. A Broadway version of NYC streets were recreated inside, with big luminous signs and such
  • The Luxor: Okay, that one was insane too. It had the shape of an enormous Egyptian pyramid, and the hotel rooms were disposed along its sides, all the way to the top!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  • Mandala Bay, The MGM Grand, Excalibur…: we saw the outside we gave up seeing each and every casino because they were so far away from each other, and the heat really was unbearable. You have to realize, it was 45°C, 113°F. It made my skin prickle, actually boiling under the sun! However, we did see the MGM Grand but it wasn’t that great compared to the other casinos we saw. Or maybe we were just fed up to see the same thing again, and again.

What Shocked Me In Vegas


  • No security to enter the buildings: I was so used to France’s terrorism counter-plan that I was shocked to see we could enter and exit any of the casinos and hotels without being supervised or checked. Of course cameras were everywhere, and considering I looked underage (despite being almost 25…) I was told off by cashiers walking around many times, when I approached some tables and walked among slot machines (before I told them my age, obviously). Which makes room for another funny quote from Ocean’s Eleven:

“I know more about casino security than any man alive, I invented it, and it cannot be beaten. They got cameras, they got locks, they got watchers, they got timers, they got vaults, they got enough armed personnel to occupy Paris!

… Okay, bad example.” Reuben, addressing to Rusty and Danny

  • Air conditioning & fountains everywhere: could Vegas be more of a pain in the ass of the Earth? I think not. All this fun is actually destroying our planet. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, do some researches about Lake Mead and how Las Vegas literally drained it over the last few years, alongside other phreatic tables… So of course, it depressed me after a while.
  • People dressed like strip dancers all the time: even during the day! I can understand the need of being almost naked under the heat, and especially during the night, but during the day? It was like people were partying non-stop! And of course that’s what they did.
  • People allowed to smoke & drink everywhere, inside & outside: I witnessed with my own eyes the absence of restrictive laws in the Nevada state… but it was too much. People were going crazy. Hopefully we didn’t smoke, and only drank a little bit.

The End Of The (S)Trip

All in all, we spent 2 nights and 2 days in Vegas, from Saturday the 21st until Monday the 23rd, and it was too long; we eventually got bored on Monday morning and went back to McCarran International Airport 3 hours early.

And that concludes our trip to Las Vegas, which I won’t talk about again. Sure it was something to see once in your lifetime, but only once! I’ll probably never go back again for visiting, maybe for work and even then, I think I’ll pass. Vegas wasn’t for me!

And our journey continued from there to Los Angeles!

Until next time,


aka The French Hat

Want to know what happened next during our summer trip around the world? Keep up with our adventures in my World Tour series!

Alix la New-Yorkaise | Expat’Interview #8


Bonjour Alix c’est un plaisir de t’interviewer ! Que fais-tu dans la vie ?

Je travaille dans l’audiovisuel, assistante de production. Je suis freelance donc je fais beaucoup de choses différentes. Assistante de production, chargée du public et invités, traductrice…

Et donc tu vis à New York ! Depuis combien de temps ?

Depuis 4 ans maintenant.

Est-ce-que tu y es seule là-bas ?

Non, je suis avec mon mari.

Pourquoi es-tu partie ?

A l’origine c’était pour le boulot, mais désormais c’est surtout pour mon mari.

Dis m’en un peu plus sur ton chemin de vie, pourquoi New York ?

Après avoir obtenu mon diplôme de fin d’étude à NYC -j’étais à l’EFAP Paris* mais j’ai fini mon cursus à New York- j’ai obtenu un job dans une émission TV.

Depuis tout s’est enchaîné, je me suis mariée à un américain qui travaille aussi dans l’audiovisuel, il est caméraman. Grâce à mes connexions et les siennes nous avons agrandi notre réseau. Le fait d’être freelance m’a permis de lancer mon blog et bientôt des vidéos sur la vie d’expatrié et surtout sur NYC.

New York me rappelle beaucoup Paris… C’est une grande ville, qui bouge et surtout où il y a le plus d’opportunités de travail, avec L.A. bien entendu.

Quelle a été ta principale motivation pour rester ?

Travailler dans une grosse émission américaine. J’ai eu une grosse opportunité mais j’étais en plein processus de Green card, et peu de gens le savent mais pendant plusieurs mois, nous ne sommes pas autorisés à travailler… j’ai donc vu cette opportunité s’envoler mais je ne désespère pas.

Pour le moment je travaille sur de grosses émissions sur NYC.

Quel a été le point de non-retour, après lequel tu as su que tu partirais ?

J’ai tout simplement eu une opportunité que je n’aurais jamais eu si j’étais restée en France. Mon rêve absolu était de venir ici et de travailler dans la TV, je ne pouvais pas dire non.

Qu’as-tu ressenti à ce moment-là ?

Un mélange d’excitation et d’appréhension !

Tu parles combien de langues ?

2 : le français et l’anglais.

La connaissance de l’anglais t’a aidée dans ton expatriation ?

Oui, pour trouver un boulot et trouver un endroit pour vivre, et puis simplement pour le quotidien. Il faut parler anglais avant de venir.

Tu as rencontré des difficultés ?

Oui pour me faire des amis, et aussi dans le quotidien.

Pour les amis j’ai galéré, et je galère toujours. J’ai tout de même réussi à m’en faire, et ce sont plutôt des locaux.

Quelle a été la partie la plus difficile de ton expatriation ?

Je dirais le processus pour obtenir les papiers pour travailler. Les américains ne rigolent pas avec ça. Il faut souvent attendre plus d’un an, avoir un employeur prêt à débourser beaucoup d’argent. Ce n’est vraiment pas facile.

Qu’est-ce-que tu aurais fait différemment pendant ta préparation à l’expatriation ?

Rien de différent. Il faut vivre au jour le jour et surtout être prêt moralement. Je me suis expatriée pour un an et j’ai rencontré mon mari, maintenant ça va bientôt faire 4 ans que je suis ici.

Heureusement que j’ai mon mari pour me soutenir. Il faut aussi avoir de la famille qui croit en vous.

Qu’est-ce-que tu aurais fait différemment à ton arrivée sur place ?

Je pense que j’aurais du continuer à postuler pour d’autres opportunités. 6 mois après mon arrivée l’émission a été annulée et j’ai du tout recommencer à zéro. Il faut être très ouvert et ne jamais dire non à une opportunité de travail ici.

Où as-tu trouvé le plus d’infos et les meilleures infos sur l’expatriation à New York et aux Etats-Unis en général ?

Nulle part… j’ai vraiment tout fait toute seule… j’aurais beaucoup aimé avoir de l’aide ou un endroit pour parler avec d’autres expatriés. Les US sont très prisés mais il y est très difficile de s’expatrier.

Je pense que beaucoup de gens ne souhaitent pas partager leur aventure car ils sont souvent ici sans papiers, ou ne veulent tout simplement pas partager comment ils ont obtenu leur visa.

Le jour où tu es arrivée, est-ce-que tu t’es sentie perdue ?

Heureusement pour moi, j’ai vécu deux ans à New York lors de mes études.

Mais la toute première fois était très stressante, je ne parlais pas anglais, j’avais tout juste 20 ans. Je quittais le cocon familial pour une vie à l’autre bout du monde. J’ai eu beaucoup de hauts et bas, mes parents peuvent en témoigner mais ça en valait le coup.

Aujourd’hui j’ai la vie que j’espérais, c’est pas parfait mais je ne pense pas que j’aurais pu accomplir autant de choses en si peu de temps en France.

Est-ce-que tu dirais qu’il est facile de se fondre dans la masse à New York ?

Oui, plutôt.

Quels conseils tu donnerais à quiconque voudrait venir vivre en tant qu’expatrié à New York ?

Il faut s’accrocher, le vouloir et surtout ne jamais abandonner. C’est difficile mais vraiment top quand on arrive à travailler et vivre correctement ici. Il faut se faire beaucoup de contacts et toujours les relancer.

Est-ce-que tu as du t’ajuster à la nourriture ?

Ahh… la nourriture américaine… très très grasse… je me suis jamais posé la question. Oui j’ai du m’adapter mais ça n’a pas été si difficile.

Je me fais à manger quand je peux et j’évite quand je peux leur fast food. Même si j’y vais plus qu’en France, j’essaie de maintenir un minimum d’équilibre.

J’ai eu beaucoup d’empoisonnement alimentaire au tout début mais maintenant je fais beaucoup plus attention.

Est-ce-que tu as du t’ajuster aux gens ?

Les américains sont très superficiels. Ils sont souvent vos amis pour une raison, ils cherchent toujours à savoir ce que vous pouvez leur apporter. Il faut s’ajuster et jouer le jeu.

C’est aussi comme ça que j’ai pu me faire autant de contacts car il faut juste savoir comment s’y prendre. Les vraies amitiés sont rares.

Est-ce-que tu as du t’ajuster au climat ?

L’hiver est violent ici, c’est vrai qu’en France on a pas des hivers aussi froids.

Ici à NY on passe d’un extrême à l’autre. Il va faire très très froid en hiver et très très chaud en été. On n’a pas de mi saison…

Est-ce-que tu as du t’ajuster aux types de vêtements ?

Non, pas vraiment.

Est-ce-que tu as du t’ajuster aux coutumes ?

Pas vraiment. À part Thanksgiving, je n’ai pas vraiment du m’adapter à leurs coutumes.

Est-ce-que tu as du t’ajuster à la façon de vivre ?

J’ai gardé ma façon de vivre européenne. Je l’ai même imposée à la maison. 3 repas par jour assis à table. Et le dimanche c’est repos, si l’on peut.

Les américains vivent dans le mouvement, ils ne s’arrêtent jamais de travailler ou de bouger.

Est-ce-que tu as du t’ajuster à la façon de travailler ?

Les américains travaillent non-stop, ne comptent pas leurs heures de travail. Ils rentrent chez eux et continuent à travailler. Pas de 35h ou 4 semaines de vacances ici.

Mon premier job était ici, je n’ai pas vraiment travaillé à plein temps en France, donc je ne connais que le mode américain, mais je sais que de nombreuses personnes expatriées ont du mal à s’adapter au rythme de travail.

Durant ta période étudiante est-ce-que tu as du t’ajuster à la façon d’enseigner ?

Pas vraiment mais je trouve que l’on était assez libres. Ils nous laissaient faire beaucoup de choses nous-mêmes.

Ils ont des examens importants à la mi-semestre et en fin de semestre. C’est là où vous bossez le plus, mais comme dans toute université.

Ton dernier mot ? 🙂

Il faut se lancer mais y réfléchir à deux fois. Ce n’est pas facile et sans un plan bien défini on peut vite avoir des désillusions. Mais NYC c’est cool, il faut venir XD 🙂

C’est avec un grand plaisir que je partage aujourd’hui l’interview d’Alix, la New-Yorkaise du blog ! 🙂 Alix gère un super blog sur lequel elle partage énormément de choses sur sa vie d’expat’ alors n’hésites pas à aller la suivre !

Blog d’Alix : Vis ma vie d’expatriée

Instagram d’Alix : @vismaviedexpatriee

Elle représente aussi C my Cities à NYC, une entreprise qui aide à programmer des voyages et même des déménagements pour ceux qu’ils veulent s’expatrier ou les étudiants. Si ça t’intéresse ça se passe ici :

Site Web Cmycities : cmycities.com

Si toi aussi tu es expat’ ou que tu l’as été, participe à mon projet et raconte ton histoire en remplissant le questionnaire qui se trouve sur cet article pour avoir l’opportunité d’être publié sur mon blog !

*EFAP Paris : Ecole de communication (site internet : EFAP).