August 16, 2019 – End Times (OOTD #549)

I’m really on a roll with these religion-themed blog titles.

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The reasoning behind this one, if it weren’t clear (which, to be fair, it’s probably not on the surface) is because this was my last day in Israel-Palestine, and I visited the Mount of Olives — the location where some faith traditions believe the end of the world will occur.

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Another layer of meaning you could derive, if you so choose to, is that I also visited the Garden of Gethsemane, the place where Jesus stopped and prayed before the end of his life. It was also a Friday, the end of the working week and the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath, Shabbat. 

After my big tour the previous day, I felt like I had pretty much seen everything within Old City that I wanted to see, so I decided to walk a little beyond the bounds of Jerusalem city center. After consulting the Internet for ideas of things to do in Jerusalem for free on Shabbat, I decided on the Garden of Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives.

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And I wasn’t disappointed. I don’t know if I’d say either of them were my favorite sites from the whole trip (to be honest, I don’t know if I could choose just one) but they were a perfect way to get away from the insanity that is Jerusalem. Jerusalem wasn’t Rome insane, but, like Rome, it’s an ancient city that modern people live in — as a result, the limitations of architecture that was only built to accommodate donkeys and foot traffic is  constantly coming into conflict with the demands of 21st century life. I can’t tell you how many times I was almost run over by a scooter trying to drive through the narrow, winding streets of Old City.

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Gethsemane wasn’t much to look at as a garden — sure, it was lovely, but it’s no grand botanical conservatory, like what Copenhagen has. It’s simple and small — you can walk the perimeter in about two minutes. There’s an attached church, as with all of the “holy” Christian sites in Jerusalem, but it’s no architectural marvel.

What makes the Garden of Gethsemane great is that it’s one of the only sites in Jerusalem that actually looks somewhat like what it might have looked like in Biblical times. You can visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, but there will be no traces of the stable that supposedly used to stand there. You can visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Old City, but there’s no geographic indication that is was once a hill where the crosses stood. In fact, as I understand, many historians question whether these are the real locations of these famous religious events at all — or whether they’re just based on tradition stemming from an era of Crusaders who were desperate to claim they’d discovered the location of Jesus’s first carpentry classes.

The Garden of Gethsemane, however, actually is the garden from the stories. And furthermore, the olive trees may even potentially be the trees (or at least, descendants of the trees) that were there in Biblical times. Though the trees are too old to date precisely, scientists have determined that it’s possible that several are at least 900 years old, possibly older.Compare this to the (in my opinion) somewhat gaudy Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Jesus was supposedly crucified, that’s surrounded on all sides by apartments and shops that prevent you from visualizing Golgotha as it might have looked 2000 years ago, and you see why I liked Gethsemane so much. A local caretaker for the garden even offered me some clippings from the olive trees and some saffron (which he instructed me to make tea out of in order to attract a boyfriend). IMG_6011

The other site I liked was the Mount of Olives. I wish it weren’t so hot when I made the climb from Lions’ Gate to the Church of the Ascension  (which I didn’t even go into because there was an entrance fee), but it made for a beautiful panoramic view of the city from the top. It made for the perfect end times to my Jerusalem trip.

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That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my trip to Israel-Palestine this summer. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


T-shirt: Forever21

Turtleneck: Amazon

Jeans: Hollister

August 11, 2019 – The Promised Land (OOTD #544)

Here we are, the very last of my summer break 2019 travels!

I think the Galàpagos to Jerusalem flight sequence was one of the longest I’ve ever experienced. It went a little something like this:

  • Take a panga boat from the cruise ship in the Galàpagos to the shore, early morning August 9
    • Take a ferry to another part of the island
    • Take a bus to the tortoise reserve
    • Take a bus to the airport
    • Fly from the Galàpagos back to coastal city in mainland Ecuador, midday
    • Fly from the coastal city to Quito, afternoon
    • Fly from Quito to Atlanta, late night
  • Arrive in Atlanta, early morning August 10
    • Fly from Atlanta to New York JFK, morning
    • Fly from New York JFK to Tel-Aviv, late afternoon
  • Arrive in Tel-Aviv, early morning August 11
    • Take a shared cab from Tel-Aviv Airport to hostel in Jerusalem
    • Arrive at hostel in Jerusalem, late morning

By the time I made it to my hostel in Jerusalem, I was exhausted — but not super sleepy. I was tired from all of the traveling, from moving from boats to buses to ferries to airplanes to taxi cabs over the course of 48 hours, but I had actually managed to get a decent amount of sleep during the commute. It maybe wasn’t a great quality of sleep, but at least it was sleep.

Arriving on Israel on my own was rather scary. I mean, I’ve done it before — arriving in airports in new cities in new countries and having to make my way into the city — but Tel-Aviv was different. I’ve traveled on my own in Europe, but not before in the Middle East.

The remarkable thing about traveling and being nervous about doing new things is that, assuming you actually do the thing, your nervousness doesn’t matter much. Being afraid to try something new affects whether you’ll actually do the thing (say, try to find a sherut shared taxi from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem), but it doesn’t affect what happens after you’ve decided to do it. I was nervous to approach the cabbie and ask if he was going to Jerusalem, but that didn’t change whether or not I was going to have to do it or not. I had to make it from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, and that was that.

And I did make it. The cabbie wasn’t exactly a friendly guy, but thankfully, we didn’t have to talk long. A 45 minute drive later, he dropped me at my hostel, and I was on my way.

I was actually a little too early to check in to my room, and so I decided to go for a walk around the city to pass the time. The hostel had a place to store my bags, which was nice, and the concierge was able to point me in the direction of a free tour I could take later in the afternoon.

Before the tour began, I wandered around the area a little to see what there was. I had arrived during a holiday, which made it so that most of the shops and restaurants were closed. As it turned out, though, I didn’t mind — that also meant the streets were emptier, which made taking pictures like this, on a shopping street that might have normally been  busy, possible.

My free walking tour covered the four quarters of Old City Jerusalem — the Jewish Quarter, the Muslim Quarter, the Armenian Quarter, and the Christian Quarter. Since it was free, we didn’t actually go into any of the sites, like the Dome of the Rock or the Western Wall, but that was okay. I ended up seeing those later. Our guide took us to see a beautiful view of the city from a rooftop and to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (honestly, one of the least exciting “holy sites” I visited — and that’s the one that was supposed to be most important to my religion). For free, it was everything I needed.

The one thing I was hoping to do on my tour that I didn’t was make friends. I was supposed to go on this research trip with someone else from school, but she didn’t end up getting the grant to go. I wasn’t looking for like, a best buddy, but I was hoping to talk to some people and maybe get to know someone from my hostel whom I could travel a little with. But to no avail.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my trip to Israel-Palestine this summer. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Top: Forever21

Jeans: Hollister

Sweat: The Middle Eastern sun

August 8, 2019 – Birb (OOTD #542)

On August 8, I saw a lot of birds.

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For a while there, birds were my favorite animals (but cats are more my taste now). There was no particular type of bird that was my favorite during my bird phase — just whatever had wings and could fly (sorry ostriches and penguins). I’m 100% a girl who would have gotten a tattoo of birds in flight on my collarbone back in 2013 or whenever that was trendy. Bonus points if it comes with an inspirational quote about wanderlust.

I’ve never had a flying dream in my life, though I’ve always wished I could have them. Flight as a concept is just so cool to me — like, you just flap your wings and away you go. Maybe that’s why I like traveling in airplanes so much.

The main feature of both islands I saw were the birds. There were some sea lions and cool rock formations too, but the birds were really the main attraction. They were literally everywhere — in trees, on the ground, in the air, in the water. I guess that shouldn’t shock me — of course birds are populous on a pair of uninhabited islands. There are no humans to bother them and few predators to hunt them.

Because of this, they’re not nearly as skittish as most birds and will let you walk right up to their nest if you don’t make any loud noises. I got more cool bird photos on this day than I think I’ve ever gotten in my life.

The babies were all so big and fluffy! I wouldn’t have been surprised if you’d told me that they were full-size, and the blue-footed booby babies just looked like giant cotton balls for their entire lives. They’re the sort of animal that you just want to reach out and pet — you can’t, obviously, or else you’d ruin the whole point of not disturbing them so that they don’t become skittish in the future. Still, they were so cute. I’m having a hard time deciding whether the bird babies or the sea lions were the cutest creatures I saw on my trip — and yes, that includes the giant tortoises, which I’ll write about in an upcoming post.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my trip to the Galápagos Islands this summer. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Outfit 1:

Top: Zara

Coat: Forever21

Jeans: Hollister

Outfit 2:

Dress: Forever21

July 15, 2019 – London Layover (OOTD #533)

Best. Layover. Ever.

Here it is — the last blog from my summer European adventure. And what an adventure it was. Fitting that it should end with one last big adventure, right?

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another day, another airport

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Croatia was not actually the last country I visited on this trip — it was actually England. After departing the Zagreb airport at around 1pm in the afternoon (though I’ll mention I arrived at like 7am, on account of my friend’s flight departing earlier than mine), I made it to London Heathrow a little over an hour later.

And then I sat and waited.

My next flight, the one that would take me to Chicago, wasn’t going to leave until the following day at 7am. I had a 16-hour layover to wait out. Thankfully, if my traveling has taught me anything, it’s how to handle long layovers in the airport — and the best way to handle a long layover in the airport is to leave.

And how do you leave London Heathrow? Why, you take the Underground of course!  If the tube was already my favorite public transit system in the entire world, it just got even better when I realized it was directly connected to the airport. I love metros that connect directly to airport terminals, like Copenhagen or Chicago. Having to take a bus to the nearest metro station — or worse, having to take a separate metro and pay an additional fee on top of your regular metro ticket like you have to do in New York JFK — sucks.

It certainly wasn’t a short ride, but it was much cheaper than taking the fast train, the Heathrow Express. And it got me where I wanted to go — the Westminster tube station.

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eye see what you did there

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best 16 hour layover ever

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I don’t really know what I was looking for out of this stopover. I mean, I’ve already been to London and I’ve seen the majority of the tourist sites that one can see in an afternoon while waiting for a connecting flight. I’ve seen Big Ben and the London Eye and Westminster and all of the major sites that were in this particular area. I just wanted to go again, to feel what it felt like to look across the bridge and see all of the tourists clamoring to get photos with the ferris wheel. I even joined some of the tourists and got a few photos of my own.

From there, I went to see something I hadn’t actually seen on my 2017 London trip: Hyde Park. Amanda and I had originally had this on our to-do list, but it got cut for time and because everything we read online suggested that it wasn’t really that spectacular of a park.

And to be honest, from what I saw on this tour, I agree. I think perhaps, I just went at a bad time, as it looked like whole sections of the park were closed off for a music festival that was about to park. I also didn’t have enough time to walk the whole thing.  I did get to glimpse some of the gardens, which were lovely while they were in bloom. It was no botanic conservatory, but for a free place to walk around for an hour and get some pictures in the fading light for my blog, it was perfect.

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london bridge is falling down 🎶

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My last stop before heading back to Heathrow to spend the night sleeping on a bench was Tower Bridge herself. This was another site that I think I may have glimpsed in passing during my 2017 trip, but I never got around to paying a proper visit to. I don’t know if walking across the modern London Bridge and snapping some pictures as the sun set counts as a “proper visit,” but it was very pleasant nonetheless.

And even if it doesn’t count, I guess that just means I have all the more reason to go back to London one day. Oh well. You don’t have to ask me twice.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life in Europe this summer. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Coat:Vintage (thrifted, Ecseri Bazaar in Budapest)

Top: FreePeople

Jeans: Hollister

June 15, 2019 – Not Florida (OOTD #518)

Wait, this isn’t Naples, Florida.

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wait, this isn’t florida

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I’ve actually never been to Naples, Florida. I haven’t actually traveled much around Florida, despite it being the go-to vacation destination for every family that lived south of the Mason-Dixon line from about 2006-2015. I’ve seen Orlando and Destin and Panama City Beach, but otherwise, that’s about it. Don’t tell anyone from Florida, but I don’t actually like Florida that much.

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mall rat

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So while I’ve never been to Naples, Florida to compare it to Naples, Italy, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Naples, Italy (also known as Napoli in Italian) is the better of the two. If you’ve been to both and have an opinion, feel free to fact check me.

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twisted my ankle twice on these streets

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As I discussed in my post about my trip to Florence, Northern and Southern Italy have extremely distinct cultures, a distinction that even I, an uncultured American, noticed in comparing Florence and Rome (both of which are actually more Central than Northern or Southern). Naples, the southernmost location I visited in Rome (and furthermore, considered by many to be emblematic of what makes the South of Italy unique compared to Central and Northern Italy) blew the Florence-Rome comparison out the water.

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i’m having a moment

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Naples was very different — both from Rome and Florence, but especially Florence. It’s like comparing a gated community with a private school that Felicity Huffman paid for her children to go to, to the neighborhood that Kelley Williams-Bolar falsified her address in order to prevent her children from having to school in. Can you guess if Naples is the Felicity Huffman or the Kelley Williams-Bolar?

In fact, when I returned to Rome from Naples, the first thing a friend said to me was “Oh, you didn’t get mugged! I guess you didn’t get an authentic tour.”

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not a bad view

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Actually, I don’t think Naples is as bad as its reputation. Sure, it was a little sketchy, especially that first night after I arrived after sundown and had to find the AirBnB. And the beach weren’t the cleanest. And one half of our friend group got kicked out of their hotel room after it turned out that they’d booked through a fraudulent website. At least the roads were better than Rome’s — no twisted ankles for me!

Plus, Naples had a beautiful castle — the Castel dell’Ovo, “the castle of the egg.” Don’t ask me why it’s called that. I don’t know (though I’m certain it was explained on one of the signs, I couldn’t read them as they were all in Italian). It was beautiful though, and I got some sweet photos on the way up.

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sea you around

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That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life in Europe this summer. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Outfit 1:

Swimsuit top: Hollister

Swimsuit bottom: Target

Outfit 2:

Top: Zara

Shorts: H&M

May 27, 2019 – Meander (OOTD #509)

Wandering around Rome without a plan for what to do or where to go is a great idea, in theory.

Rome is full of cool sites — the Colosseum, the Vatican, Palatino, the Spanish Steps — which are easily accessible and easily visible from within the city itself. That’s what, if you ask me, is the best part about Rome: its main attractions are right there in the city, and they’re not too far from each other. You could, with a lot of stamina, take an entire day and simply walk from site to site.

Here’s the worst part about Rome — if you’re not in the cool section where all the ancient ruins and tourist attractions are, it’s not a very pretty city. If you’re in one of the less attractive neighborhoods, you can walk for quite some time without seeing anything other than trash, uneven pavement, and stray cats.

When I went out for a walk on the morning of May 27, however, I didn’t know this. I didn’t think I needed a game plan or direction for walking Rome; I just thought I could start walking and I would run into the Trevi Fountain. I of course, was wrong. I didn’t see the Trevi Fountain or the Pantheon or the Roman Forum. In fact, I basically walked in the opposite direction of all of those things.

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oh no, i’m ruined

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Here’s what I did find: a man on a motorcycle who honked at me as he went by. Muddy pavement. A homeless person yelling at an umbrella. Strips of the road where the sidewalk just…inexplicably decided to not exist anymore. And the Baths of Caracalla, which, admittedly, were cool to see from a distance, though not worth the entrance fee to get in.

So yeah, my Spidey Sense didn’t exactly lead me in the right direction. Sometimes your spontaneous, anyway-the-wind-blows type adventure goes well, and sometimes all it leads you to is a homeless man with an umbrella. You win some, and you lose some.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life in Europe this summer. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Top: Pitaya

Jeans: Hollister

 

May 19, 2019 – Roaming Rome (OOTD #503)

Packing for Rome was so hard.

I’ve never had to pack for such a long period of time before with only suitcases to put my things into. Packing for Notre Dame is different; I have storage boxes and suitcases and a whole car trunk to load them into. For Rome, as I had to fly, all I could bring were my suitcases.

I brought two suitcases to check, plus my backpack. Naturally, I didn’t start packing until the night before my flight left, so I didn’t really have the time to put together intricate plans for outfits.

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And besides, I didn’t even know how to plan. I knew it would be hot since I was going to be there May-July, but I didn’t know how hot it would get. Do Romans wear shorts and t-shirts, or are they always stylishly conservative? What kind of dress would my supervisors at my internship require?

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wes anderson would approve

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As you probably could’ve guessed from the aforementioned fact that I didn’t start packing until the night before my flight, I never bothered to research the answers to these questions.

And so the packing strategy I ended up going with was something like this — clothes I knew I liked and that I knew would be versatile. For example, I packed this plaid Zara blouse, which I figured could be dressed down with ripped jeans (as you see here) or dressed up with a blazer for work.

And I think it worked! For the most part, I think my attire was appropriate for my European audience, who on the whole, dress a lot nicer than Americans (no offense). Does that make me feel like I fit in? Yes — but I’m not sure how I feel about that. One thing I like about the US is that dressing nicely helps you to stand out in a crowd of basketball shorts and hoodies — you can’t easily do that when everyone around you dresses up too.

The solution? I guess it’s time to start dressing more like the “lazy American.” The next OOTD on LEDJ — leggings, a Victoria’s Secret hoodie, and Birkenstocks.

Sponsored link: Check out these extreme distressing black denim skinny jeans on Dresshead.com!


That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life in Europe this summer. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Top: Zara

Jeans: Hollister

April 15, 2019 – Catwoman (OOTD #494)

I’m a little ashamed to admit this, but as a kid, I loved the Halle Berry Catwoman movie.

It was one of the first PG-13 films my parents let me watch (after Sam Rami’s Spider-Man 2 — the superior Spider-Man movie, by the way), which might be part of the reason why I enjoyed it so much. I had the film on DVD, I had the Halle Berry Catwoman Barbie doll, and I even dressed up like her for Halloween that year. I thought she looked so cool. It didn’t matter to me that her leather pants would have been impractical for climbing or that her bra was so tight her boobs looked like they’d spill out any second; she was a female superhero (villain?), and that’s what counted.

I also didn’t know that there was a better version of Catwoman who existed in the comic books. I was never really into comic books, so I never knew that the character’s name was supposed to be Selina Kyle and not Patience Phillips, and that she was supposed to have learned her martial arts skills from her time as a prostitute rather than from a literal magic cat lady.

I’ve seen the Halle Berry Catwoman film since then, and I see why it was hated so much by critics and audiences. It’s pretty bad. There’s a scene where Halle Berry rubs catnip on her face. Like an actual cat. That’s how silly it is.

If anything good came of my Catwoman phase as a kid, it’s that I revisited Catwoman when I was older, and I learned that she’s actually a really fascinating character in the comic books and video games when she’s portrayed accurately. I even dressed up as her again junior year of high school — this time more in the vein of the Anne Hathaway version.

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Well…I tried to be Catwoman 🐱

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I’m jealous of kids who get to grow up with Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. That was such a cool movie — and her costume wasn’t nearly as ridiculous-looking.

I’d be down for a new live-action Catwoman film, though. As I understand from what I’ve read online, DC’s been putting out some decent films lately, like Shazam and Aquaman. Maybe it’s time to give Selina Kyle a chance.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on PinterestInstagramFacebookBloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com.


Hoodie: Adidas (thrift)

Jacket: Hollister

Jeans: Hot Topic

March 10, 2019 – Grocery Store Florist (OOTD #469)

A long, long time ago, I applied for a job at this grocery store florist. They didn’t hire me.

It amazes me sometimes how sixteen year-old kids go out and find jobs sometimes, and that’s coming from someone who was once a sixteen year-old kid who found a job.

My first job was actually at the same grocery store chain as this florist, though I worked at a different location. I was a bagger/cart-getter/bathroom-cleaner. It wasn’t a fun job.

I won’t mention the name of the grocery store chain in case one day I want to try to get a job in their corporate department (or alternatively, after I drop out of school and all that’s left for me is to go back and try to get a job as a bagger), so let’s call it something totally made-up — like Shmoger. 

I applied for a lot of jobs the summer I was 16 — none of which I got interviews for except this one at Shmoger. That’s the worst part about applying for jobs — the fact that no one seems to want to message you to let you know the status of your application. At least with university applications, you can get rejected from every school you apply to, but they properly reject you. They give you a date they’ll have their decision by, and then they tell you their decision on that date. With jobs, they just ghost you, like a bad Tinder match.

The Shmoger I worked at was going through some renovations when I began working there, and I’m pretty sure that’s the only reason they hired me. I had no real experience (not even babysitting) and no references besides my parents, so they must have been desperate.

The funny thing is, I didn’t really even want the job that badly. I just took it because I figured that’s what you’re supposed to do when you turn 16. Now that I’m at a wealthy university and have wealthy friends, I realize that that’s not the case for people with money and connections, but at the time, pretty much everyone I knew had a crappy job in retail or food or service.

Looking back, I do appreciate the perspective that my crappy barely-above-minimum wage job offered me about the world — how hard it is to get a job if you don’t have a lot of experience or connections or education, how entitled both customers and fellow employees can be, how exhausting it is to do (even slightly) labor-intensive work , how difficult it is to make any actual money working minimum wage and barely getting any hours because you’ve just stared. It helped me to recognize how privileged I am to not have to work jobs like that in order to get by, and how difficult it is to move past that situation if that’s where you’re presently stuck. I ultimately ended up quitting when my junior year began (one of the only things I’ve truly quit for the last several years) because it was too much to do on top of schoolwork. Ironically, I quit the weekend before the big reopening after the renovations were all finished — something for which my boss yelled at me when I sent in my resignation via text.

I can’t imagine trying to work a spiritually and financially thankless job like that while trying to get the education required to get a better job. Getting an education can be spiritually and financially thankless enough on its own sometimes.

I think my second-most important realization at my Shmoger job was how horrible people are who leave their grocery carts out in the middle of the parking lot, especially at night. Please bring them to the corral — or better yet, back up to the front of the store! Some poor kid on cart-duty will thank you.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Sweater: Forever21

Jacket: Thrifted (Clothes Mentor)

Skirt: Hollister

Shoes: Target

March 2, 2019 – Markets and Mixups (#463)

It’s been nearly a year since I last went to the South Bend Farmers’ Market.

It’s honestly one of my favorite places to go in South Bend. I mean, farmers’ markets in general are cool, and though I don’t have a lot of other ones that I’ve been to to compare it to, but I think the South Bend Farmers’ Market is something special. For one, it has its own little building by the river, and so vendors are able to actually have permanent booths and displays year-round.

It also feels more like a flea market more than a farmers’ market — and that’s a good thing! I like flea markets. There are vendors who sell more than just produce — they have vintage books, houseplants, homemade jewelry, and eclectic goods of that nature. It’s my favorite kind of market (excepting, perhaps, a vintage market or an art fair).

Unfortunately, I don’t get to go often. It’s not really within walking or biking distance to campus (and let’s be honest — campus is basically the only thing in walking distance to campus), and so I only ever go when someone else drives me. It was Dads’ Weekend for my dorm, and so one of my friends’ dads offered to take anyone who wanted to go to the market one Saturday morning. Of course, I jumped on the opportunity. Any chance I get to leave campus (especially with an adult who will pay for my food), I take.

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Now, I don’t really feel any deep resentment for what I’m about to describe next — I’m sure my friend’s dad didn’t mean to do it. Granted, I don’t think people typically mean to do it, unless they’re purposefully trying to be assholes, but I haven’t really had to deal with that since my 9th grade Civics teacher, who was all kinds of problematic anyway. Nonetheless, it gets under my skin.

While we were loitering around, waiting for my friend to finish looking at a display of organic tea, he asked me how I liked Vietnam.

In case anyone here doesn’t know, I’m not from Vietnam. I’m from China, actually but my other Asian roommate, Lan Anh, is Vietnamese. He’d confused the two of us, something that seems to happen quite often. You can see Lan Anh in this batch of pictures, so you can decide if we really look a like or not, but I’m of the opinion that we don’t. Not enough to justify people constantly confusing us.

For one, she has dark hair and mine is bleach blonde. Like, you’d think that would make things easy for people. How many blonde Asians do you see a day?

What made the difference for me with my friend’s dad — why I’m perturbed but not really with him directly — was how apologetic he was afterwards. I could tell he felt badly, and that he recognized why his mistaking me for Lan Anh implied more than just that he was bad with names. I mind that he confused us, of course — I’m really tired of the all Asians look the same thing — but I appreciate that he was able to acknowledge his mistake. That’s all I want out of people . It’s okay if someone confuses Asian faces or names once or twice — we’re a minority, and people will be less attuned to facial differences if they don’t see us much — but I hope that they make an effort to do better afterwards. There are people I’ve known who have never bothered with that second step — with doing better after they make the initial mistake — and that’s what’s discouraging.

On a side note, I saw Pete Buttigieg and his husband at the breakfast café we went to. I didn’t go up and say hi because I didn’t want to bother him, but it’s cool to see a presidential candidate out and about living life like a normal person.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Top: Forever21

Jacket: Hollister

Skirt: J. Crew (thrifted)