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My summer as a florist in Paris

To be published on studentcom

Florist 1

After my study, I’m planning to go backpacking in Asia. Though it involves sacrifices, like not going on holidays, be careful no to spent too much, I’m sure it’s worth it. So two summers ago, I decided to stay in Paris and look for a summer job. I was not 18 at that moment so it was a bit of an issue to find one. After many attempt I found a kind florist that was happy to hire me for the summer.

I didn’t know anything about flowers. I have flowers in my garden but my only contact with them is when I see them through my room’s window.
Not only did I found a way to fund my project, I also developed a new passion.

The shop was located in the middle of Paris, in the ‘IXeme Arrondissement ‘. It was in a very lively area of Paris, the shop was right behind the ‘Boulevard Haussman’ where are the two biggest malls of Paris ‘Les Galleries Lafayette’ et ‘LePrintemps’. Though it was aFlorist 2 small shop, it was always busy because of its location. All the employees of the shops around and the shopping centre around came to buy flowers.

At the beginning I was not doing bouquets, I was doing handling and cleaning. But little by little I was given more responsibilities. I have learnt a lot from this job.

Firstly I have learnt about what it involved to work and have duties: e.g. be on time every morning ( I had to be at 8:30 at the shop), be focused ( careless mistake could be costly, for example putting some weed killer instead of fertiliser. It may seem funny but all the bottles look the same).

I have also learnt a lot about flowers obviously, to inform customers in need. I don’t claim knowing all the name of all the flowers but I know quite a few. And it helps me to stand out sometimes during interviews, it highlight the fact that I’m versatile.

I also have met very interesting people. I remember the first time I saw this man entering in the shop; he had a particular style, quite fancy. He was very passionate about flowers and we had quite a long talk about it. Actually he was a fashion designer, as the Fashion week approached he was looking for flowers to use during his runaway. We talked about different topics, he noticed my interest in journalism and told me he had friends in the press industry and offered me to forward my details to them. I’m still in touch with him and I promised him to have a drink together the next time I head to Paris. I also remember that other man that is selling diamond in a very famous brand.

The florist I was working for had partnerships with different brands: jewellery, clothes, cars, photographers etc.. . Each week my colleague and I delivered flowers to these brands. I was always nice and trying to talk to customers in charge of the flowers. Nonetheless one brand particularly appealed me: I can’t name it, it was a luxury diamond dealer. While delivering the flowers I was dreaming for a while imagining which ring my future husband was going to offer me for my proposal. And I think the diamond seller noticed it,; once he told me to come back after I was done with my work. I had no idea of what he wanted from me but I went anyway. He made try a ‘Diamond Rivière’ worth of £10 000. Can you imagine, I had one year of my tuition fees or my backpacking trip in Asia around my neck.

Above all, I felt in love (again) with the city of Paris, the city of love. Thou I have left it I’m still full of admiration and I would never be bored of it. I was often going to Paris during the year, but Paris in summer is another city than Paris during the rest of the year. All the agitation and the stress of the year are evacuated from the city; to leave their place to the calm and to give all its charm to the pretty capital.

Learning a new job in a different city was such an unforgettable experience. I got the chance to meet amazing people, to discover new places, new skills. If you are looking for a job or a placement and you can’t find something related to your field of study, take anything that comes. Don’t refuse a job on the pretext it won’t be useful. Each work experience will be beneficial as it will bring you something new and you will learn from it!

East Wind Film Festival

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This weekend took place the third East Winds Film Festival in Coventry University. During 4 days, projections of popular films from East Asia followed each other. It was a golden opportunity for people unfamiliar with culture from Hong Kong, China, Japan, Thailand or Vietnam to discover an other cinema; an other vision of the 7th art far away from the blockbusters.

Over 4 days, the city of Coventry was lucky to welcome 8 European Premieres and 3 UK Premieres. Students and staff from different cultural background came to assist to the movies. Indeed, there were  many international students but also few English students.It was interesting to see how ethnic differences could make people closer because the point of this event was to  make asian cinema known by more souls.

I chose to watch two films: The Midas Touch and Pee-Mak. I didn’t watch the trailers before going, I chose according the genre 2 comedies. It was a great opportunity to discover unknown aspect of the cinema because nowadays every movies tend to be alike. American blockbuster, the aim of them is to attract a maximum of audience with common expectations and generic conventions in order to generate a lot of money. You will see in the reviews below that these films were quite different from what you would expect from a movie today, in a good way.

At the end of each film, we took time to talk with the director and to discuss about it. All the staff were very nice and helpful and the festival was very well organized.

THE MIDAS TOUCH

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The Midas Touch, Chinese Movie directed by Andrew Fung Chih-chiang from Hong Kong starring Chapman To and Charlene Foi is a comedy. The film is about a crew of 7 girls who want to become superstar, during all the movie their manager Mak Chiu will set his heart on making their dream come true. He will be helped by Suen Mei, the farmer manager of JD an action film star that laid her off despite her professional qualities. All together they will form a real family, they will learn to rely on each other and that to succeed in this world being with the right persons is essential. I was very unfamiliar with asian humor, but this movie was a way for me to discover it. I have to avoid that I was a little bit reluctant about it but I was positively surprised because it was quite similar to the humour I know though there was some weaknesses like

After the movie, we had the opportunity to ask some questions to the director Andrew Fung Chih-chiang, here is the minute of the interview :

  • How did you come to write this movie?How did you get to work with Steven Cheung?

Steven Cheung is a huge a star, we got to work together previously about a script he has written. And the latest ask Andrew Fung Chih-chiang to work together for his film so that is how we got to work together.Regarding Chapman Toe, Legendary Hong Kong Cinema give me the chance to work twice with him, I have to say he’s a great actor comedy.

  • The artists that are playing the main characters are not famous in China. Why did you find these infamous actors to make the movie?

Actors need to show their talent so I wanted to give them a chance. I chose new people also because I wanted the movie to be more realistic. What stands out in the movie is that for most of the girl starring they don’t particularly want to be actresses, they don’t want anything but becoming famous.

  • What inspired you  the idea of the concept of the script?

Reflected entertainment based on truth facts, I aimed at showing true  facts to the audience.

  • Do you have any advice to upcoming directors?

Keep on believing, don’t be in a rush to write a script. Take all your time to write your own script because  it will be your only weapon in this war of writers. It thanks to your script that you will be able to find sponsors to give you money to make your movie.

 

This film festival was a beneficial experience, it was the first time I was watching an asian movie actually. I am a very open-minded person but I have to confess that I was never really appealed by watching this type of movie. My cousin is a huge fan of asian art but I don’t know why I always refused to give a chance to these movies and  it was a big mistake from me. I feel silly now to say that.

What I really liked in the movies is that mix different genres together : romance-comedy-horror. I know when , it may be complicated to believe that mixing all theses genres that look so different from one another will give a good result. Yet it does. And it’s not comparable to any other movies I have seen before.

In China, movies are an important place of people’s culture, indeed for them it’s their window through the world. Indeed many of them don’t have the opportunity to travel and it’s through  all the movies they watch that they can have an insight of the life abroad. Actually I have few chinese friends I met in England. They never travelled anywhere before and they were imagining foreign countries as it was depicted in the movies, with all the stereotypes.

To conclude, these movies were an open door to another culture. If you have never watch an asian movie, don’t hesitate one second you won’t be disappointed and you’ll discover something new!

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