Tonight, I made dinner with my favorite francophile friend, Jazzy. Some of you may have read about her in the adventures of my previous life abroad. When France seemed so dismally different from our homeland, we cheered each other on towards grammatical greatness, which seemed as elusive as a sunny day in the Loire Valley. I left that December. She followed suit in April. By some statistically significant stroke of goodness, we not only graduated but then ended up in the same geographical location.
Which is not France…
Fall 2011. Freezing.
I felt kinda bourgeoisie once again while visiting a famous southern chateau. Apparently, its architects and a twenty-seven year old Vanderbilt modeled the place after a chateau called Chambord, my old friend (on the right). On my turf and crowed with English speakers, Biltmore was as gorgeously breath-taking as its foreign counterpart.
That’s hear as in your ear kind of hear.
And if you’re reading out loud, which I quite enjoy doing, despite dirty glances and an occasional chiding “keep it to yourself” spat my way, you would especially enjoy taking these out for a spin: otoscope, eustachian tube, transilluminate.
Upon returning from spring break, us first year medical students just wrapped up the head and neck portion of the physical exam. In my starchy white coat, I attempted to decipher words fuzzily familiar to those from anatomy class. My eyes on the patient, my chin nodding in agreement, my brain all aflurry–how is it that I can’t recall what I literally learned a month ago!? An hour of that and I walked out of the examination room hearing a distinct and distant invitation to [word]press on.
The time has come that I never expected would come… where I never let the G word slip from my mouth but I had to keep saying au revoir. Here is where the French really catch the sense of their farewells. Because as many times as my high teachers wrote the word goodbye next to au revoir, they didn’t ever take the literal translation: to see again. So here I am, literally on my way out the door, mom and sister just entered. And it sinks in that this is not the end, just a little pause before we see eachother once more or as I’ve been saying all day, au revoir.
I took up for the upteenth time that pastime to which none of us would admit yet of which all are guilty: people watching. This month is dedicated to consumers who ironically purchase gifts which celebrate the birth of him that had no where to lay his head. But for once, I won’t preach on the meaning of Christmas, I’ll merely let my observations speak for the French traditions discovered by firsthand creeping and/or experience. In the spirit of the advent calendar (sans bonbons which, forcement, cannot be transmitted through cyberspace), the cutenesses witnessed this winter season: Continue reading
I have not been to bed before midnight in a good couple weeks. Scout’s honor. Ask anyone that knows me and they won’t have words for the abandonment of my militant sleep/running/class schedules. Though homework and repeat 200’s are still getting done, the French verb sortir has appeared more frequently in my dinner conversations. And, because “cultural immersion” is this semester’s tagline, I wondered exactly how does one go out in Tours, France?
Is that even possible? is the question I posed on the eve of a day slotted for merriment and gluttony. The morning of, 0715 brought me to wake then open my shutters like a good French girl. Traces of the words “H.TG.” were forbidden from my mouth lest all the associated memories spill over and wash what little sanity I had. Under the rare and sunny sky, this day would be and had to be fantastic, an answer to mine and mom’s and everyone else’s prayers for joy that overflowith like gravy over turkey. Continue reading
Me amid healthy-French-organic-(at times free-trade) gastronomie at its height. Paradise.
Today I attended Eurogusto, an exposition of responsible Slow Food International. Probably half of Europe’s eco-friendly producers and a few of their free trade counterparts from operations in Africa and South America showed up. Within an enormous hall, rows upon rows of vendors skirted around various stages for teaching French cooking techniques or debates etc. Continue reading