Wednesday, October 21, 2009

France, at you I point my sexy eyes

Have I mentioned lately that I like it here?

No, seriously - I *really* like it here.

Also, it's hard to have a personality in another language. I feel so... boring and unenergetic. I'm not unenergetic, but I can't seem to throw as much excitement into speaking as I want to. I think the last part to come with language is being able to be yourself, and be absolutely hilarious without having to resort to physical humour.

My class is comprised of, this week, myself, an Aussie lady, a Norwegian lady, and five suisse. The Suisse appear to be taking over my school. Don't get me wrong, they are all lovely, but I thought there would be a bit more diversity. They said it was earlier in the fall, but lots of Suisse appear to be filtering into the school lately. I was thinking that the Suisse tend to be very serious, but then realised perhaps I come off as very serious in French. They also don't talk loudly. I feel Aussie lady and I have booming voices. Common-wealth = loud. Aussie lady (a recent retiree) is fantastic and I'll be sad to see her go. We're slightly on the same wave length and I think Australia and Canada actually has a bit of a similar culture. She was asked in an afternoon class about the Aussie process of having dinner guests. She told me the following day (we are in morning classes only together) that she said, "Well, people come over. We eat." And we both laughed at a lady dressed in a ridiculous leopard print long fur coat with a funny suitcase when we were having lunch yesterday.

Ahh, lunch. I am starting to experience the culinary world of Aix. Saturday night past I went to a Spanish tapas restaurant with a fellow hiker from that day. Yup, first restaurant in France was Spanish. But sooo good. Also had my first glass of wine that night. Yup, I was in France more than a week before finally sipping l'eau de la France. Yesterday I experienced with the Aussie mate a restaurant lunch sandwich. I order "la mixte" - jambon et fromage... quelque choses. Ham and a kind of cheese I now forget. I figured it would be a panini and have tomato and perhaps some other vegetable on it. Nope. Comes out on a 3/4-length baguette. Slice ham. Huge slices of delicious cheese. Cold.


I mean, it was good and all... but almost seemed like a pointless lunch. The type of lunch you eat when the only reason you are eating is to avoid starvation.

My lunch today, however.... yum. First French restaurant experience. Or at least I assume it was French cuisine. It was food. In French. From a kitchen. I had the entree + plat (appetizer and main) for 17,50EUR. To start was a small salad with yummy shrimp and a vinagrette oily yum dressing. On the side was minced veggies served in the shape of a cylinder. Very good.

Pour plat was lamb, potatoes, and olives, in some kind of sauce. The lamb was tender, delicious, and, of course, "yummy". I don't know why people eat cow when lamb is available. The pommes de terre were about the size and shape of small scallops and, shock, soo gooooood. The olives were fine. I ate a few of them to see if I like olives yet. I didn't gag or crinkle my nose, so it's a start. So while they don't make me want to die any longer, I still don't care for them and will not be purchasing any soon. My stomach and I were very happy after this meal. Sure, kind of pricey for lunch, but quality was fantastic and I haven't really eaten supper. So it was filling!


In non-food news... oh, who are we kidding? France is clearly all about food. And les manifestations (protests) et les greves (strikes).

Saturday I went hiking up Montagne Sainte-Victoire avec other students. Fantastic hike, ended up about 1000m up. I have pics on FB if anyone cares to see. Took about 4 hours, including "les pauses" when we ate lunch, and photo taking.

Sunday I went on a excursion with classmates, organized by the school. We went to three towns/villages. The first, l'Ile-sur-la-Sorgue (or something like that) has the second largest market in France. It was pretty, but I wasn't so interested. A market is a market.

Second stop was Rousillon - which was amazing. They have tonnes of ocre in the soil, making it a dramatic red/orange. They used the land to make their houses, so the houses are wonderful colours of yellow, orange, and red. We went to a parc with walking trails through the ocre.. umm.. site. I loved it - it felt like I had stepped into a prehistoric land.

Last stop was Gordes, officially one of the prettiest places in the world. It was high up, ridiculously windy, and, shock, alarmingly pretty.

Annnnnd huge flash of lightening. That means I hide because I hate storms. Le sigh.

Au revoir.


Anne said...

Oh Jen Mac, you always make me laugh. Jealous of the France thing and glad tu t'amuses bien! (or something similarly French-ish).

Me....Ch-Ch-Charlene! said...

Mmmm - food!
You already know how I feel about le lamb - but perhaps if I wans dans france avec l'eau de france I could be persuaded to try it...again, to see if I like it! (I fear i will not be trying the the sight of them makes me gag...but que sera sera)
Please take pictures of food - whether good or bad. You know I heart food - food porn is good for you :D
hearting you :D