Sunday, January 27, 2008

I see famous people sometimes

Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world, so sometimes I see famous people. Last week was Paris Fashion week and we went to try to spot some designers and models. We stood outside the Giorgio Armani show "Privé" for awhile and guess who we saw? Giorgio himself. Don't believe me? Here's a picture:

I ate Bambi's father

After many year's of studying French culture, I thought I had a good perception of the kind of cuisine that French people eat. After coming to live with a host family and eating most meals with them, however, I've come to realize I can expect almost anything to pop up on my plate.

My first day here my host mother asked me politely if there were any foods I didn't eat. Thinking I wouldn't have to be too specific, I replied with my normal response: No fish, I don't eat fish, pas du poisson s.v.p.! My host family has generously respected this even though they themselves eat a lot of fish.

After a formal lunch with the family and some of their visiting relatives last weekend, I realized I was in for a rough ride in the food department. Francois' (the dad) brother and his wife were in town for the weekend because they had tickets to a play. They are from Provence and I quickly learned that the brother is a hunter. Pas trop grave so far.

When I sat down I saw a brick of pate sitting on the table. I had had pate before. The brother's son aka the cousin Nico, asked me if I wanted some. I asked what it was and when he explained to me in French I wasn't familiar with the term. Everyone tried explaining the meat to me for awhile before Nico said, exasperated, in English "Did you see the movie Bambi?" and I said "yes."

"We are eating Bambi's father." he said with a stone face, expecting a horrified reaction from me.

and a horrified reaction he received. We were eating venison. And Francois' brother had killed it himself. I didn't want to be rude so I took the plunge and ate a small portion of the mashed up deer meat. But it didn't stop there. The next course in the meal was another meat I've avoided all my life: lamb.

And it didn't stop there, and probably will not stop. I've grit my teeth and beared through a wide variety of foods I'd intended to always avoid: snails, venison, lamb, kidney and some other foods I'd never come across but enjoyed: a selection of cheeses and lychees.

They told me before I leave I have to try pig testicles and frog legs.

I'll let you know if I survive.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bonjour de Paris...finalement!

Hello faithful blog readers! (all 5 of you) I'm writing you from my highly anticipated destination of Paris, France in my cute little room in a cute little apartment of a cute little parisian family in the cute 11eme arrondisement of Paris! I like my neighborhood very much, I can walk down a couple streets and five mins later, BOOM, there's the Bastille, formerly a jail and dripping with history of the french revolution.

So far I adore everything, but speaking in french to french people is a lot harder than speaking in french in french class to other american students, so I'm struggling to say the least.

My camera doesn't work right now because I don't have an adapter from irish to french energy but I'm working on finding a store to suit my needs so I can get my batteries working and soon I can take and post pictures. Youpie!