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Posts Tagged ‘Salmon’

I realize that I have not really revealed much about what I have been doing these past few days. My last posts, while perhaps amusing and interesting, did not, for example, describe the lovely faux press conference we had on Thursday in my French Culture Reporting class, nor did they detail the absolutely delicious salmon dinner I prepared at the home of my dinner party friends on Friday night.

So this post, from this spring-like, chilly yet sunny Sunday afternoon, will attempt to alleviate all of these gaps and holes in the narrative of my term here in Paris.

As indicated above, Thursday’s French Culture Reporting class focused on the art of the interview, and also featured a guest speaker, Madame Marie de Tilly, a self-proclaimed etiquette expert, who answered all of our questions on exactly what it means to be polite here in France.

It was a fascinating discussion. Madame de Tilly, a rigid yet friendly woman, described her work, what she sees as essential for the aspiring polite French person — dress well, arrive late to functions, know how to eat properly — and also how she thinks that good manners and politesse can help people “mix” in all types of society.

We were supposed to write a brief article describing the visit and what it told us about French etiquette — which I have done — and will reflect on the “press conference” next class period. I can really tell that this class will be one of the more interesting ones I take this term.

It also should be said that I made an absolutely kicking pasta dish Thursday evening: penne mixed with garlic, tomatoes and mushrooms sauteed in olive oil, butter, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt and other such goodies. It was spicy, savory and ever so good.

I did not have class on Friday for some odd reason — administrative duties or some such nonsense — so instead I made tentative plans to visit the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery on the eastern edge of the city. Père Lachaise is one of the most frequently visited cemeteries in the world, and it’s not surprising why: they have such luminaries as Sartre, Simon de Bolivar, Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde, among others. It’s absolutely gigantic, and entrance is free, so I thought I might head over there and walk around, seeing as Friday afternoon was particularly sunny, if not terribly warm.

But then, some impromptu plans with my dinner party gang arose, and I decided that it would be better to run to the cemetery in order to save time and also get a run into before heading out for the evening.

I am glad that I made this decision, because the cemetery was closed to the public due to the large amounts of ice and snow covering the stairs and winding pathways inside. I will just have to wait until it is warm to visit the cemetery. I’m not worried. It isn’t going anywhere, nor are its famous residents. I hope.

Friday evening saw me wandering around in the cold with the gang, then returning to their warm apartment, where we made a positively SCRUMPTIOUS salmon dinner, complete with a honey-balsamic-mustard glaze and sauteed veggies. We finished the evening with a round of movies — a cautionary note: “Nine” is NOT a good film, nor is “New York, I Love You” — and I accidentally missed the last metro.

It wasn’t a big deal, as there was room enough for me to crash there for the evening, and I awoke — at noon, so WIN — on Saturday for breakfast and the cold return home.

Safely ensconced in my warm apartment, I did some homework — which I finally have! SUCCESS — and waited around until my evening with Victoria, my American friend from high school. I met up with her at the tiny art gallery where she works as a part of her university’s program here in Paris, and we went off for dinner with some of her French friends.

A tasty clam dinner and a lovely café coffee conversation later — tout en Français, bien sûr! — we called it a night, agreeing to meet again tonight for dinner at Breakfast in America, the kitsch-tastic diner that serves, as its name suggests, American-style diner food.

Today, I did a little more homework, read some news online, went for a lovely run in my favorite park and had one the best croissants I have ever eaten from the luxury chocolate and pastry shop down the street from my apartment — only 1 euro! — for lunch.

I suppose you could call this a good weekend, and I imagine this week will only continue to get better. The weather is seemingly on the edge of changing over to spring, the Euro keeps going down thanks to the financial woes of Greece, Spain, Portugal and all their friends and my classes seem to really be picking up in both interest and work level.

So, things is good. Spring, good food, cheap(er) currency and interesting learning-times. What could be better?

PS Also, a belated update on the Parisian Public Peeing Count: We have passed 10 Parisian Public Peeing People. I’ve been advised to drop my count by those in the know, because apparently when the weather turns nice, I will not be able to keep track.

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