Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Life of the Rochelais

It has been a long time since I’ve posted tid-bits from my french adventures, but this is because I moved! To the city! And am now the proud renter of her first apartment (wonderful, albeit, sans internet)

I first and formost want to clarify that ‘the city’ is not, in fact, Paris. I moved to the biggest city closest to Rochefort, a port city named La Rochelle. On the coast of the Atlantic ocean, it is a section of France that has been in the center of some major historical things involving Huguenots and les quebecois. In fact, the ‘tagline’ for the town is “La belle et la rebelle” or the beautiful and the rebellious.

Since it has been far too long since I last updated, let me do my best to give you the sparknotes version of the past six weeks of my life:

1. French Thanksgiving was a success! Sweet pototatoes could not be found initially, but when I was informed that they are considered an ‘exotic fruit’ (silly me! I was looking in the vegetable section!) all problems were solved, the crisis averted, and a wonderful feast was had by all. In total, eleven nationalities were represented, and for many of the non-Americans, this was a new experience. And true to tradition, there was chaos in the kitchen and too much food.lovely ladies at Thanksgiving

2. Immediately following the thanksgiving festivities, two wonderful things happened – I moved (as previously mentioned) and my dear friend Mary came to visit. And thank goodness. To make a long story short, we ended up camping-out in my empty apartment on the ice-cold parkay floor. No amount of layered jackets, scarves, hats, sweatshirts and blankets could keep us warm. After a cold, sleepless night, we promptly decided to spend the night on a friend’s spare couch the next night. Don’t worry, I have a bed (read: cot) and have figured out how all my appliances work. And I am indebted to dear sweet Mary for keeping my spirits high in the midst of absolute mayhem.
Chez Moi

3. The Christmas season in La Rochelle was lovely: lights decorated the streets, each neighborhood with a different decorative theme. We ice-skated in Rochefort, drank Christmas ale, and dominated 'noel quiz night' at the local Irish pub.

4. My students went on strike. Yes, my students. Because they’re in a union. The students. I explained to them today that things like that could never exsist in les etats unis, and they were shocked. I am learning so much.

5. I spent Christmas at home with my wonderful family, and the new year in Barcelona with incredible friends.

And now I am back in La Rochelle, with a resolution to perfect my french, learn how to cook the local cuisine and of course, keep this blog updated more regularly.

Je vous souhaite une bonne annee!

Culinary update: I tried ostrich today, once again compliments of the lycee cafeteria. Incroyable.

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