Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey Day Part III: Pierrelatte Style

As I mentioned, Friday night I was lucky enough to get together with the other assistants in Pierrelatte for a Thanksgiving dinner along with many of the professors that they work with. Despite being in France and eating rotisserie chicken instead of turkey, this may have been one of my most authentic Thanksgiving experiences ever.

The food was delicious. I can't remember the last time I had a Thanksgiving where everything was made from scratch and ohmygoodness does it make a difference. My tastebuds were in a magical, savory heaven.  

Mashed potatoes, stuffing, chicken, and green beans

Pumpkin pie, pecan pie, tiramisu, and whipped cream
My fellow assistants have impressive cooking skills. I wish I could say that I helped out or even did some dishes, but that would be a lie, because shortly before heading over to Pierrelatte for the dinner, I took another cough drop and ended up completely losing my voice. My throat didn't hurt anymore, but my vocal cords also couldn't function properly, so every syllable I uttered sounded like my last -- the only 'help' anyone wanted from me was to not breathe on anything.

We were about sixteen in total and still ended up having enough food left over to last several meals. We ate pie for breakfast the next day, and I decided to take that as a sign that we were celebrating the holiday right.

After the meal, the German assistant brought down his guitar and we all sang along to different songs in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and even a little Yiddish. It's hard to describe just how cool that experience was, so I don't think I'm even going to try aside from mentioning that my voice started feeling better by the end.

The next day a few of us decided go for what turned out to be quite a long walk because we felt guilty for our return to American, gluttonous tendencies. How do you explain to Europeans that guilt and a stomachache is just a part of American holidays?

We walked to a park, down to the other end of Pierrelatte, to the Carrefour, and then back to their residence at the lycee to eat a light dinner, play scrabble, and watch a Muppet Family Christmas before calling it a night.

A panther statue in the park

Cat slide

Bench in the middle of nowhere

A blurry me on the bench

Note the nuclear plant on the other side of the trees

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